Not everyone ends up paying alimony after a divorce, but your chances of having to make payments to your ex increase if you were responsible for the majority of their financial support during your marriage. If you’re ordered to pay alimony, however, that doesn’t mean that you will make payments indefinitely. Many orders are only good until your ex gets on their feet financially. Furthermore, there are steps you can take to avoid paying alimony permanently. Following are a few ways you can avoid making payments for life.
Lump Sum Payment
If you owe alimony, you may be able to make a lump sum payment at the time of the divorce to avoid making any future payments. The lump sum payment is usually equal to what the court thinks you would pay over the course of an alimony agreement. However, there is room for negotiation. If both of you and the court agree with the settlement amount, you may be able to pay off your alimony debt as part of the divorce settlement.
Rehabilitative Alimony Clause
You can petition the court to make your alimony rehabilitative. What this means is that your payments will only continue for a set amount of time, usually enough time for your ex to go back to school, find a job, or otherwise improve their financial situation. In rehabilitative agreements, the payment end date is stipulated in the divorce decree. This type of alimony is not meant to be permanent support. It is merely a cushion or starting point for your ex to build their own financial future.
Alimony Modification and Termination
If you’re ordered to make traditional alimony payments, meaning there is no end date to your obligation, you can still shorten your obligation through a modification or termination. A modification or termination usually occurs when your ex has a change that affects their finances. For example, if your ex were to get remarried, they would benefit from the income of their new spouse, which would get you off the hook for alimony. Similarly, pay raises, promotions, inheritances, etc. are often grounds for modification or termination.
If you suspect that you will have to pay alimony, you can take steps to litigate your payment agreement during your divorce. If you have to pay, you can also take steps after the fact to shorten your obligation as well. More and more today, alimony is becoming a temporary arrangement rather than a permanent one. For more inforamtion about the process, contact a company like Law Office of Jared T. Amos.