Law Office of Daniel E. Forrest, P.A.

You've been living with your spouse for many years, and your finances are intertwined. You stayed home to watch your children more than your spouse, so you only worked part-time. Now, you're in your 50's and your children have finally moved out of your home. You thought this was when you'd get back to living in a way that celebrated your spouse and your achievements and life together, but your spouse wants to get a divorce. You aren't sure if you should ask for alimony or not.

Alimony can seem like a dirty word during a divorce. If you ask for it, someone can accuse you of being a gold-digger or trying to take advantage of your ex. If you don't want to pay it, you could be accused of being cheap or unfair. No matter what your situation is, you need to understand that alimony is an important part of some divorces. Not all divorces have alimony payments, so you may not end up having to deal with them at all.

Spousal support is determined by looking at your gross income as well as your spouse's gross income. The court also looks at the length of your marriage and at other factors that could affect your need for spousal support. If you don't want or need spousal support, you have a right to turn it down, but for the most part, it is there as a way to make things as even as possible following a divorce.

If you want to refuse alimony, you should consider why you want to do so and whether it's a good financial decision. Yes, refusing alimony means you can walk away from your relationship without any ties to your ex. It's a fresh start. However, if alimony is due to you, you need to weigh whether or not refusing it is really the best option for your situation. If you don't have much saved for retirement or have less put away because of working only part time, it might be in your best interests to take the alimony payments and invest them, for example. Your attorney can talk to you more about your options and whether or not alimony is necessary in your case.

Source: HuffPost, "Divorce Confidential: Alimony — Are You On The Hook?," Caroline Choi, accessed Sep. 08, 2017

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