What is alimony? Well, alimony is periodic payments made to your ex-spouse for their support, and it can be a long-term or a short-term thing. It’s used by the court as a way to make up for income disparities between one spouse and the other.
If, for example, one spouse is a professional who makes a six-figure salary and the other spouse is a stay at home parent, well, alimony could be ordered for a period of time in order to allow that other party to catch up and get into a better position to earn money and maintain the standard of living to which they’re used to. Alimony isn’t mandatory. It is something that courts can award. It is a form of equitable relief. So the court’s going to look at the equities to make a decision as to whether or not alimony should occur, how long alimony should occur if it does occur, and how much the payments should be.
Now, it can also be used as a tool of equitable division. In other words, you get alimony payments in lieu of property or lieu of maybe, for example, if one party had a large retirement account, the court might award alimony payments to the other party in lieu of doing a QDRO on that account. This is another situation that is another fine example of why you want to get a good lawyer involved in your divorce early on. If you are facing a situation where your ex-spouse is seeking alimony, a good lawyer can help you avoid that liability, or if you can’t avoid it outright, at least mitigate the amounts you’re going to pay. My name is Brian L. Jackson, and I’m a Tulsa fathers’ rights attorney and we’ve been talking about alimony.