A divorce can be a complicated affair, no matter how amicably everything was settled. Alimony, or the monthly financial support a spouse is legally mandated to provide the other, can even be more complicated due to the many factors that can affect who gets rewarded with it. The decision of who gets alimony and the exact amount comes from the result of a court case after reviewing the circumstances surrounding the divorce itself.
To help with this we’ve compiled a list of things you can do to ensure you get alimony from your divorce, and continue to receive alimony for the foreseeable future.
- Prove that your spouse’s total income is higher than yours throughout the course of your marriage. Salary slips, bank account statements, purchase receipts – everything that you think that can prove that your spouse or partner has a higher and more substantial income than you may help get you the alimony you deserve. Evidence of your own underemployment throughout the marriage – as a stay-at-home parent or spouse – will be handy as well.
- Prove that you have an inability to obtain work or income that will allow you to survive financially without alimony in the long term. If you are sick, elderly or have a chronic condition/injury that prevents you from working (or could affect your chances of being hired), prepare to bring it up in the court hearing. It may be beneficial if you could get a doctor’s signed statement about your condition or inability to work, as well as a tally of your total monthly expenses.
- Prove that your financial status and/or quality of life will be severely affected without alimony. Be sure to mention (and provide evidence for) everything that can happen to you financially if you are not awarded alimony. From being unable to buy your prescription medication to being unable to pay utility/food bills, do your best to paint as detailed a picture to the judge presiding over your divorce hearing. As much as possible, try not to mention any luxury or hobby expenses that you will not be able to partake in – the key here is to gain the judge’s sympathy and favor.
- Prove that you do your best to live within your means and can be financially responsible with the alimony. Looking and acting the part for all your court appearances is the key to winning a civil case, divorce or otherwise. Refrain from wearing loud, extravagant and casual clothing – clean and business casual fashion works. Speak clearly and respectfully to the judge, your lawyer, and even your ex-spouse. Avoid emotional outbursts and quarrels, especially in the view of your children and the judge.
If the judge rules in your favor and awards you alimony, remember that it shouldn’t be relied upon as a permanent means of income. Your right to receive it can be reviewed and revoked at any time should the court decide that it is no longer necessary. Thankfully, you can do the following to help prevent against this:
- Stay single. Having a relationship is fine, but formally remarrying will not be in your favor in the eyes of the court.
- Live alone. Just like remarrying, living with someone will make the judge think that you now have someone to share expenses with, whether you do or don’t. As you may think, this could drastically affect the alimony decision.
- Maintain good relations with your ex-spouse. Avoid quarrels and public scenes as much as possible, online or offline.
- Lawyer up. If your ex-spouse decides to skip on paying alimony, seek the services of an attorney to help you file a petition to force them to do so. If you find this to be an expense you cannot afford, contact your local legal aid organization for a pro-bono attorney who will take your case for free.