Alimony - At the Court’s Discretion

Despite the alimony jokes ("She got the mine, I got the shaft"), spousal maintenance no longer assures the divorced woman the lifetime financial floor it did when courts considered marital misconduct in dividing the marital estate and awarding alimony. When alimony is awarded, courts increasingly award spousal maintenance on the assumption that it is rehabilitative, that is, with an eye to easing the wife back into the work force.

In deciding alimony, judges exercise tremendous latitude. Depending upon the jurisdiction, the amount and duration depend upon the length of the marriage, the standard of living, the contributions of both parties (both economic and noneconomic), the age of the parties, their incomes, the financial prospects for each spouse, health issues, and only in some instances what is called "conduct during the marriage."

At one time, courts awarded alimony on the theory that the injured spouse (usually the wife) should be able to maintain the standard of living to which she was accustomed - an unreasonably high standard because even many intact couples have trouble holding position on two incomes.

In general, courts seldom award permanent alimony to a spouse leaving a short-term marriage on the theory that a younger woman is better positioned to re-enter the work force and make a fresh start on her own.

Despite advances in the workplace, many women defer to their husbands about money management, including the management of her property and her money. Very often, because the husband manages the couple’s assets, he is in a better position to manipulate the money to his advantage when the marriage goes south. Even educated women will sign something because their husbands tell them to do it. And finally, during the happy times of a marriage, neither the husband nor the wife thinks much about property because what they have is "ours." One English mother of three discovered that the fifty-fifty split her husband assured her did not turn out that way at all. "I got a huge shock when I realized he had hired a crack legal team who managed to hide a large proportion of his assets and write off most of his income. I didn’t stand a chance...I find it almost unbearable that I have to scrimp and save to bring up the kids, while his lifestyle is noticeably more comfortable and extravagant than when we were together."

Very often, the division of the marital estate becomes clouded by questions of what is known as the "commingling of assets," that is, the mixing of separate property (what belongs to one spouse exclusively, such as gifts and inheritances in most jurisdictions) with marital property (such as the home, which couples own as tenants by the entirety).

Very often, both men and women become their own worst enemies in a divorce because of the pain and suffering of ending a marriage. For women this can be particularly difficult. A woman who finds herself in an unsought divorce (dumped for a younger woman) may lash out at her husband in an understandable anger, but she must consider her long-time life needs. For example, in many cases, charging adultery, even when it is true and provable, surrenders no gain to the wife and may make a satisfactory divorce strategy more difficult.



Useful Online Tools

Suggested Reading
The Women's Rights Manual for Divorce The Women's Rights Manual for Divorce
What you are experiencing or contemplating is probably going to be the most difficult time of your life. Separation and divorce can break anyone emotionally and financially if you let it. Your future is in your hands. This manual gives you easy access to your rights, which will provide you the needed protection for you to have a successful divorce.

Download Now


Related Article Archives
Child Support
Court Procedures
Custody & Visitation
Domestic Violence
Spousal Support
    All Article Archives

Related Categories
Child Relocation
Collect & Paying Child Support
Divorce & Pets
Name Change & Divorce
Pensions & Divorce
    All Categories
Related Forums
Child Custody
Child Removal
Child Support
Financial Aspects
Pensions
Spousal Support
Women's Rights
    All Forums

Resources & Tools

Bookstore Promotion Discount

Start Your Divorce Online Start Your Divorce
Several Options to Get Started Today.
Divorce Tools Online Divorce Tools
Keeping it Simple to Get the Job Done.
Divorce Downloads Download Center
Instantly Download Books, Guides & Forms.
Divorce and Custody Books Discount Books
Over 100 of the Best Divorce & Custody Books.
Negotiate Online Negotiate Online
Settle your Divorce and Save.
Custody and Support Tracking Custody Scheduling
Make Sure You Document Everything.
   
PATERNITY TESTING -- Most states grant mothers the right to ask for paternity testing on the child's behalf. The courts compel the presumed father to submit to DNA tests to establish paternity. Once paternity is established, the father has rights, but he also has responsibilities.
Start Divorce
Custody Scheduling and Tracking

Legal Logs

Easily Connect With a Lawyer or Mediator
Have Divorce Professionals from Your Area Contact You!
Enter Your Zip Code:

 

Women's Book Women's Rights Manual for Divorce

Women's Rights Manual for Divorce

Women's Rights Manual for Divorce

 

Featured Download The Relevance of Adultery and Extra-Marital Sexual Conduct in Custody and Visitation Cases

The Relevance of Adultery and Extra-Marital Sexual Conduct in Custody and Visitation Cases

The Relevance of Adultery and Extra-Marital Sexual Conduct in Custody and Visitation Cases

View Mother's and Women's Resources in Our Online Bookstore

Guarantee Official PayPal Seal Facebook Twitter Versign Secure Site
Limited Offer Women's Rights Manual For Divorce
Cover Price: $55.95
Your Price: $29.95
You Save: $26.00

"The Absolute Best Investment in Your Divorce"

Men's Rights Manual For Divorce
Cover Price: $55.95
Your Price: $29.95
You Save: $26.00

"Uncover Your Options and Unleash Solutions"