Alimony Caveats
Key Points
  • Excluding alimony from a property settlement will eliminate the opportunity to go back at a later date and request it (or add it). For this reason some agreements can have a alimony award for just 1 dollar.
  • Health insurance coverage and life insurance policies can be part of an alimony award.

The Equity in Marriage Institute offers a few caveats to alimony.

First, the judge determines how much alimony a divorcing spouse receives, if any.

Second, most states do not permit a spouse to retroactively seek modification of a divorce judgment that does not provide for alimony unless the agreement specifies otherwise. A nominal amount of alimony - even $1 a year preserves the right to ask for more money later.

Third, in equitable distribution states, courts may award one spouse a larger share of the marital property and also require the other spouse to pay health insurance or reasonable medical expenses not otherwise reimbursed as alimony.

Moreover, divorcing couples must be mindful of recapture, which refers to the ability of the IRS to recover the tax benefit of deduction or a credit taken by a taxpayer and, as it applies to divorce, prevents a divorcing couple from dividing their property and calling the distribution alimony.

According to the Family Law Section of the American Bar Association, the jurisdictions weigh one or more of the spousal support factors as follows:

  • 45 consider the standard of living
  • 41 work from a statutory list
  • 23 do not consider marital fault
  • 28 consider marital fault relevant
  • 32 consider the status of the custodial parent

Suggested Reading
The Spousal Support Handbook The Spousal Support Handbook
Spousal support is one of many issues that is often difficult for spouses to agree upon. Before negotiating and even signing an agreement regarding spousal support it is very important that you understand your rights and the repercussions of any actions taken.

Download Now

Recent Related Blog Posts
    All Spousal Support Blog Posts

Related Article Archives
Spousal Support
Tax Aspects
    All Article Archives

Related Categories
Bankruptcy & Divorce
Divorce Financial Planning
Divorce Laws
Insurance & Divorce
Women's & Mother's Rights
    All Categories
Related Forums
Financial Aspects
Men's Rights
Spousal Support
Tax Aspects
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.
TAXABILITY – When it meets IRS guidelines about the terms and conditions of payment, alimony is deductible to the payor and taxable to the recipient. Requirements for this tax treatment include explicitly labeling the payments as spousal support in the divorce decree and requiring the spouses to live apart while receiving support and terminating the payments when the recipient spouse dies. 

Start Divorce

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


Featured Book The Spousal Support Handbook

The Spousal Support Handbook

The Spousal Support Handbook


Featured Download The Effect of Artificially High and Low Marital Standards of Living on Spousal Support Awards

The Effect of Artificially High and Low Marital Standards of Living on Spousal Support Awards

The Effect of Artificially High and Low Marital Standards of Living on Spousal Support Awards

Start Reaching Potential Clients Through Divorce Source. Learn More

Guarantee Official PayPal Seal Facebook Twitter Versign Secure Site