Common Alimony Myths

Parents giving each other money for child

Currently, the Center for Disease Control estimates that for every 1,000 people, there are 3.2 divorces. Divorce is astonishingly common, yet for every couple, it’s deeply personal and very emotional. In the face of high emotions, it’s important to have facts on hand, yet some myths continue to persist surrounding divorce. We want to debunk a few today on the subject of alimony.

Myth 1: Alimony is a certainty

If you’re getting a divorce, you have the right to protect your assets and your ability to maintain your household. That being the case, it’s important to understand that alimony is not automatic and may not be awarded at all. During the complicated and emotional process of divorce, it’s important to have a competent lawyer to represent you.

Myth 2: In the age of two-income families, alimony is outdated

This is untrue because even when both spouses have careers, one of them often sets aside opportunities for the family unit’s greater good. In days past, this was typically a wife who stayed home with the children, but it could be either spouse in modern families.

Myth 3: Alimony is permanent

Alimony is typically meant to be a temporary measure, designed to help a spouse get back on his or her feet financially. Several different factors go into determining alimony, and they also determine the length of time for which it is granted. Even what’s known as permanent alimony isn’t necessarily life-long. It may end if the recipient cohabitates with a partner or remarries.

Myth 4: Bad behavior means more alimony for the wronged spouse

You might think that if your spouse is unfaithful or abusive, the court will award you a higher amount of alimony. In fact, because all states are no-fault, alimony is no longer used as punishment.

Myth 5: Alimony helps maintain the same standard of living as the marriage

This is a common misconception, but alimony is meant to help spouses pay for basic necessities, like food, housing, and utilities. It’s not intended to pay for extras like vacations or designer clothing.

Myth 6: Men don’t get alimony

This is one of the most persistent and common myths out there, but it’s absolutely false. Women are increasingly becoming the breadwinners of their families, and husbands often stay home with the children. When a wife earns considerably more money than her husband during the marriage, her husband may be entitled to alimony.

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