Determining Alimony in South Carolina

Deciding to file for divorce can be a tough decision. Once the divorce is filed, many questions and complications can quickly arise. The entire divorce process can be overwhelming emotionally, mentally, and especially financially. Alimony is a particularly difficult issue that often comes up in many divorce cases. Whether you or your spouse is eligible for alimony, or if either spouse wants to agree to alimony payments, depends on numerous factors. To learn more about alimony, read below. Then, contact the Summerville family lawyers at the McGrath Law Firm today.

How Is Alimony Calculated?

Alimony is designed to support a spouse while he or she transitions to a new lifestyle after the divorce. These payments can be awarded while the divorce process is ongoing or after the divorce is finalized. A judge can order one spouse to pay support to the other, or the parties can agree on alimony payments. If a judge makes the decision, there are many factors he or she will consider when calculating a final amount. Some of these factors include:

  • Length of the marriage;
  • Standard of living established during the marriage;
  • Each spouse’s age;
  • Each spouse’s educational background and earning capacity;
  • Any marital misconduct by either spouse;
  • Each spouse’s physical and mental conditions; and
  • The parties’ current individual incomes.

These are just a few of the many factors that determine how much alimony, and the type of alimony, a judge may order.

In South Carolina, there are five separate types of alimony:

  • Rehabilitative – support designed to pay for a spouse’s workforce training or education so they can successfully move into the workforce after not working during the marriage;
  • Reimbursement – support payments intended to compensate one spouse for the support he or she gave to the other to increase their earning capacity;
  • Lump sum – one set amount to be paid in a lump sum or a few payments;
  • Periodic – monthly support payments ordered for a specified period of time; and
  • Separate payment and support – these payments are not awarded to divorcing spouses, but spouses who have separated.

Every divorce case is different, and your unique circumstances will determine whether alimony can and should be awarded to you or your spouse. Some divorcing couples agree to alimony payments in lieu of a judge ordering such support. Agreeing to pay alimony may be a useful tool to settling your case out of court, which often makes the entire process quicker and more cost-effective. Additionally, paying alimony may have some tax benefits for the obligated spouse. Deciding to ask for or agreeing to spousal support payments can also be a hard decision, so it is important to consult with an experienced Summerville family lawyer about this issue.

Contact a Summerville Divorce Lawyer

Are you considering divorce or going through the process already? Has a judge ordered alimony in your case, but your circumstances have changed? If so, contact the McGrath Law Firm. Our firm has successfully represented numerous Summerville clients, and we can help you. Contact us today to discuss your case with a Summerville family lawyer.

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