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Protecting a spouse following a divorce with alimony

No matter where you live, whether it's Quincy or somewhere else in Massachusetts, divorce can sometimes be difficult for all parties involved. Aside from having to deal with child custody and child support, ex-spouses must also go through property division and, depending on the situation, alimony.

Alimony, also known as spousal support, is a court-awarded payment from one spouse to another. It is determined by the financial situations of each spouse following a divorce. One example would be if one spouse chose to give up his or her career to take care of the children and maintain the house while the other spouse earned income for the family.

Post-divorce, it may be difficult for the spouse who was the caregiver of the children to find work. Alimony considers the standard of living that each spouse enjoyed during the course of the marriage. Without income, the non-earning spouse would find it difficult to maintain his or her standard of living.

Courts take many things into consideration when establishing and awarding alimony, including the age, physical and emotional health and financial situation of the spouse; the time needed for the spouse to re-educate him or herself; the standard of living during the marriage; and the length of the marriage.

It's worthy of noting that alimony is not necessarily permanent. Its purpose is to support a spouse while he or she prepares to re-enter the workforce to earn a livable income and establish independence. If you're considering divorce and are uncertain whether you may be entitled to alimony, it may be wise to consult with a legal professional to learn about your options.

Source: FindLaw, "Are You Entitled to Alimony (Spousal Support?)", accessed March 24, 2015

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