Regardless of your gender, you may have to pay alimony to your former spouse if you have been married for a significant period of time and are now divorced. This article is a brief description of alimony in Oklahoma. To find out more detailed information about alimony in Oklahoma, contact a knowledgeable Wagoner family law attorney.
What is Alimony in Oklahoma?
Alimony, also called “spousal support,” is financial support paid by one spouse to another after divorce. It is usually ordered to be paid in monthly installments, but it may also be in the form of a lump-sum payment. The terms of alimony payments may be agreed upon by you and your spouse, or you can leave it up to the court to decide.
Alimony is not a legal right, but rather it is a remedy for the financial disparity that may exist between spouses after they divorce. The amount and duration of alimony is usually determined by the court and it is based on a number of factors, including the duration of the marriage, the age of each spouse, individual incomes of each spouse, and a spouse’s ability to find a job and be self-sufficient.
In Oklahoma, there are two kinds of spousal support available:
1. Spousal maintenance:
Spousal maintenance is financial support ordered by the court to be paid by one spouse to the other while the divorce proceedings are taking place. From the time you file for divorce until the final divorce decree is issued, an order for spousal maintenance is effective.
Alimony is financial support awarded in the final divorce decree to be paid by one spouse to the other, in money or property, after the divorce and for a specified length of time.
How to Determine Alimony in Oklahoma
To decide the amount and duration of alimony payments, Oklahoma courts consider a number of different factors; most importantly, the length of the marriage and the ability of the spouses to support themselves are significant.
The duration of alimony will be determined based on what the court considers to be fair and reasonable under the circumstances, especially in regards to the amount of time necessary for the receiving spouse to become self-sufficient.
Short-term alimony may be awarded to give the receiving spouse time to prepare financially for the separation. On the other hand, the court may award long-term or even lifelong alimony to be paid if the needs of the receiving spouse dictate.
Modifying Alimony in Wagoner Courts
Once ordered, alimony in Wagoner Oklahoma will typically not be terminated unless the receiving party remarries or a spouse dies. Either party, however, can request alimony to be modified if it can be shown that certain material circumstances call for an adjustment in the terms.
An increase or decrease in income or living expense can be grounds for a modification. Alimony may also be modified if the receiving spouse is found cohabiting with a member of the opposite sex.
Alimony is a remedy available to address the financial disparity between spouses after they have divorced. You and your spouse can decide upon the terms of any alimony to be paid or allow the courts to do it for you. An experienced Oklahoma family law attorney can help you and your spouse negotiate the terms of your alimony as well as estimate the amount and duration of alimony that may be awarded by the courts in your particular divorce.
Free Consultation: Wagoner Divorce Attorney
For a free consultation with a Wagoner divorce attorney, call 918-485-0335. Or, as always, you may enter a legal question in the form at the top right of this page.