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Who Gets Alimony and For How Many Years After a Divorce? Who Gets Legal Custody of Children?

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In comparison to child custody cases in which the judge decides which parent will get the child’s custody and which parent will have the visitation rights to visit his or her child, deciding Who Gets Alimony and determining the amount of alimony is a piece of cake.

In every divorce case, Alimony isn’t automatic, and it isn’t ordered in each case. If a spouse requests alimony and if the judge believes that the alimony award is appropriate, then the judge can order the higher-earning spouse to pay maintenance for the coming years.

The judge will ask your spouse to pay you alimony if the judge has the reasons to believe that you were financially dependent on your spouse during the marriage. For example, you can prove you were economically dependent on your spouse if all the following apply:

  • You do not have sufficient property to provide for your needs.
  •  You cannot support financially through work, or you cannot work
  •  You entirely relied on your spouse for financial support during the marriage

If you can successfully prove that you were the dependent person in the marriage, there are still many factors that a judge will consider while deciding whether you should be awarded alimony and, if yes, how much it should be.

The judge considers the following factors when deciding whether or not you should get the alimony.

  • The standard of living established during the marriage
  • Your financial resource includes any property you own or you will hold at the end of the divorce.
  • Your ability to meet your need on your own
  • How long did the marriage last
  • The ability of your spouse to meet his or her need while paying you alimony
  • The age, emotional, and physical condition of both the parties

A judge can order either spouse to pay alimony to the dependent spouse while the divorce is still pending in court (known as temporary or interim alimony).

If you have been married for less than 20 years, you are not entitled to collect alimony for more than 50% of the length of the marriage. For example, if you have been married for ten years, a judge will ask the higher-earning spouse to pay the dependent spouse the alimony amount for five years. If you have been married for 20 or more years, there is no limit to how long you can receive alimony.

Your spouse will no longer have to pay alimony to you if you were awarded before in the following situations.

  • You get married to someone else.
  • After your death
  • You live in an intimate relationship with either sex, and you declare yourself as a couple (known as cohabitation).

Who Gets Legal Custody of Children?

There are many factors involved in which a judge decides on child custody. When determining the parent with whom the child will live, the court strives to decide on “the best interest of the child.” Therefore, Judge typically focuses on the child’s viewpoint and the child’s future instead of what parents want. Each child custody case is different from the other. However, some key factors are always taken into consideration.

The key factors include:

  • Lifestyle and conduct of parents
  • The parent-child relationship
  • Preference of the child
  • The parents mental and physical health
  • The parent’s ability to provide for the child
  • Child’s age, gender, physical, and mental health
  • Child’s primary caregiver

If none of the above factors help the court decide the child custody and does not favor either of the parents, the court will then focus on determining which parent can provide a stable environment for the child.

When the child custody case is about younger children, the judge typically awards the custody of the children to the parent who has been the child’s primary caregiver.

To conclude –

If your divorce or a child custody case gets complicated, your spouse is not ready to settle, and you do not see a fair outcome of the case, contact an expert lawyer who can represent and help you in your case.

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