ALIMONY ATTORNEY IN OKLAHOMA CITY
Alimony is potentially the most confusing and contentious part of any divorce settlement. Determining an alimony order involves a huge number of factors, and it takes a skilled alimony lawyer to make sure you’re getting a fair settlement. Without an experienced attorney on your side, you could end up with unfair alimony payments. Don’t make that mistake – contact Bryan Stratton today. As an experienced Oklahoma attorney with a focus on family law, Bryan Stratton has the right skills to handle your case.
If you want to know more about alimony and how alimony in Oklahoma City is determined, read our Alimony FAQ below.
What is Alimony?
Alimony is also frequently called “spousal support.” It is a court-ordered payment from one spouse to the other, with the intention of correcting income disparities between divorcing spouses. In effect, it is meant to allow both people to live comfortably and in a similar lifestyle to the one they enjoyed while married. Alimony is separate from child support, and it should also not be confused with “alimony in lieu of property division,” which we address below.
If you want to know more about Oklahoma alimony, call Bryan Stratton today.
What Kinds of Alimony Are There?
In Oklahoma, alimony can take two forms. The first is temporary alimony, which is usually enforced when the divorce is filed and the couple is living separately. This is also referred to as “temporary spousal maintenance.” Most temporary alimony orders only last until the divorce is finalized.
True alimony, on the other hand, is a more permanent arrangement that takes effect after the divorce is finalized. With permanent alimony, one spouse is ordered by the court to make payments to the other based on differences in income or property value. Alimony payments generally occur monthly, though some courts have ordered lump payments instead. In some cases, alimony is paid from the value of property or investments.
To learn more about the difference between temporary support and alimony, contact Bryan Stratton today.
How are Alimony Payments Determined?
In Oklahoma, there is no formal calculator or guideline for determining the amount of alimony one spouse must pay the other in a divorce. Instead, the judge hearing the case has a large amount of discretion when ordering an alimony payment. He or she may consider many different aspects and hear arguments from both sides before determining an alimony order. In general, the judge will look at both the difference in income, assets, and property for each spouse, and the ability of each spouse to pay the other, when forming an alimony order. The judge will also consider other factors such as the length of the marriage, each spouse’s job skills, the age of each spouse, and how likely they are to be able to support themselves.
Because there is no formal rule for determining an alimony payment, it is very important to have a firm grasp of the law and your financial situation, as well as your spouse’s. This is why it’s essential to hire an experienced Oklahoma family lawyer: without legal aid, you will most likely not be able to present convincing arguments to the judge and will end up with an unfair alimony arrangement.
For more information about determining alimony payments in an Oklahoma divorce, contact Bryan Stratton today.
Does Fault Matter when Determining Alimony?
Oklahoma is a fault divorce state, which means you can get a divorce in the event of one of several fault conditions. These conditions include your spouse cheating in your marriage, your spouse being incarcerated, or your spouse mentally or physically abusing you. These fault conditions can affect the overall course of the divorce and the likelihood of obtaining child custody.
However, alimony payments are almost always calculated separately, and do not usually take fault conditions into account. Thus, if your spouse cheats on you and you file for divorce, you may still have to pay alimony if you make significantly more or have more assets.
If you have questions about fault and alimony in your divorce, call the law offices of Bryan Stratton.
How Long Do I Pay Alimony?
The length of an alimony payment arrangement varies on a case-by-case basis. There is no set rule for how long an alimony order must last; some may only require a single lump sum, while others can continue for years.
With temporary spousal maintenance payments, the order usually only lasts until the divorce is finalized. However, in cases where a temporary order is used, the judge may use the same terms in a full alimony order if they feel like that action is necessary. Alimony is never permanent, though it may last for a number of years.
For more answers about alimony orders, get in touch with Bryan Stratton today.
Can an Alimony Order be Changed?
Alimony orders can be changed by the court if the financial situation of one or both spouses significantly changes from when the order first took effect. In order for a court to modify a support order, one spouse must show the court that the current alimony arrangement is unreasonable due to the new circumstances.
Common cases of changes to an alimony order include pay raises, reductions, or bankruptcy. In other words, any significant change to the finances of either spouse may convince the court that the current alimony arrangement is unfair. Also, alimony payments are often modified if one spouse begins to live with another person or if they get remarried.
To get more information about modifying an alimony order, contact Bryan Stratton.
What is Alimony In Lieu of Property Division?
Alimony in lieu of property division, though it sounds similar, is actually not alimony at all. Instead, it is a form of property division based on the value of property. It is similar to alimony in that a court orders it to correct income or total worth disparities in a divorce, and also in that it is paid either monthly or in lump sums.
This form of payment is used to correct imbalances in the value of property received during a divorce. For instance, if one spouse ends up with approximately $50,000 worth in property and assets after the divorce is settled, and the other gets $42,000, there is a perceived imbalance of $8,000. Thus, the court may order the spouse with more property to make payments to the other spouse, either in monthly installments or in a lump sum, to correct the difference.
If you have additional questions about alimony payments or spousal support in Oklahoma, call the law offices of Bryan Stratton today 405-601-4411. We offer free, no-obligation initial consultations, so you can ask questions and get answers from our years of experience. Call us today 405-601-4411 to set up your appointment and get the answers you need for your Oklahoma divorce.