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Alimony basics

Will I get alimony and will I have to pay alimony are two of the most common questions family law attorneys get. Alimony, much like child support, is a hot-button issue that affects many divorces.

Two of the most important factors when it comes to alimony are the income of both parties and how long the two were married. In general, the longer the marriage, the more likely you are to be entitled to alimony payments. For very long marriages — 25 years or more — alimony may be awarded on a permanent basis. This means that the paying party would be obligated to make the alimony payments until either one dies or the receiving party remarries.

Keep in mind that permanent alimony does not mean that the court order can never be modified. As a rule, all alimony orders can be modified if the proper conditions present, unless there were specific terms written into the original order that prohibit a modification. Sometimes circumstances change, and the paying party can no longer make the payments through no fault of their own. In this case, a modification may need to be done.

At the O'Neil Law Firm, we can help you understand how alimony may come into play during your divorce. We can also help walk you through every step along the way, from the initial filing and financial discovery process to mediation attempts and post-decree modifications. If you believe you are entitled to alimony or want to find out more about your options, having a meeting with a family law attorney is the first step.

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