In Jonesboro, Arkansas, judges can award one spouse financial support for a set amount of time. In most cases, the recipient of this will receive payment for three to five years after a divorce. Spousal support is also called alimony or rehabilitative support. The purpose of it is to allow the spouse with fewer financial resources to become financially independent.
Discuss Your Case With an Arkansas Spousal Support Attorney
In many divorces, spousal support can be a strongly contested issue. Whether you are a spouse seeking it out or trying to avoid paying it, there is a lot at stake. You need an experienced spousal support attorney who understands Arkansas law and has the skill and experience to protect your interests. Contact the Law Offices of Bryce Cook today to schedule your initial consultation to discuss your case.
Am I Eligible?
If you are considering getting divorced in Arkansas, you may be wondering if you will be entitled to spousal support payments. Whether or not a court awards alimony in your case will depend on the financial need of the spouse requesting support and the other party’s ability to pay. Receiving this assistance isn’t automatic in Arkansas, as judges have the legal authority to award or deny spousal support.
Arkansas judges have significant discretion when it comes to awarding alimony. Most of the time, judges will not award permanent spousal support. Instead, they will grant temporary or rehabilitative alimony until the recipient can obtain the training or job skills necessary to find gainful employment.
Judges consider multiple factors when deciding whether to award alimony. They will consider the couple’s lifestyle and their standard of living before the divorce. One of the goals of spousal support is to allow both spouses to enjoy a similar standard of living after the divorce. When one spouse is the breadwinner and the other spouse is a stay-at-home parent or doesn’t have the same earning potential, judges are more likely to award alimony.
Factors Involved in Spousal Support Decisions
Predicting when a judge will order spousal support can be challenging. This decision is within the judge’s discretion and depends on the unique facts of each case. Arkansas’s Administrative Order 10 states that, in divorces in which the court awards child support, the court may award 20% of the parent’s take-home pay spousal support on top of the award for child support. In addition to this guideline, judges will also consider the following factors when deciding to award alimony:
- The payee’s financial need
- The payor’s ability to pay
- The standard of living established during the marriage
- The current financial circumstances of both parties
- The value of jointly owned property
- The nature and amount of each spouse’s income
- The length of the marriage
- Each spouse’s to earn a living
- Other factors
The Three Types of Spousal Support in Jonesboro, Arkansas
Arkansas judges can award three different types of spousal support. The first type is called rehabilitative spousal support. Rehabilitative is intended to help the recipient obtain the education or training necessary to become self-sufficient. This type is not permanent, and it usually lasts anywhere from one to five years, depending on the case.
Arkansas judges also have the authority to award temporary support, which is paid while the divorce is pending. This help can extend for a short period of time after the divorce. The purpose of it is to help the less financially stable spouse pay his or her bills until the divorce is finalized.
Permanent support is the third option available in Jonesboro, Arkansas. Permanent alimony is available for the financially disadvantaged spouse for the rest of his or her life or upon the death of the spouse who receives the support. When the spouse receiving support remarries or begins cohabitating with someone else, the support will stop.
Judges are more likely to award permanent spousal support when one spouse spent most of their working years as a homemaker and the other spouse focused on his or her career. When a divorced spouse has a permanent disability or medical condition that prevents them from working, they are more likely to receive permanent spousal support.
Calculating Spousal Support in Jonesboro, Arkansas
The amount of spousal support a court awards depends on two factors. First, the court will examine the financial needs of the recipient spouse and the paying spouse’s ability to pay. Determining the recipient spouse’s needs involves subtracting their monthly expenses from their monthly income, including any other support they received, such as child support. When the recipient spouse’s reasonable expenses exceed their income, the court will find a financial need. Next, the judge will consider the paying spouse’s income and expenses to decide how much of their earnings should be given to the other spouse. In most cases, the ability to calculate spousal support is entirely left within the judge’s discretion.
It’s important for the spouse who is paying support to understand the tax implications of alimony payment. Alimony is considered to be an above-the-line deduction. It’s taken directly off of the paying spouse’s gross income. The paying spouse will not pay taxes on that income. However, the recipient spouse needs to count alimony payments as part of their income and pay taxes on it accordingly. Sometimes the recipient spouses can be surprised when they have to file income tax returns because there is no wage withholding on alimony payments.
Contact a Jonesboro, Arkansas Spousal Support Attorney Today!
When you hire Bryce Cook as your attorney, you can be sure that he will take the time to review your case thoroughly. He will discuss your goals and options with you to build the strongest possible argument supporting your position. He will provide you with effective legal representation using his extensive experience representing people seeking and trying to avoid spousal support. Contact Law Offices of Bryce Cook as soon as possible to learn more about your rights regarding alimony.