Divorce Myths

Alimony Myths


Myth:   All alimony is "for life"

Reality:  This statement is simply not true. Many states prefer rehabilitative alimony that will allow a divorcing spouse to become financially self-sustaining after a reasonable period of time. Again, the laws in your state will reflect the prevailing philosophy, and while there is some uniformity, you should educate yourself about your own State's practices. Unfortunately, or perhaps inevitably, "justice" remains a "lottery".  By that, we mean that the decisions in each case relating to alimony depend to a significant degree upon the attitudes and beliefs of the judge who will ultimately decide your case. Your attorney has no idea who that judge may be and, try as he/she might, your lawyer cannot give you definitive answers to your questions about the amount or duration of alimony.

Myth:   I am entitled to the same standard of living after the divorce that I had before the divorce

Reality: For most, this is not even a possibility. The economics are simple. It costs more to live separately. Most couples are already living to the full extent of their budget, and something must give. Most who insist that they are “entitled” to the same standard of living, particularly when they see their spouse to be at fault, just don’t want to be the one to do the giving.

Myth:   We agreed I should stay at home, not work and raise the kids; therefore, I don’t have to go to work and he has to pay the bills

Reality: Didn't your agreement assume that you would stay together as a couple? Things have changed, and your life probably will have to change with them. If you made a life change in reliance on, or in response to, your spouse, it is a factor that will be taken into account by a Court in deciding what financial arrangement makes sense at the time of divorce. However, in most situations, and even if there was such an understanding, there will be pressure to restore both spouses to financial situations in which they can be self sustaining, and the dependency implicit in this kind of promise is not going to be perpetuated indefinitely.




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