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You Never Realize how Short a Month Is until You Pay Alimony

Gene Kirzhner Oct. 16, 2023

Spouses in a conflict-filled marriage may often see divorce as a very attractive alternative, but the idea of living on one income can be discouraging and may even make them think twice about it. For others, having to pay spousal support is equally daunting, but understanding how spousal support works in Rhode Island can relieve some of your concerns.

What Is Spousal Support?

Alimony, also known as “spousal support,” is a series of monthly installments designed to provide financial support from one spouse to another after divorce. Before the payments begin, there must be a stipulated written order or agreement that requires the payor to support the payee with a specified amount of money.

In Rhode Island, payments are gender-neutral, meaning the sex of the person who pays or receives is not determinant. It is very beneficial to understand what factors the judicial authority takes into consideration regarding the need for support, such as:

  • The duration of the marriage

  • Involvement and age of the children

  • Your marital standard of living

  • Whether one spouse was a homemaker

  • The earning capacity of each spouse

Once agreed that spousal support is necessary and that one spouse has the means to pay for it, the duration needs to be specified. Alimony is generally not permanent, except in very serious circumstances. As either the receiving spouse or the paying spouse, you can ask for a support modification by showing the court that a significant change has taken place, such as a new job or health problems, making modified orders necessary.

Who Pays the Support?

In Rhode Island, the spouse that makes most of the money will share that income, to enhance the living standard of the dependent spouse to what it was before the divorce.

Rehabilitative support is the most common type of alimony in Rhode Island, which aims to provide the dependent or supported spouse the time needed to find work, learn new skills, return to school, enter the workforce, and become financially independent. The court usually grants short-term alimony only if the recipient requires to become self-sufficient.

Following the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, alimony payments are no longer tax deductible for the payer and are no longer recognized as income for the recipient spouse. Considering the complexities of these types of cases, it would be very difficult to assess a spousal support dispute without the continuous assistance of a capable attorney.

We Can Help with Spousal Support

The Law Offices of Howe and Garside, LTD have years of experience in alimony-related issues and will do everything we can to help you make the right decisions for your best legal outcome. Our attorneys will assess your legal concerns and handle your case with the attention it deserves. Contact us today or use our online contact form to schedule a free consultation.

The Law Offices of Howe and Garside, LTD provides highly-experienced legal solutions in Newport, Lincoln, Middletown, Portsmouth, Warwick, Greenwich, Kingstown, Tiverton, and the surrounding Rhode Island communities.

The Law Offices of Howe and Garside, LTD

55 Memorial Blvd. Suite 5

Newport, RI 02840