Legal Blog

Rhode Island Alimony: How It’s Determined and More

When two people get divorced, one of the most common concerns faced is who gets the children. However, once the children earn placement in one of the two parents’ homes, a new question arises. That question surrounds alimony, or how much the person who did not get the children has to pay to the person who did get the children. Alimony often serves as a basis for arguments between the spouses. No one wishes to pay more than they feel is fair, while no one wishes to receive less than they feel is fair. While in the end, the most important thing is the children’s well-being, in many Rhode Island alimony cases, the two sides have major disagreements.

That’s where understanding how Rhode Island alimony works and the ins and outs of the legal system comes in. When armed with an ample amount of knowledge, you own the ability to work the system in your favor. While the first step should always be hiring an Attorney to help assist you, gaining extra knowledge yourself pays off as well. Taking a closer look at Rhode Island alimony and how the entire process works certainly helps.

Financial Factors

Each state works with alimony laws on an individualized basis. This means the United States does not simply blanket together with a law for the entire country. Instead, each state makes their own laws, making it more difficult for people to stay up to date. However, knowing the laws proves vital in various kinds of alimony cases. Numerous factors join the fray in alimony cases, working to calculate a number for the spouse who does not have the children to pay.

Judges work to determine how much help the spouse with the children needs, and how much help the spouse without the children can provide. This determination comes from numerous factors ranging from small to large. In the end, it’s a combination of the two that make the final decision for the judge. However, since many minor factors work into the major factors, knowing the minor factors looms large.

Looking into the specific factors that are considered by judges in Rhode Island alimony cases shows plenty of thought go into the final determinations. Factors small and large come into the equation, making the decision less controversial in the end.

Specific Factors

The length of Marriage- Considering how long the two were married for plays a part in the final decision. Should the parent receiving custody have not been married to the other spouse, the alimony tends to be lower.

Spousal Conduct During Marriage- Additionally, if one spouse treated the other spouse poorly during their marriage, it will reflect in the alimony arrangement. The spouse who treated the other spouse poorly will end up with a worse arrangement as a form of punishment.

Age, Employment, Income- Three of the most important factors when it comes to alimony arrangements. Age comes into play because if one is nearing retirement, they are due for different income. Additionally, they could be closer to being incapacitated. Employment and income go hand in hand. Should the parent with custody have a high paying, consistent job, they will require less in alimony. However, should the opposite be the case, it makes sense that that parent spends more to help the other one out.

Future Income- Similar to the current set-up, if one spouse appears due for an increase in money in the near future, that must be accounted for. This prevents spouses from delaying raises and/or promotions until the case ends.

Ability to Pay Alimony- The final factor serves as the most important one. Perhaps the spouse did not receive custody of the kids because they could not afford to take care of them. In that same light, it’s possible alimony’s expenses are out of reach for them.

What About A Settlement?

One way out of struggling through the court system for Rhode Island Alimony works as a settlement. The two parties sign a marital settlement agreement (MSA) a written document that tells the court how you have agreed to divide your property. This agreement works as a way to avoid the court system and agrees on what you each want together. Perhaps you come up with a number on your own, agreeing upon a set amount each of you feels comfortable with. The court will honor such an agreement, understanding you signed the necessary legal documents to prove you both agreed.

One other option, equitable division, allows the court to simply determine it all for you. You agree ahead of time to honor what the court decides. Thus, you avoid disagreements and long hours in court. The potential downside serves as one side ending up unhappy with the final result. However, this agreement eases the stress of the process. In the end, most people wish for that. Your Rhode Island alimony case must not be a cause of major stress.