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Does everyone have a right to alimony upon divorce?

When you get a divorce, one of the things you might question is whether or not you have a right to alimony. You've been supportive of your spouse, paid for your fair share of items in the home and have worked, but you're still nowhere near as financially stable as your spouse. Thanks to helping him through school, supporting the purchase of your home and investing, you'll be worse off than he is when you get a divorce. What can you do?

Alimony might be a good solution in your case. While many people assume alimony payments are made monthly, it's also possible to get a one-time settlement from your spouse. For instance, if you paid $20,000 for him to complete his education, you might be able to seek that as an alimony payout.

Spousal support's goal is to help you get back into the job market, to improve your marketable skills, to go back to school and otherwise support your current standard of living. It's usually temporary, lasting only a few years, but there are cases in which alimony lasts a lifetime, especially in divorces between older individuals.

Keep in mind that it may be unfair to seek alimony in some instances. For example, if your spouse has just started working and isn't making much money, he or she may not have the ability to provide for him or herself and pay you. Every situation is different, which is something your attorney will need more information on. Providing access to your financial documents helps your attorney assess your situation and helps you fight for or against alimony.

Source: FindLaw, "Are You Entitled To Alimony (Spousal Support)?," accessed Dec. 15, 2017

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