You and your ex go to court and you’re awarded indefinite alimony. After all, you’re no longer young enough to get back into the workforce, and you gave up your career years ago to help your spouse achieve his or her dreams. You were counting on being supported in return, and you don’t want the divorce to take that away when you have no other source of income.
Those payments may last for life, but experts do warn against counting on them exclusively. There are three reasons they may go down or be completely eliminated.
- You get married again. Be sure to read over the full alimony agreement or Court Order. If you marry someone else, even years from now, does that mean your ex no longer has to pay? What if you start living with someone, even though you decide not to get married?
- Your ex can’t work anymore. He or she may have fully planned to work, but then a car accident led to permanent injuries and disability. While your spouse does have to legally ask for a reduction, with no income at all, that reduction could be significant.
- Your ex retires. Again, income is lost. You may still get alimony in this case, but, depending on how well your ex has planned for retirement, he or she may be able to ask for the payments to be reduced.
As you can see, it’s critical to really understand the fine print with any alimony agreement. Reductions aren’t automatic — they have to be requested and granted — but they are possible. Be sure you really know your legal rights and what your financial future will look like.
Source: Entrepreneur, “5 Essential Tips for Financial Planning After Divorce,” Andrea Murad, accessed Sep. 28, 2017