Alimony or spousal support is dependent on the unique circumstances of Nebraska spouses. A Nebraska court will consider the circumstances of all parties involved, including factors such as the length of the marriage and the contributions of each spouse to the marriage. These contributions include caring for and educating children, postponing personal careers, and similar marital sacrifices. A court will look at all factors affecting the current and future earnings of a spouse, inheritances, and pensions, and weigh these factors as well as consider the general equities of the situation to determine whether a spouse is entitled to alimony.
Understanding the Alimony Process in Nebraska
Alimony is a type of financial support that a court can order one spouse to pay to the other during or after a divorce, also called spousal support or spousal maintenance. The purpose of alimony is to help the spouse receiving it maintain their standard of living after the divorce or to help them become self-supporting if they were financially dependent on the other spouse during the marriage. Alimony is not intended to equalize the income or earnings of divorced spouses.
Alimony can be awarded to the spouse financially dependent on the marriage. Sometimes this can mean the spouse maintained the household and any children would receive alimony in the event of a divorce. Alimony is typically paid in regular installments, and the amount and duration of the payments can vary depending on the circumstances of the case.
The duration of payments is up to the court to decide. Remarriage or cohabitation of the receiving party terminates spousal support payments in most cases.
What Does the Court Consider When Awarding Alimony?
In determining whether to award alimony, a court will consider various factors:
- The circumstances of the parties
- The duration of the marriage
- The history of the contributions to the marriage by each spouse
- The need for job training for the requesting spouse
- Contributions made by the requesting spouse to the other spouse’s education
- The income and earning potential of each spouse
- Future inheritances and pensions of each spouse
- The income during the marriage and how it was sent
- The ability of the paying spouse to support themself
- The ability of the paying spouse to support the receiving spouse
- The physical and/or mental stability of the receiving spouse
- Interruptions of personal careers or educational opportunities
- General equities of the situation.
If you are the spouse with a higher income who historically supported the household, you may be more likely to be ordered to pay alimony.
Spousal support may be adjusted if you can show good cause for the change. In Nebraska, this means that there must be a substantial and material change in financial circumstances. Do not stop making your payments until the matter has been addressed in court.
Missing and Avoiding Alimony Payments
If you are not receiving the support payments awarded to you by the courts, the courts can assist with enforcing the order. If you initiate contempt proceedings and your ex-spouse is found in contempt of court, your ex-spouse can be penalized. These penalties range from interest on unpaid support payments, attorney fees, financial institution seizures, or even jail time.
To try to avoid paying alimony, your best chances come from ending the marriage quickly. The longer a marriage lasts tends to reflect the higher likelihood of alimony being ordered. Ensuring you have legal representation that will protect your best interests may help you save money in the long run.
If you need help with your alimony or spousal support case, contact Nebraska Legal Group today at 402.509.7033 for our Omaha office or 531.248.5050 for our Lincoln office.