Dispelling the Common Myths and Misconceptions About Oklahoma Alimony
March 21, 2017 | Hensley Legal Services
When going through a divorce, there are many things that can cause confusion. For most people, one of the most misunderstood aspects of a divorce is the alimony, or spousal support. Alimony is a payment given from one party to the other to help minimize the change in lifestyle that they will experience after the divorce. There are many myths surrounding this type of support in Oklahoma, so taking the time to learn more about it is essential for preparing for your future.
Alimony is a Part of Nearly Every Divorce
Many people believe that alimony is awarded in all, or virtually all, divorce cases. The reality is, however, that in Oklahoma, alimony is never guaranteed. The judge has quite a bit of discretion when it comes to determining whether or not spousal support is awarded, and how much it will be for. The reality is, when both couples have roughly the same earning potential, alimony is typically not awarded in Oklahoma.
Only Women Receive Alimony
Another common myth is that only women receive alimony. This myth is based on the fact that decades ago, the majority of women were stay at home moms, and if a divorce occurred it could leave them destitute. Because of this, courts would typically award alimony to the woman to help them survive after a divorce. Today, however, there are many times when a woman is the primary breadwinner in a relationship, and the courts can require them to pay out alimony to their ex-husband, if appropriate.
Alimony Always Lasts Until Death or Remarriage of the Receiving Party
When people hear about alimony, they often think that it is something that will be in place until the receiving party either dies or gets remarried. Permanent alimony is a possibility, but the courts today have many other options that they can take advantage of. In some cases, for example, alimony will be paid just for a set number of months or years to allow the receiving party to adjust. It can also last only long enough for one party to complete their education or job training.
Alimony is Calculated Solely Based on the Income of the Parties
Alimony is often awarded when one party earns significantly more than the other party. This is not, however, the only factor that is considered when the court’s order this type of payment. The courts can consider many different things including education, debt, child custody, and more when deciding who, if anyone, will receive alimony after a divorce.
An Alimony Order Is Final
The last misconception people in Oklahoma often have is that once the order is issued, the alimony is set forever, or at least for a very long time. This does not have to be the case. Either party can apply for a modification at almost any time. The individual requesting a modification must be able to show that circumstances have changed to justify the modification of an alimony order.
Talk to an Attorney Today
Alimony will have a major impact on the financial life of both the person who is receiving it, and the one paying it. Whether you need help with an initial alimony case, or you’re looking to have an existing order modified, we are here to help. Please don’t hesitate to contact Hensley Legal Services to speak with an attorney today.
Hensley Legal Services
427 South Boston Ave
Tulsa, Oklahoma 74103
Tel: (918) 398-5692
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