A common point of focus in many Charleston divorce cases are the issues of child custody and child support. But amidst all the discussion about each parent’s rights and responsibilities as they pertain to the child, the issue of alimony often gets lost in translation. But alimony can be just as contentious – if not more so – than child support and child custody disputes. Alimony in South Carolina is also referred to as spousal support and describes money that one spouse is required to pay another in the aftermath of a divorce.
Alimony is a divisive issue, especially in divorce cases in which each party has different expectations about whether or not alimony should be awarded or about the terms of the alimony payments. Going into your Charleston divorce case, you can save yourself a lot of stress by knowing the factors that govern alimony decisions. Unlike child support, which is calculated using a formula that accounts for the incomes of both parents, the amount of alimony that a spouse has to pay is left at the discretion of the judge. In South Carolina, the criteria include:
(1) duration of the marriage;
(2) physical and emotional health of the parties;
(3) educational background of the parties;
(4) employment history and earning potential of the parties;
(5) standard of living established during the marriage;
(6) current and reasonably anticipated earnings of the parties;
(7) current and reasonably anticipated expenses of the parties;
(8) marital and nonmarital properties of the parties;
(9) custody of children;
(10) marital misconduct or fault;
(11) tax consequences; and
(12) prior support obligations; as well as
(13) other factors the court considers relevant.
Myriad factors can affect whether or not alimony is awarded in a divorce case. It’s important to understand your rights in your divorce and have a Charleston family attorney who can advocate for your best interests when the alimony discussion arises. Call 843-628-2871 or schedule a consultation today.