Divorce Alimony in Rhode Island

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Alimony is basically a kind of financial support given by one divorcing partner to the other as per the court orders. The duration and amount of this support is finally decided by the court itself. The settlement of divorce alimony in Rhode Island is done after considering some specific factors in prior of final discussion in front of the court house. The attorneys can contribute in a major way in terms of suggesting an appropriate amount for alimony. In Rhode Island, the alimony support is basically ordered in the form of temporary alimony with a definite period of time until the dependent spouse become self-supported in his or her respective life. At times, the temporary alimony is also granted for the period till the final decision is made on a particular divorce case.

Highlights of Divorce Alimony in Rhode Island

  • The court intends to offer alimony payments to the recipient for a reasonable duration of time, in which, the recipient may become economically self reliant and self sufficient.
  • However, the court might use its own discretion to award alimony for an indefinite duration of time.
  • After the court issues a decree for alimony, if any partner files a petition to review the alimony, the court is free to alter the decree from time to time regarding the payment and amount of alimony.
  • If the court detects particular findings of fact that indicate a considerable alteration in the circumstances of the partners, then on the basis of these, the court might decide to make the decree of alimony retroactive.
  • The court has the full right to annul, amend or alter the order of alimony that has been issued in the past.
  • If the recipient of alimony remarries after the award of alimony, the payer's obligation to disburse the payments stops immediately.
  • If the recipient of alimony dies, the alimony payments terminate.
  • The IRS (Internal Revenue Service) has laid down rules and regulations that clarify which types of payments can be considered alimony. Thus, a parent cannot mask child support payments as spousal support

Issues contemplated by the court During settlement of Divorce Alimony

During the hearings, the court hears the witnesses if any, and then contemplates on the following topics prior to making any decision.

  • The requirements and liabilities of both the spouses.
  • The employability,vocational skills, sources and amounts of income, occupation, station, age and health of both the spouses.
  • The behavior of both the partners in marital life.
  • The duration of the marital life.
  • Let us assume that the spouse seeking spousal support is the primary physical custodian of a child. The circumstances and condition of this child necessitate that this custodian should not search employment outside the residence or seek flexible hour employment or part time employment outside the house. In such a scenario, to what degree can this spouse support self adequately?
  • The degree to which both the partners are able or unable to support self adequately with regard to the following issues:
    • The capacity of the payer of alimony to disburse money considering the following
      • His/Her earning capacity
      • The standard of living
      • Debts
      • Assets
      • Unearned and earned income
    • The probability of both the partners to gain from future attainment of income and capital assets.
    • Taking into account a person's age and skills, what is the possibility of the spouse seeking support to complete education and training to become self reliant?
    • Is it a fact that due to homemaking responsibilities, the spouse was absent from employment? If yes, to what degree have the education, skills and experience of this spouse become outdated? As a result of the above two facts, to what extent has the earning capacity of this spouse diminished?

Difference between Rhode Island Alimony and Child Support

  • The spouse who disburses child support cannot claim a deduction for tax purposes. The spouse who pays alimony can deduct this amount from his/her gross income.
  • The recipient of child support need not include the payment as income. The recipient of alimony has to consider this income as taxable.

The fixation of alimony in Rhode Island entails consideration of various issues in prior of final hearing on this matter. The earning ability of each spouse and duration of the marriage are some important issues discussed between the divorcing parties and the court of this state.

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