What You Should Know About Alimony in a Divorce

What is alimony in a Charleston divorce? What do you need to do to get alimony? And what should you expect if your ex is seeking alimony? In short, alimony is a payment made from one spouse to the other during and/or after a divorce proceeding. Under South Carolina law, courts in Charleston consider many different factors when deciding whether to award alimony, which is also known as spousal support, spousal maintenance, or separate maintenance. Our Charleston divorce lawyers can provide you with the information you need.

Spouse Seeking Alimony Must Ask the Court to Award It

The spouse who wants to receive alimony needs to ask the court to award it. The court will not consider alimony on its own.

Courts Consider Many Different Factors When Deciding Whether to Award Alimony

South Carolina law lists a variety of factors for a court to consider when deciding whether or not to award alimony. The following are just a few examples of those factors:

  • Duration of the marriage;
  • Physical and emotional health of the spouses;
  • Standard of living established during the marriage;
  • Each spouse’s education and earning capabilities; and
  • Marital misconduct or fault.

There Are Different Types of Alimony in South Carolina

Under South Carolina law, there are a number of different types of alimony. The court will consider which type of alimony to award based on the particular facts and circumstances of the case. The following are the types of alimony in South Carolina:

  • Periodic alimony, which is paid on an ongoing basis but can be modified, and will be terminated if the spouse receiving the alimony gets remarried or cohabitates with a new partner;
  • Lump-sum alimony, which is a finite amount of money that is just paid once to the spouse receiving it;
  • Rehabilitative alimony, which can be paid either in a lump-sum amount or periodically, and can be modified or terminated depending upon various factors;
  • Reimbursement alimony, which is a finite sum paid either periodically or in installments, and is designed to reimburse the spouse receiving it for “circumstances or events that occurred during the marriage”; and
  • Separate maintenance and support, which is paid while the spouses are separated but living separate and apart.

Alimony can be temporary or permanent, depending on the facts of the case.

Spouse Paying Alimony Also Pays Taxes On It

Until relatively recent changes to federal tax law took effect, the spouse who received alimony was the one who paid taxes on it (and the spouse who paid the alimony was not taxed on that amount). Now, however, you should know that the spouse who makes the alimony payment is the one who will need to pay taxes on that money.

Contact a Divorce Attorney in Charleston

When you are considering a divorce, it is essential to discuss your situation with an experienced Charleston divorce attorney who can assist you. Divorce in South Carolina is complicated, and you will want to have a lawyer on your side who regularly represents clients like yourself. Our firm is here to help you with your case. We can answer any questions you have about divorce in South Carolina and can help you to prepare for your divorce filing. Contact The Peck Law Firm online or call us at 843-631-7117 to get help with your Charleston divorce case.

Recommendations For Additional Reading

How Long Does Alimony Last For A Charleston Divorce?
How To Calculate Alimony In a Charleston Divorce
Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Charleston Alimony