While a divorce can have an immediate emotional impact, a poorly planned divorce can have an even greater impact on a person’s long-term financial well-being. Spousal support – or alimony – allows courts to assure both parties to a divorce continue to enjoy a similar standard of living they realized during a marriage.
Oklahoma law does not provide strict guidelines for determining amounts of spousal support. As a result, a husband or a wife may be awarded alimony in Oklahoma based largely on a judge’s discretion and evidence shown at trial – within general guidelines prescribed in state law.
Because alimony determinations are so prone to judicial interpretation, an experienced family law attorney can be your best asset when you need to protect your standard of living during or after a divorce. Contact Divorce of Tulsa Law Office’s team of Tulsa family law attorneys for answers to your questions about alimony in Oklahoma.
For a free confidential alimony consultation, call: 918-924-5526.
Needs, Ability to Pay Determine Alimony
One spouse’s ability to pay alimony is not in itself sufficient basis for an alimony order. Instead, courts consider ability to pay in context of the other spouse’s need for alimony. Thus, Oklahoma family law awards alimony based on two controlling criteria:
- a spouse’s need arising from a marriage and
- the other spouse’s ability to pay.
Courts may also consider a recipient’s customary standard of living and the amount of a property to be divided among divorcing spouses. Additional factors may be considered when courts make alimony determinations. Child support obligations can weigh against a spouse’s ability to pay alimony, but a spouse’s need to be available for child care may weigh in favor of a need for spousal support after a divorce. Courts can even consider whether a marriage was based on affection or was merely for the sake of convenience.
If a divorcing spouse is awarded a substantial amount of property in a divorce – sufficient to maintain a familiar standard of living – a court may decline to award ongoing alimony. Remarriage can spell the end of alimony payments, but in some cases courts can award ongoing alimony upon a showing that there is a continuing need or to assure equitable division of assets.
Contingency Fees in Alimony Collection
When alimony is awarded but not paid, you may need the help of an experienced alimony collections attorney. An alimony attorney may pursue collection through contempt proceedings, liens, garnishment or income assignments and traditions civil enforcement methods whereby arrearages are converted to a judgment. Attorneys fees may be collected on a contingency basis when assisting clients to collect past due alimony.
In some alimony cases, courts may award attorney fees to one part or the other after a divorce decree has been finalized. In any case, attorney fee awards in Oklahoma alimony cases are awarded based on equity or ability to pay, and not based upon who is the prevailing party in an alimony hearing.
Alimony determinations can require careful review of a person’s circumstance. In a high-asset divorce forensic accountants may be called in to determine the value of assets and future earning potential. The manner in which evidence is gathered and presented can make a substantial difference in the outcome of a alimony questions during a divorce proceeding.
Failure to anticipate alimony arguments can result in substantial ongoing obligations, or leave you without means to maintain the lifestyle to which you’ve become accustomed. Before you risk your future financial health, contact a family law attorney familiar with spousal support cases to find out how to best protect your rights in a spousal support case. If your financial situation has changed, or your former spouse has remarried, you may also benefit from the services of an experienced Oklahoma alimony attorney.
Free Consultation: Tulsa Alimony Attorney
Your choice of a divorce attorney can make a substantial difference in how your position with regard to alimony and spousal support will ultimately be presented in negotiations or at trial. At Divorce of Tulsa Law Office, our Tulsa family lawyers work with clients to reach strategies that fit their personal goals within the scope of Oklahoma law.
Before you retain our family law attorneys, you are invited for a free, confidential, no-obligation consultation to help you determine whether our family law services can meet your particular needs. For a free consultation with a Tulsa family lawyer about your alimony or spousal support concerns, contact Divorce of Tulsa Law Office today. For a free confidential alimony consultation, call: 918-924-5526.