The facts of your situation determine whether you will have to pay your ex-spouse under Tulsa, Oklahoma alimony rules. The purpose of spousal support is to provide a cushion for the spouse with the lower earning capacity while she or she makes the change to single life, and/or obtains employment.
If you or your spouse cannot agree whether spousal support is necessary or on an appropriate amount of support and how long it should be paid, the court will make that decision for you.
When making a determination, the court will look at factors including whether spousal support is needed and whether the other spouse has the ability to pay.
Alimony should not be confused with payments made as the result of a marital property settlement, or with child support. Those two issues are separate and have nothing to do with spousal support.
Payments that are ordered in property settlements are meant to make a property division fair.
For example, you obtain a rental property as part of your divorce settlement, but there are no other assets that would make the division fair. In that case, the court could order that payments be made to the other spouse until a certain amount has been reached.
Child support is paid for the benefit of the child, rather than your spouse.
How Much Would I Pay Under Oklahoma Alimony Rules?
The amount of spousal support that you could be ordered to pay under Oklahoma alimony rules depends on your specific circumstances. The court will look at factors including age, health, earning capacity, education, and your lifestyle before you separated.
Although the court will look at the length of marriage when determining the need for and the amount of alimony in Oklahoma, the duration of that marriage has no bearing on whether or not alimony will actually be awarded.
How Long Would I Have to Pay Alimony?
The court is required to determine the total amount of support that will be required. It may be ordered temporarily while the divorce is pending, or as part of the final divorce decree, and could last until the divorce is final or for several years afterwards.
The spouse ordered to pay support may do so in a lump sum or in monthly payments. The support may be permanent if you both signed a divorce consent decree that contained that provision.
Spousal support will end according to the court’s order, upon the death of either spouse, or upon remarriage of the spouse receiving the support. If your spouse dies, the executor, administrator or heir must make a claim for any past due support, if any, within 90 days from the date of the death.
If he or she remarries, your ex does have the option of applying to the court for continued support, but must do so within 90 days of the remarriage. To succeed with the application, it must be shown that the support is still needed and that it is not unfair.
If your spouse begins living with a member of the opposite sex and they are in a romantic relationship, you have the option of filing an application for a modification of support with the court that entered your divorce decree.
In that case, the support can be reduced or terminated if it can be shown that there has been a substantial change in circumstances relating to the need for support. An application for modification of your support order may also be filed if there has been a change in circumstances relating to your ability to pay the support or your ex’s need for support.
The change must be substantial and continuing. For example, if you suffered an injury that has affected your employment long-term, or your ex obtained a higher paying job.
What Will Happen if I Do Not Pay Court Ordered Alimony in Oklahoma?
If you do not pay court ordered spousal support, the court may find that you are in contempt. This could result in a fine of up to $500, up to six months in jail, or a combination of the two. In addition, you could be ordered to pay the legal fees associated with your contempt of court charge.
Free Consultation: Tulsa Divorce Attorney
If your spouse has requested, or you believe that you may be entitled to spousal support, it would be wise to consult a Tulsa divorce attorney.
Oklahoma alimony rules are complex issue that could end up costing you a lot of money without the guidance of an attorney who is experienced in divorce matters.
Call 918-924-5526 to schedule your free consultation with an attorney who has the knowledge and expertise to assist you.