01 Apr Myth: Alimony Payments Cannot Drive You Into Debt
When separating from a spouse you have many issues you deal with on a daily basis. Of these issues, alimony payments are one of the most present and painful for many divorcees. This process can be emotionally grueling and financially stressful, making it a hard action to process effectively. What only makes the matter worse is the wide variety of myths and presuppositions that surround the alimony payment process and the laws surrounding it.
Of all the false myths surrounding alimony payments, the idea that alimony cannot possibly drive you into debt is perhaps the most harmful. The idea that alimony payments will not have to be made if it puts the person dishing out the expenses in debt is completely false. In fact, there are many famous cases that show the exact opposite to be true. Agree with the legal precedent or not, it is important to understand the truth of the manner when dealing with alimony procedures, post-divorce.
One such case that shows how alimony payments can cause dire financial situations is Helling v. Bartok. In this specific case, a husband’s alimony expenses exceeded his net monthly income, which was $6,235.87 per month at the time. The First District Court of Appeal held, without investigating further, that there existed no abuse of discretion in finding the husband as having to pay exactly $1,500 per month in permanent alimony. In many similar cases, the only thing that helped to modify the alimony was child expenses being taken care of by the individual who was meant to pay out the fines. This sort of instance also occurred in 1992, during the Janssens v. Janssens trial.
The holdings in these cases demonstrate that an obligor whose expenses exceed their income, but whose income is higher than the obligee’s income, may be ordered to pay alimony if the spouse requesting said alimony has established their need. This information shows how silly and factually incorrect accusations regarding the potential downfalls of alimony payments are.
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