After a divorce, an individual may be entitled to alimony, but it may not last forever. In some cases, it can be revoked if the person receiving support does not find a job or if he or she remarries. It is also possible that alimony will be paid in a lump sum amount, which means that there will be no financial support in the future.
Alimony is considered to be income and it should be included in a federal tax return. This means that a $10,000 monthly award may be closer $7,000 after taxes, which is important to account for when creating a monthly budget. Upon receiving the first few alimony checks, it may be a good idea to create an emergency fund, pay divorce attorney fees and cover any rent or mortgage payments.
Other useful ways to use an alimony check include paying for college or for health insurance policies. Those who were on their spouse's health insurance plan may need to find their own coverage or use COBRA until that happens. Finally, it may be worthwhile to start an education fund for any children that a divorced parent has custody of. Unnecessary purchases should be avoided.
Those who desire alimony payments after a divorce may wish to talk to an attorney. A judge will look at the earning capacity of an individual, whether or not he or she gave up the chance to earn money by staying home and the length of the marriage when making a ruling regarding alimony. An attorney may be able to establish that without alimony, it will be impossible for an individual to maintain a reasonable standard of living.