Here’s What You Need To Know About Alimony In South Carolina
Alimony is not as common as it once was, but it still plays an important role in many divorces. Already a controversial topic, alimony discussions become more heated when one or both spouses are acting based on misinformation about how it works. Given the complexity of alimony cases, it’s advisable for both spouses to seek legal representation to ensure their rights and interests are protected during alimony negotiations or court proceedings.
When And Why Is Alimony Awarded?
The first determination that needs to be made (by a judge or by agreement between the spouses) is whether alimony is necessary and appropriate. The court considers various factors when determining whether to award alimony and how much to award, including:
- The length of the marriage
- Each spouse’s financial situation and needs
- Each spouse’s contributions to the marriage, both financial and nonfinancial
- Marital misconduct
- The standard of living during the marriage
- The educational background and job skills of the dependent spouse
- Any health or age-related factors that may affect the ability to work
If both spouses earn similar incomes and have similar assets, alimony probably won’t be considered necessary. It is more likely to be awarded in cases where there is a significant financial disparity between divorcing spouses.
There Are Numerous Types Of Alimony
Many people think of alimony as just ongoing payments lasting until one spouse passes away. This arrangement exists but is becoming less common and is not the only option. There are actually four types of alimony arrangements in South Carolina, including:
- Periodic alimony: Regular payments made to support the dependent spouse’s financial needs
- Lump-sum alimony: A one-time, fixed payment or a series of payments
- Rehabilitative alimony: Support provided to help the dependent spouse acquire education or job skills to become self-supporting
- Reimbursement alimony: Compensates one spouse for contributions made to the other spouse’s education or career
Duration and amounts are determined by the type of alimony to be paid and the financial circumstances of both parties.
Know The Tax Implications Of Paying Or Receiving Alimony
Prior to 2019, alimony payments were deductible for the paying spouse and counted as taxable income for the recipient spouse. However, as of January 1, 2019, under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, new alimony orders are not deductible for the paying spouse and are not counted as income for the recipient spouse. It’s essential to consider the tax implications when negotiating or litigating alimony.
Discuss Your Legal Needs With Us During An Initial Consultation
The Kinard Law Group serves clients in Lexington and throughout the surrounding areas of South Carolina. To schedule a low-cost initial consultation with one of our experienced attorneys, give us a call at 866-942-5848 or reach out online.