Alimony is awarded to one of two people in a divorce and is paid by one person to the other. You may believe that you are "due" for the time spent with your spouse. However, you may be quite surprised when you are in the midst of a divorce and your divorce attorney tells you that you are not entitled to any sort of post-marital or post-cohabitation compensation. Here are some states with some surprising restrictions regarding alimony payments. Be sure to check with your state before attempting to file a request for this type of compensation.
In Wisconsin, couples that divorce before their first decade of marriage are not entitled to any alimony payments. Even if your partner was wildly unfaithful during the few months to less than ten years of marriage, you get nothing. That is because Wisconsin is a "no-fault" divorce state. No one is at fault for anything, and therefore no one can make their former partners pay for time spent in a marriage that was less than monogamous or less than safe from physical and sexual harm. However, if you can manage to tough it out for ten full years, you can pursue alimony payments during the divorce proceedings. Be aware that your former partner can do the same.
In Delaware, alimony may be awarded for half the number of years of the length of the marriage equal to or less than twenty. Say that you were married for eleven years in Delaware. You get a divorce and request alimony. If awarded, the judge would create an order stating that your former spouse has to pay you alimony for the next five and one-half years. That is it. If you stick it out past twenty years, you may request alimony for life, or until you remarry, whichever comes first.
In this state, you can claim alimony if your spouse deserted you for any length of time greater than a week or two (although a month or more is standard to make a claim), cheated on you, or is a convicted felon. In the case of a convicted felon and alimony, you would not get a dime until your ex gets out of jail and starts working a job again, which means that back alimony payments would kick in. However, it is nice to know that if you are left with children to care for and your ex is an unsavory character that abandons his/her family, he/she cannot sue you for alimony.
If you have questions about alimony in your state, contact a firm like Bray & Johnson Law Firm.