When you and your spouse divorce, it isn’t uncommon to discuss alimony payments. This is a payment your dependent spouse will receive in the event they are unable to support themselves without contributions from your income. However, you may wonder what happens to these payments when inflation impacts the economy – do the payments also rise or decrease with the cost of living? Keep reading to learn how this economic event will affect your spousal support payments, and discover how a Suffolk County alimony lawyer can help you navigate this process.
How Are Alimony Payments Determined?
When you and your spouse divorce, there are a number of considerations the court will make before awarding alimony. First and foremost, they will look at the dependent spouse to determine if they can support themselves. For example, if your spouse left their career to become a stay-at-home parent, it is likely they would not be able to support themselves. However, if your spouse is a successful doctor, the court most likely would not grant alimony payments as they are able to sustain their lifestyle. If alimony is awarded, the courts will also consider a dependent’s cost of living, which is a person’s living expenses and income. This includes monthly expenses like rent, utilities, car payments, and other necessities.
The court would also consider the other party to determine if they could financially support the other. In many instances, if both parties are able to sustain themselves, it is possible that the courts will not order alimony as they believe both spouses have the income to maintain their standard of living.
It is essential to note that alimony and child support are two different issues and are separate payments.
Will Payments Adjust to Cover Inflation?
When the cost of living skyrockets due to inflation, it can seem challenging to make ends meet, especially for those relying on alimony to survive. However, your alimony payments may automatically adjust to cover these economic times. In some instances, the judge will automatically place a Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) clause in your alimony award. However, this is not automatic in all states, so you may need to request its inclusion.
Generally, the COLA clause will look at an economic indicator to determine if an adjustment is in order. However, it is essential to note that a COLA clause can also decrease payments if the economy is doing well and the cost of living is low. This clause is beneficial as these adjustments will occur automatically and as necessary without the need to modify the arrangement.
When you have questions or concerns about your alimony payments, Peter V. Mandi & Associates can help. Our dedicated legal team has the experience to help you handle any issues that may arise. Contact us today to learn more about what we can do to assist you.