IN SHAWNEE, OKLAHOMA
While it may surprise some, Oklahoma has the second-highest divorce rate in the country. For every 1,000 married women aged 15 and older, 10 will get divorced. Divorce can impact many different facets of your life, especially as you begin to divide up the assets and debts between both spouses. One spouse may need financial support to build a new life and the other spouse may be capable of providing it. Given the numerous considerations that must be factored into any divorce settlement, coming to an agreement on something like alimony can often be complicated and contentious.
If you are considering filing for divorce, have started the process, or have been served with divorce papers, you may have questions about alimony. For more than two decades, my firm — Wilson Law Firm PLLC — has helped countless clients find answers to their questions so they can navigate the complexities of their divorce with confidence. If you live in Shawnee, Chandler, Norman, Okemah, or Ada, Oklahoma, I can help you navigate your alimony issues as well.
How Does Oklahoma Define Alimony?
Alimony in the state of Oklahoma can be defined as court-ordered payments that one spouse makes to the other during the divorce process or for a period after the divorce is final. Who pays alimony, if either spouse, depends on a variety of different factors including need, income, and resources.
There are three types of alimony awarded in an Oklahoma divorce:
Permanent Alimony - This may be awarded in the dissolution of a long-term marriage. The recipient spouse is typically unable to become self-supporting due to age, disability, or a long-term absence from employment outside the home. Permanent alimony ceases if the recipient remarries or generally when the paying spouse dies.
Temporary Alimony - This is typically awarded to a spouse who needs financial support during the divorce process. Once the divorce decree is issued, temporary alimony will cease.
Rehabilitative Alimony - This form of alimony is designed to support a spouse who left the workforce to stay home with kids. It provides the receiving spouse with financial support until they can obtain additional education or training to become employed in a job that will support them. The judge will usually set an end date for this support — however, it can be extended if needed.
It’s important to note that rehabilitative alimony may also be awarded to a spouse who supported the paying spouse while they advanced their career. For example, it may be awarded for a period of time to a spouse who was the income-earner while the other spouse attended medical school.
Which Spouse Is Entitled to Alimony?
Either spouse may request alimony, but that award is not automatic. One spouse must demonstrate the need for alimony, and the other spouse must have the financial ability to pay it while meeting their own financial obligations.
The court will consider a number of different factors, including:
The length of the marriage
The earning capacity of each spouse
The assets and debts accorded to each spouse
The standard of living during the marriage
The monetary and nonmonetary contributions of each spouse during the marriage
The age, physical, and mental health of each spouse
How Alimony is Calculated, Modified, & Taxed
There is no formula for calculating alimony in Oklahoma. Judges enjoy broad discretion when determining the amount and duration of any award. Typically, alimony payments will be made monthly — however, some paying spouses may instead pay one lump sum. Lump-sum payments cannot be modified. Other alimony awards may be modified by the court due to a significant change in financial circumstances.
In divorce cases settled after January 1, 2019, the payer is no longer able to deduct alimony payments from their income taxes, and the recipient is no longer required to report the spousal support as income. Since this change affects each spouse’s income and tax burden, it is wise to discuss alimony income and the impending tax implications with your attorney.
Work with an Attorney Who
Will Advocate for Your Needs
Alimony is oftentimes a large point of contention between divorcing couples. It is wise to have reliable representation from an experienced Oklahoma divorce attorney you can trust. You deserve an attorney on your side who understands how alimony works and won’t back down when fighting to protect your rights. As your attorney, I can build your case to receive alimony or fight to limit the amount you have to pay if your spouse is trying to take advantage of you. I can also assist with the outline of an alimony agreement that we can present to the court for approval, and would always prioritize your best interests every step of the way. So if you or someone you know is facing the prospect of divorce and dealing with an alimony dispute, call or reach out to my office today for reliable legal counsel.
EXPERIENCED ALIMONY ATTORNEY
SERVING SHAWNEE, OKLAHOMA
At Wilson Law Firm PLLC, I advocate for my clients no matter which side of alimony they are on. If you live in Shawnee, Chandler, Norman, Okemah, or Ada, Oklahoma, and are considering divorce, or have already begun the process, let me help guide you through your alimony negotiations. I will do everything I can to advocate for your needs and help you in your fight for a fair settlement. Call my office today to schedule a one-on-one case consultation!