From the Desk of Kristen Justis, Director of Marketing and Customer Relations
Alimony is defined as a husband or wife’s court-ordered provision for a spouse after separation or divorce. The purpose of alimony is to provide financial support to a spouse due to the change in their lifestyle upon the separation. While only 20 states still allow alimony, Lauth Investigations International, Inc. (Lauth) receives several clients due to provisions for alimony in a divorce.
Only 20 states allow for alimony and some are stricter than others on their provisions. The stricter states allow alimony to be a permanent obligation for life. Others allow receivers of alimony to receive further income should their ex marry another. Meaning, if the payor marries another, the new spouse will be obligated to pay some of their income to the receiver. Some states have a set formula giving the lower income spouse alimony of up to 40% of the higher income spouse’s salary. Below is the list of the states starting with the strictest states when it comes it alimony:
- New Mexico
- New York
- New Jersey
- West Virginia
- New Hamshire
Every divorce and alimony decree are different. Some only requires alimony for a few years, while some require alimony to be permanent until death, others stipulate alimony ceases once the receiver of the alimony resides with a new companion, while some allows the new spouse of the payor has to pay a percentage into the alimony. The set time for alimony is clear cut for the ending of alimony payments. The alimony ending when the receiver resides with a new companion is far more difficult to document and prove to the Court.
Alimony Case Investigation
Lauth previously handled an investigation case for the payor of alimony as he believed his ex-wife to be living with a new spouse. This may seem like an easy thing to prove given our access to records on the internet and social media; however, people still have the means to be secretive and manipulative where money is concerned.
Trent, payor of alimony, resides in a state which ordered him to pay Mallory, receiver of alimony, $3,000 per month until Mallory began to reside with a new spouse. Since the divorce several years ago, Mallory moved out of state. Trent began to hear rumblings of Mallory living with a new spouse. He perused social media and saw her with a man several times; however, this did not prove they lived together. Trent began to do some research on his own.
Through his digging on the internet, Trent was able to confirm Mallory had purchased a home along with this new gentleman. Although it may appear they purchased the home to live together, this was not enough information for the Court to cease the alimony requirement. This is where Lauth comes in. Trent hired Lauth to get the full details of the living arrangement and use of the home in question.
The problem of just showing the two individuals purchasing the home together is they could be in business together to flip the home for sale, rent the home to others, starting a business in the home, etc. In order to receive a ruling for alimony to cease, all information must be concrete and prove fully the receiver is no longer in need of the spousal support as they have other forms of income.
The internet provides useful information; however, private investigators, such as Lauth, are able to answer all questions beyond a shadow of a doubt for clients. Lauth was able to locate the home, complete surveillance of the home, take pictures of Mallory and her significant other leaving the home consistently, and find further information on the use of the home. After given definitive proof from Lauth, Trent was able to show the Court Mallory no longer needs his spousal support. The Court ruled in his favor and he is now saving $3,000 per month.
When looking to get married, check out the laws in your state and consult an attorney. If there is an alimony law, attempt to establish a prenuptial agreement outlining your own parameters for alimony. If you are getting divorce, contact an attorney immediately and try to work with your ex-spouse on alternative agreements such as a one-time lump sum or a time period so the alimony is not a permanent requirement.
If you are paying or receiving alimony, ensure you stay aware of what the other is doing. On either side of the alimony, the actions of the other can cost or save a lot of money. The best way to stay aware is to work with a private investigator who can keep you updated without your name being involved and allowing you to get definitive answers to help you in Court.