Alimony, or spousal support, can be a very challenging issue in divorce cases because there is little to no guidance on calculating alimony under Nevada law. Unlike child support, there is no formula for calculating alimony, either how much or for how long.
There is a saying among lawyers that you could present the same alimony case to each of the different judges and get a different result from each one; in fact, you could present the same alimony case to the same judge on different days and get different results.
With this kind of uncertainty, it is important to hire a lawyer who knows the various judges and their tendencies, who has litigated and resolved multiple alimony cases and who understands the best way to present your case to your particular judge; Shawn M. Goldstein is that lawyer.
Types of Alimony/Spousal Support
Under Nevada law, there are essentially four primary kinds of alimony or spousal support that can be awarded to a spouse in a divorce case:
The first type of alimony in Nevada is known as “temporary maintenance” which is spousal support given on a short-term basis during the divorce proceedings. This type of temporary support is often requested at the outset of the divorce case and is viewed by many courts to ensure that the status quo is more or less maintained until the case is settled or until trial.
The other three types of alimony deal with payments made from one spouse to the other after the divorce is final. These can be made in either a lump sum or in periodic installments.
Permanent Alimony/Spousal Support
Permanent alimony is referred to as a situation where there is no termination date or events specified that would trigger the end of the alimony payments. Ordinarily, permanent alimony will stop upon the recipient getting remarried or a party passing away, however there are certain scenarios under Nevada law where permanent alimony may not stop under those circumstances.
Temporary Alimony/Spousal Support
Temporary alimony is similar to permanent alimony, although it will have a specific date of termination in the future or a terminating event that will trigger the payments to stop. This can be a set length of time, the remarriage of the recipient, the death of either party, or even the cohabitation of the recipient with a member of the opposite sex.
Rehabilitative Alimony/Spousal Support
In all Nevada divorce cases, unless contrary to a valid prenuptial agreement, the court is required to consider whether an award of rehabilitative alimony is appropriate. This type of alimony is for the purpose of allowing a spouse with limited means or opportunities to obtain training or education relating to a job, profession or career. In determining whether to award rehabilitative alimony in Las Vegas, and in addition to any other alimony factors the court may consider, it must consider whether a spouse who would pay the alimony has obtained greater education or job skills accumulated during the marriage and whether the spouse who would receive the rehabilitative alimony provided financial support while the other spouse obtained education or job skills. Outside of rehabilitative alimony, there is not a tremendous amount of legislative guidance or regulations about when alimony is appropriate, how much should be paid or for how long.
Lump sum alimony
In awarding alimony of any kind, whether permanent, temporary or rehabilitative, in certain circumstances, the court must consider whether to award alimony in a lump sum, which can then be paid immediately in full or periodically in payments. Lump sum alimony cases typically occur when there is a great disparity in the age of the spouse who pays and the age of recipient, and the spouse who pays medical condition, health and life expectancy are such that if lump sum alimony was not awarded, the recipient spouse may not receive the amount of alimony awarded.
The Nevada statute covering alimony after divorce references that an alimony award should be just and equitable; therefore, a judge in a Las Vegas alimony case has a lot of discretion over whether any alimony should be awarded at all, and if so, how much and for how long. In addition to any other factors the court deems relevant, judges are required to consider the following:
The financial condition of each spouse
The nature and value of the respective property for each spouse
The contribution of each spouse for any property that is held by them together
The duration of the marriage
The income, earning capacity, age and health of each spouse
The standard of living during the marriage
The career before the marriage of the spouse who would receive the alimony
The existence of specialized education or training or the level of marketable skills attained by each spouse during the marriage
A contribution by either spouse as a homemaker
The mental and physical condition of each party
The amount of property awarded by the court in a divorce
Since the determination of alimony in Las Vegas can have a significant impact on your life going forward, whether you are the recipient of the alimony or the person making the payments, it is essential that you hire an attorney who understands the complex factors involved in these cases and has the experience and knowledge to effectively represent you in court. Contact Shawn M. Goldstein, an experienced Las Vegas alimony lawyer to learn more about your options and to prepare your case.