When you expect your divorce to leave you at a financial disadvantage, you probably hope to find a way of improving your situation. Obtaining alimony (spousal support) can help you stretch your finances and possibly avoid undue economic hardships.
Unfortunately, spousal support laws in Hawaii are misunderstood by many going through a divorce. If you are counting on alimony to fill the gaps left in your post-divorce finances, it serves your best interests to learn more.
Alimony is not guaranteed
Some believe they will automatically receive a spousal support award if they earn less than their spouse or have fewer assets. Although you may qualify for spousal support, it is not an automatic process. You must file a claim for alimony during your divorce.
There are different types of alimony
Many believe they can obtain alimony permanently, but this is rare in the modern world. Fortunately, there are other options to consider. Transitional or rehabilitative support can help you find your financial footing or obtain training to improve your future economic situation.
The orders handed down by a family court are legally binding but need not be permanent. When the former spouses agree, they can ask the court to modify their alimony orders. Other times, a judge may change an alimony award even if both spouses are not on the same page.
For example, if you can show you need more spousal support (or for a longer duration), the court may modify your order even if your ex disagrees. For best results, update your understanding of state divorce laws when asking the court to alter previously issued orders.