Here Are the Factors That Will Consider How Much Alimony You May Receive
Video Transcribed: How much alimony can I expect to receive under Oklahoma law? I’m James Wirth, an Oklahoma lawyer and that’s the topic that we have, spousal support in Oklahoma and how much you can expect to receive.
All right, so first off, in Oklahoma, there are no set calculators or rules to determine the duration or amount of spousal support like there are say, child support. With child support, it says there’s a certain start date and then we know when it’s going to end based on the child aging out. We know what the amounts are going to be based on plugging in the party’s incomes and a couple of other factors are going to spit out exactly how much, and for how long.
Spousal support is not like that. The judge has wide discretion in how much to award, but there are factors that the judge has to consider. So what you’re going to want to present if you’re seeking an order for spousal support is that you have a need for support. That you’ve got your wages, which are appropriate wages based on what you’re capable of earning, you’ve got bills which are reasonable based on what you’re used to during the marriage, and that after your bills are paid, after your income, there is a deficit and that deficit is your need. So that’s the first thing is, to demonstrate your need.
Then you want to determine, or you want to show the court that your need is related to the marriage. So you want to be able to say, “I wouldn’t be in this need right now, but for the marriage, I gave up all these things for the marriage. I had a career I gave up for the marriage, to raise kids. I had school that I gave up in order to raise kids or support my husband,” generally, sometimes it’s the wife, whatever the circumstances are. So you’ve got to show that you’ve got a need and that need is related to the marriage.
Next thing, you want to look at the finances of your spousal to determine whether they’ve got the ability to pay. That they’re earning this amount, which is enough to pay all of their bills, or they could be earning more, but they’re intentionally underemployed. All of those arguments show that they’ve got the ability to pay.
Then you want to look at what’s your need, what’s their ability to pay, and if they can afford, based on their ability to pay, your need. Then you’re going to request the full amount of your need for spousal support, and you’re going to request it for as long as possible.
What are going to be good arguments to get the judge to award longer spousal support? spousal support in Oklahoma is supposed to be rehabilitative. So you want to demonstrate a plan to rehabilitate yourself to be self-sufficient over the duration of that time that you’re getting spousal support. So you want to have a plan together that says, “Judge, if you give me spousal support for this amount of time, I’m going to do this over this amount of time. Then once that time is over, I’m going to be self-sufficient and be able to support myself.”
So you’re going to want to come up with a long, but positive, good plan to be rehabilitated in order to be able to support yourself. In order to tell the judge, “This is the amount I want to be based on my need and his ability to pay, and I want it for this amount of time because that’s how long it’s going to take for me to get back on my feet, to be able to be independent and support myself.” That could be through additional schooling, so you can get a different job. It could be through getting your career where it needs to be. Whatever the circumstances are you’ve got a plan and the plan takes this amount of time, and that’s the amount you want spousal support for.
So I can’t give you a specific answer on how much the court’s going to award in your case, but I can tell you what we look at as attorneys to come up with arguments for how much the amount should be and how long it should be.
If you’ve got questions about your specific circumstances, you’re going to want to talk to an attorney privately and confidentially to get legal advice. To get that scheduled with a Tulsa spouse support attorney at my office and go online to makelaweasy.com.