There are so many misconceptions about alimony, aka spousal support, running rampant through the avenues of Arkansas. Yes, alimony does exist. No, it is not a given.
Alimony waters are deep. Hire an attorney who knows how to swim.
Alimony is based on a PROVEN NEED and a PROVEN ABILITY TO PAY. There is no scientific formula to calculate how much, if any, alimony a person might and get and, if so, for how long. This is a case-by-case situation.
Unfortunately, because this is one of this issues that is within the “Court’s discretion” it is very difficult to give a client an educated guess at their chances of paying alimony or getting alimony. In the same Courthouse in any given County, you will have a Judge who is known to be heavy handed with “long term alimony” and a Judge who is “rarely known, if ever, to give an award of alimony.
So much rides on the parties’ ACCURATE Affidavits of Financial Means. Research carefully and be ready to back up what your income or earning ability are and what your REASONABLE living expenses might be. Many attorneys have their clients inflate, based on our experience, their client’s reasonable living expenses, whether you are the potential payor or payee. The Court relies heavily on the accuracy of your numbers so be prepared to back them up with documentation or other trustworthy evidence. Go through your credit card receipts and bank records to see what you have spent on NECESSARY living expenses over a period of time. Work long and hard to make sure your Affidavit is accurate and trustworthy.
If you are a candidate for rehabilitative alimony you need to be prepared to present the Court with a plan for rehabilitating your income ability, the cost of this rehabilitation and the duration of same. If you have been married 40 years and your spouse has stayed home to raise the kids, helped put you through graduate school and ironed your underwear, you might pay alimony for a longer period of time. If your alimony is Court Ordered (Judge hears the evidence regarding need and ability to pay and renders a decision as to whether alimony will be paid and, if so, how much and how long) there are provisions that will terminate your alimony. See A.C.A. § 9-12-312 , which states, in pertinent part:
Alimony waters are deep. Make sure you hire an attorney who knows how to swim.
"Kimberly made the experience of mediation much more comfortable than I had ever anticipated. I felt complete at ease being honest and speaking freely about all my concerns. She was very hepful in walking me through one of the most stressful parts of my life and I'm very thankful to her for her services." - A mediation client from September 2015
"Mediation with Kimberly was smooth. " - A mediation client from September 2015
"I recently mediated a domestic relations case with Kimberly Canova and Adell Ralston. I have utilized mediation in several of my cases over the years; however, this was my first experience with co-mediators. I found utilizing co-mediators to be very worthwhile. It saved time, was cost effective, and made my client more at ease. Often times in mediation, as was the case in this matter, the mediator opts to caucus the parties. In doing so, many times my client and I are left waiting on the mediator for hours to come back with information from the other side. With the two mediators, we were able to keep the dialogue going and brainstorm throughout the time we were there, which I felt assisted us in coming to an agreement in a more timely manner. I also believe my client felt “heard” the entire mediation, which made her feel she got more from the experience and her money was well spent. " - M. Kemper, Attorney at Law