Structure of Alimony Payments

Can alimony be structured to that the payments are X during the years the husband is paying child support, but then they increase to Y once child support payments cease (ie. once all children are 18)?
Same question for COBRA payments… ie. the alimony is X for the 3 years that the husband is paying COBRA premium, but then increase to Y after COBRA time is exhausted (36 months)?
thank you

Yes, you can do that. However, don’t be surprised if it gets rejected unless your purpose is to allow child support to be more affordable for your STBX.

If the purpose is to make sure you receive a minimum of a certain amount of income from your ex as long as possible, then his/her attorney would counsel them against agreeing to that. Note: I’m not saying that that is your motivation, since I don’t know you or your situation, but I’ve seen others that have that as a motivation.

Thanks for your reply… my question is coming from a standpoint of wondering how much alimony I would be entitled to vs. how much he can pay. I have a 23-year marriage with alot of marital fault on his part, and I am self-employed so I would also need medical benefits as well. So if the lawyer says “well you’d get about X in alimony because he’d already be paying Y in child support and Z for Cobra for 36 months” then my question becomes “well what happpens when X or Y go away?” Can the SA be structured to adjust UP by some amount when either of those payments are done?


Since your marriage is of such long duration, it’s possible that you can get permanent alimony if you can prove marital misconduct, however I’d only count on about 12-15 years of alimony. I’m not sure what the laws are on insurance coverage, but there’s a chance that you may lose it due to laws on who can purchase/maintain for whom. Ryan can tell you what the law is on that. You may be able to negotiate a payment for Cobra (so that you can pay it or some other insurance) while you still have the children in the house since you are the primary custodian of the kids.

From what I’ve read in case law, it is unusual at best for alimony to be adjusted up after an event since alimony and child support really don’t have anything to do with one another legally except that child support is the primary importance and takes precedence when calculating what is payable and what isn’t. Mind you, the cases online are only a small subset of what is actually going on, but still I wouldn’t count on having an upward adjustment after child support expires.

It’s becoming more rare for permanent alimony to be assigned although the length of your marriage will help. The more items that connect you by necessity means that there is room for future conflict for the duration that these items (child support, alimony, retirement,etc) which could end up in court, so the idea is to close of that section of your life as much as possible to prevent potential future conflict.

It is unfortunate, but commonly the standard of living for both spouses drops after divorce. Do not expect to have the same standard of living level since there are now two households to support in the place of one.