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How do the courts determine how much alimony you get?

On Behalf of | May 31, 2024 | Divorce | 0 comments

Determining alimony, or spousal support, is a critical aspect of many divorce proceedings. Courts consider several factors to decide the amount and duration of alimony payments. If you’re going through a divorce, it is helpful to understand how the courts come to a decision, so you avoid any potential surprises.

Length of the marriage

The length of the marriage significantly influences alimony decisions. Longer marriages typically result in higher alimony payments, as one spouse may have become financially dependent on the other over time. Shorter marriages may result in lower or no alimony.

Financial needs and ability to pay

Courts assess the financial needs of the spouse requesting alimony and the other spouse’s ability to pay. This includes evaluating each spouse’s income, expenses, and standard of living during the marriage.

Earning capacity and employment

The earning capacity of each spouse is another important factor. Courts consider each spouse’s education, work experience, and job prospects. If one spouse sacrificed their career to support the family, they will likely receive higher alimony.

Contributions to the marriage

Courts also consider non-financial contributions, like homemaking and child-rearing. These contributions have a value and can impact the alimony amount.

Age and health of the spouses

The age and health of both spouses play a role in determining alimony. Older or less healthy spouses may have more difficulty re-entering the workforce, leading to higher alimony awards.

Lifestyle during the marriage

Courts look at the lifestyle maintained during the marriage. The aim is to allow both spouses to continue a similar standard of living after the divorce.

Going through a divorce is a stressful time, and worrying about finances can compound that stress. However, understanding how the courts factor alimony payments can help make a hard time a little bit easier to handle.