Things That Are Taken Into Consideration When Determining If A Person Will Be Awarded Alimony

Posted on: 29 April 2019


Many divorces can be very complicated. In addition to the division of assets/debts, determining a child custody plan, and figuring out the right child support payments, some couples also need to think about alimony. Alimony, also often referred to as spousal support, is a fixed amount of money that one spouse is legally responsible to pay to the other spouse each month, after the divorce is finalized. Unlike child support, there is no precise formula for determining the amount of alimony to be paid. If you're seeking alimony but your spouse refuses, you may need to ask a judge to approve it and make it part of your divorce decree. Some factors that are taken into consideration to determine if one spouse gets alimony includes:

Maintaining Standard of Living

A divorce is typically hard on any couple, since they must maintain two separate households when the divorce is finalized after contributing to one household together during the marriage. Things can get more complicated though when one spouse will have a much lower standard of living after divorce. In this type of situation, a judge may look at the standard of living that the couple enjoyed together when married and compare it to what one spouse can expect to live like after the divorce is finalized. This tends to be a big factor when one spouse earns exponentially more than the other.

Employment Status

Employment status of the spouse seeking alimony will also be considered. It is not uncommon for couples with children to have one spouse who works full time and is considered the breadwinner while the other spouse either works part-time or does not work at all so he or she is available to take care of the kids and household. When this happens, the spouse who is either unemployed or underemployed may be eligible for alimony so he or she can afford to support him or herself and the children during his or her custody time. In some cases, alimony may be ordered temporarily for a set amount of time if the spouse seeking alimony has the education or skills needed to secure full-time employment.

Length of Marriage

How long your marriage lasted can play a role in whether or not you will be awarded alimony. It is not uncommon for people who are divorcing after a short marriage to not be granted alimony. In some states, there are laws and regulations that calculate whether or not someone is entitled to alimony and how long he or she should receive alimony payments based on the length of the marriage. 

Talk with an alimony lawyer for more information.