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How judges determine alimony awards in divorce

On Behalf of | Mar 8, 2023 | Firm News |

When people go through a divorce, they suddenly need to start a life on their own after years of living a shared life with their spouse. This can create a difficult situation for many people. Figuring out how they will pay for all of their monthly obligations can be very difficult without the other spouse’s income. During the marriage, one spouse may have decided to stay home with children or the other spouse may just have a job earning much more money.

Some people may not be completely on their own even after the divorce. Through a divorce, judges can order one spouse to pay the other one alimony. These are either monthly payments or a lump sum payment that is designed to help ensure that both spouse’s can continue to meet their financial obligations after the divorce. Alimony will not be awarded in every divorce though and the amount and duration of alimony depends on a number of factors.

Factors used to determine alimony

To determine whether to award alimony as well as the amount and duration, judges will analyze the following factors:

  • The income, earning capacity and the monthly expenses of each spouse
  • The health and ages of the spouses
  • The debts and assets of each spouse
  • The length of the marriage
  • Whether they have minor children and where they will be residing primarily
  • The standard of living that the couple enjoyed during the marriage
  • Whether either spouse’s misconduct led to the divorce
  • Whether either spouse wasted the assets of the couple during the marriage

Ultimately, the amount and duration of alimony will depend on the unique circumstances of the couple. Each marriage is different and; therefore, the alimony award will vary from divorce to divorce. These can be complicated decisions and understanding the factors is important. Consulting with experienced attorneys could be beneficial.