Marriage dissolution poses a lot of financial concerns. This might be especially true when alimony becomes an issue. These payments, made by one part to the other post-divorce, can last for a long time. Therefore, those who are ordered to pay alimony could see their resources quickly depleted, while those fighting to receive alimony have their financial wellbeing at stake. Those in the latter group may especially be at risk, especially if they’ve given up their own education and/or career to raise a family.
What goes into an alimony determination?
If the parties agree to alimony and a certain amount of spousal support to be paid monthly, then they can simply enter that agreement into their divorce decree. However, if there is disagreement, then a judge will have to decide. When that judge makes a spousal support determination, he or she will consider the following factors:
- The length of the marriage – the longer the marriage, the more likely there will be an alimony award and the greater that award will be.
- How each party behaved during the marriage – a spouse who is at fault for the marriage’s breakdown may be more responsible for alimony, and those who took on more household responsibilities may be entitled to more alimony.
- Each party’s ability to work – an inability to work, whether due to medical condition or lack of education and experience, can increase the likelihood of an alimony award.
- The needs of each party – a heightened need may increase an alimony award.
- How property was divided – if a spouse didn’t receive much marital property during the property division process, then he or she may be more likely to receive alimony.
- The age and health of each spouse – age and health can affect each party’s ability to earn and therefore justify an order for alimony or no alimony.
Take a holistic approach
These are just a few of the many considerations that have to be made when making an alimony determination. Other factors, such as the standard of living during marriage and whether either party is living with someone else, can also play a major role in your case. That’s why you need to take a holistic approach by being ready to address every aspect of these determinations. If you could benefit from help dealing with these matters, then sit down and thoroughly discuss them with your attorney.