Alimony, also called spousal support, is an important issue to resolve during any divorce. For that reason, it is helpful for divorcing couples to understand how the divorce court will go about determining alimony during their divorce and to be prepared to navigate a request for alimony.
How is alimony determined?
The factors used to determine alimony include:
- The income of each of the parties;
- The needs of each of the parties;
- The present and future earning capacities of the parties;
- The impairment of present and future earning capacities of the spouse seeking spousal support due to the decisions the spouse made because of the marriage;
- The impairment of the reasonable present or future earning capacities of the spouse against whom maintenance is being sought;
- The standard of living established during the marriage;
- The duration of the marriage;
- The age, health, station, occupation, amount and sources of income, vocational skills, employability, estate, liabilities and the needs of each of the spouses;
- All sources of public and private income;
- The tax consequences of the property division settlement agreement;
- The contributions and services of the spouse seeking spousal support to the education, training, career, career potential or license of the other spouse; and
- Any other factors the court finds just and equitable.
These factors are used to determine if a spousal support award will be made and the family law court must also determine the amount and duration of any alimony award. Because alimony will impact both spouses long after their divorce, it is important for them to be familiar with how it is determined and the consequences of an alimony award.