What Factors Determine Alimony Payments?
Alimony or spousal support can be a hot topic of discussion during divorce, specifically when one spouse out-earns the other. Alimony is awarded to ensure that there are no unfair advantages in the aftermath of a divorce. Its purpose is to help both parties continue living their lives in similar conditions to the marriage until both can support themselves on their own. It is designed to be temporary.
For example, if one spouse decided to forgo a career in order to raise a family, they can be awarded alimony to help them maintain a standard of living until they can develop the skills to support themselves.
How Is The Amount Calculated?
One of the main questions you may have if you are to be awarded alimony is “how much?” These agreements can either be determined between the couple or by the courts if necessary. However, unlike with child support, there are few hard guidelines that determine alimony amounts. The courts have rather broad rules that determine these amounts and how long the payments will continue, but most consider the following factors in their decisions:
- Age, physical and emotional state of both spouses
- Financial condition of both spouses
- Standard of living during the marriage
- Ability of the payer to support both themselves and the recipient
Again, spousal support is designed to help the recipient maintain their standard of living while working to be able to support themselves. Many people may find themselves in a different financial situation after divorce due to changes in income and taxes, and spousal support can help alleviate any financial hardship this may cause to one spouse.
Spousal support decisions are separate from the division of other assets and are decided case-by-case. They can even change down the road. These awards are hard to estimate but an experienced finally law attorney can help you figure out your situation and ensure you are getting a fair deal.