3 Factors That Can Decide How Much Alimony Is Paid


If you are seeking alimony or will be responsible for paying it, knowing how courts determine the amount owed is important. By knowing ahead of time, you can start to make financial plans for the future. Although the rules can vary by court and state, there are some key factors the judge looks at when determining what is owed. 

Who Is At Fault for the Divorce?

One of the factors that a judge might consider is who was to blame for the end of the relationship. In some instances, the amount that is owed could potentially be increased if the spouse who is expected to pay is at fault for the marriage ending. For instance, if your spouse cheated on you and you are owed support, a judge could find his or her infidelity as a reason to increase the amount owed. 

What Is Needed?

Another factor that could influence how much alimony is ordered based on what the paying spouse can afford. Alimony is not designed to bankrupt one party while ensuring that the other party has no worries. It is more so continued to support to help the recipient maintain the standard of living that he or she was used to during the marriage. At the same time, the paying spouse is entitled to be able to pay his or her bills. 

In determining the needs of the recipient, the judge will consider the cost of maintaining the home, the assets which are being split, and if the recipient was working. There are several other factors a judge could consider, including whether or not the recipient gave up his or her career to raise children. 

What Can the Recipient Contribute?

Some people mistakenly believe that alimony is a lifetime commitment. In actuality, the judge can place a time limit on it. The time limit is sometimes based on the amount of income the recipient can contribute to his or her upkeep. If the recipient is not working, the judge can consider the ability of the person to get a job and what he or she can expect to earn. 

For instance, if the recipient holds a medical license and can easily go back to work and start earning income, the judge might rule that the support is available for a short period of time. By contrast, a person who has very little education who has not worked since getting married might be afforded alimony until he or she is able to complete job training or earn a degree. 

Regardless of whether you are the payer or the payee, you should consult with a divorce attorney like one from Myers Law Firm LLC to learn more about alimony. The attorney can educate you on your state's laws and also help ensure you get a fair deal.  


18 August 2015

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