Making The Complex

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What factors are used to determine the amount of alimony?

Spousal support, which is also known as alimony, is seen as something temporary, but helpful to the spouse it is awarded to when a couple is divorced. Although some may not agree with their spouse’s decision to request alimony, it is often the courts who have the final say in the matter. Like many of the divorce legal issues that the courts must resolve for couples, there are things that must be examined before a ruling can be made on this specific matter.

When a spouse has requested alimony, the following factors are used to determine if it will be awarded and how much:

  • Length of marriage.
  • Age of requesting spouse.
  • Standard of living maintained during the marriage.
  • Requesting spouse’s ability to receive education and training to support themselves.

Part of the reason the courts often review these factors is because the spouse who would be required to pay alimony has not agreed to pay. Should both parties discuss alimony and one spouse agrees to pay a certain amount, then this matter will be resolved. If not, then the courts use the above-mentioned factors and more to make an appropriate ruling on alimony.

The divorce process is not easy, even when the couple is agreeable. Emotions often run high, especially when alimony comes up. When couples discuss alimony, and one doesn’t agree to pay it, this doesn’t mean it is no longer an option, as it can still be requested and awarded by the courts. Although there is no guarantee that it will be awarded, with the help of an attorney, you may be able to prove to the courts that alimony is necessary.


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