In its simplest terms, alimony is spousal financial support. This is not necessarily an automatic thing. It is different than child support or splitting property or debt or other assets. A judge will determine alimony only after the requesting party has officially requested it, and if certain circumstances exist.
The couple’s standard of living at the time of separation is the guiding principle of how much, if any, alimony is awarded the requesting party. Usually, both individuals are unable to maintain this standard of living they enjoyed at the time of separation, so a requestor will usually have to prove his or her case with the help of a trusted and competent attorney.
Courts will consider the following
- Financial circumstances and needs of requesting spouse
- Financial circumstances and abilities of spouse paying alimony
- Earning capacity
- Duration of marriage
- Custody of children
- If one spouse paid for another spouse’s schooling or training.
- Whether one of the individuals engaged in wrongful actions or habits that led to the divorce
Upon clarifying these factors, an amount will be decided upon by the judge. It is difficult to say how much alimony will be awarded every month. A reasonable award should be enough to cover reasonable expenses, but income or imputed income of the recipient spouse will be factored in.
Alimony is generally available to the requesting spouse only for as long as the couple was married. For example, if wife and husband were married for ten years, alimony would generally only be paid for a maximum of ten years. Alimony payments will also be terminated if the requesting individual begins to cohabitate with someone else, or remarries, or extenuating circumstances require equitable treatment. Age of recipient spouse can also be taken into account..
For all of your questions and concerns about divorce and family law, contact the professionals at the Huntsman Firm. R. Clayton Huntsman focuses exclusively on family law, and has practiced law for over 37 years.