How to Determine a Fair Alimony During a Divorce

Getting a divorce can be a long journey, particularly when it involves deciding on alimony or spousal support. This aspect of the process often adds further complexity and depth to an already difficult situation. While many hope to reach an amicable resolution, disagreements about how much should be paid and for how long can easily arise. Here are some of the factors that go into determining a fair alimony settlement during a divorce.

Examining the Income of Both Parties

The first factor to consider when determining a fair alimony settlement is the income of both parties. This encompasses not just their salaries, but also additional streams of income like investments, bonuses, and rental earnings. Evaluating the financial circumstances of both spouses is the first step in determining whether a party is qualified to receive alimony or if they can afford to pay it.

Length of the Marriage

How long the couple was married is a pivotal factor to consider. Generally, the chances of alimony being awarded tend to increase as the length of the marriage grows. However, if the marriage was brief, alimony may still be granted if one spouse gave up a career or substantially contributed to the other spouse's higher earning potential.

Contributions Made by Each Spouse

The next factor that will impact the determination of alimony is the contributions made by each spouse. This could include raising children, maintaining the household, or even putting the other spouse through school or professional training. The value of these contributions will be considered when deciding what a fair alimony settlement looks like.

Age and Health Status of Both Parties

The age and health status of both parties will also be taken into account when determining spousal support. An older spouse who is in poor health may be awarded more alimony than a younger, healthier spouse because they will have fewer opportunities to enter the workforce and support themselves.

Other Factors

Finally, other factors, such as the standard of living during marriage, debt obligations, and any applicable tax consequences may be considered when calculating alimony. Additionally, if the paying spouse is incurring unusual expenses due to the divorce, such as legal fees or the costs of selling a home, these may be factored in as well.

Whether you are seeking alimony or will be responsible for paying it, it is important to understand how alimony is calculated and what factors are taken into account. While every divorce is unique, evaluating the income, length of marriage, contributions made by both parties, age and health, and other factors will help ensure a fair alimony settlement.

Contact a local divorce attorney to learn more.