Alimony comes up during many divorces and one spouse may claim that they need alimony from the other spouse to be financially supported following the divorce and the other spouse may have concerns about their ability to pay alimony. For that reason, both spouses should be familiar with how a request for alimony is evaluated.
There are several factors the family law court will take into account when determining if it will award alimony. These factors include:
- The length of the marriage
- The standard of living the spouses were accustomed to during the marriage
- The relevant fault of the spouses to the breakdown of the marriage
- The age and health of the spouses
- The future employment prospects of the spouses
- The contribution of one spouse to the education and earning ability of the other spouse
- The extent to which one spouse reduced their income or career opportunities for the benefit of the other spouse or the family
- Any excessive or abnormal expenditures, destruction, concealment or fraudulent disposition of property
- Damages and judgments related to conduct that resulted in a criminal conviction of either spouse for which the other spouse or a child of the marriage was the victim
- Any other factor the court deems equitable in the circumstances of the divorce case
The family law court also utilizes factors to determine if the paying spouse has the ability to pay alimony. The goal is to come up with an alimony award that is equitable and once an alimony award has been made, it may be possible to modify it based on a material change in circumstances. There are many details of alimony to understand and because of the prominent role it can play in many divorces, it is helpful for divorcing couples to be familiar with the ins and outs of alimony.