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How Is Alimony Determined

If you are facing a divorce, you will have to face reality: Alimony – also known as spousal support – is alive and well in the US divorce system. If

your income is substantially higher than your spouse’s, there is a good chance the court will order you to pay some alimony. However, maintenance is not awarded for short marriages or spouses who earn almost the same amount. But how is alimony determined? A Jefferson City Divorce Attorney from Call & Gentry Law Group can help you settle your alimony cases, both in and out of court.

What is Alimony?

The reason for alimony payments is to minimize any unfair economic impacts of divorce by offering a continuing income to a low-wage- or non-wage-earning spouse. Part of the validation is that one spouse might have decided to forego a career to take care of family, and requires time to gain job skills to support themselves. The other reason might be to assist a spouse in maintaining the living standards they had during the marriage, regardless of changes in revenues.

How is Alimony Determined?

Courts have great discretion in determining whether a spouse should get alimony and, if so, for how long and how much. The alimony statutes of most states are based on the Uniform Marriage and Divorce Act, which recommends that courts consider the following elements when making decisions concerning alimony awards:

  • The financial condition, emotional state, physical condition, and age of the former spouses
  • The length of time the recipient would require training to become self-sufficient.
  • The standard of living of the couple during the marriage
  • The length of the marriage
  • The ability of the payer spouse to support him or herself and support the recipient


How long should alimony be paid?

Spousal support is always considered rehabilitative in that it is ordered for as long as necessary for the recipient to get training and become self-supporting. If divorce ruling does not specify the termination of spousal support, you must continue paying until the court rules otherwise.

Alimony payments typically end if the beneficiary gets married. If the payer dies, the termination of the payments is not automatic; in situations where the recipient spouse is unlikely to get profitable employment, because of health or age considerations, the court might order alimony payments to continue being paid from payer’s life insurance or estate incomes. The payer might petition the court to adjust the amount of alimony. Various reasons can prompt such requests. However, the paying spouse should not intentionally change his or her financial condition to avoid paying alimony. The court recognizes emergency situations or special hardships and reduces the alimony payments or relieves the paying spouse from the obligation.

Call a divorce attorney for your alimony questions.

Alimony concerns will arise in most divorces, whether it is through a divorce trial or out of court settlements. Because it is usually hard to establish yourself financially after a divorce, spousal support can play a crucial role in assisting in adjusting to life after marriage. For you to understand your options, and whether you could receive or owe alimony, it is necessary that you speak with an experienced divorce attorney from Call & Gentry Law Group.