Spousal Support/Alimony


What is Spousal Support/Alimony?

Alimony, or spousal support, is the payment by one spouse to another of a certain sum of money, paid either during the pendency of a divorce case (“temporary alimony”) or after the divorce is finalized. Courts examine the circumstances on a case-by-case basis.

Unlike child support, there are no statutory guidelines that a Court uses to determine how much alimony should be paid after a divorce. Therefore, predicting the amount and duration of alimony in any given case is difficult. There are, however, a number of factors that the Court uses to determine how much alimony should be paid, including but not limited to the following:

  • the past relations and the conduct of the parties
  • the length of the marriage
  • the ability of the parties to work
  • the source of and amount of property awarded to the parties
  • the ages of the parties
  • the ability of the parties to pay spousal support
  • the present situation of the parties
  • the needs of the parties
  • the health of the parties
  • the prior standard of living of the parties and whether either party is responsible for the support of others
  • parties’ contributions to the joint estate
  • a party’s fault in causing the divorce
  • how cohabitation affects a party’s financial status
  • general principles of equity

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