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An introduction to Alimony Calculation

Spousal support (known as Alimony) is a sum of money determined by the court that will be paid by one former spouse to the other. The following blog is a brief introduction into how alimony is calculated, and what factors come into play when the amount is determined.

Awarding alimony is an attempt to make the transition out of married life as smooth as possible for spouses who were financially dependent on the other spouse. It tries to limit any unfair economic effects of a divorce, and help the spouse with a lower income to live life to a comparable economic standard.

How is Alimony Calculated?

Courts have a lot of discretion when it comes to deciding the dollar amount of alimony that should be allocated, unlike child support, which has strict guidelines. The Uniform Marriage and Divorce Act, however, offers some guidelines that form the basis of many states' statutes on this matter. The following are some of the most vital factors that are recommended to be considered:

  • The former couple's previous standard of living
  • The length of the marriage
  • The age, location, and financial circumstances of the former spouses
  • The capacity of the spouses to earn money through employment and/or be financially independent from one another
  • The amount of money currently earned and individual assets owned by both spouses

For how long should Alimony be paid?

Alimony is usually considered a temporary measure to help the divorce transition process. It is commonly ordered for a specified amount of time that it should take for the recipient spouse to become self-sufficient.

It is important to seek trusted legal guidance if you have any further questions about alimony calculation. Every case is different and needs to be assessed individually.

Source: Findlaw, "Spousal support (alimony) basics," accessed July 21, 2017

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