Determining Alimony Amounts
There are no real guidelines for determining an amount of alimony, or how long it will be paid, as these determinations are on a case by case basis. It will be determined often by the court which pays, how much and the duration based on the financial need of each spouse. Some of the factors looked at include: duration of the marriage, age of the parties, present/future earning capacity of each party, standard of living, supporting party’s ability to pay, financial assets, the needs of each party (including minor children if applicable) and tax consequences, to name a few factors, but this list is far from complete.
Types of Alimony
Temporary alimony is awarded when the parties are separated and not yet divorced. Rehabilitative alimony lasts for a specific duration and is given to the dependent spouse while they go back to school or get more training to go back to work, or to get a job that pays more so they can support themselves. Permanent alimony is indefinite and can last for the life of a spouse eligible to receive it. The only time it ends is if the death of the spouse paying alimony occurs, the death of the spouse receiving alimony occurs, remarriage occurs or long-term cohabitation with someone else occurs as well.
The amount of spousal support can only change in modification. This can mean that circumstances have changed in that the paying spouse’s income has changed; the receiving spouse has got a new job that pays more or one of the factors above has occurred.