How to Determine What a Spouse Pays or Receives in Alimony

A very tense topic that many spouses must talk about after divorce, is who is going to receive alimony and for how much. Sometimes the decision is obvious and the spouses can reach an agreement during mediation. For others, the dispute is much more intensely contested, and a judge is required to decide the final terms of alimony. An experienced attorney can help spouses who are heading for divorce by evaluating who is likely to receive or pay alimony, for how long, and in what amount. 

The 3 Main Factors the Court Focuses On

Every state has its own laws regarding divorce and alimony. To find out the exact laws for where you live and how this can impact your alimony dispute, an attorney can answer any questions you may have. If neither spouse earns enough to help financially support the other, the judge may look for a solution where both put a percentage into alimony together. Typically, the courts determine alimony based on the following three factors:

  1. How much each spouse can earn each month
  2. Earning capacity of each spouse (regardless of whether they are currently working or not)
  3. Whether each spouse can still maintain the same standard of living as when they were in the marriage

Whether Savings are Part of the Decision

In most states, the court considers how much support would be needed to ensure that both spouses can maintain the same standard of living apart, as when they were together. This may lead many spouses to wondering whether their savings account is going to play a part in the judge’s final alimony verdict.

Every state is different as to where they stand regarding savings accounts and alimony. There is not necessarily one general rule for every situation. An attorney can talk to you about the laws for your area and how this may influence the judge’s decision. You can trust that a good lawyer will do what he or she can to safeguard the funds in your savings account if possible. 

Other Things to Consider

It can be challenging to predict exactly what a family court judge is going to decide in terms of an alimony dispute. There are so many variables that can vary between spouses. Aside from the top three factors described above, here are other things a judge may consider before arriving at a conclusion regarding alimony payments:

  • Physical and emotional health of spouse seeking alimony
  • How long the spouses were married
  • How much one spouse may have contributed to the other’s earning ability or educational advancement 
  • To what degree the spouse seeking alimony had decreased their income or limited career opportunities for oneself, to the benefit of the other

If you are apprehensive to go into your alimony dispute in court, a lawyer can represent you. Or, if you just want to get more information about how to prepare for alimony negotiations, contact a lawyer, like a divorce lawyer from the Law Office of Daniel J. Wright, today.