Alimony is the least predictable aspect of divorce. The judge has considerable discretion in awarding spousal support. Unlike child support, there are no statutory guidelines or mathematical formulas the judge can apply to calculate alimony.

The court’s decision that one party should pay alimony to the other is based on two primary factors: the requesting party’s need for financial assistance and the other party’s ability to pay. Other factors the court will consider, on a case by case basis, include the length of the marriage, the age and health of the requesting party, education and earning capacity, and contributions to the marriage and child-rearing.

If alimony is awarded, it may be in the following form:

Bridge-the-gap alimony – the support is granted for a period not to exceed two years to assist the other spouse transition from married to single life.

Durational alimony – for moderate term marriages (7 – 17 years) not to exceed the number of years of the marriage.

Rehabilitative alimony – the receiving spouse has a specific plan to become self-supporting, such as completing a college degree.

Permanent alimony – for long term marriages (17 years or more), until death or remarriage.

Lump Sum alimony – in certain cases where a spouse has a special need.

For more information regarding your entitlement to alimony, please contact us for a free consultation.