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What determines an alimony award?

On Behalf of | May 30, 2022 | Divorce |

Divorce requires more than simply dividing who gets what. It is a complex litigation process that often strains relationships between ex-spouses in the short term.

A particularly firey issue is that involving spousal support or alimony. Some people may negatively view this element of divorce, but it serves a definite and temporary purpose. Learn more about what purpose alimony serves and how many judges may award it.

What is alimony?

At some point, one spouse may take a break from earning a paycheck to stay home with the children. During this time, the household relies on the income of one spouse to carry it through. When the couple divorce, the spouse who left the workforce home needs financial help to get back on his or her feet. A judge may decide that spousal support is an option during this time.

What is the length of an alimony award?

Judges often decide the duration of alimony based on a few factors. The most significant consideration is the length of the marriage. In some instances, judges may award one year of spousal support for every two to three years of the union. Marriages lasting at least 10 years often get alimony awards when requested, but this is not a rule. It is the judge’s discretion to permit alimony. Temporary awards to allow a non or lower-earning spouse to get a job may happen regardless of how long the marriage lasted.

Getting back on firmer footing after a divorce may prove challenging for some, especially when money is tight. Alimony may prove a way to help make this happen in some situations.