top of page


How Is Alimony Determined?


Alexander J. King

Alimony, also known as spousal support or maintenance, is determined through a combination of factors, which can vary depending on the jurisdiction and the specific circumstances of the case.

Here are some common factors considered in determining alimony:

  1. Income Disparity: One of the primary factors in determining alimony is the income disparity between the spouses. The spouse with a higher income may be required to provide financial support to the spouse with lower or no income.

  2. Length of Marriage: The duration of the marriage is often a significant factor. In general, longer marriages may result in higher alimony payments, as there may be a greater financial interdependence between the spouses.

  3. Standard of Living During Marriage: The standard of living established during the marriage is often considered when determining alimony. The goal is to help the lower-earning spouse maintain a similar standard of living post-divorce, to the extent possible.

  4. Financial Needs and Resources: The financial needs and resources of each spouse are taken into account. This includes factors such as income, earning potential, assets, liabilities, and expenses.

  5. Contributions to the Marriage: Contributions made by each spouse to the marriage, both financial and non-financial, are considered. This could include contributions to the household, childcare, support of the other spouse's career, and so on.

  6. Health and Age of the Parties: The health and age of each spouse may be considered, particularly if it affects their ability to support themselves financially.

  7. Education and Employability: The education, skills, and employability of each spouse are relevant factors. If one spouse has significantly lower earning potential due to factors such as age, health, or lack of education or job experience, this may impact the alimony determination.

  8. Custody Arrangements: Custody arrangements for any children of the marriage can also influence alimony decisions. For example, if one spouse has primary custody and requires financial support to care for the children, this may affect the alimony amount.

  9. Other Relevant Factors: Courts may also consider other relevant factors specific to the case, such as any prenuptial agreements, the duration of any previous marriages, tax implications, and any misconduct or fault contributing to the breakdown of the marriage (though fault-based considerations are becoming less common in many jurisdictions).

It's important to note that alimony determinations can be complex, and there is often a significant amount of discretion given to judges in making these decisions. Consulting with a family law attorney who is familiar with the laws and procedures in your jurisdiction can help you understand how alimony may be determined in your specific situation.

Look no further than King & Rowe Attorneys at Law. Our experienced attorneys will work tirelessly to ensure your rights are protected and help you achieve the best possible outcome.

Contact us today 828-466-3858.

bottom of page