When compared to child custody cases where judges have to determine which parent should have custody of a child, the decision of spousal support amount is not as difficult. The law governing the determination of spousal support varies from state to state.
However, on a general level, the court considers the following when determining the amount to be paid as spousal support.
- The amount of money each spouse could logically earn every month
- what the reasonable expenses each is going to incur each month, and
- Whether spousal support payment by one spouse to the other would help each of them to continue to have equivalent standard of living they had during the time they were married.
However, in a situation where it is no longer possible for the two spouses to be having the same standard of living they shared, the court will devise means to share financial burden between the two.
Is savings incorporated into the calculation of standards of living?
In number states, the law requires judges to consider what it would take for the two parties to maintain the standard of living established during the marriage.
The low income spouse
As specified earlier, the payment of spousal support depends on the amount of money that each of the two spouses could reasonably earn in a month. This implies that if one of the spouses chooses on purpose to work on a job that pays him or her less than what he or she would be earning, the court may award a larger amount of alimony payment.
How does the court determine spousal support?
The guidelines to determine alimony are complex. Such considerations include the marital lifestyle, the ability of the spouse to pay, and the ability of the dependent spouse to contribute to their own support.
According to the existing law, the following factors need to be considered for the determination of alimony payment:
- How much each spouse contributed to the marriage, both financially and non-financially.
- The time each was absent from the job market as a result of the marriage.
- Their standard of living during the marriage and the possibility of each party to maintain a reasonable and equivalent standard of living.
- The tax effects of paying spousal support. The earning potential of each party, together with their level of education and employment ability.
- The time and cost required by the lower earning spouse to acquire the education and training needed to be gainfully employed.
- Impartial distribution of properties.
- The duration of the marriage.
- The emotional health, physical health and age of the spouses.
- The authentic requirement of spousal support together with the ability of the spouse to pay.
- The parental responsibilities.
- Any other pertinent factor the court deems fit as one of the determining factors.
- The number and ages of kids
- Their former Lifestyle
The bottom line:
If you want to know how much alimony you may be awarded in your divorce, consider seeking legal advice. A lawyer will evaluate the financial circumstances of your marriage and your marital assets and help you to figure out the amount of alimony award you could receive.