When divorcing couples get into a dispute about an alimony request during their divorce, it is helpful for them to know how alimony, or spousal support, is calculated. There are several factors that go into calculating spousal support that divorcing couples should be familiar with.
Factors used to calculate alimony
The intent of the divorce process is not for either party to be impoverished after they are divorced. The spousal support process balances the incomes and needs of the parties to ensure both spouses are on as positive a financial footing as possible following their divorce. The property division award and child custody may also impact any alimony award.
While child support is calculated using a formula, alimony is calculated based on the evaluation of several factors including:
- The length of the marriage;
- The sources and amounts of property awarded to each of the spouses;
- The ages of the spouses;
- The ability of the paying party to pay spousal support;
- The current financial situation and needs of the spouses;
- The health of the spouses; and
- The conduct of the parties.
Alimony can help one of the spouses who may have remained in the home to raise minor children, for instance, following their divorce. In addition, spousal support may be awarded on a temporary basis or may be awarded on a longer-term basis.
If a spouse thinks that they need spousal support, they should understand how to make their request and what it will be evaluated based on. Likewise, the other spouse may wish to oppose the spousal support request and both should know how to advocate for a fair and reasonable calculation of spousal support as they negotiate the different components of their divorce, including alimony.