How To Determine Who Should Be Awarded With Alimony Payments And How Much?

When a divorce takes place, the court may make one ex-spouse liable to make a certain amount of money every month to the other ex-partner. These financial support payments are commonly referred to as alimony payments. The problem here is that there are no specific laws in most states on how to determine the amount of such financial support to an ex-spouse. In general, it is entirely up to the court to decide whether alimony has to be paid at all. If yes, the court further determines a reasonable amount in this regard based on certain grounds. The court also determines other conditions applicable with it, such as the length of the payments, and the terms that makes this order null-and-void. For example, an ex-spouse may keep receiving the money as financial support from his/her ex-partner until he/she is able to return to work (such as when a young child enters school) or until he/she becomes self-sustaining (such as after finishing a college degree). Here, it is very important to keep in mind that the common belief that only a woman partner can be offered alimony is wrong. Even a male partner may be offered the same if certain conditions are applicable. Besides that, if both the parties reach a mutually agreeable decision, the court may not interfere. If you are also working on such a mutual agreement, the following information should help.

The Length Of Marriage

When it comes to awarding alimony payments, the number of years the marriage lasted plays a crucial role. In some states, the marriage must last for at least a minimum number of months or years in order to even consider the provisions of such financial support. For example, in the state of Texas, the length of marriage must be at least ten years in order to consider alimony support.

The Main Breadwinner

Obviously, the spouse who was earning less or not earning at all and was mainly looking after the family during the course of marriage is awarded with alimony payments. It means if you were the main bread-earner in the marriage, you will be liable to make the payments to your ex-spouse. The idea behind such laws is to provide the weaker-earning spouse an opportunity to get on his/her feet. This type of provision is also known as rehabilitative alimony.

Are Young Children Involved?

The decision in this regard will also get affected significantly if there are young children involved in the marriage. In such cases, even if both partners are working and earning almost equally (enough to become self-sustaining), the spouse who has to stay at home with the sole objective to raise young children (from the same marriage) is often awarded with alimony payments for the duration until the children grow up and at least begin school so that the spouse responsible for raising them should continue his/her work and start earning money.

The Reason For Divorce

It is important for you to keep in mind that many states do not consider alimony if the spouse (who may otherwise have qualified for it) is found guilty of faulty offenses, such as infidelity.

There are several factors that are taken into account in order to determine the actual amount of alimony payments, such as the financial ability of the partners, assets and future earning capacity, debts, income, and other such things.