Determining Alimony Payments
When it comes to spousal support, it is important to note that there are no guidelines, formulas or calculations to determine payments — it is all done on a case-by-case basis. When the court is determining support, it takes into account among other things:
- Length of marriage
- Earning capacities of the parties
- Support need
- Ability to pay support
- Ability of receiving spouse to become gainfully employed
- Parties’ ages
The length of time that alimony will be paid also varies; it can be ordered as:
- Rehabilitative (cases where one party is granted alimony for a limited period of time to obtain further education or training — the goal is self-sufficiency)
- Reimbursement (cases where one party has made special sacrifices, which have contributed to the other party increasing their earning power)
In any of these scenarios, it is important to also note that there are no clear-cut criteria for modification. Remarriage of a recipient spouse is not an automatic ground to terminate alimony unless it is explicitly written in the divorce decree.
The variables involved in these types of family law cases can get extremely complex, and in order to arrive at the best outcome, the guidance of an experienced lawyer is all but essential.