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Why, and how, does alimony get awarded?

As we have outlined in our last two posts, alimony is a very important factor in many divorces. Both spouses involved in the alimony equation need to be prepared for the process and all that it entails. But why does alimony get awarded, and what are the factors for determining how much the alimony payments will be?

Alimony is awarded in a divorce if one of the spouses will be at an unfair economic advantage as a result of the divorce. This can mean that one of the spouses gave up their career for the marriage — or if they are in desperate financial need as a result of the divorce because their standard of living was at a certain level during their marriage.

If it is decided that alimony is going to be involved in a divorce, then the next step is to determine how much the alimony payments will be for. This is determined using many factors, including:

  • The well-being of the spouses. This includes their age, physical and mental condition, and the financial state of the spouses.
  • If the receiving spouse needs education or retraining for their career, then the payment should reflect the amount of time necessary for that education or retraining.
  • The length of the marriage, and the ability of the paying spouse to support their former spouse.

The ultimate outcome for alimony will be different depending on the case, but if any issues arise during the process, you should consult with an experienced attorney.

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