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How is alimony determined?

In many marriages, one spouse takes on the role of taking care of the home and children, which undoubtedly is a full-time job, while the other spouse works to earn a living for the family. While today's families are more likely to have both spouses working than in decades past, it is still not an uncommon situation. When a marriage ends however, this often leaves the spouse who sacrificed their career for the sake of the family at a severe disadvantage when trying start their life over and get back to work.

There are several factors that are taken into consideration when the courts make a ruling regarding spousal support following a divorce. While the courts have strict mandated criteria to following during child support rulings, they have much more flexibility when it comes to spousal support. This means they can look at each case individually and make a determination based on specifics of each case, including the amount of spousal support as well as the length that spousal support will be awarded.

Among the factors that are taken into consideration are the state of wellness of each spouse, including their age and physical, mental and financial condition; the length of time needed for a spouse to train or education him or herself in order to reenter the workforce; the length of the marriage and the family's standard of living prior to the divorce.

It is crucial to properly prepare yourself before entering into a divorce. Knowing what will be discussed and learning how the process of a divorce is handled in the courts will make it easier for you. It is not uncommon for emotions to run high during a divorce; unfortunately, this often means that decisions are made that are not always in your best interests.

While family and friends may try to help you through the divorce process, each situation is different. Having a divorce lawyer to work with you through a divorce is often in a person's best interest. A lawyer can help you make sound and logical decisions, and will work at your side through every phase to maximize the potential of obtaining a favorable outcome.

Source: Findlaw, "Spousal Support (Alimony) Basics," Accessed Aug. 7, 2017

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