Alimony is a common divorce-related concern many divorcing couples will have to work out during their divorce. To help them do that, it is useful for divorcing couples to be familiar with how alimony is determined when a request for it has been made during divorce.
How alimony is determined
Alimony is a payment made by one former spouse to another following their divorce. Factors that are used in Alabama to determine alimony include:
- The length or the marriage. There is no minimum number of years that the divorcing couple needs to be married for alimony to be awarded, however, the longer the marriage, the more likely the divorce court is to award alimony. Additionally, the length of the marriage can impact how long alimony will be awarded.
- The separate assets of the spouses. The family law court will consider the property division settlement agreement and the separate assets awarded to each of the spouse. Alimony is determined following equitable property division.
- Future earning potential of the spouses. The future earnings potential of each of the spouses will be considered.
- The standard of living during the marriage. The standard of living established during the marriage will be considered.
- The ages and health of the spouses.
- The needs of any dependent children and if one spouse provided services in the home as a parent or homemaker.
- The conduct of the spouses. Because Alabama still considers fault in a divorce, the conduct of the parties may be considered and if the spouse who is requested to pay alimony have committed adultery, for instance, it can impact the request for alimony and the duration of any alimony award.
- The family law court will also consider any other factors it considers relevant.
Alimony is a significant request during most divorces because it is a payment a former spouse will be making to the other into the future following the divorce. The family law process can help divorcing couples sort it out which is why it is helpful for them to be familiar with the factors used to determine alimony.