The factors that generally are provided the most weight, although each one is equally important, include the actual need of the receiving spouse and the ability of the paying spouse to pay. In analyzing this factor, each party’s respective income, or their ability to earn income, as well as both parties’ budgets are examined. The parties are required to complete a Case Information Statement to figure out at budget. This Statement is a detailed document that requires full disclosure of a host of information relevant to the marriage.
As to the budget, the parties have to list their shelter, transportation and personal expenses. Alimony is weighed, considered and calculated once budgets are itemized and income is known.
Another important factor is the duration of a marriage. Alimony generally is not an issue in a short-term marriage. However, in a long term marriage alimony often is an issue. The parties’ age and health is another statutory factor that is given great consideration.
Once the amount of alimony is either agreed upon, or ordered by the Court, the length of alimony is yet another issue that must be resolved. Alimony can be for a long term or a set number of years. It also can be pursuant to a set, detailed rehabilitative plan.
Alimony, both length and amount, are challenging aspects of any divorce and there are numerous considerations relevant to a final determination as to alimony. It is extremely fact and case sensitive. As such, it is important to have the guidance of an attorney when negotiating this important issue.
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