Alimony Rules

Are there any quidelines to follow for alimony? My STBX is in agreement that he should pay alimony and suggests $1500-$2000 per month for 7 years, half the # years we were married.

He left the marriage after 4 years of unsucessful attemps at rehabiliation for alcohol abuse. He is working on his sobriety once again. He admits that his issues and his abuse of alcohol, was the downfall of the marriage.

His 2010 income was 360,500, including bonus. This does not include his stock options.
My 2010 income was 80,500 including bonus. I am not awarded stock options.

His potential to retain employment with the bank is greater than mine.

He is 42, holds an Executive Leader, SVP, position with a Wells Fargo Bank.
I am 53 and hold a Business System Consultant, AVP, position with the same bank.

He is a college graduate.
I am not.

Any suggestions for guidelines to follow?

I know someone with similar incomes as yours and they got twice the amount but many things factor in. Are there children to help care for? Do you have the marital home to maintain? If you continue to live in your big home then your expenses for upkeep, taxes, insurance of the home will be higher than if you moved to a townhouse or apt.

Has his alcoholism affected his ability to work. One of the factors in determining alimony is the "age, mental, and physical health " of the person. If he is in and out of rehabs at some point he may not be drawing such a high salary. Although you are older, and without a college degree, the courts may see that you have a stable job and in stable health (i assume) and that you do not need alimony unless you are taking care of the children in the marital home.

His potential to retain employment with the bank is greater than mine
.[/quote] - if this goes to court his lawyer may say not true if he is suffering from alcoholism, which will be looked at as a disease. He could be forced to stop working at any time

I assume no infidelity took place as that would bar you from alimony or make him pay alimony.

Just my opinion, I have been through some of this myself.

Alimony is not guideline based and there is no specific formula as the is for child support. Alimony is awarded by comparing the reasonable and demonstrated needs of the dependent spouse, and the ability to of the supporting spouse to pay after considering his or her reasonable expenses. The statute also lists a number of factors that the court can consider in making such an award, a complete list of which is listed in the statute under the alimony tab on the home page.

I am still discussing alimony with my STBX. When considering the income amounts for each spouse, should bonuses be included? My STBX bonus is approx. 1/3 of his overall income. A bonus is guaranteed, the amount of the bonus is not, e.g., could vary year to year.

I had suggested that we use our base incomes, minus tax, medical, and 401K deductions, to determine a monthly alimony amount and agree to a % split of his future bonuses.
His net income = 4000
My net income = 1400
Difference = 3000 / 2 = 1500 per pay period.

He has verbally agreed to a monthly alimony amount of $3000 for 7 years, half the # of years we have been married.

He has been advised that the bonus $ should not be considered as it is unearned income. He has offered to a % split for 2 years. I think the agreed upon amount of bonus split should be for the same # of years as the monthly alimony payments.


I am not an attorney

Re: the bonus: I would personally offer to go off an average for the past years of what his bonus was, divide it by the number of years used, and make a percentage of that the amount what you get of his future bonuses.

Saying that the bonus is unearned money is, imo, ridiculous…because all of his salary is yet “unearned”.

Yes, bonuses should be a factor, as t he factored into the standard of living during the marriage. I agree that you should receive a % of the bonus for the entire duration of Alimony.

Any thoughts on the percentage? Is it fair to expect a 50% split after taxes. Example: bonus of 100k taxed at a rate of 48% = $52k/2 = payout of $26k.

Is it standard to set the # of years for alimony payment to half the # years of the marriage? Would it be fair to request alimony until I am retirement age, 62? I am 54 this year. We will hsve bern married 15 years this year.

I would think that you have the best argument for the same percentage of the bonus as the percentage of your ex’s income that is paid in alimony. Half the length of the marriage is a rule of thumb attorneys use to negotiate alimony, it is not a statutory requirement, and you may seek a longer term of alimony based on the factors listed in the statute.