Determining Alimony


Married 11 1/2 years. No infidelity, 2 children, spouse has been a stay at home parent for the entire marriage, with exception to part time positions occasionally. There are no real assets to distribute, only personal properties that have been acquired or collected during the marriage. We rent a home. Cars are in both names. I am the only source of income, all expenses are paid by me already. How would alimony be determined?


Alimony is based on a number of factors including the ability of the supporting spouse to pay, and the reasonable needs of the dependant spouse. The statutory factors are as follows:
(1) The marital misconduct of either of the spouses. Nothing herein shall prevent a court from considering incidents of post date-of-separation marital misconduct as corroborating evidence supporting other evidence that marital misconduct occurred during the marriage and prior to date of separation;
(2) The relative earnings and earning capacities of the spouses;
(3) The ages and the physical, mental, and emotional conditions of the spouses;
(4) The amount and sources of earned and unearned income of both spouses, including, but not limited to, earnings, dividends, and benefits such as medical, retirement, insurance, social security, or others;
(5) The duration of the marriage;
(6) The contribution by one spouse to the education, training, or increased earning power of the other spouse;
(7) The extent to which the earning power, expenses, or financial obligations of a spouse will be affected by reason of serving as the custodian of a minor child;
(8) The standard of living of the spouses established during the marriage;
(9) The relative education of the spouses and the time necessary to acquire sufficient education or training to enable the spouse seeking alimony to find employment to meet his or her reasonable economic needs;
(10) The relative assets and liabilities of the spouses and the relative debt service requirements of the spouses, including legal obligations of support;
(11) The property brought to the marriage by either spouse;
(12) The contribution of a spouse as homemaker;
(13) The relative needs of the spouses;
(14) The federal, State, and local tax ramifications of the alimony award;
(15) Any other factor relating to the economic circumstances of the parties that the court finds to be just and proper.
(16) The fact that income received by either party was previously considered by the court in determining the value of a marital or divisible asset in an equitable distribution of the parties” marital or divisible property.

The term of alimony will also depend on the specifics of each case, however the “rule of thumb” lawyers use to estimate the term of alimony is one half the length of the marriage.