Earning capacity

If you were a ‘dependent spouse’ during the marriage, then that would be taken into effect for figuring up alimony. If you make less after separation, yet made differnt DURING the marriage, then that is not your ex’s fault. Alimony is decided on the wages made during the marriage (before separation…not after).

If this is the case, then you should receive alimony.''If he is trying to modify due to earnings NOW, then there would have to be a significant change to change it. If it’s court ordered (or even an agreement), it will be hard to change it, unless he can show significant cause TO change it.

The factors considered for an initial determination of alimony and a modification of alimony are different.

If the court is making an initial determination of alimony they will consider the age, time out of the work force and earning capacity of the dependent spouse, they will also consider the income of both parties, the expenses of both parties and the ability of the supporting spouse to pay alimony. The age and health of the supporting spouse are also a factor. The length of the marriage can have a significant impact on the courts alimony decision.

If the court is being asked to modify alimony they would look only at factors that have changed since the initial order such as a change in income.

P.S. Please feel free to bring up this or any other topic on our live call-in show every Wednesday at 11:00 a.m. EST. Visit radio.rosen.com/live for details

Helena M. Nevicosi
Attorney with Rosen Law Firm

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In awarding alimony or modification of alimony, should the Court consider the age, time out of workforce, and earning capacity of the dependent spouse? At age 53, I have been forced back to work earning less in a year than the ex can make in a month. I have reduced my lifestyle significantly. Lost my house because I couldn’t afford to keep it. Just doesn’t seem right that the Court can force a person to live in the manner that I have to and the ex retained most of his income. I have gone from a high, high six figure income to a 5 figure income and am struggling while the ex walks away with almost everything. I thought divorce was “equitable” in nature, but I suffer while he just walks. I have less than 1/4 of the total household income.