Divorce can be a stressful, complicated process. To make it easier on yourself, aim to increase your understanding of how important aspects — like alimony — are determined.
In today’s blog, we’ll explain how alimony is calculated, along with seven factors to consider that could influence how the alimony is calculated. If you’re filing for divorce in Tempe — or in Phoenix, Scottsdale, Chandler, or Mesa — then you can rely on The Law Office of Ronald Kossack. Contact us today for a free initial consultation with a divorce lawyer.
How Is Alimony Calculated?
Alimony is first and foremost determined by your income. The court will look at the spouse’s gross income and subtract all mandatory deductions, such as taxes, social security, or healthcare costs. Something like a car loan, for example, is not considered mandatory and will not be considered. With this net income, the court will then decide how much a spouse could be required to pay their ex in spousal support after your divorce.
7 Influences On How Much Alimony You’ll Pay Or Receive:
We stated above how much income will be considered when calculating alimony. Now, the divorce court will determine what percentage of that income one spouse will pay to the other for alimony.
Ability To Earn
Let’s say your spouse made more than $100,000 a year before your divorce. After filing for divorce, they quit their job and got a new job only paying $35,000. The court will instead look at your spouse’s earning potential, based on the idea that they could find a different, higher paying job if they couldn’t afford the alimony obligation.
Ability To Self-Support
There is a difference between being self-supporting and having the ability to self-support. If both spouses have marketable skills and are therefore able to support themselves, alimony is often not rewarded. If one spouse has been out of the workforce but does have the ability to self-support, then alimony may be awarded for a certain amount of time.
Helping A Spouse Earn A Degree
If one spouse worked to support the other through school, then the court will consider this. The spouse who primarily paid for schooling could potentially receive compensation for doing so, in the form of alimony.
Length Of Marriage
When the marriage is short and there are no children, courts often don’t grant spousal support. If the marriage is relatively short but you have kids under school age, then alimony will still be heavily considered.
Your divorce lawyer can explain this further, but if one spouse is ordered to pay a large portion of the marital debts, then that spouse will often have a reduced alimony payment.
If you and your spouse wrote and signed a prenuptial agreement before your marriage, then you most likely addressed the topic of alimony in the agreement. While it can be proven that a spouse signed fraudulently or under duress, most prenuptial agreements are honored in divorce court — meaning what you agreed upon for alimony will most likely be honored.
Standard Of Living
It’s no guarantee that spousal support will help you maintain the standard of living you were accustomed to before divorcing, but courts generally aim to maintain this standard as much as possible for both spouses and it will be a consideration.
Meet With A Divorce Lawyer In Tempe
Filing for divorce? Worried about spousal support? Need help with child custody? The Law Office of Ronald Kossack can help. When you visit our law firm in Tempe, you’ll find a qualified, experienced divorce lawyer who will fight for your case. Contact us today to schedule a free initial consultation.