The purpose of alimony is to balance the earnings of the spouses. It is most often available after 10 years of marriage. In the past, alimony was permanent and the spouse would receive monthly alimony payments for life or until she remarried. More recently, the trend is “rehabilitative alimony” which is awarded only for a fixed number of years to give the spouse time to attend college or vocational training.

Alimony is tax deductible by the payer, but is taxable income to the recipient.

The following factors will be tested by the judge to determine whether and how much alimony should be awarded:

  • Financial circumstances
  • Financial needs and obligations
  • Past standard of living
  • Value of jointly owned property
  • Current and nature of income (current and anticipated)
  • Resources and assets of each spouse
  • Amount of income that is “spendable”
  • The amounts after entry of the decree available for living expenses
  • Earning ability and capacity
  • Property awarded or given to one of the parties
  • Disposition made of the homestead or jointly owned property
  • Condition of health and medical needs
  • Duration of the marriage
  • Amount of child support