How Is Alimony Determined?

By Erica Christian

Attorney, Cordell & Cordell

Generally there are designated factors that the court has to consider in determining whether or not to order a party to pay alimony.

Courts usually consider the following when determining alimony, or maintenance as it may be called in your state:

  • The length of the marriage;
  • The age and health of the parties;
  • The division of property;
  • The education level of each party at the time of the marriage and at the time the action is commenced;
  • The earning capacity of the parties;
  • The feasibility that the party seeking alimony/maintenance can become self-supporting at a standard of living reasonably comparable to that enjoyed during the marriage and the time needed to achieve this goal;
  • The tax consequences to the parties;
  • Pre-marital and post-marital agreements;
  • The contribution of one party to the education, training or increased earning power of the other;
  • And any other facts as the court may determine to be relevant.

Once the Court determines that a party is entitled to alimony, the court then determines how much the person should receive per month and how long he or she should receive it.

You will need to contact an experienced family law attorney in your jurisdiction need to discuss the background of your marriage and the factors the court will consider based on the laws in your state.

Cordell & Cordell has men’s divorce lawyers located nationwide.


erica christianErica Christian is an Associate Attorney in the Milwaukee, Wisconsin, office of Cordell & Cordell, P.C. She is licensed to practice law in the state of Wisconsin. She is a member of the Wisconsin Bar Association, the Family Law Section and the Children’s Law Section.

Ms. Christian received her B.A. in Journalism and Mass Communication as well as her Juris Doctor from the University of Wisconsin, graduating with academic distinction.

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2 comments on “How Is Alimony Determined?

    I have been supporting my wife for several years while she attends school to obtain a bachelors and eventually a professional license and masters degree. During the majority of our marriage I have been the main breadwinner and we recently purchased a house that requires 50% of my income. Do I have any rights in NJ to request she finds employment relative to her income level?

    Can you please recommend an international lawyer? I am an American Expact in Vietnam for another year. Have two girls under 12 and husband has moved out. We agree to divorce. What are all my rights and benefits. His company is currently paying all of our living expenses and girls’ international school. Renting our hour out in Portland Oregon,for a year and a half so far.

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