How Is Alimony Calculated?
When it comes to divorce, alimony or spousal support consistently proves
to be a point of contention between both parties. One wants more, the
other wants to give less. You may find yourself asking whether or not
it’s really even necessary. There are certain requirements that
you must meet in order to be eligible for alimony, but assuming those
requirements are met, alimony is intended to provide the recipient with
a stable financial situation post-divorce. Before you begin the legal
proceedings of your divorce, take a moment to look through the steps a
judge will follow in order to calculate alimony payments.
Do I Qualify For Alimony?
Not every ex-spouse is eligible to receive alimony. A judge will only award
it when the ex-spouse is unable to meet their needs without financial
assistance from their ex-spouse, assuming their ex-spouse can afford to
pay it. Temporary spousal support may be granted in situations including:
- The ex-spouse requires time to get back on their feet in order to rejoin
the job market
- The ex-spouse’s present or future earning capacity was impaired by
stretches of unemployment caused by time devoted to fulfilling domestic duties
- The ex-spouse requires time to brush up on the skills necessary to join
the job market
- The ex-spouse needs to complete an educational or training program in order
to rejoin the job market
- The ex-spouse needs financial support in order to raise their children
Permanent spousal support may be awarded by the judge if the ex-spouse
is not capable of becoming financially independent due to a disability or age.
How Much Alimony Do I Qualify For?
The court uses many factors when determining the amount paid as alimony,
- Age, emotional state, physical condition, and financial condition of each ex-spouse
- Length of time the recipient would need to complete education and / or
training to become self-sufficient
- The length of the marriage
- The standard of living during the marriage
- The ability of the payer to support themselves while still supporting the ex-spouse
- The ability of the recipient to pursue employment without interfering with
the interests of their dependent children
- Property owned by the recipient, community property, or quasi-community
property that can sufficiently provide support
When Is Alimony Not Granted?
There are several factors that courts will consider to deny alimony, including:
- Any history of domestic violence between the ex-spouses
- Any history of domestic violence against their own or their ex-spouse’s children
- Attempted murder of the ex-spouse, including hiring a third party to commit the crime
- A criminal conviction for a violent sexual felony perpetrated against one
ex-spouse by the other
Family Code 4320-4326 has the complete information for the factors courts use to determine whether
or not alimony is awarded, and how much is rewarded. There are also
alimony calculators available online that can provide an estimate of potential alimony. While
the calculator can give you a general idea of potential payment, the court
reserves the right to increase or decrease alimony based on other relevant factors.
Divorce proceedings can be long, drawn-out affairs. You may feel overwhelmed
by all of the factors that go into calculating the cost and resolving
negotiations, so it may be in your best interest to hire a qualified divorce
attorney. At James D. Madden, Attorney at Law, our firm is confident in
our ability to provide you with the high-quality legal guidance you need
Contact our Rancho Cucamonga divorce attorney today for a free case review, or give
us a call at (909) 992-0188 to schedule an appointment.