How Is Alimony, Or Spousal Support Or Maintenance, Determined?

All state divorce laws address the issue of whether, and for how long, one spouse shall be required to make support payments to the other spouse after termination of their marriage. In cases involving equitable division of property, one of the usual factors for division of property is whether one spouse will pay support to the other. On the other hand, when determining spousal support, or maintenance, as it is known in some states, one of the factors to be considered is the division of property.

Factors to be considered are much the same as the factors to be considered by the court in the division of property, such as:

  • Length of the marriage
  • The extent to which the supported spouse contributed to the attainment of an education or professional license by the other spouse
  • The presence of young children in the home
  • Employment opportunities available to the spouse requesting support

Ironically enough, although spousal support may be a highly contentious issue in divorce, many couples are mutually able to make fair and reasonable support agreements as well. And, generally, at the end of a short-term marriage, in the absence of extraordinary circumstances, neither party is likely to end up with an award of spousal support, absent some compelling reason such as a devastating illness.

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For more information review our other family law FAQs, or call the Zolman Law Firm at 314-375-5237 or contact us online.