It should come as no surprise that spousal support is not as easily calculated as child support. Although both alimony and child support are commonly discussed topics during a divorce, they have little to do with each other and are calculated quite differently. There are several different elements a family court may consider when making this calculation. Staying informed of what these elements are may help when it comes time to discuss spousal support.
Spousal support or, alimony as it is commonly referred to, is the payment from one spouse to another to level the financial playing field and close major income gaps between divorcing spouses. Generally speaking, the greater the income relative to each other, the less alimony payments will be. This general rule can be commonly accepted unless there are other circumstances to consider.
When determining alimony, the family court will almost always take into consideration the length of the marriage, the earning capacity of both spouses, their standard of living and if there are any children involved. While these are relatively common elements to consider when calculating spousal support, several others may also be weighed.
While the income of both spouses is typically considered, the property the spouse owns or will likely take ownership of after divorce may also be considered. Just as alimony is meant to level the financial playing field, and on fair property division may significantly impact the amount of alimony payable to a spouse. If either spouse has any impairments or disabilities or has spent most of their marriage contributing to the earning capacity, education or career of the other spouse, they may be awarded a greater alimony payment.
Although alimony is calculated much differently than child support, just as many factors are used when determining it. When requesting alimony, it may be beneficial for divorcing spouses to seek the help of an experienced legal professional.