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What determines the value of alimony payments?

On Behalf of | Mar 10, 2023 | Alimony, Divorce

Alimony, or spousal support, is a requirement in some divorce settlements. This payment might be something you will pay, or it could be something your ex must pay to you.

The paying party generally has more work experience and a higher income, while the non-paying party likely spent most of the marriage as a homemaker. Understanding how courts determine the value of alimony can help you plan ahead.

Valuation of assets

Assets include separate property and marital property. Splitting assets such as your home, retirement portfolio and investments can take time and patience. Courts will carefully assess the rightful ownership of each asset and determine the most appropriate way to distribute value.

Educational background

The level of education both you and your spouse have can also influence the value of alimony. For example, if one of you graduated college but the other has not, the earning power of the latter person could be substantially lower. Taking this into account, courts will sometimes adjust alimony to make income more even, especially if trying to maintain the standard of living experienced during the marriage.

Employment experience

Courts will also assess what you and your spouse do for work, including prior employment experience. If your role in the relationship was to care for and raise children, you could lack employment experience entirely. This could impact your ability to get a job and make a livable wage. Also, under consideration according to CNBC, is the period your marriage lasted prior to divorce. A longer relationship could indicate a higher alimony payment.

After a thorough assessment of the standard of living during your marriage, each person’s job marketability, the valuation of separate and shared assets, and each person’s educational background, court officials can make a fair determination of the value of alimony payments.


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