Divorce and Alimony

When deciding whether to grant alimony in a divorce case, Courts consider many factors, including the length of the marriage, the spouses’ employment prospects, the age of each party, their standard of living, their marital contributions, their available income and assets, and the fairness of the situation.

Generally, the shorter you’ve been married, the less likely you will be awarded alimony. Similarly, age is important. If one of the spouses is about to retire, alimony might be more likely.

Courts also consider marital contributions. You might complain that your spouse watched TV all day for twelve years while you worked fifty hours a week. You might think this means your spouse should not be entitled to alimony; however, the court will likely not consider this in granting alimony. Similarly, if your spouse ran up huge credit card debt, he or she may still be entitled to alimony. The court might look more favorably to you, however, if those debts were ran up without your knowledge.

The court will also look at the available assets and income for both you and your spouse. Remember, the general purpose of alimony is to allow you and your spouse to maintain something that resembles your marital lifestyle. In other words, if your spouse has sufficient assets and doesn’t need alimony, the court will likely take this into consideration.

Finally, courts are allowed to consider anything that “fairness and justice requires.” There’s not really a clear definition for “fairness” or “justice”, so the judge in your case is allowed to consider many factors. This is why alimony can be tricky and convoluted. It is always a good idea to contact a Jacksonville Divorce Attorney to help you with your case.

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