According to Forbes, the United States recorded 689,308 divorces in 2021. In some cases, the court orders one spouse to pay the other a certain amount of money each month as a means of financial support.
Not every divorcee qualifies for alimony. Understanding the reasons you may deserve spousal support is important so you know what to expect during the divorce process.
1. Income discrepancy
A significant income gap between spouses is a key factor in determining alimony eligibility. If one spouse earns substantially less than the other, alimony may help maintain a reasonable standard of living for both parties post-divorce. This ensures that the lower-earning spouse is not left in financial distress.
2. Length of marriage
The duration of the marriage often plays an important role in alimony considerations. Longer marriages tend to result in a higher likelihood of alimony, as the financial interdependence between spouses intensifies over time. Courts may recognize the sacrifice of career opportunities or personal goals made for the sake of the marriage.
3. Contributions to the marriage
Non-financial contributions to the marriage are also acknowledged when determining alimony. This includes homemaking, childcare and support in the pursuit of the other spouse’s career. Courts recognize the value of these contributions and may award alimony as a means of compensating the spouse who made such sacrifices.
4. Health considerations
Health issues can significantly impact one’s ability to earn a living. If a spouse faces health challenges that limit their employability or earning potential, alimony may support their well-being. This ensures that health-related hurdles do not lead to financial hardship after a divorce.
5. Educational sacrifices
In some cases, one spouse may have sacrificed educational or career opportunities for the benefit of the family. If such sacrifices hinder their financial independence post-divorce, alimony may be necessary. This helps in providing the necessary resources for the individual to rebuild their life independently.
Alimony is not a one-size-fits-all solution but is rather tailored to address the specific circumstances of each divorce. Understanding the factors that may warrant alimony is important for navigating the complexities of spousal support.