Alimony is often referred to as spousal support or maintenance. No one is entitled to alimony by virtue of marriage solely. Alimony may be awarded to either spouse, on a temporary or permanent basis, to provide for the needs of a spouse upon legal separation or divorce. The purpose of alimony is to avoid unfair economic consequences of a divorce. However, adultery and/or desertion is/are a bar to receiving alimony.
There are guidelines for determining alimony, but such determination is made by the trier of fact of the need of one party and the other party's ability to pay. Several factors considered to determine if alimony will be awarded and in what amount are:
- the contribution of each spouse in the acquisition of marital property;
- the financial resources of each spouse;
- the length of the marriage;
- the age of each spouse;
- the value of each spouse's separate property;
- the physical and emotional condition of each spouse;
- the earning capacity of each spouse, financial obligations, liabilities;
- standard of living established during marriage;
- and the necessary time for a spouse to receive education or training to find employment.
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