During divorces in Alabama the spouses have to resolve many issues, but one of the more complicated ones is alimony. In situations where one spouse earns significantly more than the other one it can put the lower earning spouse in a very difficult position as they move on with their lives. To protect against this, after the divorce the higher earning spouse may be ordered to pay alimony to the other one.
Under Alabama law, there are a few steps that judges must go through when determining alimony awards. The first step is to determine whether one spouse lacks the financial resources to meet their monthly budgets. Next they will determine whether the other spouse has the ability to pay alimony without creating a financial hardship.
Factors judges analyze to determine alimony rewards
To determine this the court will look at the following factors:
- Each spouse’s assets, including the assets they receive through the divorce
- Each spouse’s current earnings, their earning capacity, their age and work experience
- Whether they have the requisite skills to obtain meaningful employment
- Whether there is a reason they need to stay at home with children instead of working
If they determine that one spouse lacks sufficient financial resources and the other spouse has the ability to pay, courts must then determine the amount the spouse will pay alimony and for how long. To do this they will analyze the following factors:
- The length of the marriage
- The standard of living the couple enjoyed during the marriage
- The age and health of each spouse
- Whether one spouse help contribute to the education of the other spouse or sacrificed their own career to further the other spouse’s career
- Whether one spouse dissipated assets during the marriage
- Who was at fault for the divorce and whether a spouse committed domestic abuse or another crime against the other spouse or children
Alimony is not based on a calculator in Alabama. The judges must go through an in-depth analysis of all aspects of the couple’s financial situations. It is important to understand how these decisions are made to help ensure people both pay and receive what they deserve.