After a divorce, one spouse may ask the other for alimony, which is a court-ordered payment given after the dissolution of a marriage. Alimony works differently than child support – while child support is determined by a formula, the decision of how much alimony a husband or wife will have to pay is more subjective. Generally, the spouse with the higher salary will have to pay alimony. Usually, the payment amount is determined by the difference in the salaries and the length of the marriage. If there was a large difference in salaries, and if the couple were married for many years, their alimony payment will generally be higher.
Some other factors that will be considered when determining alimony payments are:
- The division of properties
- The health and age of both parties
- The tax consequences for both the husband and wife
- The education level of both parties when the marriage started and at the time of divorce
- The earning capacities of both spouses
- Pre-marital and post-martial agreements made by both parties
After a court decides to award alimony to one spouse, they will then decide how much alimony the party will receive each month and for how long they will receive the support. Alimony and maintenance are often ordered as a substitute for property division.
Child custody is another important factor in deciding a divorce case and can also influence the alimony decision. If child custody is one of the factors worrying you, make sure you find a lawyer specializing in child custody in Washington DC Metropolitan area including Maryland and Northern Virginia.