Money can be at the center of any divorce, regardless of the spouses’ economic statuses. However, when there is a lot of money and a sizable estate involved, financial fights can be especially contentious.

Alimony is one specific matter that many affluent couples argue about during a divorce. If you anticipate alimony being an issue in your divorce, then it can be helpful to understand what the laws say about this form of post-marital support and what you could expect if you or your soon-to-be ex requests alimony.

Factors that will affect alimony awards

There are at least nine factors that courts can consider when determining whether to award or deny alimony requests. A complete list can be found here, but generally speaking, they will look at:

  • How long you were married
  • Your standard of living during the marriage
  • Your income and your ex’s income
  • The length of time and amount of resources it would take for a non-working spouse to become employable
  • Contributions you both made to the marriage (financial and otherwise)
  • Your child custody arrangement and parenting responsibilities
  • Individual financial resources and obligations

Based on these and other factors, the court will decide whether to award alimony. If a petition for support is successful, the court will also determine the amount and duration of the alimony.

Do we have to go through the courts?

While the courts will ultimately sign off on divorce-related matters like alimony, divorcing parties can reach their own agreement on support. You can do this before your wedding with a valid prenuptial agreement, or you can resolve the issue yourselves in mediation.

Having legal guidance

Whether you are the person seeking alimony or the party who may have to pay support, it is crucial to understand your rights regarding spousal support. There could be a lot of money on the line, not to mention years of a financial obligation tying you to an ex. As such, working with an attorney to examine your options can be critical.