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Alimony: Getting the award right for divorcing couples

Alimony may be a point of contention in your divorce, or you may have decided as a couple that either you or your spouse deserves it. Alimony comes in many forms, so it's important to seek out and have awarded the correct type for your situation.

Some types of alimony include durational, permanent, rehabilitative and bridge-the-gap. These may be awarded individually or in combination. When determining how much a spouse should receive in alimony, the court looks at a number of factors such as how long your marriage lasted and the age and physical condition of each person.

Your earning capacities will also be considered alongside your financial resources. For example, if spouse A earns $100,000 and spouse B earns $30,000 and has access to an inheritance of $50,000, the court may take this into consideration when determining if the spouse should receive spousal support.

Another thing the court looks at are the liabilities each person has. If spouse A earns $25,000 and has $1,000 in bills each month, he or she would be disadvantaged compared to spouse B who earns $100,000 and has $2,500 in bills monthly. This kind of situation can persuade the court toward awarding alimony for the lower earner.

Before you accept alimony, you should be aware that there are tax implications. The same is true if you have to pay alimony to your spouse. Your attorney can help you better understand exactly how your taxes will be affected for the duration of the alimony award. Our website has more on how alimony may affect you in the future.

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