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How will I know if I can receive alimony?Well, it depends. Unfortunately, that is a question we cannot answer with certainty because that is a decision solely in the hands of the judge. Of all the questions you will ask us at Just Law, questions regarding alimony are the hardest to answer because there is no standard formula that a Judge follows. An award of alimony is not an exact science and depends largely on the circumstances of the case because the judge has a tremendous amount of discretion in making his discretion. But, based on our experience, if we feel there's a chance you should be receiving alimony, we will certainly include that in your requests.
What does the court use to determine alimony?The judge weighs a number of factors to determine alimony, but there are primarily four for his consideration. First, the judge considers the need of the potential recipient along with the ability of the payer to make the alimony payments. The judge will also consider the length of the marriage, the disparity of income between the parties, and finally, the receiving party's contributions to the relationship and/or family during the marriage. Typically, alimony is awarded to parties from longer marriages, but that is not always the case. The more of these factors that can weigh in your benefit, the more likely it is that you will receive alimony. But remember, there is no established rule that says for certain if you will receive alimony.
What is the difference between short term and long term alimony?Short term alimony is generally ordered at a Temporary Orders hearing or agreed upon in a mediation. This type of alimony is meant to cover the need of one party during the pending litigation. It is primarily based on one party's short term needs and the other's ability to pay that financial need. Long term alimony is what will go into effect at the conclusion of your case if there is an alimony part to your final order. It is more complicated and depends not only on those factors but also on the length of marriage and contribution to the marriage and future ability to earn.
If I am awarded alimony, how long will I receive it?Sorry, but that depends as well. A general rule is that you will receive alimony for about ½ the term of your marriage although in some cases it will be more or less. However, it is important to know that if you are awarded alimony from an ex-spouse, the former spouse's obligation to pay ends if you re-marry or are co-habitating with a member of the opposite sex. The amount that you receive may change in the future if either of the party's financial conditions approves.