Calculating alimony is a complicated mixture of various considerations. Unlike child support, which has a rigid formula, there is more flexibility with calculating alimony. With that being said, there are still three main issues that a judge will look at:
- One party’s need vs the other party’s ability to pay
- Standard of Living
- Length of the marriage.
Of these factors, the length of the marriage may be the most important one. For example, a marriage that lasts at least 17 years is considered a “long-term marriage.” When a divorce involves a long-term marriage, then the judge could order the higher earning party to pay “permanent alimony” to the other party. However, if a marriage lasts under 11 years, it is considered a “short-term marriage.” Short-term marriages are much less likely to get any form of alimony, especially, “permanent alimony.”