Alimony

In both contested and uncontested divorce actions, alimony is frequently an issue that must be resolved. First, in “uncontested divorce” actions, if both parties don’t agree as to whether alimony should or should not be awarded, then the divorce action is not truly “uncontested”.

There is no set equation to determine how much, if any, alimony should be awarded. In fact, in one divorce action years ago, the judge indicated that he didn’t believe in awarding alimony if the party seeking alimony is in good health and able to work. In that divorce action, the Wife was a career student. She only worked sporadically during the marriage. The judge refused to award her any alimony.

The Court will make a ruling on alimony on a case-by-case basis. In a situation where there has been, for example, adultery, a judge may award alimony to the harmed spouse (in addition to granting custody, attorneys fees, etc.). Some judges view adultery more seriously than others. One Superior Court judge takes the view that if there has been adultery in the marriage, he awards the harmed spouse 75% of the assets, as well as, alimony.

Majority of alimony is awarded on a temporary basis, depending upon the income of the parties, the length of the marriage, and possible relocation expenses which would enable one spouse to establish a new household. Alimony may also be awarded to allow the spouse to maintain her or his lifestyle as accustomed to during the marriage.