Both during the pendency of a marital dissolution and after the divorce is finalized, the issue of spousal support, also known as alimony, is crucial for both parties. The supported party is in need of counsel to advocate to obtain funds, alimony/support payments, to provide for spousal maintenance such as living expenses. The supporting party is in need of counsel who will ensure that all orders are fair and balanced. This issue can be especially complex with non-traditional sources of income or self-employment. While alimony is determined on a case-by-case basis, the court must consider a number of factors in the determination of the appropriate support amount, including but by no means limited to:
- The standard of living enjoyed by the parties during the marriage
- A change in circumstances such as income and/or earning capacity of both spouses
- The needs of the supported spouse
- Dependent spouses
- The supporting spouse’s ability to pay
- Tax considerations such as tax deductibles and taxable income
- And, if applicable, the best interest of the children which includes child support.