How Much Alimony will a Court Order?

How Much Alimony will a Court Order?

How much alimony will a court order? The amount of alimony is completely within the Judge’s discretion.  There is a law in Massachusetts, however, that provides some guidelines to assist the Judge in determining what is reasonable.

The law dictates that the Judge has to consider the following factors when determining whether alimony is appropriate and how much should be ordered:

  1. the length of the marriage;
  2. the ages of the parties;
  3. the health of the parties;
  4. income, employment and employability of both parties;
  5. economic and non-economic contribution of both parties to the marriage;
  6. marital lifestyle;
  7. ability of each party to maintain the marital lifestyle;
  8. lost economic opportunity as a result of the marriage; and
  9. any other facts the Judge considered relevant and material.

Once the Judge determines that alimony is appropriate, the law indicates that except for reimbursement type of alimony, the amount of alimony should generally not excess either the recipient’s need, or 30 to 35 per cent of the difference between the two parties’ gross incomes.  In order words, if the Court determines that a spouse making $25,000 per year needs alimony, and the other spouse makes $100,000 per year and can pay alimony – then the alimony amount should not exceed 30-35% of $75,000 (which is the difference between the parties’ incomes); this would result in an alimony award of between $22,500 to $26,250 per year.

If you are considering filing for divorce, or for alimony, please contact Johnson, Sclafani & Moriarty for a free consultation to discuss your options.