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Will the length of my marriage affect my alimony award?

| Mar 2, 2021 | Divorce

Often, when a couple divorces, one of the parties ends up having to support themselves with significantly less earning power than their ex-spouse. If you are contemplating divorce, you may have wondered about the amount of alimony the court might award you. Maybe you have less education, or fewer years in the workforce than your ex-spouse. If so, you might be depending on an alimony award to see you through until you can get back on your feet and become self-sufficient again.

In Arkansas, the length of your marriage is one of the many factors that a court takes into consideration when deciding how much your ex-spouse will have to pay you in alimony, and for how long.

Some of the factors the courts consider when awarding alimony

Arkansas courts don’t apply mathematical formulas to calculate exactly how much alimony one party will owe the other in a divorce. Instead, they take divorces on a case by case basis, and decide an equitable outcome that will be fair to both spouses.

This means that the courts look at all of the circumstances together, including how much each party can earn, and how much each party needs to continue living as comfortably as they were when they were married.

In general, the longer your marriage was, the more alimony you could receive, and the longer the court will require your ex-spouse to pay. This rule isn’t set in stone, however. Many factors could come into play which could reduce or even eliminate your alimony award.

For example, if you have a high paying job, little to no debt and other assets, the court could decide that making your ex-spouse pay higher alimony payments would be unjust.

Arkansas Family Law grants your ex-spouse the opportunity to ask the court to review the amount of alimony the court requires them to pay if there is a significant change in circumstances. Your alimony could also be cut short if you get married or enter into a long-term relationship. This means that, even if you do get a certain amount awarded in alimony, that amount could change in the future even before the alimony award is set to end.

If you are contemplating divorce, and are unsure whether the court is likely to award you alimony, it’s a good idea to consult an experienced divorce attorney. They won’t be able to guarantee an alimony award, but they could give you an idea of the circumstances in your particular case that might make an alimony award more likely.

 

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