If, after separation, one party's standard of living is significantly lower than during the marriage, the Court may order that alimony be paid so that he or she can continue to enjoy the same standard of living as while married.
In addition, if both child support and alimony payments are ordered, a deduction will be made from the gross income used in the second support calculation to reflect the amount of maintenance already scheduled to be paid.
When the judge needs to calculate the rate of alimony payments, he or she considers the length of the marriage, as well as how likely it is that the spouse receiving the payments will be able to become self-supporting.
If you have children or if alimony is an issue, either your attorney or your spouse's attorney will probably file an Order to Show Cause requesting that the court make decisions regarding custody and child support.
When deciding whether to grant alimony, judges consider the alimony requirements in their area as well as both spouses' present and future earning abilities, length of marriage, health, age and overall conduct.