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Do courts have discretion when determining alimony awards?

When thinking about what it takes to make a marriage and build a life together, a lot goes into this process. Of course, a person’s love and attention to their spouse and other family members. There is the financial aspect, where two people build their lives together. And then their are other aspects, managing personal growth among the marriage and those responsibilities.

It is difficult to see a marriage through with all of the expectations and obligations that are on people these days. With that being said, divorce is a common experience for Charlotte residents today. With a divorce, especially for marriages of many years or even decades, alimony is a factor that will affect the divorce decree. Alimony, also known as spousal support, is court-ordered financial support paid from one ex-spouse to the other based on financial imbalances.

These financial imbalances are not coincidental. Generally, one spouse will give up personal and career achievements in order to further the financial achievements of the spouse while rearing children and keeping a home. In the past, this was almost always the woman who gave up these things, but with things changing in the workforce and in the average American home, it is becoming more and more prevalent for men to be the homemaker and the woman the ‘bread-winner’ so to speak.

It goes to show that either partner in a dissolving marriage could be either a giver or a recipient of alimony. Alimony can be awarded in the short or long term and can be for any amount. The amount determined in an alimony arrangement is completely customized to a divorcing couple’s situation financially and personally. Courts do have discretion in awarding these valuations.

Source: FindLaw, “Spousal Support (Alimony) Basics,” accessed Dec. 11, 2017