When is Alimony Awarded in Washington, D.C. Divorce?
A simple guide to factors that judges consider when deciding whether to award alimony in D.C. divorce cases.
Alimony Can be Awarded When its "Just and Proper"When two people contemplate divorce, one question that frequently emerges is whether there will be an alimony award. Alimony, or spousal support is a payment that that one party makes to his or her former spouse after divorce in order to supplement the former spouse's income. Alimony awards can be indefinite in duration or term-limited. When one party petitions the court for alimony, the court may order the payment if the the judge deems it "just and proper." In every case, the decision to award alimony is within the judge's discretion.
Factors that Judges Consider in Deciding Whether to Award AlimonyAlthough judges in Washington, D.C. have a great deal of discretion in deciding whether or not to award alimony in any particular case, there are several factors that the judge must consider in making his or her alimony decision. These factors include: (1) the ability of the party seeking alimony to be wholly or partly self-supporting; (2) the time necessary for the party seeking alimony to gain sufficient education or training to enable that party to secure suitable employment; (3) the standard of living that the parties established during their marriage, but giving consideration to the fact that there will be two households to maintain; (4) the duration of the marriage; (5) the circumstances which contributed to the estrangement of the parties; (6) the age of each party; (7) the physical and mental condition of each party; (8) the ability of the party from whom alimony is sought to meet his or her needs while meeting the needs of the other party; and (9) the financial needs and financial resources of each party.