How many years doyou have to be married in order to receive alimony?

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How many years doyou have to be married in order to receive alimony?

In AL.

Asked on May 17, 2011 under Family Law, Alabama

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

There is no set formula to calculate the amount of alimony (or spousal support) in AL.  An award of alimony is completely discretionary and is only awarded on a showing of need by one spouse together with the ability to pay by the other spouse.

The factors a judge will  consider in determining whether or not to award alimony are:

  • The length of the marriage;
  • Each party’s respective earning ability and future earning prospects;
  • The ages and health of the parties;
  • The value and type of property;
  • The conduct of the parties (misconduct by either party can be considered in determining whether to award alimony);
  • Any other factors the court determines relevant.

Note:  Alimony is rarely awarded in marriages of less than 12 years and is generally reserved for situations where one spouse has been economically dependent upon the other for most of a long term marriage.  Additionally, in order for the trial court to include retirement benefits as part of a divorce settlement, the parties must have have been married at least 10 years during which time the retirement was being accumulated.


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