What factors can be used to determine the amount of alimony?

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Jan 28, 2009

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Some of the factors (which vary from state to state) used to determine the amount of alimony to be paid by one spouse to the other include:

the ability to maintain the standard of living established during the marriage, considering the respective earning capacities of the spouses

the marketable skills of the supported spouse, the job market for those skills, the education or training needed to develop marketable skills, and the need for retraining or education to acquire other, more marketable skills or employment

the impairment of present or future earning capacity due to periods of unemployment during the marriage devoted to domestic duties

the contribution of the supported spouse to enable the other spouse to the attain education, training, a career or a professional license

the ability of the payer to make support payments taking into account his/her earning capacity, earned and unearned income, assets, and standard of living

the needs of each spouse based on the standard of living established during the marriage

the obligations and assets of each spouse

the duration of the marriage

the ability of the supported spouse to be employed without unduly interfering with child care responsibilities

the age and health of the respective spouses

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