Let’s start by discussing some examples. For instance, a court may look to see if one person in the marriage was producing the majority of the income. This doesn’t clearly fall within one of the alimony factors, but it is something the court might consider. Another example is let’s say one person is going to be getting a large inheritance of some sort. Maybe the court wants to consider that when deciding whether somebody should be awarded alimony. Another example may be that there is some sort of fault on the part of one of the parties.
The court can generally do what they want when it comes to these alimony factors. That can become very risky when you go into court because you don’t know what a judge is going to decide or how they’re going to weigh the alimony factors. You could have two different judges that are going to completely weigh alimony factors in different ways. I’ve had some judges that say that one of the primary considerations is a person’s ability to pay. Then I have had judges that do not weigh that as much. So, it really comes down to this last factor. It’s a very important factor because it gives the family court a lot of what we call discretion. This means they have a lot of leeway as to what they may or may not do in terms of awarding some form of alimony.
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