How is the amount of alimony determined?

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How is the amount of alimony determined?

My husband of 15 years wants a divorce with no lawyer. He says he will pay alimony of $850 a month for 7 1/2 years. I have not worked for 8 years. He makes 85k a year. Would it be reasonable for me to ask for a higher amount? Is the amount based on a percent of his income? If so what percent. How can I determine what amount would be fair to ask for?

Asked on August 1, 2012 under Family Law, Arizona


Brad Micklin / The Micklin Law Group

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Alimony was created to assist a spouse who lost the opportunity to advance his or her career during the marriage.  The purpose of alimony is to assist that spouse in maintaining a comparable life style that he or she shared while he or she was married.  Some of the factors that a court will consider in determining whether or not to award alimony include, but are not limited to, their resepctive ability to pay, the duration of the marriage, the age and health of the parties, the standard of living during the marriage, their earning capabilities and employability and equitable distribution of the marital property. 

The question is difficult to answer without more information. However, as a rule of thumb, some practitioners take one 3rd of the difference in your income to determine annual support. For marriage of 15 years, you could expect to have alimony for anywhere between 8 years and permanently.

You should speak with an experienced attorney who is familiar with these areas of law.

Good luck.

Brad M. Micklin, Esq.

187 Washington Ave., Suite 2F

Nutley, NJ 07110


This information is based on New Jersey law and upon the limited facts you presented. My advice may be different if I find that the facts presented are different.  Additionally, this answer does not contain any confidential information nor does it create any attorney/client relationship. 

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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