Spousal support, also called alimony, is money paid to one’s spouse for his or her support. The court considers the following factors in awarding spousal support:

  1. The past relations and conduct of the parties (fault).
  2. The length of marriage.
  3. The ability of the parties to work and their respective income.
  4. The source and amount of property awarded to the parties.
  5. The ability of the parties to pay spousal support.
  6. The present situation of the parties.
  7. The needs of the parties.
  8. The health of the parties.
  9. The prior standard of living of the parties and whether either is responsible for the support of others.
  10. The age and educational level of the person claiming spousal support.

A judgment of divorce must either award spousal support, expressly reserve the question, or state that neither party is entitled to spousal support.

Spousal support may be modified on a showing of a change in circumstances that warrants modification unless the parties specifically waive modifiability.

Spousal support is usually paid through the office of the Friend of the Court. The Friend of the Court may help resolve post-judgment disputes about spousal support.