Is Marital fault considered in alimony?
Is Marital fault considered in alimony?
Deciding on child support and getting alimony can make the divorce process arduous if it isn’t well thought out and planned thoroughly.

Many couples who decide to go their separate ways by dissolving their marriage often do so because of some kind of marital misconduct that has taken place, which could be substance abuse, adultery, abandonment, or domestic violence. Regardless of the estranged relationship, a question that gets addressed is whether the spouse’s marital fault or misconduct is a factor in determining an alimony award.

There are two circumstances in which a court will make exceptions to this general rule that marital misconduct does not affect alimony. These are when marital misconduct amounts to financial misconduct, such as gambling, engaging in fraudulent financial dealings, or intentionally trying to destroy marital property. The other aspect is egregious misconduct; it would be unjust to provide alimony to a malfeasance spouse in such a case.  

Deciding on child support and getting alimony can make the divorce process arduous if it isn’t well thought out and planned thoroughly. While child support is calculated using a formula, maintenance is harder to estimate based on a variety of factors.

Does the new tax law impact you if you pay alimony?

Couples who are considering divorce, you should know that the new tax laws that came into effect in 2019 will impact your finances, directly related to divorce and alimony.  It means that there is also going to be a rise in alimony modifications. Currently, the IRS deducts the amount of money someone pays for maintenance from the amount of taxable income.  In other words, for instance, if someone is making $100,000 per year, and pays $20,000 in alimony, their taxable income is reduced to $80,000.    The possible benefits to alimony payors are twofold: first, reducing taxable income can reduce the applicable tax bracket. Second, because the alimony payments are not taxable income, the payor saves money in taxes not paid.

Typically alimony is not mentioned in prenups. However, in some states, while deciding on who gets maintenance, rights to care can be waived under the prenup agreement. When alimony is waived, a party can not seek alimony as part of settlement or judgment in a divorce.   

When do courts award rehabilitative alimony?

Understanding the intricacies behind who gets alimony, many couples find themselves deliberating when rehabilitative alimony suits the team. Courts decide to award rehabilitative alimony, which is a set amount of financial support aid for some time to make the low-earning spouse self-sufficient. Court’s attempt at balancing needs of dependent spouses who may have given up significant earning ability by leaving a career to devote more time to household work, with the fact that dependent spouses should take efforts to find employment, so they aren’t reliant on other spouses forever. 

Are courts more likely to grant child custody to mothers than fathers?

This is a very contentious question, considering the long-standing prevailing attitude that family law judges take that children should always remain with their mothers. As judges decide who will get legal custody of children, they will carefully review whether the mother or father has been each child’s primary caregiver. Does he or she tend to go to one parent more than the other for comfort? Does one parent complete most of the tasks in raising a child? Fathers who have completed a few childcare tasks should start taking on as much as possible before divorce cases reach family court.       


When couples are planning on getting divorced, they face a deluge of uncertainties. In deciding who gets alimony, a critical aspect that judges consider is the length of the marriage. The longer your wedding, the higher the amount of maintenance you have to pay under the divorce order.