Spousal support, previously called alimony, is money paid to one’s former 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 the marriage;
  3. The ability of the parties to work and their 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; and
  10. The age and educational level of the person claiming spousal support.

A judgment of divorce must 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 your judgment indicates that spousal support is non-modifiable. Spousal support is usually paid through the Friend of the Court office but may be a direct pay if the parties agree.