Alimony payments are calculated by determining the expected monthly income and reasonable expenses for each spouse and the alimony payment amount that allows both spouses to maintain the lifestyle established during the marriage. When maintaining the marital lifestyle is impossible, judges divide the lifestyle reduction evenly, according to Divorce Net.
As illustrated by Divorce Net, in a case where the spouse requesting alimony presents the court with a reasonable budget for living expenses of $2,300 per month, she is granted $2,300 per month in alimony if that amount allows her to maintain the lifestyle established during the marriage and does not cause the paying spouse undue financial hardship. If the $2,300 payment causes her spouse undue financial hardship, her award is less than $2,300 per month. She is awarded more than $2,300 per month if the lifestyle established during the marriage requires higher payments and her ex-spouse can afford the higher payments without falling below the lifestyle established during the marriage.
Child support is factored into alimony payments, according to Divorce Net. For example, if a judge determines that $2,300 is an appropriate amount of spousal support and the requesting spouse also receives $1,600 in child-support payments, the judge awards her $700 per month in alimony so that the total of alimony and child support equals $2,300. In all states, either spouse can request or be required to pay alimony.