Estimating the amount of alimony one may receive depends on a number of different factors, including the ability to self-support, the ability to earn and the ability to pay, About.com notes. The length of the marriage and the standard of living enjoyed while married are also considered.
The first factor considered is the ability to pay alimony, About.com claims. The court reviews the net income and is generally concerned more about the support of the spouse than it is about voluntary debt. The ability to earn is also considered, not necessarily the amount currently earned but the potential for a person to earn.
The ability to self-support is another important factor the court considers when determining alimony, meaning what skills a spouse has that she can market and work outside the home, About.com explains. This is not the same as someone who has skills and refuses to find work. In those situations the court generally limits the length and amount of alimony. The standard of living is another factor considered when determining alimony, and the courts try to maintain that standard. Courts may also consider how long the parties were married, and courts may not award alimony to those were not married a significant length of time or couples who did not have children.