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How Much to Pay Your
Spouse in a Divorce

How much you pay your spouse is determined through alimony proceedings. Alimony, also known as spousal support or maintenance, is when one party pays the other to help them maintain a good standard of living after the marriage. Alimony can come during the divorce proceedings or after it.

When it comes to paying your spouse in or after a divorce, these payments are called alimony. The best way to understand how much you will pay in alimony is to use an alimony calculator. Some people also consider property division a form of paying your spouse, but that is different than alimony.

How Much to Pay in Alimony

Even in just financial terms, a divorce can be messy. One way to make your case a bit less messy and to get greater clarity is to use an alimony calculator. Our calculator takes into account different ways to calculate alimony because different states use different methods to calculate alimony.

Different statues use different methods because many states don’t outline how to do it in their laws and statutes that cover family law. This leads to no clear answer on how much to pay your spouse in a divorce.

How an Attorney Can Help

Having an experienced attorney is one of the best methods to ensure that alimony is fair in your case. Whether it’s to make sure you get enough or that you don’t pay to much, an experienced attorney will know how the judge is likely to rule in these situations.

In fact, an attorney can work with the other party to get them to agree to an order without the judge having to order it. An attorney has a better chance of getting an agreement because they don’t have the previous relationship with the other party.

If getting an agreement on alimony doesn’t happen and the case goes to trial, then the outcome is much less certain. Judges have a lot of discretion due to the lack of clear laws in many states. Having an attorney will then ensure that your arguments are tailed to the judge and to what the other party says.

WI - Calculate alimony in Wisconsin:

IL - Calculate alimony in Illinois:

How Much to Pay in Property Division

Property division doesn’t really count as paying your spouse because they technically own the property as well. Depending on how your state makes property division decisions, either assets are split based on who deserves what or simple 50/50 down the middle. For more information on this, read our property division in divorce articles.

Though you aren't really paying your spouse in property division, you are dividing any marital assets. Marital assets are assets gain during the marriage that are a part of the marital estate. Marital assets could be anything from a home to a business or simply the living room furniture. 

WI - Understand property division in Wisconsin:

IL - Understand property division in Illinois:

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have to support my spouse after divorce?

You may have to pay spousal support to your spouse after a divorce. You only have to pay alimony if you agree to do so or if the court orders you to. To figure out how much you would pay, you can use our alimony calculator.

Do I have to pay my wife during separation?

You may have to pay your spouse temporary alimony during the divorce. If you are separated from your spouse before the divorce has begun, you don’t legally have to pay them during that time. However, it may be in your best interest to pay them so that the other party is still able to buy food and pay for bills.

How much does each person get in divorce?

As far as property division goes, each party usually gets half of the assets. This is normal, but it is hard to split things perfectly. And depending on the specific laws in your state, the normal may not be to split things in half.

What happens in divorce when a woman makes more money?

If one party makes more money, no matter who it is, they may have to pay the other party alimony. Or if the parties make similar amounts of money, it is less likely that either will end up paying alimony.

Who pays alimony in a divorce?

Usually, the person who makes more money pays alimony. Alimony is not ordered in the majority of cases though.

How long after a divorce can you ask for alimony?

Generally, once a divorce ends, you cannot ask for alimony. In your final agreement, you agree to not take alimony and not ask for it in the future. You can only ask for the agreement to change if it turns out the other party was hiding money or assets.

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