How Is Alimony Calculated in Arkansas?

By Heather Frances J.D.

Arkansas courts award alimony, also called spousal support, during a divorce case if the court deems that alimony is appropriate. Not every case qualifies for alimony. Ultimately, the court determines the amount of alimony awarded as well as the length of payment. An Arkansas judge bases his determination on several factors.

Types of Alimony

Arkansas awards three types of alimony: temporary, short-term, or permanent. Similar to other temporary orders, temporary alimony is an award that covers the period between when you file for divorce and when the divorce decree is issued. Short-term alimony is awarded for a defined period of time to allow you to get on your feet. If you are awarded permanent alimony, it automatically terminates if you remarry or enter into a situation that the court considers as equivalent to remarriage, unless the divorce order indicates otherwise.

Award and Amount

Arkansas courts determine whether you should receive alimony based on the need of the requesting party and the other party's ability to pay. Unlike child support, alimony awards are not based on a set of calculations or guidelines, so there is no way to predict how the judge will calculate your alimony. Rather, the judge will look at your assets, your spouse’s assets, your ability to support yourself, your living situation during your marriage and anything else the court deems just.

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Length of Alimony

Arkansas courts may award alimony for short or long periods of time, depending on what the court feels is just under the circumstances. Your situation may require only a brief period of alimony to cover your expenses while you get set up in a new location, or longer if you need to attend school and then find a job to support yourself.

Modification

The court can modify an alimony award at any time. Either you or your ex-spouse can petition the court for a modification if there is a change of circumstance since the award was issued. The petitioning spouse must then serve the petition on the other spouse. The court will then determine if a modification is appropriate and the terms of any new support order. For example, if the alimony payment was based on your inability to support yourself sufficiently, but you then secure a high-paying job, your ex-spouse might seek a modification.

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Minnesota Spousal Maintenance Laws

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Kentucky Divorce Maintenance Guidelines

When you file for divorce in Kentucky, you can also ask the court for maintenance, known as spousal support or alimony in other states. Maintenance may be awarded both during the divorce process and after the final divorce decree is issued. You will only be entitled to maintenance if you are unable to meet your reasonable needs or support yourself. The amount and duration of the maintenance award is at the court's discretion.

Divorce Laws on Alimony in the State of Maine

If your marriage ends, you may ask the court for alimony, or spousal support, as part of your Maine divorce decree, but alimony is not automatically awarded. Unlike child support, there is no calculation method for alimony. So, your divorce judge has wide discretion when deciding whether to award alimony and, if so, how much to award.

How to Modify a Divorce Decree in the State of Mississippi

Once your divorce decree is signed, your divorce case is complete, but you and your ex-spouse may later find it necessary to make changes to your decree. In Mississippi, your divorce decree can be modified by the court at your request, but only if there is a change in circumstances that the court agrees warrants a modification.

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