Getting a divorce and getting married are two life events that bring monumental shifts to your life. While you may have discussed a prenuptial agreement with your marriage, perhaps you must now bring up the subject of alimony with your soon-to-be-ex-spouse. 

Forbes explains how judges and courts decide how much a person must pay for alimony. See which aspects of your life could receive the most scrutiny. 

Potential earnings

Going beyond current earnings, judges evaluate what a person could potentially earn. For instance, maybe you earned a master’s degree from a distinguished program but currently work part-time as a food delivery driver. A court could base your alimony on your potential earnings rather than your current earnings. If you had a senior level position years ago, your old salary could become the basis for your payment rather than your current salary. 

Income

Any money you earn from employment or passive income affects alimony. That includes investment dividends, carried interest, partnership distributions and performance bonuses. 

Taxes

Expect the court to examine your most recent federal tax return. Further, a judge may investigate money that you did not claim or report on your taxes. You want your annual tax return to reflect your current lifestyle accurately. 

Family contributions

Does your family regularly provide you with financial assistance? If so, a court could impute any monetary contribution you receive as part of your alimony payment. 

Judges explore almost every corner of your financial life to calculate how much you owe your ex for a court-ordered provision. Now that you know which factors have the most impact, you can plan your finances and budget accordingly.