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How is Alimony Calculated in South Carolina?

In any divorce case, one of the most common questions our team gets is, “How is alimony calculated?” Well, before answering that question, let’s first define exactly what alimony is.

What is Alimony?

​​Alimony is a court-ordered payment from one spouse to the other during and after a divorce. In South Carolina, the court has the discretion to make an appropriate alimony order when a spouse requests alimony.

State law provides for the following types of alimony: Alimony pendente lite, Periodic alimony, Lump-sum alimony, Rehabilitative alimony, Reimbursement alimony, and Separate maintenance.

How is Alimony Calculated?

In South Carolina there is actually no mathematical equation that judges use to calculate alimony. This of course is different from child support, in which there are formal guidelines by which they calculate the sum. However, while alimony is more broadly determined, the law does set forth a series of factors that the court considers.

Factors for Calculating Alimony in South Carolina

While there is no official calculator there are still ways judges go about deciding the amount, type, and duration of alimony. It is generally based on the consideration of a multitude of factors including but not limited to the following:

  • The age of each spouse
  • Time of marriage and time of divorce
  • Physical and emotional condition of both spouses
  • Educational background of each spouse
  • Employment history of each spouse
  • Both current and anticipated earnings of both spouses
  • The current and anticipated expenses and needs of each spouse

Of course, each case is unique so how the factors are weighed is going to vary. Ultimately, it always comes down to a need vs. ability to pay analysis, with the main two factors considered by the court being: the party’s disparity in income and the length of the marriage.

Are you going through a divorce and curious to learn more? Reach out today for more information on your situation. With in-depth analysis of the relevant factors, we can get a much better idea as to how a judge would go about calculating the alimony in your case.

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