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Legal Information: District of Columbia

Divorce

Updated: 
April 5, 2019

Can I get alimony?

Alimony is financial support paid by one spouse to another and can be awarded when a divorce, legal separation, or termination of a domestic partnership is granted.1 If you request alimony and the judge decides to award it in your case, the order can be for either an indefinite period of time, or s/he can order a time-limited award.2

If the judge decides to grant you alimony, the judge will consider certain factors to determine a fair amount to award. These factors include, but are not limited to:

  • your ability to support yourself;
  • how long it will take you to gain enough education or training so you can find suitable employment;
  • the standard of living that was established during the marriage/domestic partnership, while also taking into consideration that there will now be two households to financially support;
  • the length of the marriage/domestic partnership;
  • the circumstances that led to the end of the marriage/domestic partnership;
  • the age of you and your spouse;
  • the physical and mental health of you and your spouse;
  • the ability of your spouse to support himself/herself while also supporting you;
  • the financial needs and resources of you and your spouse, such as:
    • income (including income from assets, property from the marriage/domestic partnership and individual property);
    • potential income from assets;
    • any previous award of child support in your case;
    • financial obligations of each spouse;
    • the right of you or your spouse to receive retirement benefits; and
    • the taxability of income.3

1 D.C. Code § 16-913(a)
2 D.C. Code § 16-913(b)
3 D.C. Code § 16-913(d)