Unlike child support, in the jurisdictions, judges enjoy latitude in determining and modifying alimony.
In some states courts consider fault or the grounds for divorce in determining alimony, but most states do not.
In determining the amount and duration of alimony, judges consider the length of the marriage, the age of each spouse, their heath, the standard of living during the marriage, the assets and debts brought to the marriage by each spouse. Courts award spousal support when one of spouses needs financial help and the other can pay it.
In determining alimony, the court applies the guidelines to particularly individuals in unique situations. For example, the courts considers the need an older spouse with a disability might have for support in a different way from a 28 year-old–man in good health with many years of potential work ahead of them.