When you and your spouse decide to divorce, one subject that may be contentious is how much alimony you will pay.

Hawaii in particular has strict alimony laws, which can be confusing for someone who is unaware of the way courts determine alimony.

Career factors

There are many lifestyles choices about a marriage that impact the amount of money paid, including the length of the marriage and the age of the spouses. The courts take into consideration the skills and work history of each spouse. They look at job history and the amount of time you may have not worked outside the house, especially if you were a stay-at-home parent.

All of these factors lead to a determination on what level of income is necessary, since the Hawaii divorce process looks at previous standard of living in your marriage.

At fault or not

Hawaii divorces have a no-fault process, meaning that you do not have to provide a reason why you are getting a divorce while filing for one. This also means the reason does not impact the final amount of spousal support you may pay.

Contributions by spouse

Alimony calculations look at non-monetary contributions in addition to earned income. If you were the primary caregiver for a child during the marriage, it influences the amount of money you may get. The court assumes that you could not work outside the house mainly due to the duties of childcare.

If you are still caring for a toddler or baby, you may also have to factor in custody if your child is young enough that he or she needs a parent to take full-time care of him or her. Many familial factors influence alimony, as well as career-based ones.