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There is no calculation, but there are factors that a Judge looks at such as:
Whether you are the custodian of minor children under a certain age who require supervision because they cannot yet take care of themselves (Usually under 10)
Earning capacity of both parties
Standard of living which the parties enjoyed while they were married
Amount of property each gets when the marital property is distributed between them
The payor's ability to pay
Length of the marriage
It is important to note that the Family Court Judges in all 50 states have become very conservative and reluctant to award alimony. Where alimony is awarded, they expect it to be used for rehabilitative purposes; They expect the payee spouse to use the alimony for educational and rehabilitative purposes and become able to enter the working population and become financially independent.
To give you an example of how reluctant Courts have become in awarding alimony, you will rarely, if ever, see an award of alimony for a marriage lasting 10 years or less. For a marriage lasting between 11 to 15 years, alimony may be awarded for about 4 years. For a marriage which lasted 20 years, alimony may be awarded for 5 years and the Court will still expect the recipient to use the alimony to learn a skill, enter the work force and become financially self sufficient.
If you can agree with your husband and enter into an agreement with him as to an amount of alimony and the time during which it will be paid, rather than have the Court decide this issue, you will be ahead of the game, beleive me.
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ANDREA, JD, LLM
Member, NY & PA Bar