For people in Oklahoma who are approaching or going through a divorce, it might be helpful to know what judges are likely to consider when making alimony or spousal support determinations. Judges are given a lot of leeway regarding what they might consider and their decisions are heavily depending on the facts of a particular case, but some general guidelines may be useful. The court will typically take into account all types of income or compensation from work as well as any other income.

Courts might consider each spouse’s salary, employment perks, deferred compensation, bonuses, distributions from partnerships, retirement contributions or carried interest. Typically, the first place a judge will look is the person’s most recent federal tax return, but he or she has the power to investigate more deeply. The court might look into income that hasn’t been reported or investigate means that seem to exist beyond the person’s tax return.

The court also has the power to impute income to the supporting spouse. In a case where the judge determines that a person’s income does not reflect what he or she could be earning. The timing of a divorce can make a difference for spouses who anticipate earning more during the upcoming year. If divorce is likely, it may make sense to pursue it sooner rather than later for some people.

Those who have questions about spousal support payments or other divorce issues might want to schedule a consultation with an attorney. An attorney with experience practicing divorce law might be able to help by negotiating the terms of property division with the other spouse or by drafting and filing the documents necessary to begin divorce proceedings. A Tulsa, Oklahoma, alimony attorney may be able to help the client in preparing for divorce or assist in identifying the assets of the spouses.