A court determining property division and alimony is required to look at certain factors. What are known as the Ferguson factors related to property division include how much each party substantially contributed to accumulating property, the degree to which each spouse has disposed of marital assets, the market value of the assets, the value of the assets minus equitable factors, tax and other economic consequences, the extent to which property division can be used to eliminate sources of friction, the needs of the parties to achieve financial security, and any other factors that should be considered to make an equitable division.
The Armstrong factors to be considered in connection with an alimony award are the spouses’ income and expenses, the parties’ earning ability, the parties’ needs, the parties’ obligations and assets, how long the marriage was, the presence of minors, the parties’ age, their standard of living during the marriage and when support was being determined, tax consequences, spousal fault or misconduct, the waste of assets, and any other factor considered just and equitable to set alimony.
In a recent appeal, a woman sued for divorce, and the couple agreed that it was on the basis of irreconcilable differences. A chancellor had to decide issues of alimony, equitable distribution, and attorneys’ fees. A judgment of divorce was executed, in which the divorce was granted and the marital assets were divided. The wife was awarded $1,360 on a monthly basis from the husband’s retirement account, with this payment to be made for 12 years. The wife appealed on the grounds that no specific findings were made and that the chancellor had failed to make specific findings about alimony.