A New York state commission on divorce policy found that fighting over alimony particularly increases the cost of the divorce.
The reason for this is that alimony awards are inconsistent and unpredictable. There is no formula like there is for child support. It is left to the discretion of the judges with a number of factors they have to consider.
The New York legislature is considering a bill that would apply a formula to alimony. The New York formula provides for alimony if there is a big discrepancy in the earnings of the two parties.
Massachusetts adopted a formula that tied the length of alimony to the length of the marriage in 2011.