Divorce Laws Are Different in Every State; For Example, Take These Representative Alimony Awards

One of the hazards in our mobile society is far flung contacts comparing notes on their divorces and child custody cases.

I’m admitted to practice law in New York, New Jersey and Florida, and I have actually practiced law in all three states.

The laws are different in New York, New Jersey and Florida.

Three identical families in Fort Lauderdale, Brooklyn and Trenton with identical incomes and circumstances and histories will probably have different family court awards of spousal support (alimony) and child support, as well as property division and child custody and other child-related matters. I know this from experience.

I was pretty confident divorce court awards would also vary widely among the other forty-seven states. And I haven’t been disappointed.

The New York Times recently published a more scientific comparative study of broad spending patterns in eighteen major metropolitan areas across the United States. All of the results are really quite interesting.

But as far as the divorce realm goes in particular, alimony and spousal support really can vary quite dramatically, and surprisingly. A few interesting statistics.

Alimony payments in the following metropolitan areas relate to the national average

as follows:

Metro Area Percentage Relative to National Average

Philadelphia 160%

Minneapolis 200%

San Francisco 250%

Boston 330%

Clearly, this is not merely a “cost of living” adjustment.


  1. this New York Times article: How Your City Influences Your Spending
  2. this New York Times article: What People Buy Where
  3. this Curbed Los Angeles article: Los Angeles Spends Way More Than Everyone Else on Motorcycles and Funerals