The purpose of alimony is to avoid any unfair economic consequences of a Divorce, even after property is divided and Child Support, if any, is awarded. Courts set few specific guidelines to attaining this broad goal: instead of telling judges how and when to award alimony, most courts simply grant them broad discretion to decide what is fair in each case.For example, suppose two individuals who married in 1985 agree in 1995 to divorce. At the time of the divorce, the husband earns $63,000 a year, after seven years at a large company where the top pay for his specialty is $80,000. When the couple married, he was in graduate school and the wife was earning $22,000. The wife worked for three more years, supporting the husband while he completed his coursework and graduated.