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Randy Jackson's Wife Files for Divorce: Report

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By Daniel Taylor, Esq. on September 26, 2014 4:48 PM

Former "American Idol" judge Randy Jackson may soon be dealing with a judge of his own. Jackson's wife of 18 years Erika Jackson has filed for divorce, citing irreconcilable differences, reports TMZ.

In addition to custody of their remaining minor child, 17-year-old Jordan Jackson, Erika also reportedly wants spousal support.

How does a judge typically determine whether a spouse should be awarded alimony?

Alimony May Be Awarded at Judge's Discretion

Unlike child support, which is often awarded according to a set formula or along specific guidelines, spousal support, commonly known as alimony, may be awarded based on a number of factors within the court's discretion, depending on the laws in your state.

Among the factors usually considered by family law judges in the factoring of spousal support are:

  • The age of the spouses;
  • The physical, emotional, and financial state of the spouses;
  • The ability of the other spouse to pay support;
  • The standard of living during the marriage; and
  • The length of the marriage.

After weighing these factors, a judge may choose not to award alimony to either spouse. In addition, in a limited number of states, a pre-nuptial agreement may waive or limit a spouse's right to alimony, although in many states this is prohibited.

Types of Alimony

There are also several different types of alimony that may be awarded in a divorce. These include:

  • Temporary alimony. Alimony paid while a couple is separated but not yet divorced, usually to help defray costs and expenses associated with divorce proceedings.
  • Permanent alimony. The most typical form of spousal support, in which one spouse makes on a recurring basis to the other spouse for an indefinite period of time.
  • Rehabilitative alimony. Alimony paid to a spouse for a fixed period to provide support while job searching or receiving employment training.
  • Reimbursement alimony. Alimony designed to reimburse a spouse for money provided for education or training received by the other spouse during the marriage.
  • Lump-sum alimony. A one-time payment usually made to a spouse who does not want any of the property from the marriage.

For more helpful information on alimony, checkout FindLaw's free Guide to Spousal Support.

As for Randy Jackson's divorce, Ericka reportedly filed the initial paperwork Friday in Los Angeles. Once Randy is properly served with those court documents, California law gives him 30 days to file a response.

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