Alimony Appeal In Arkansas

Under proper circumstances a court may impute an income to a spouse according to what could be earned by the use of his or her best efforts to gain employment suitable to his or her capabilities. Grady v. Grady, 295 Ark. 94, 747 S.W.2d 77 (1988). The ability of one party to pay and the need of the other party are primary factors to be considered in awarding alimony. Burns v. Burns, 312 Ark. 61, 847 S.W.2d 23 (1993). To balance these primary factors, a chancery court should consider certain secondary factors, including the financial circumstances of both parties; the amount and nature of the income, both current and anticipated, of both parties; the extent and nature of the resources and assets of each of the parties; and the earning ability and capacity of both parties. Schumacher v. Schumacher, 66 Ark. App. 9, 986 S.W.2d 883 (1999). An award of alimony is not mandatory but is solely within the chancellor's discretion, and such an award will not be reversed absent an abuse of that discretion. Barker v. Barker, 66 Ark. App. 187, 992 S.W.2d 136 (1999). If alimony is awarded, it should be set at an amount that is reasonable under the circumstances. Id. the purpose of alimony is to rectify, insofar as is reasonably possible, the frequent economic imbalance in the earning power and standard of living of the divorced husband and wife. Mitchell v. Mitchell, 61 Ark. App. 88, 964 S.W.2d 411 (1998).