One method of compensating for economic inequality between spouses at the time of divorce is to award a sum of money, paid monthly over a varying period of time or paid in a lump sum. The criteria for awarding an allowance are comparable in all of the European countries analyzed. The end result of the generality of those criteria is that the principle and amount of the allowance rest largely on the discretion of the judge.
Given the uncertainty that this discretion entails, there have not necessarily been any scales or guidelines developed at the initiative of the authorities with the objective of assisting judges and parties in doing this assessment. However, calculation methods have arisen whose sources and rationales cover a very wide range. The article proposes to produce a review of these various methods and to consider, in the case of France, the rationales they advance.