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Discretion of the court refers to a judge's choice in a matter to decide based upon a consideration of all factors involved, as opposed to have to decide based upon a predefined legal guideline or rule. For example, a judge may have the power to award discretionary alimony based upon a consideration of all factors in a marriage, or a judge may be required to follow non-discretionary guidelines for calculating alimony strictly based on the income of the spouses.
The following is an example of discretionary authority of a judge in ordering support in a divorce:
"(b) If the court determines that the use of either or both of the dates specified in division (A)(2)(a) of this section would be inequitable, the court may select dates that it considers equitable in determining marital property. If the court selects dates that it considers equitable in determining marital property, "during the marriage" means the period of time between those dates selected and specified by the court. "