What Types of Alimony are Available to ex-spouses?

On behalf of The Law Offices of Cindy D. Sackrin posted in Divorce on Friday, October 30, 2015.

The topic of alimony is frequently in the news and seems to be a common topic of conversation. This may lead to questions about what types of alimony may be available through the divorce process. Several factors contribute to an alimony award; among the factors that help determine alimony include the length of the marriage, the ability of one spouse to pay alimony, the earning potential of the other spouse, and a host of additional factors. In general, there are several different alimony types.

The type of alimony that may be granted can depend on the financial situation and circumstances of the divorcing couple. One type of spousal support is referred to as temporary spousal support, which may be awarded on a temporary basis while the parties are separated but not yet divorced. Another type of spousal support that may be awarded for a short period of time is rehabilitative spousal support. Rehabilitative spousal support is intended to allow one of the spouses a period of time during which they receive financial support in order to pursue job training, job experience, or education. It may also be awarded in some other types of circumstances such as while a mother remains at home to raise young children.

Another type of spousal support is permanent spousal support, which only ends when the paying spouse dies, the recipient spouse dies, or the recipient spouse remarries. The final type of spousal support is reimbursement spousal support, which may be awarded to reimburse one spouse for contributions to the other, such as if one spouse supported the other while the other spouse was obtaining an education.

State-specific alimony laws can differ and are subject to change, so it is important to be familiar with the most up-to-date laws in your state. In addition, alimony can quickly become a complex subject during the divorce process and is an important divorce-related concern because it can impact the parties for years to come. Because of the significant nature of alimony to both parties, it is important to be as familiar with it as possible during the divorce process. This may mean discussing an individual's specific circumstances with a qualified attorney.

Source:, "The FindLaw Guide to Spousal Support," accessed Oct. 24, 2015

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