You may know about spousal maintenance, spousal support, or alimony, as referring to money that one party receives from the other after the dissolution of a marriage. The purpose of this financial support is to “correct the disproportional result created by the divorce for the supported spouse who has fewer financial resources.”
The factors that determine spousal support take into consideration the financial situation of the marriage and the responsibilities or roles of both parents during the marriage as well as how both parties will be affected financially after the divorce. But it’s important to know that there are different types of spousal support applicable to different situations for various purposes.
Temporary spousal support refers to payments that are made for only a specific amount of time. It can be awarded to the dependent spouse during separation, during the divorce proceedings so that they are able to maintain the lifestyle to which they are accustomed. Or if the divorce causes one party hardship, temporary spousal support may be awarded until they can recover financially.
Rehabilitative spousal support is also temporary. The payments are awarded to the dependent spouse for the purpose of gaining education or job training that would prepare them to enter the work force and become financially independent. Rehabilitative support may also be given to the stay-at-home spouse who is taking care of young children until they reach school age.
Permanent or indefinite spousal support is paid until the death of the payor, the death of the recipient, or until the recipient remarries. And sometimes may even continue after the recipient remarries. Permanent support may also be awarded to a spouse who is unable to work due to a disability. If there is a change in financial circumstances for either party, such as job loss, injury or remarriage, it is possible to modify the spousal support agreement.
This is generally a fixed-sum buyout of all the alimony that will be paid, without the continuing obligation of making payments. In the instance of a high conflict divorce, the parties will be able to cut ties sooner. But this arrangement cannot be modified later.
Be informed about the types of spousal maintenance and how it may apply to your situation. Learn more about spousal support here.