Understanding The Three Variations Of Alimony

When a couple makes the divorce decision, financial matters take top billing. Spouses that fail to assert their rights may end up regretting it later, and alimony (also known as spousal support) is an important form of support that should not be overlooked. Commonly, rehabilitative alimony is used for younger couples. There are at least two other variations of alimony to know about, so read on.

Rehabilitative Alimony

Sometimes a spouse needs financial support to accomplish a goal. Spouses who have opted to stay home and care for the children may need rehabilitative alimony. Some spouses never completed their education, and their earning capacity is unequal to that of their spouse. To give the needing spouse an opportunity to catch up and become self-supporting, alimony may be ordered. Rehabilitative alimony can be ordered to extend for several months or years, but often the expiration of this form of alimony is based not on a certain time but on the accomplishment of a certain goal. For example, it might be timed to suspend when the receiving spouse has completed a certain level of education or job training. It can also be ordered to support the spouse until the children are older.

Temporary Alimony

Some people confuse this form of alimony with rehabilitative alimony because of its transient nature. Temporary alimony is meant to span the period of time between the separation of the couple and the final divorce decree. Many couples don't realize that you can ask for and receive alimony before the divorce is final, but you can. The spouse that needs it must be able to show that their standard of living would be diminished greatly by losing the income of the spouse. There must be a great disparity in the income of the spouses and a good reason why the needing spouse cannot readily improve their financial situation in a timely manner. Temporary alimony orders for support can help provide needed financial help during the separation period, and those orders can be converted to permanent or rehabilitative alimony with the final decree.

Permanent Alimony

When a spouse is older or ill, permanent alimony may be ordered. While this type is seldom used for younger spouses, the earning capabilities of older spouses and any health issues may call for this permanent form of alimony. Often, this form of alimony is suspended if the receiving spouse remarries.

Learn more about alimony by speaking with your divorce lawyer as soon as you know a divorce is in your future.