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Even when your marriage is coming to an end, your obligations toward your spouse don’t necessarily end too. In the case that one spouse is better off in terms of their financial standing than the other, the less well-off spouse may receive spousal support, also known as alimony. The purpose of alimony is to help the spouse establish a new and stable life after the divorce on their own. It should be addressed that spousal support is only for people who were legally married, and the process and regulations may vary from one state to another.

Factors that will be taken into account by the court may include the duration of the marriage, an individual’s earning capacity, and his or her contribution to the household, as well as their overall physical health. The court will make a decision regarding the total of money and the duration of assistance based on the circumstances of each spouse. Spousal support could be paid once in a large sum, on a temporary basis, or even on a permanent basis. The court’s decision will vary from one case to another.


There are different types of spousal support that may or may not apply to your case. Here are some of them:

Rehabilitative Alimony

One type of alimony is rehabilitative alimony, which is provided for the recipient to use the funds for any education necessary for them to become more financially independent. This type of alimony is also beneficial for the stay-at-home parent who needs to fund to take care of the children. Rehabilitative support usually has a time-frame set up, but it can be reviewed at the end of the term, given that it is specified in the initial agreement. Although a spouse has the right to refuse further payment, the court still has the power to go against their wishes. This is mostly due to the recipient’s undeniable struggles such as illness or disabilities.

Lump-sum Alimony

Another type of alimony is lump-sum spousal support which is often granted in place of a property settlement. This is a fixed amount of money that is paid without taking any of the recipient’s situation into account. Lump-sum alimony is calculated from the total of future monthly payments.

Permanent Alimony

As the name suggests, the type of alimony goes on until the recipient remarries or when one of two parties dies. There are cases in some states where the court will terminate the support when the recipient is living with a new partner, in which case the third party must provide sufficient support for the recipient. This type of alimony is subjected to change if the circumstances of the recipient have changed. For example, when the recipient receives sufficient funds, whether it’s from their new monthly income or a recent inheritance, the payments of permanent alimony may be adjusted.

Reimbursement Alimony

Reimbursement alimony is ideally for a spouse that has been working hard to support the partner, such as paying for his or her education, just before the divorce. The money awarded for this kind of alimony is considered compensation or payback for the support provided during their time as a married couple. In this case, it doesn’t matter if the recipient is in need of financial support or not. They will still be rewarded for their dutiful deed during the marriage. Marital property can be rewarded as reimbursement alimony, but in most cases, reimbursement is paid in a form of financial award instead, which can either be given at once in a lump sum or over a length of time.

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