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Divorce Law

Types of Spousal Support in a Divorce

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By Liz B. Gatsby
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What are the different types of spousal support

Spousal support is money received from one’s former spouse upon divorce and serves to compensate for differences in incomes or support a spouse who cannot readily return to the workforce.

Spousal support comes in different forms – temporary, durational and permanent. A judge in New York may issue such orders upon finalizing divorce proceedings.

Alimony

Divorce courts often include spousal support as part of their final divorce judgment, so if your ex has not paid court-ordered alimony payments you can file legal action to enforce it.

Spousal support awards vary among states. A judge typically takes into account multiple factors when making their decision on whether and the amount of spousal support to award. Rehabilitative alimony provides funds for lower-earning spouses to enroll in education or job training courses that will enhance their employment prospects; it typically terminates after a fixed time or when their earnings become sustainable on their own.

Duration of marriage is another key consideration. Courts tend to award permanent spousal support when one partner will never attain financial independence due to an extended marriage. Permanent support typically ends upon either party remarrying or death, though courts can make changes if significant economic circumstances change significantly during that period of time.

Temporary Support

Temporary support or “maintenance” may be awarded by a judge during an ongoing divorce case, depending on which spouse needs it and their ability to pay; often this decision will use a guideline calculator as its basis, though other factors may come into play as well.

Short-term support (sometimes known as rehabilitative support) aims to assist an elderly or dependent spouse gain the skills and training they require to become self-sufficient, typically limited for a fixed duration and ending when they’ve gained enough capacity to support themselves through finding employment or finding another solution.

Lump-sum spousal support payments are one-off payments that often form part of property settlement agreements. Unlike rehabilitative support payments, lump-sums do not need to be reviewed on an ongoing basis and can end when either spouse wants them to stop. They should still be reviewed if circumstances change; such as when one of them loses their job or another remarries.

Permanent Support

Permanent alimony differs from rehabilitative support in that its duration remains permanent once a recipient spouse finds work; rather, this payment from one former spouse to the other can often be tax-deductible for the payor and taxed accordingly by some states for those receiving it.

Judges typically award permanent support as part of their final divorce judgement, usually lasting the rest of one’s life or until death occurs; it is more likely to be awarded in longer marriages than shorter ones.

Many states provide guidelines to assist judges in determining alimony payments; however, each judge retains great latitude when making these decisions. If you are worried about alimony payments being issued to you or to someone you love, it may be wise to consult a family law attorney to explore your options – contact Wilkinson & Finkbeiner now so they can assist.

Reimbursement Support

Reimbursement support is awarded to reimburse expenses that a spouse incurred while providing support to the other. While this type of temporary assistance, it can also serve as permanent support. Usually awarded as one lump sum payment and used towards tuition or living costs.

Alimony has traditionally been seen as an act of support from one spouse to their former partner; this outdated viewpoint is shifting; now alimony can serve as a means to ensure financial equality after divorce.

When one spouse did not work during their marriage or earns significantly less, maintaining their standard of living after divorce can be challenging. Alimony (spousal/marital support), also known as spousal maintenance payments or support payments may help.

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