The 3 Main Types of Alimony
When alimony is established by the courts, it is often one spouse who is struggling financially during a separation or divorce. There are several factors that a judge may consider before imposing an alimony order. Perhaps the biggest contributing element to an alimony dispute is whether the paying spouse can support the other spouse in the amount that he or she needs. A spouse that needs assistance regarding an alimony case, can rely on an attorney. Here are the three main types of alimony that may be enforced by a family court judge:
#1 Rehabilitative Alimony
The goal of rehabilitative alimony is for the receiving spouse to eventually start supporting themselves financially after separation or divorce. The receiving spouse can get the funds needed to acquire job skills or take educational classes, which helps him or her become more independent financially. This form of alimony may also be awarded to stay-at-home parents who have primary responsibility in taking care of the children.
Rehabilitative alimony is a court order, and maybe reviewed again at the end of the original term. The spouse paying alimony has the right to express his or her wishes as to whether the monetary support should continue. But ultimately, the court decides whether the alimony is to be extended based on the other spouse’s needs, and the paying spouse’s ability to afford to continue making these payments.
#2 Lump-Sum Alimony
As a substitute for a property settlement, a lump-sum alimony may be granted. This fixed amount is paid no matter what the receiving spouse’s financial stability looks like. The receiving spouse may be remarried, cohabitating, or not even need this financial support. Through lump-sum alimony, the paying spouse can avoid having to submit monthly amounts. Even if both spouses agree to the lump-sum alimony, it must first be submitted to a family court judge for approval. An attorney strongly recommends running this decision by us first, to ensure that your rights are protected in any legal agreements.
#3 Permanent Alimony
Alimony may be imposed permanently by the courts, that is until either the paying or receiving spouse passes away, or the receiving spouse remarries. Certain states may terminate the permanent alimony if the receiving spouse begins cohabitating with a new partner. Permanent alimony may be suspended if the receiving spouse is in a living situation that is like marrying again, in addition to whether the new partner is providing financial support. Payments for permanent alimony may be changed if the paying spouse goes through a significant life event, such as a job demotion, retirement, or being fired.
Whether you are the paying or receiving spouse, we encourage you to reach out to a family lawyer in Rockville, MD if something has come up and you need an alimony modification. Please call a law firm to book your free initial consultation. They can help you strive for the most ideal outcome in an alimony case. The sooner you get help from an attorney, the better!
Thanks to the Law Office of Daniel J. Wright for their insight into family law and the main types of alimony.