The Three Flavors Of Spousal Support

While spousal support (alimony) may not be as popular as in the past, it does still exist and still fills an important financial need for some spouses. Raising a family is an important, time-consuming and all encompassing endeavor, and many spouses, including husbands, still make the decision to forgo careers to stay home and be a full time parent to their children. There are actually three different types of spousal support available for those who need it, so read on to learn more.

How is the need for spousal support determined?

Some spouses, even if they put off educational or job plans to stay home with their kids, choose to forgo spousal support, perhaps believing it to be unnecessary or embarrassing. If you are seeking spousal support, and you and your spouse cannot agree upon the necessity or the amount, the judge will use the following factors when evaluating need:

  • Spouse's age
  • Spouse's level of education and previous work experience.
  • Spouse's heath. Spouses with serious medical or mental conditions are more likely to need and receive spousal support.
  • The age of the marriage.
  • The income of the spouse paying the support
  • The standard of living of the couple prior to divorce.

Types of Spousal Support

Temporary: Not to be confused with rehabilitative support, this form of spousal support is meant to last a finite period of time. In many cases, temporary support is tied to an event. For example, in long and complicated divorce cases, temporary support may be ordered with an end date of the final decree. If both sides agree, the temporary order can be made permanent.

Rehabilitative: This type of support is often ordered to allow the spouse to get up-to-speed with education or job training. The end goal of rehabilitative spousal support is to provide some financial help while allowing the spouse to become more financially independent. This type of support can be extended if needed through use of a amendment to the original order.

Permanent: This form of support is not as widely used, but is still appropriate in some cases. Often awarded to elderly or disabled spouses, it may only end with remarriage of the receiving spouse. In some cases, the permanent support provider is ordered to make provisions through use of a trust or will to continue the support after their deaths.

To learn more about spousal support, speak to your divorce attorney. For more information, contact a service like Novack, Jeffrey N.