Which Type of Alimony Suits Your Divorce?
Alimony is a term you’ve probably heard many times, but if you’re like most people, you may not have a clear idea of how it works and who receives it. Alimony is a type of court-ordered payment from one ex-spouse to the other, designed to financially support the dependent spouse. As a general rule of thumb, a spouse is considered dependent when their ex makes more money than they do. You’re not automatically eligible for alimony just because you earn less money than your ex, however; there are several additional factors that determine eligibility. And if you are eligible for alimony, it’s not a one-size-fits-all situation – there are different kinds of alimony to suit your specific needs. This article will help you start the process of determining whether you’re eligible for alimony and finding the right type if you are.
Before making any plans around alimony, you first have to review your current situation to make sure you’re eligible to receive it. First thing to consider: the duration of your marriage. The longer you’ve been married, the more likely you are to receive spousal support. Next, you have to determine the independent spouse’s ability to pay the dependent spouse. This means that the independent spouse must have enough income to support two households; just proving that the independent spouse earns more money isn’t good enough. Finally, there’s the factor of the dependent spouse’s earning ability. The higher your earning ability is, the less likely you are to receive alimony.
Assuming you’ve gone through these factors and think you’re likely to receive approval from the court, it’s time to start considering types of alimony. The first type, permanent alimony, continues until the dependent spouse remarries or either spouse dies. Many dependents receiving permanent alimony get on the independent spouse’s life insurance policy, to ensure that spousal support will not be disrupted if their ex passes away. Despite the name, permanent alimony can be adjusted if the independent spouse’s income changes.
Temporary alimony is often awarded to a dependent spouse to help them maintain their lifestyle during the transition period of divorce. This type of spousal support is allotted for a specific period of time. Alimony of this type is usually awarded through a temporary court order.
Rehabilitative spousal support is also awarded for a limited period of time, but its purpose is more specific than temporary alimony: it is designed to help the dependent spouse become more self-sufficient. Both parties can agree on a timeline for this type of payment, or it can be mandated by the court. The goal is to help the lower-earning spouse get back on their feet financially after a divorce.
The final type of alimony is reimbursement spousal support. Its name reflects the fact that one spouse is getting reimbursed for expenses incurred by the other spouse. For example, if you paid for your spouse’s education, you can request reimbursement for the money you spent. The payments can be made in lump sum or in installments until the debt is repaid.
Alimony is something that can seem obscure, complex, or even frightening to many people beginning their divorce. However, remember that alimony is designed to help couples, whether one spouse needs lifelong support or just a temporary payment to help them get back on their feet. If you have a clear idea of whether you are eligible for alimony, and if you can identify which kind you need, you’re on the right track to finding a support plan that works for both you and your spouse.