Your Guide To Understanding Alimony Payments

Posted on: 30 May 2023

Are you going through a divorce and expect to receive support payments due to a disparity between you and your spouse's income? You likely have some questions about how it is going to work. Here is the essential information you should know about this type of support payment you'll receive after a divorce.

Why Alimony Exists

The purpose of alimony payments is so that a couple can both have a similar standard of living after a divorce. Since it is very rare for both partners to make the exact same amount of money, support payments are used to ensure that both people have equal financial standing as unmarried single people. 

What Influences Alimony

There are many factors used by the court to determine how much should be paid in alimony. One main factor is the length of a marriage, where an incredibly short marriage is likely not to result in alimony payments at all. A judge also looks at the income potential of both people after a divorce. Not working during the marriage does not mean that you are incapable of working after marriage, and the time spent away from your field and a lack of education can help increase the likelihood of receiving alimony.

Other factors to consider are the age of both partners since two young and healthy people have different needs than those that are elderly. A judge will also look at the contribution each person made to their marriage, which can include the income from their job, childcare, and even homemaking.

The Types of Alimony

There are several types of alimony that can be rewarded, starting with temporary alimony. This is used when a couple is in the process of getting divorced and living separately. Temporary alimony may be granted so that a non-working partner has the ability to live on their own until a divorce is settled. Rehabilitative alimony is only awarded for a limited amount of time. This is typically when a spouse needs time to get back on their feet, gain the necessary skills or education to get back to work, and will be able to get back on their feet shortly. 

Permanent alimony is awarded in certain situations where one spouse is making little or no money, as well it being a long marriage where the person was out of the workforce. Permanent alimony is awarded until remarriage or the death of the recipient of alimony. There is also reimbursement alimony, which is when one spouse paid for another's education prior to the divorce. A judge orders the paying spouse to be reimbursed for the expense based on the circumstances surrounding the divorce. 

For more information, contact a divorce lawyer near you.