Divorce and Family Affairs: Tips You Can Use Now

Understanding The 4 Types Of Alimony

by Camila Hughes

Divorce can bring about financial problems for one or both spouses. Alimony is a tool used by the court to help ensure that the spouse making less money throughout the marriage receives the financial help they need to become independent once again.

Most people are surprised to learn that alimony is quite diverse. There are four types of alimony that may be awarded by the court. Understanding these variations will help you better anticipate the type of alimony you can expect if you are going through a divorce.

1. Bridge-The-Gap Alimony

Bridge-the-gap alimony is typically awarded in divorce cases where the marriage lasted for a relatively short amount of time. The primary purpose of bridge-the-gap alimony is to help the recipient cover his or her expenses for a short period of time.

A judge will usually mandate that bridge-the-gap alimony be paid for a few years following a divorce, but the statutory limitations for this type of alimony can vary from one state to the next.

2. Rehabilitative Alimony

One of the parties in a marriage may have foregone a formal education or training in order to stay home and raise children. In these cases, a judge may choose to award rehabilitative alimony to that spouse.

Rehabilitative alimony requires one spouse to pay for the educational or vocational training of the other spouse. This allows the recipient spouse to develop the skills needed to support him or herself in the future.

The amount awarded for rehabilitative alimony will depend on the educational needs of the receiving spouse.

3. Durational Alimony

Durational alimony provides financial help for a set period of time after a divorce has been finalized.

A judge will take many factors into account when determining how long durational alimony should be paid out. Some of these factors include the length of the marriage, the financial status of both spouses, and anticipated financial obligations.

Durational alimony gives the receiving spouse ample time to become financially independent without worrying about how he or she will cover costs after a divorce.

4. Permanent Alimony

Permanent alimony is awarded in cases where a lengthy marriage has resulted in divorce. A spouse may be unable to meet their financial needs alone after having spent numerous years being supported by a spouse.

A judge will evaluate the standard of living established during the marriage when determining how much money should be given to the receiving spouse in permanent alimony.

For more information about alimony, contact a family law attorney in your area.