Known as alimony in some places, spousal support can be part of your divorce if a party can show a need. Additionally, the paying spouse must be able to afford to pay the spousal support if ordered. This form of support may not be as frequently ordered as it used to be, but it's still available when needed. Spousal support comes in three forms now so read below for an explanation of each one.
How Spousal Support Has Changed
Supporting an ex has been a concept for many years. It goes back to the time, not so long ago, when the female member of the marriage needed financial help after a divorce. Now, it fills the same function even when both parties likely worked outside the home. Spousal support also helps spouses, regardless of their gender, when they either chose (or needed) to stay home to care for the children of the relationship.
Temporary Spousal Support
Once you and your spouse are no longer living under one roof, one party may ask for spousal support. This form of support expires when the divorce becomes final. If you need continuing support after the divorce, you must have a provision included in the final decree. This type of support is ideal for those who need a few months or so to become more financially independent. The amount of support, as in all forms of spousal support, is based on the lifestyle of the couple prior to the separation and the income of both parties.
Rehabilitative Spousal Support
As the name might suggest, this form of spousal support is meant to be temporary but with a purpose. Rehabilitative spousal support is ordered with the idea that the receiving spouse should take certain steps to become financially independent. While rehabilitative support might not have an expiration date, it's also not meant to last forever. Often, the end is predicated on the achievement of a goal, such as completing a college degree or a work training program or attaining a suitable job.
Permanent Spousal Support
This form of spousal support is much like the spousal support of the past in that it only stops if the receiving party gets married. Though not awarded as often as it once was, it does serve a purpose for spouses that need financial support because of age, illness, or other forms of incapacity. Older spouses and those with chronic health issues may need this form of spousal support on a permanent basis, and sometimes it may continue even after the paying spouse passes away with the right estate provisions.
Speak to a family law attorney to find out more about spousal support.