Alimony is an important matter that must be resolved in many divorces. Most people know that alimony is the payment of money from one individual to their spouse. What they may not know is that alimony can take on two different forms depending on the circumstances of the parties.
It is important that readers understand their own divorce circumstances will influence which of these two forms of alimony they may receive or be expected to pay.
This post does not provide legal advice and any reader with questions about alimony is encouraged to speak with their trusted divorce and family law attorney.
The first form of alimony that may be awarded pursuant to a divorce is rehabilitative alimony. Rehabilitative alimony does not last forever. It is awarded to an individual who is unable to support their own financial needs immediately after their divorce and to help them get back on their feet.
An individual may be awarded rehabilitative alimony if they require job training or educational tools in order to re-enter the workforce. Rehabilitative alimony can help individuals achieve these goals so that they can become financially self-sufficient. Rehabilitative alimony is for individuals who have the capacity to provide for themselves but lack the tools to do so – at least in the short-term.
As suggested by its title, indefinite alimony lasts for an indefinite period of time. Unlike rehabilitative alimony, which lasts for as long as necessary for a person to become financially self-sufficient, indefinite alimony generally, lasts until the death of either party or the remarriage of the recipient spouse.
In cases where divorcing parties have been married for a very long time or the recipient of the alimony is elderly and/or has no ability to support themselves, indefinite alimony may be awarded as a means of keeping an individual from becoming financially disadvantaged because of their divorce.
Seeking alimony to be paid after a divorce is finalized
Decisions regarding alimony are often negotiated during divorce proceedings. If a party believes that he or she will need financial support from their ex-spouse, they may petition the divorce court and request that alimony be awarded. They will have to offer evidence to show why they should be awarded alimony and whether it should be rehabilitative or indefinite.
Without alimony, some individuals may be financially disadvantaged due to divorce. This could cause some individuals to stay in unhealthy or dangerous marriages. Alimony helps those who need financial assistance to bridge the gap between becoming self-sufficient or caring for their long-term needs.
A trusted family law and divorce attorney can help their client understand their alimony options and how best to ensure they are incorporated into their divorce proceedings.