Our mediators at Solutions & Resolutions guide many couples through the divorce process. Oftentimes when negotiating a divorce, the subject of alimony comes up. What exactly is alimony and how does it work? Let’s discuss that here today.
Alimony, also known as spousal support or maintenance, is a legal arrangement in which one spouse provides financial support to the other spouse after a divorce or separation. The purpose of alimony is to help ensure that both spouses can maintain a similar standard of living and to address any economic disparities resulting from the end of the marriage.
The eligibility for alimony varies by jurisdiction, and it is typically determined on a case-by-case basis. Factors considered may include the length of the marriage, the earning capacity and financial needs of both spouses, the standard of living during the marriage, the age and health of the spouses, and any other relevant circumstances.
There are different types of alimony that can be awarded, depending on the specific circumstances of the case:
Temporary Alimony: This type of alimony is awarded during the divorce proceedings and aims to provide financial support to the dependent spouse until a final settlement is reached.
Rehabilitative Alimony: Rehabilitative alimony is awarded to support the dependent spouse for a specified period, allowing them to acquire education, job skills, or training necessary to become self-supporting.
Permanent Alimony: Permanent alimony is awarded when the court determines that ongoing financial support is necessary for the dependent spouse due to factors such as age, health, or an inability to become self-supporting.
Lump-Sum Alimony: Lump-sum alimony involves a one-time payment or a series of payments that settle the spousal support obligation. This type of alimony cannot be modified in the future.
The calculation of alimony varies depending on jurisdiction and specific factors involved. Some common considerations include the income and earning potential of both spouses, the length of the marriage, the financial needs of the dependent spouse, and the ability of the paying spouse to provide support.
Alimony arrangements may be subject to modification or termination under certain circumstances. If there is a significant change in either spouse's financial situation, such as a job loss, increase in income, or remarriage, it may be possible to seek a modification of the alimony amount or duration. Alimony typically terminates upon the death of either spouse or upon the remarriage or cohabitation of the receiving spouse, depending on the terms specified in the divorce decree or court order.
If you are facing divorce, mediation may be right for you as opposed to court. Our skilled and compassionate mediators will walk you through this emotional process and we will explain everything you need to know, including regarding alimony.