Alimony, maintenance, and spousal support

Alimony, maintenance, or spousal support is money paid by one spouse to the other who requires financial assistance. Courts will consider one spouse’s needs to other spouse’s ability to pay. However, long term alimony is uncommon with more households functioning with two income earners.

Rehabilitative support – This type of spousal support is awarded to a spouse who has lesser financial resources and will need support to establish themselves. The period for alimony will depend on how long the spouse takes to get an education, job training or complete a degree to support themselves. Most often this form of alimony is awarded to spouse’s who have left a job or an education to raise children or assume other family duties. Courts will consider the length of the marriage, age and earning capabilities of the recipient spouse, the length of time away from the job market and the time and expense needed to educate and retrain the recipient

Permanent support – If a spouse cannot support themselves due to age, health or disability they can be awarded permanent support. However, this form of support can end if the recipient spouse remarries or cohabitates.

Alimony, Maintenance and Spousal Support Laws by State – The laws regarding alimony, maintenance, and spousal support will vary from state to state. Each state will look at the type, amount, and length of time referencing different cases and laws.