A judge can order the earning partner to pay alimony for a specific period of time to his/her spouse. Often, one partner’s income is greater than the other and in some relationships, a partner does not draw any income at all but could be taking care of important household chores, such as acting as caregiver for the child, upkeep the house and more. Thus, the partner who earns meagre amount or nothing may be left without any financial support if divorce takes place.
If you need help with separation or divorce and wish to understand alimony involved, then consult a divorce lawyer for best advice.
The alimony amount and tenure is decided upon many factors, and there are different types of alimony as listed below:
1. Rehabilitative Alimony
When one partner is not self-sufficient, then rehabilitative alimony can apply until he/she gains the ability to care for him/her and children (if any). This alimony type is likely to be regularly reviewed to check for progress of the recipient. Thus rehabilitative alimony gives opportunity and time to recipient to learn valuable employments skills and seek employment so as to get to a position where he/she can earn money and care for themselves. No specific time is set as to when such alimony will end, and is determined according to individual’s situation.
For example, the judge can ask the father to pay alimony to his ex-wife until their kids are able to go to school or a judge can order that alimony must be paid for three months during which the recipient has to find a job and start earning income. After end of this tenure, the case will be reviewed and adequate changes shall be made.
2. Separation Alimony
In separation alimony, the spouse who is financial stable has to pay the decided alimony to his/her partner who is unable to be self-sufficient during the separation. The separation alimony can be changed to suit another alimony type, if the couple divorces legally. In case both reconcile, the alimony can be stopped.
For example, if the wife is an earning member and the husband is not earning at the moment, she has to pay the determined alimony to him for a specific time. In case both decide to get together again, then there will no need to pay alimony at all. However, if the couples opt for a legal divorce, then the separation alimony can be updated to another type as per the scenario.
3. Permanent Alimony
This type of alimony is when the payments continue for an indefinite period, sometimes for a lifetime. A permanent alimony can come to an end when the recipient or payer passes away or the recipient remarries or cohabitates with another person.
Sometimes to receive alimony, the recipient may not disclose their relationship or stay-in status with a new partner. In such complicated cases, the divorce attorney can come to rescue. There could be many reasons due to which the court may seem deem fit to decide for permanent alimony in a divorce case.
For example, if the recipient is unable to work ever or become self-sufficient or, is handicap or, suffering from a critical health issue or, if the recipient does not have sufficient employment skills and has been always taking care of home or children, in such situations the recipient could be entitled to permanent alimony.
4. Reimbursement Alimony
In a scenario where one spouse had done the task of earning income in order to help the other spouse with educational expenses or work-related program that caused the spouse to gain skills to earn more money, reimbursement alimony can be awarded. Such alimony continues until the spouse (who derived earlier benefit from his/her partner), does not pay off half or all the cost incurred by the other partner. The alimony amount can be decided between the couple and then mandated by the court or the judge takes the call.
For example, if Alex paid all college expenses of his wife due to which she was able to secure a stable job, then during separation or divorce, Alex can claim alimony from his wife to receive back the amount he had spent on her education.
Read more Tax on alimony
5. Lump-Sum Alimony
This is one of the popular alimony types and can be awarded to recipient instead of payment through means of valuables or property (which the married couples have accumulated). In such cases, a specific amount is paid one time in lump-sum and no other demands for alimony are made thereafter. Even then if recipient has a claim, it will be reviewed by the judge for validating further its legitimacy. This is most beneficial, if the spouse who needs to pay alimony does not wish to liquidate important assets.
Though lump-sum alimony can get tricky (since both parties have to agree on it), people often amicably opt for this type of alimony. However, providing a lump-sum amount is not always possible, and in such cases this alimony type may not be an option for the payer.
For example, if Brenda and her husband own a house but can settle for an equivalent amount of money to work as lump-sum payment towards support or maintenance during their divorce than providing claim over the house to the alimony recipient, then such alimony will be termed as lump-sum alimony.
If you have more questions about types of alimony in your state, then consult a divorce attorney today to have your case reviewed. Free and confidential legal evaluation will be guaranteed for the initial consultation, but with no obligations attached.