Are There Different Types of Spousal Support?

Divorce Lawyer

When it comes to spousal support (also known as alimony), a judge will typically award it in two broad categories. These are short-term alimony and long-term alimony. For example, reimbursement support typically falls into the long-term support category and temporary support falls into the short-term category. Applying for alimony can be complicated, however, and when you are choosing which alimony you think may be right for your situation (and your spouse’s), it is best to do so with an attorney who works in family law and knows the ins and outs of alimony. If you are looking for legal help, don’t hesitate to reach out to a family lawyer for more information and to get the guidance you need. 

Different Types of Spousal Support

Because there are so many different options with spousal support, you may feel it over your head. There are many different factors that go into getting spousal support. For example, if you and your spouse are divorcing amicably and you both decide on a certain type of spousal support that works for both of you, many judges will gladly write that into the divorce paperwork instead of choosing the option for you. It does not always work out this smoothly, however, and often your attorney must present evidence on your behalf and have the judge consider many different factors. There are many different types of alimony, though.

Short-Term Support. A judge usually grants this type of support when a marriage did not last for a particularly long time. Unlike long-term support, it only lasts for a few years and that number of years is set by the court.

Temporary Support. Many people do not realize that they can actually receive spousal support while their divorce is pending. They believe that it is just an option after the divorce. In fact, many judges understand that there is an immediate need for spousal support during the time of separation to help the dependent—lower-earning—spouse. This can also benefit the supporting spouse because when this temporary spousal support is a written and signed agreement, it is also tax deductible. Talk with your attorney if temporary spousal support is something you wish to have during the divorce proceedings.

Long-Term Support. When a marriage has lasted for a longer amount of time (typically ten years or more), a judge grants long-term support. This happens because a judge may see the dependent spouse as needing financial support since they likely would not get a job. Although it is called “long-term” or “permanent” support, it will eventually stop. This may happen if the dependent spouse remarries or cohabitates, or if the supportive spouse or dependent spouse dies.

If you are interested in spousal support or alimony during your divorce proceedings or to be granted after your divorce, please discuss this with your attorney. They can help make this life transition as smooth as possible.