alimonywomanThe parties can agree to, or the court may award, alimony (also known as support or maintenance) to be paid by one ex-spouse to  the other to supplement his or her income after divorce.

In doing so, the court will weigh and consider many factors.  Considerations will include the earning capacity of each spouse, the standard of living enjoyed by the couple during the marriage, and the length of the marriage.

The court will also reflect upon which spouse contributed to the acquisition of marital property.  This can include aiding the career of the other spouse, raising children and maintaining the home.  

Other criteria include the ages of the parties and the financial resources available to and held by each person.

The court is not required to grant Alimony.  

Certain conditions such as remarriage or change in earning capacity will often serve to modify or terminate an award of alimony after the marriage has been dissolved.

Alimony can be of the following three (3) types:

Temporary Alimony (Alimony Pendente Lite) - Due to the extended and expensive nature of divorce proceedings, the court may award temporary alimony to assist the financially dependent spouse through the duration of the divorce action.

Permanent Alimony – If a spouse is deemed unemployable due to mental or physical health, the court may award alimony to be paid by the ex-spouse permanently, that is, until the death of either spouse, remarriage of the recipient spouse, or change in the earning power of either spouse.  Divorcing individuals who are permanently disabled from working and are receiving Social Security disability benefits may be eligible for permanent alimony.

Rehabilitative Alimony – Frequently, financially dependent spouses need assistance only for a period of time while they go back to school for a degree, retraining, or other certification. Some stay-at-home parents may simply need time to get back into the workforce after a long time out of it. Rehabilitative Alimony may be awarded to a spouse to help cover the cost of education or living expenses for a period of months or years so that he or she can find employment.  

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