Alimony

One of Four Categories

When a court awards alimony, the spousal support is generally in one of four categories. They are as follows:

Limited Duration or Term Alimony, which is paid to the dependent spouse for a fixed number of years. The term is usually based on the number of years of the marriage and the needs of the dependent spouse.

Rehabilitative Alimony, which is awarded to the dependent spouse so that she or he can study or train with an eye to rejoining the work force.

Reimbursement Alimony, which is paid to the dependent spouse who has made sacrifices for the other spouse, for example lost career or business opportunities while the other spouse went to school, for the supposed betterment of the marital union.

Permanent Alimony, which is paid to the dependent spouse who has little or no chance of reentering the workforce. This award frequently goes to an older woman who was in a long-term marriage, a person who has no or little chance of reentering the work force.

In awarding alimony, courts have latitude and, depending upon the jurisdiction and the circumstances of the divorce, consider a variety of mandatory and discretionary factions.

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