Alimony refers to payments from one spouse to the other. A court can order one spouse to pay three different types of alimony – permanent alimony, temporary alimony, and rehabilitative alimony. Permanent alimony requires the payer to continue paying either for the rest of the payer’s life or until the spouse receiving payments remarries. Temporary alimony requires payments over a short interval of time so that the payment recipient can stand alone once again. The period of time covers the length of the property division litigation. Similar to temporary alimony, rehabilitative alimony requires the payer to give the recipient short-term alimony after the property division proceedings have concluded. Rehabilitative alimony endeavors to help a spouse with lesser employability or earning capacity become adjusted to a new post-marital life.
Courts allocate alimony with the intention of permitting a spouse to maintain the standard of living to which the spouse has become accustomed. Factors affecting whether the court awards alimony include the marriage’s length, the length of separation before divorce, the parties’ ages, the parties’ respective incomes, the parties’ future financial prospects, the health of the parties, and the parties’ respective faults in causing the marriage’s demise.
If a couple had children together while married, a court may require one spouse to pay child support to the spouse with custody, but one should note that alimony and child support differ.