Types of Alimony

Often times in a relationship, one partner earns more money than the other.  In some relationships, one partner earns no money at all but takes care of other important jobs in the household – such as being the primary caregiver of the children, taking care of the upkeep of the house and more.  In a case like this, the partner who earns little or no money can be left without the means to support themselves if a divorce takes place.  For this reason, a judge may order that the earning partner pay alimony for a determined period of time.  Here are the different types of alimony.

Separation Alimony

This type of alimony is usually ordered to be paid if a couple is separated and one is unable to be self-sufficient during the separation.  If the couple reconciles, the alimony may be stopped.  Similarly, if the couple divorces legally, the separation alimony may be changed to another kind of alimony.

Rehabilitative Alimony

In the case where one partner is not self-sufficient, rehabilitative alimony may be ordered until he or she finds the means to care for themselves and any children included.  This type of alimony will likely be reviewed at intervals to check on the progress of the recipient.  This kind of alimony gives the recipient time to learn valuable employment skills, seek employment or put themselves into a position where they are earning money and are able to care for themselves.

There is no set time for rehabilitative alimony to end, and it is determined based on the individual situation.  For instance, a judge may determine that a father is to pay his ex-wife alimony until their young children are able to go to school.  In another example, a judge may order that alimony is paid for a period of three months, giving the recipient time to find a job and begin earning paychecks.  Usually, at the end of the period, the situation will be reviewed and appropriate changes will be made.

Permanent Alimony

Permanent alimony is when the payments are to continue indefinitely.  There are many reasons that a judge would order this type of alimony.  One situation may be if the recipient is handicapped and unable to work and become self-sufficient.  If the recipient married without ever gaining employment skills, and has never worked but has raised children and taken care of the home, this recipient may be entitled to permanent alimony.  Usually, permanent alimony will not stop unless one spouse dies, the recipient gets re-married or cohabitates with someone else.

Reimbursement Alimony

In the situation where one spouse worked to put the other spouse through college or a work-related program which resulted in this spouse earning more money – reimbursement alimony may be awarded.  Typically, the alimony will continue until the cost or half of the cost of schooling has been paid back.

Lump-Sum Alimony

This type of alimony may be awarded to the recipient instead of property or other valuables that the married couple has accumulated.  Generally, the spouse ordered to pay lump-sum alimony will not be required to pay any other type of alimony to the recipient.

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