Alimony laws generally apply when there is a termination of marriage due to divorce. Alimony can also be referred to as spousal support or spousal maintenance. In general principle, a court will order the payment of alimony by the party to the divorce whose income is drastically higher than the other party. For instance, a husband might be ordered to pay alimony to his former wife if his job is far higher paying than her own, or if he has been the sole breadwinner throughout the marriage and she has had no income of her own throughout the duration. Alimony does not favor gender and can be structured to favor whichever party is at a disadvantage to support themselves financial upon the termination of the marriage.
Not all jurisdictions apply alimony in the same way, and not all awards of alimony are bestowed in the same way. Before any granting of alimony occurs, the court will consider a number of different factors. Those factors include the length of marriage, the earning capabilities and potentials of both parties, the interrelated conference of child support during the termination of a marriage, and the future ability of a party to rejoin the workforce after any necessary child care and rearing has been provided. In addition, most awards of alimony include a clause that any ongoing payments will end should the recipient remarry.
Alimony can be awarded in several different ways. One type of alimony includes the payment of a set sum of money transferred all at one time. This is called lump sum alimony. With the conference of that sum of money, all ties are then thought to be severed between the two parties and no future payments will occur. A more common form of alimony is called rehabilitative alimony or temporary alimony. This granting provides ongoing payments between the two parties for the period of time that it takes the disadvantaged party to learn the necessary job skills to become self-supportive, or for the period of time that it takes the disadvantaged party to provide child care and rearing before re-entering the workforce. This type of alimony can be pre-set with an associated period of time or can hinge on pre-set factors that are established by the court.
In rare occasions, permanent alimony may be awarded. This sets up the framework for continuous payments until death or remarriage. This is typically only seen when there is a large sum of money at stake or upon the termination of a very long marriage or when one spouse is so disadvantaged that they could never provide for themselves in the manner to which they have become accustomed without the support of alimony.
For more information about the legal aspects of Alimony, contact a family lawyer in your area.