Spousal support is the money paid to the divorced spouse or to the spouse with whom divorce proceedings are initiated, as compensation ordered by the court, for their support. Spousal support is also commonly referred to as “alimony.”
The amount of spousal support which may be ordered by the courts vary on a case by case basis, taking into account various guidelines which are at the court’s disposal. Additionally, the courts do not simply grant spousal support in every case. In many marital and family law cases, the individual requesting spousal support must show that it is warranted by meeting specific guidelines.
– Temporary spousal support: is typically in cases where a spouse has a demonstrated need and the other an ability and it is designed to assist the lower income earning spouse pending the resolution of the divorce lawsuit;
– Lump sum spousal support: is a one-time payment of a set amount. It can also be ordered as a series of payments;
– Rehabilitative spousal support: is typically support designed to assist the lower income earning spouse as he or she travels through their rehabilitative plan, the plan being a formulation of strategies and goals to increase one’s earning ability;
– Permanent spousal support: is in marriages of long duration, and typically does not end until the payee spouse dies, remarries or is in a supportive relationship with a significant other by law;
– Bridge-the-gap spousal support: is a type of support which is of a short duration typically to assist the lower income earning spouse into his or her post-divorce earnings.
– Durational alimony may be awarded when permanent periodic alimony is inappropriate. The purpose of durational alimony is to provide a party with economic assistance for a set period of time following a marriage of short or moderate duration or following a marriage of long duration if there is no ongoing need for support on a permanent basis.