Because the court has a broad discretion to award spousal support | alimony there are not many hard and fast rules. Generally, alimony is paid from one spouse to another for day-to-day support of their spouse.
The court considers many factors before it award spousal support | alimony, but generally one spouse’s need and the other spouse’s ability to pay are the two most important factors. There are two types of alimony, rehabilitative support alimony and permanent support alimony.
Rehabilitative Spousal Support | Alimony
- Rehabilitative spousal support is intended to provide a chance for education or job training so that a spouse who was financially dependent or disadvantaged during marriage can become self-supporting.
- Rehabilitative support is designed to help make up for opportunities lost by a spouse who left a job (or did not pursue a career) in order to help the other spouse’s career or to assume family duties. Alimony may also be awarded to a spouse who worked outside the home during the marriage, but sacrificed his or her career development because of family priorities. Rehabilitative support is usually awarded for a limited time, such as one to five years.
Permanent Spousal Support / Alimony
- Courts award permanent alimony / spousal support to provide money for a spouse who cannot become economically independent or maintain a lifestyle that the court considers appropriate given the resources of the parties.
- A common reason for ordering permanent maintenance is the recipient, because of advanced age or chronic illness, will never be able to maintain a reasonable standard of living without the support. Some courts will order permanent support for a spouse who, although working, will never have earning power at a level near the earning power of the more prosperous spouse.
- Although it is called permanent alimony or spousal support, the level of support can change or cease if the ability of the payer or the needs of the recipient change significantly. Support generally ends if the recipient remarries.
Some considerations the court takes into account when deciding about alimony or spousal support is:
- The standard of living established during the marriage,
- The duration of the marriage, the age and the physical and emotional condition of both parties,
- The financial resources of each party,
- The time necessary for either party to acquire sufficient education or training to enable the party to find appropriate employment,
- The contribution of each party to the marriage, for example, services rendered in homemaking, child care, education, and career building of the other party;
If you are interested in learning more about the mediation of spousal support | alimony, call CJ and the Remboldt Mediation Firm at 404-348-4081 to arrange your free telephone consultation.