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Are there different types of alimony?

If you and your spouse divorce, there are several types of alimony or spousal support that a judge may order, depending on the circumstances. While most people may assume that alimony is a single monolithic thing, there are actually five separate types of alimony that courts use in various situations.

Permanent alimony is often the type of support that most people envision. Under this system, one spouse pays the other a fixed amount on a monthly basis indefinitely, although changes in circumstances for either party may justify a modification to the order.

Temporary alimony is typically used while a court determines the terms of a permanent alimony order. This enables one spouse to maintain living standards while the divorce is in process.

Rehabilitative alimony comes into play when one spouse cannot support oneself. While this spouse trains for better employment or searches for a job, the other spouse may have to pay this alimony to bridge the gap for needful spouse.

In contrast, the spouse who supports the other while they receive training or education to secure their own employment can receive reimbursement alimony. This alimony provides the spouse who supported the other with some repayment for rehabilitative alimony.

Finally, a judge may order one party to pay lump sum alimony, which is a one-time payment typically ordered in cases where the other party does not seek any material assets in the divorce.

Whatever your circumstances may be, it is always wise to approach divorce with proper guidance. An experienced attorney can help ensure that you understand the full scope of the process and keep your rights secure as you transition into a new season of life.

Source: Findlaw, "Paying Alimony: The 5 Types of Alimony," Neetal Parekh, accessed June 02, 2017

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