The intention of spousal maintenance, commonly referred to as alimony, is to help one spouse maintain the standard of living they had during the marriage.
Things such as health, age, education, earning potential, length of the marriage, income and whether one spouse contributed to the other’s financial success all come into play when determining the type of spousal maintenance that is appropriate for each situation.
Temporary maintenance is financial support during the divorce process when a couple has decided to live separately during the separation, but one spouse is unable to be financially independent. A person who receives temporary support is still eligible to receive other forms of maintenance after the divorce is final.
A decision for permanent maintenance typically happens in cases of very long marriages. It is also awarded in cases when one spouse is unable to be financially independent or cannot maintain a good standard of living without it. In most cases, permanent maintenance ends when the receiving spouse remarries.
The intention of rehabilitative maintenance is to financially support the spouse while they receive training or education that will prepare them to enter the workforce. This support ends when the spouse graduates, earns a certification or gets a job and is able to support themselves financially.
Fixed-term maintenance is financial support granted for a predetermined amount of time. It is often awarded in cases where the marriage lasted less than 10 years.
The duration of spousal maintenance and the amount of maintenance awarded depend on the individual circumstances of each marriage and the payor’s ability to pay.