Alimony and Spousal Support basically refer to the same concept. Generally, the higher-earning spouse can be ordered to provide the lower-earning spouse with financial support during and after the divorce. The method for determining the amount and duration of spousal support differ by state and a judge usually makes a final ruling regarding how much support will be given and for how long.

There are three common types of spousal support that can be requested and awarded:

Pre-decree temporary spousal support is a regular monthly payment made by one spouse to another during the divorce proceeding. The payment amount is defined and exists for a finite period of time, ending when the divorce case is settled and more long-term spousal support – if any – is granted.

Post-decree spousal support is a defined payment amount typically paid to the lower-earning spouse for an established period of time to help them maintain a lifestyle that is comparable to the financial standard of living they had during the marriage. The amount and duration can vary and are subject to modification after the divorce is finalized if changes warrant.  While it is long-term, it may not be forever. Support will end if the ex-spouse receiving spousal support remarries, either ex-spouse passes away or there is another significant financial change for either party that a judge decides is enough to justify a change.

Rehabilitative spousal support is granted when one spouse stopped or reduced the amount of time they worked during the marriage, usually to allow them to be the primary care-giver of children in the home. There is an expectation that the spouse will eventually work again and not remain dependent on their former spouse to pay all of their expenses after the divorce. This money is typically used to pay for educational or vocational expenses to improve income earning capacity and achieve financial independence.

The legal team at PMK is here to assist with questions regarding spousal support or divorce. We will help you explore all your options and explain your rights under the law so that you can make informed decisions that protect your best interests.