A divorce can be a financial nightmare. Even those with high incomes and significant assets may find it difficult transitioning from a marital relationship into a single lifestyle. At least one of the spouses will likely have to find a new place to live, and both will have to make ends meet without the combined income of two earners.
The economic challenges can be much worse in cases where one spouse did not work outside of the home during the marriage. The spouse who had a career during the marriage can typically carry on with that career without major interruption after a divorce, but the spouse who stayed home may have to find a job after a long time out of the job market. When one of the parties to a marriage may suffer economically by their divorce, the court may award them alimony.
Alimony can take on many forms and is intended to allow the lower earning spouse to get back on their feet after the divorce.
An award of alimony can be permanent, if circumstances warrant the decision. If the lower earning spouse is unable to re-enter the workforce, they may be awarded permanent alimony. Alimony can also be awarded as a single, lump-sum payment if the receiving spouse only needs a little financial help.
Another form of alimony is rehabilitative alimony. Rehabilitative alimony is not permanent but will last long enough to allow the receiving spouse to obtain the education or training they need to find a job and re-enter the workforce.
A number of factors will influence how alimony will be awarded in a particular divorce case. Not all divorces require alimony awards if the parties are able to leave the relationship with the ability to support themselves. If you have questions regarding your own divorce, you may wish to contact an attorney to advise you on how alimony will be addressed in your case.