Spousal maintenance, which is referred to as alimony or spousal support in some states, is money one spouse is ordered to pay to the other spouse in the event of a divorce. Orders for maintenance might take place during or after the divorce is final. It is generally ordered by the court so the spouse with a lower income can enjoy the same standard of living both spouses enjoyed during the marriage.
The Different Types of Spousal Maintenance
One type of spousal maintenance is paid from one spouse to the other until the death of the one paying or the remarriage of the one receiving the money. For instance, if the marriage lasted for many years or if the spouse has a disability that prevents him or her from working, this permanent spousal maintenance could be awarded.
Temporary maintenance is for a specific period of time, determined upon the divorce. For instance, if one spouse needs help recovering financially after the divorce, the other spouse might be ordered to pay temporary maintenance until it is assumed the other spouse can get on their feet.
If one spouse needs help with job training or school expenses so they can get a job after the divorce, rehabilitative maintenance might be awarded. This is common in situations where one spouse gave up a career or didn’t finish school in order to stay home with the children. The ultimate goal is for the recipient spouse to become financially independent.
How Is Spousal Maintenance Determined
Every state has its own laws dictating spousal support. In addition, the following factors are usually taken into account by the court when making the determination for spousal maintenance:
- The length of the marriage
- Age and physical and mental well-being of the spouses
- Custodial parent issues, and whether these will impact the amount of money a parent can make
- The contribution of one spouse who may have stayed home as a homemaker
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In addition to these factors, there is always the discretion of the judge in deciding who pays maintenance and how much will be paid and how long it will be paid. When it comes to financial issues, it’s almost always best to come to an agreement before going to court so the spouses are in control of the situation. Talk about spousal maintenance in Hoffman Estates with The Law Firm of Robert M. Kaplan. Call us today!