What are the Different Types of Spousal Support?

Posted on in Spousal Maintenance

Spousal support, also referred to as alimony or spousal maintenance, refers to a person’s right to financial support from his or her spouse after a divorce. This support can exist in the form of money or assets. If you and your spouse are going through a divorce and considering spousal support, it’s important to be familiar with the different types of maintenance so you can determine what will best fit your situation.

spousal support, maintenance, alimony IMAGEIn some cases, the court may award permanent maintenance. This is sometimes awarded when the marriage was fairly lengthy or one spouse is unable to support themselves. Essentially, under this type of agreement, maintenance is received until one of the parties dies. However, the arrangement can still be altered and reviewed by the court for example, in the event that the recipient spouse gets remarried.

Another common type of maintenance is referred to as rehabilitative maintenance. Under these agreements, support is given to a spouse who needs time in order to establish financial independence. Rehabilitative maintenance typically includes a specified time frame and terminates when the recipient spouse is back on their feet. These agreements can also last for indefinite amounts of time and have periodic reviews. If it is determined that the recipient spouse is making the effort to establish financial independence maintenance can be terminated immediately. These agreements are common amongst marriages in which one spouse stayed home raising children and requires time to find a job or get training in order to return to the workforce.

It should also be noted that maintenance can also be paid in one large lump sum, under what is called maintenance in gross. These payments can be made at, or close to, the time of divorce, sometimes in a small number of installments. These agreements are less common than others, but can be used to “pre-pay” their obligation or to obtain tax advantages.

If you and your spouse are going through a divorce and believe spousal maintenance or support may be necessary, feel free to contact an Illinois family law attorney to assist you in determining which type of agreement will work best for you.

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