Alimony is the periodic payment for support and maintenance of a spouse and may be awarded after a limited or absolute divorce. Alimony may be awarded to either party and can be awarded for a definite or indefinite period of time. Alimony for a definite period is commonly known as “rehabilitative alimony” while alimony for an indefinite period is known as “permanent alimony.” An award of alimony is not an automatic entitlement. Alimony is similar to an annuity or pension which enables a spouse to maintain an accustomed standard of living. However, there is an expectation that a spouse should be required, through rehabilitation, to become self-supporting, even if the result is a reduced standard of living.
How does the court determine whether to award Alimony to a spouse?
The court considers many factors when determining whether to award alimony and, if awarded, the amount and duration of the award. Some of these factors include: