After a divorce, financial security may be a major problem for those who relied on their spouse or dual income during the marriage. Spousal Support, also called alimony, is financial assistance agreed to or ordered by the court during a divorce. This assistance serves to support a recipient after the marriage ends and/or help them achieve financial independence. There are various types of spousal support that a court may grant:

  1. Temporary- Temporary spousal support may be awarded during the divorce proceeding.
  2. Rehabilitative- Rehabilitative spousal support may be awarded to help an economically dependent spouse get additional education or training to become self-supporting.
  3. Reimbursement- Reimbursement spousal support may be awarded to a recipient who made financial sacrifices in order to enhance the future earning capacity of the other spouse
  4. Permanent- Permanent spousal support is usually given after a long-term marriage where life patterns and earning potential has already been set.

When determining what type of spousal support is appropriate, some factors that should be considered are the length of the marriage, age and physical health, education levels and earning capacities, ability to become self-supporting, and the potential tax consequences.

Advocating for suitable spousal support in the original divorce agreement is important for both spouse’s long-term quality of life. If spousal support is not awarded in the initial divorce order, a spouse cannot later request it. Under some circumstances, including death of either spouse or remarriage, spousal support may be terminated. Absent one of these circumstances, once spousal support is agreed to or awarded by a court, modifying the support is difficult.

A skilled attorney can help determine what spousal support fits your specific circumstances. The attorneys at Simpson, Jensen, Abels, Fisher & Bouslog, P.C. are experienced in handling complex divorce disputes. Contact us at (515) 288-5000 to discuss your case with our firm.

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