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Different types of alimony

If you find yourself facing divorce, there is a decent chance that some form of alimony may come into play in the settlement. However, alimony is not just one thing, but rather an umbrella term that refers to a number of different spousal support scenarios.

When most people speak about alimony, they refer to permanent alimony, which occurs when one spouse pays the other a specified amount of money indefinitely, usually on a monthly basis. While this is usually the type of alimony most people recognize, it is less common than you might think.

A judge who anticipates ordering permanent alimony may also order temporary alimony, which is used to ensure that one spouse can afford the costs of living and courts fees during the course of a divorce.

If one spouse cannot support him- or self, but could do so with proper training, a judge may order rehabilitative alimony, in which one spouse makes payments to the other so that he or she can obtain training necessary to enter the workforce.

If a judge orders rehabilitative alimony, he or she may also order reimbursement alimony once the initial receiving spouse re-enters the workplace. This aims to repay the supporting spouse.

Finally, many spouses choose to negotiate for lump-sum alimony rather than have an ongoing payment. While lump-sum alimony may hurt the pocketbook more on the front end, it usually entails negotiating a lower overall amount.

If you're facing divorce, it is always wise to enlist the guidance of an experienced attorney, whether alimony is a part of the settlement or not. With proper legal counsel, you can rest assured that your rights will remain secure throughout the divorce process.

Source: findlaw, "Paying Alimony: The 5 Types of Alimony," Neetal Parekh, accessed June 16, 2017

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