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James D. Madden & Aruna P. Rodrigo, Family Law Attorneys

What Are the Different Types of Alimony? 08-12-2016

What Are the Different Types of Alimony?

Alimony can be one of the most contentious parts of any divorce proceedings, seeing as it may be the only way one of the parties can ensure financial stability following their separation. While the basic concept – one party pays the other a certain amount of money – is fairly straightforward, there are several types of alimony that a judge may award in their judgement.

  1. Permanent Alimony: This type of spousal support or alimony will continue to be paid until the party receiving payment dies, the party paying dies, or the party receiving payment remarries. It’s important to note that there may be cases where the remarried spouse will still be able to receive alimony payments.
  2. Temporary Alimony: This type of spousal support or alimony, also known as pendente lite alimony, is designed to assist the soon to be ex-spouse receiving payments maintain a certain standard of living throughout the divorce proceedings. It is typically awarded following a temporary court order, and ends once the divorce proceedings are completed.
  3. Rehabilitative Alimony: This type of spousal support or alimony lasts for a set amount of time, and is designed to give an ex-spouse the financial stability necessary to pursue job training, job experience, or education that will allow them to gain independent financial security. Rehabilitative alimony may also be granted to the parent who receives custody of a young child so they can stay home and take care of the children until they are old enough to go to school. The time limit is either set through a court mandate, but can also be decided if all parties involved can come to an agreement.
  4. Reimbursement Alimony: This type of spousal support or alimony is designed to reimburse one of the ex-spouses for certain types of expenses such as reimbursement for money spent on the spouse’s schooling or job training used to further or establish a career.

Lump Sum Alimony

With approval from the courts as well as all parties involved, alimony can be paid in one lump sum rather than spaced out over however many months initially required. Some of the reasons lump sum payments are more favorable are if the payor is concerned about missing a payment – something that comes with potentially serious consequences – or if they want to move past this part of their life and want to get rid of a monthly reminder that they used to be married.

By paying your alimony in one lump sum, you give yourself the ability to invest more money and potentially see its value increase into the future, as well as removing concerns over your ex-spouse missing a payment. Missing payments can come with increasingly serious consequences, and if they happen frequently enough, may require a court order to ensure that they are made. If the court holds them in contempt, they have the ability to take certain steps to compel your ex-spouse to make payments, including:

  • Imprisonment for a set period of time
  • Imprisonment until payments are completed
  • Liens on property
  • Seizure of property – like tax returns – in place of payment
  • Wage garnishments

One downside to receiving your alimony payments in a single lump sum is the potential tax consequences. You should consult with your attorney if you are deciding between receiving alimony through monthly payments or in one lump sum to ensure that you are making the best decision for your financial future.

Even if everything starts out simple and seemingly straightforward, divorce proceedings can quickly become contentious and complicated. No matter what happens, it’s always a good idea to hire a qualified divorce attorney to assist you throughout the whole process. At Matthew Sheasby, Attorney at Law, our divorce lawyers have been helping families secure a stable and financially sound future for almost 20 years. Fill out the form on our website for your free case consultation, or give us a call at (909) 992-0188 to request a meeting with one of our Rancho Cucamonga divorce attorneys.

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