Spousal support (alimony) might seem like a dead issue to some, but it is actually still awarded to spouses on a regular basis. Just because there are more working women than ever doesn't mean that the original purpose of spousal support is no longer valid. This issue can be somewhat controversial in this day and age, but there are good reasons for it even today so read on to learn more.
Spousal support has existed for hundreds of years and admittedly was originally aimed at women. This form of support was offered to spouses who had little to no work experience, whether it was because of tending to children or not. While these days there are fewer situations that have a woman needing help, there is no shortage of spouses of either sex who might need more support when they are parting from the family's main breadwinner. It might just as easily be the male who has stayed home with the children or who could not work for other reasons.
Spousal support used to have strong ties to fault in the marriage and was often seen as a penalty the cheating spouse had to pay. In almost all states there is an option to be divorced using the "no-fault" method, but some states allow fault to play a part in nearly all issues, from child custody and visitation to property and debt divisions. While you may file for divorce using irreconcilable differences, you may still find that fault can play a part in the awarding or denial of spousal support.
Types of support
Another big change in the way spousal support is ordered is by the addition of rehabilitative support. This form of support has become more popular and allows the spouse that needs the financial support to take a few years to achieve financial independence. Often, this means the spouse is provided with income while they attend classes, finish their degrees or undergo job training. The goal of rehabilitative spousal support is to one day be entirely self-supporting. Usually, this form of support lasts for the duration or attainment of a specific goal rather than for a certain amount of time.
The two other most-often used forms of spousal support are temporary and permanent. Temporary support is ordered before the divorce is final and is meant to bridge the gap between the separation and the final decree. Permanent support is rarer but it has its place, in some instances. Older or sick spouses may need a lifetime of financial support and if the providing spouse is willing and able to provide it then it is an option.
Speak to a divorce attorney to learn more about spousal support.
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