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What are the different types of alimony?

On Behalf of | Apr 9, 2013 | Child Support, Spousal Maintenance

Alimony or, as it is sometimes called in Colorado, spousal maintenance refers to payments made from one former spouse to the other after divorce. Often during a marriage, one party may become accustomed to a certain lifestyle and the law provides for the wealthier spouse to make payments for them to maintain it.

However, determining alimony is not always simple. There are actually five different types of spousal maintenance that may be ordered in divorce proceedings and each has its own purpose and requirements.

The first kind of alimony actually begins before a divorce is finalized. Temporary alimony refers to an ongoing payment that is made when a couple is separated but not yet divorced. It may help cover divorce costs or it may act as a substitute for permanent alimony before the divorce. Permanent alimony refers to traditional alimony, the amount awarded by a judge after divorce proceedings.

Rehabilitative alimony may be ordered by the judge for a fixed period of time after the divorce. If one spouse is not economically self-sufficient, they may receive rehabilitative alimony for support while they seek education, job training or employment. On the other hand, if one spouse paid for another’s education the one who benefited may have to pay reimbursement alimony to pay them back for that investment.

Lastly, there is something called lump-sum alimony. This allows one spouse to collect one lump-sum payment of money in lieu of marital property. In our next post we’ll talk about how long alimony orders can last.

Each divorce is unique and courts must take each spouse’s financial situation into account when determining if alimony is appropriate and how it should be paid. To help ensure your interests are represented, consider getting in touch with a family law attorney.


Source: Law & Daily Life, “Paying Alimony: The 5 Types of Alimony,” Neetal Parekh, Sep. 14, 2009