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What happens if my spouse requests alimony?

When one spouse requests alimony during a divorce, it may be opposed by the other spouse. Both spouses should be familiar with how an alimony request is treated and when a request for alimony may be granted.

Factors used to determine alimony

A variety of factors are considered when an alimony request has been made. Some of those factors include:

  • The need and ability of the spouses to pay;
  • The age and health of the spouses;
  • The duration of the marriage or civil union;
  • The earning capacities of each of the spouses;
  • The standard of living enjoyed by the family during the marriage;
  • The parental responsibilities of the spouses for any children;
  • The tax consequences of the property settlement agreement between the spouses; and
  • The contributions of both spouses to the marriage, including financial and non-financial contributions.

The different types of alimony

There are several different types of alimony that may be awarded including open durational alimony; rehabilitative alimony; limited duration alimony; and reimbursement alimony.

  • Open duration alimony can be awarded for as long as the recipient spouse is unable to support themselves.
  • Rehabilitative alimony is awarded for a short period of time to help the recipient spouse obtain training or education to allow the to earn a reasonable income.
  • Limited durational alimony may be awarded for a short period of time, especially in situations when recipient spouse is younger and more employable.
  • Reimbursement alimony is the last type of alimony that may be awarded that is designed to reimburse the recipient spouse if they support the education of the other spouse.

Each type of alimony that may be awarded is for a different purpose and may be for a different period of time. This can be an important part of an alimony request. The family law system can used to help divorcing spouses request alimony and understand when the request may be granted which is valuable information to have.