Alimony is also referred to as “spousal support” or “spousal maintenance.” An often highly contentious aspect of divorce, alimony is a court order requiring one spouse to provide financial support to the other spouse either during or after a divorce. The specifics of the laws relating to alimony will greatly vary between states. Furthermore, a court can often have wide discretion in determining the amount and length of an alimony award.
How Long Am I Expected to Pay Alimony
In Arkansas, a spouse may file a petition seeking alimony from a soon-to-be former spouse in order to maintain the same standard of living that was held during the marriage. The state of Arkansas has three types of alimony that can be awarded. First, there is temporary alimony. Divorce can be a prolonged process. On top of this, moving from what may have been a two-income household down to a one-income household can be a financial shock. This may be especially true for the person who was not necessarily the primary earner in the household. Because of these truths, courts have the discretion to order temporary alimony payments to the lower-earning spouse in order to provide financial support while divorce proceedings are pending. The award of temporary support will terminate upon the court entering the final divorce decree.
Rehabilitating alimony, on the other hand, is awarded after the divorce is finalized. It is the most commonly ordered type of alimony in Arkansas and it is only temporary. The goal of rehabilitative alimony is to permit one spouse the opportunity to find a job or secure the necessary training to improve income earning and employment potential by providing financial support. Rehabilitative alimony will usually only cover the projected time period estimated for the spouse to complete the necessary training or job search.
Lastly, there is permanent support. An award for permanent support is becoming increasingly rare. This is even more true for marriages shorter in length. In most cases, a spouse has a better chance of permanent alimony if it was a long-term marriage and the spouse, at the time of the divorce had little to no employment prospects due to being of advanced years in age or of poor health.
The exact length of time a court will order alimony to be paid will vary depending on a variety of factors. One of the primary factors to consider will be the length of the marriage. It is said that a good rule of thumb is that an award for one year of alimony will be granted every three years of marriage. This, of course, can widely vary depending on a number of other factors.
Regardless of the length of time alimony may be awarded, it will terminate in the event of certain things occurring. For instance, if a spouse receiving alimony payments remarries, alimony payments will end. This is also true if the recipient spouse does not get married, but maintains an intimate relationship with another person with whom he or she lives full time. Additionally, an alimony award will terminate if either spouse to the alimony agreement dies.
Family Law Attorney
For more information on alimony and other important aspects of divorce, the Law Office of Bryce Cook has answers for you. Contact the Law Offices of Bryce Cook today.