Alimony is the most amorphous legal concept known to family law. Unlike child support, there are no strict guidelines as to how much alimony to award and for how long--if alimony is even to be awarded. Alimony is an issue where reasonable minds can, and often do, disagree. The factors for the court to analyze in determining an alimony award are vague, open to interpretation, and do not give much guidance as to how much alimony should be and for how long, if any.
After a divorce, there are two types of alimony--traditional alimony and rehabilitative alimony. The courts may order one form of alimony, both, or neither.
The primary purposes of traditional alimony (aka spousal support) are to narrow any large gaps in income earning capacity of the divorcing spouses and to allow the recipient spouse to live as nearly as possible to the station in life enjoyed before divorce.
The primary purpose of rehabilitative alimony is to facilitate the spouse receiving rehabilitative alimony back into the workforce. The factors for determining rehabilitative alimony are different than the factors for determining traditional alimony.
Temporary spousal support may be awarded during the divorce litigation. Temporary spousal support is more of a community property division or a community maintenance award, rather than true "alimony". The general standard for temporary alimony is the spouse's need and other spouse's ability to pay.
Alimony can be complicated, even for legal professionals. Peter James, Esq. can assist you with your alimony determination to make sure that the amount is fair and that the duration is reasonable.