How Long Does Alimony Last? A Legal Perspective

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Alimony is one of the more misunderstood parts of the divorce process. While there is one word to describe payments that one spouse makes to the other, there are actually several types of alimony.

Alimony is meant to equalize the standard of living between the spouses after the divorce. How long it lasts depends on the recipient’s ability to earn more money over time. One form of alimony can be permanent. This is awarded when there is a gap in the amounts that the spouses can earn that would not be able to be bridged by the receiving spouse getting more education and job skills. This will continue for an entire lifetime unless the paying spouse proves to the court that it is no longer necessary.

There Are Different Forms of Alimony

There is also temporary alimony. This is awarded so that one spouse can take time to raise their own standard of living while the divorce is in process. They could go back to school or take time to find a new job. The court will place a time limit on this sort of alimony. This is also known as rehabilitative alimony.

The court can order one spouse to also pay alimony in a lump sum. Obviously, this obligation will be a one-time payment, and it will not last permanently. Alimony is a major issue for both spouses in a divorce. For the receiving spouse, it can make the difference in being able to pay their bills. For the paying spouse, it can represent a large obligation, either on a one-time or permanent basis.

Greenville Family Law Firm

You should never negotiate or face a divorce that has issues of alimony on your own. Contact the Elliott Frazier Law Firm online or call us at 864-635-6323 to talk about your matter.


Can I get alimony in my divorce case?

Usually, this all depends on the differences in the spouses’ post-divorce financial situation.

Can I get alimony without a judge ordering it?

The two parties can agree on their own to alimony in the divorce agreement.

Can I request alimony after the divorce?

No, the end of the divorce is the end of the time period to ask for alimony.

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