Alimony in Alabama is frequently referred to as spousal support, but may also be called spousal maintenance or spousal allowance.
Spousal support or alimony is the amount of money one spouse pays the other spouse for financial support, either during the divorce proceedings and/or after a divorce in Alabama.
Alimony is intended to preserve the economic status of both spouses, as it existed during the marriage. When there is a large discrepancy in incomes, the spouse who makes less money may be unable to continue paying for living expenses, in which case the court may order the higher earning spouse to assist the lower earning spouse financially through alimony.
The Alabama court system recognizes several types of alimony, the three main types of Alimony in Alabama are “pendente lite” – which is temporary alimony during the court proceedings – as well alimony after the divorce is final, which may be temporary or permanent alimony.
In most alimony agreements, the paying spouse gives the recipient spouse a specified amount of money either monthly, weekly, or biweekly, for a set period of time, this called Periodic Alimony.
In a few cases, the alimony agreement will call for payment of a lump sum; this is called Lump Sum Alimony and is viewed more as a property settlement rather than alimony in many cases.
Alimony that is used to allow the lesser earning spouse the opportunity to establish the ability to support themselves is referred to as Rehabilitative alimony. This type of alimony is most likely to occur in shorter term marriages. Rehabilitative alimony is temporary, allowing the ex-spouse time to either find a job or obtain training and education to improve their prospects for employment.
Permanent alimony is not as common as it used to be. Permanent alimony is not actually permanent; it is actually just long-term alimony. Permanent or long term alimony is most likely to occur in longer term marriages and is generally reserved for older spouses who have served as homemakers during long marriages. Divorcing couples can reach an agreement between themselves regarding long-term or permanent alimony.
If you're considering a divorce in Alabama and would like more information about your legal rights, contact Divorce Attorney Birmingham Al, Steven Eversole for a free initial consultation.