In any given marriage, it may be the case that one spouse is the primary breadwinner or that one spouse is financially dependent on the other. If and when the parties divorce, it is common for a court to award alimony, otherwise known as “spousal support,” to one spouse. The idea behind alimony is that a lesser-earning or financially dependent spouse will have financial help during and after the divorce such that their standard of living does not drastically change as a result of the divorce.
Alimony may be awarded both during the pendency of the divorce case and upon the granting of the divorce. While the case is pending, the court may award pendente lite alimony. “Pendente lite” is a latin term meaning “pending the litigation.” Pendente lite alimony may be awarded during the initial stages of a divorce case so that the spouse receiving alimony does not have to wait until the end of the divorce litigation to receive financial support. At the end of the case, the court will decide whether or not to award alimony and if the court does award alimony, that amount may be different from the pendente lite alimony previously awarded.
There are two types of alimony – rehabilitative and indefinite alimony. Rehabilitative alimony is awarded for a finite, definite number of months or years to follow the divorce. Indefinite alimony (sometimes referred to as “permanent” alimony) is sometimes awarded when a spouse is incapable of becoming self-supporting after the divorce or the standards of living between the parties would be unconscionably disparate.
Alimony is one of many questions that arise during the separation and divorce process. The law firm of Greenberg Legal Group LLC is here to guide you through that process. Contact our office at (410) 650-4242 to learn more about how we can help you.