Types of Spousal Support
Different types of spousal support will get awarded depending on your personal situation. Some types of alimony only last for a few months or years. Others can last for much longer. One type of spousal support consists of temporary spousal support, also referred to as pendente lite. To receive this type of spousal support, you will have to file temporary orders during the divorce.
This type of alimony allows both spouses to maintain their lifestyles while they are going through this difficult process. This is achieved by having the spouse that makes more money pay support to the spouse that doesn’t. Temporary spousal support will occur in a situation like the one I listed above. It happens when one spouse makes much more money than the other. Temporary spousal support is especially common in situations where only one spouse in the relationship has a job.
This type of spousal support is exactly what it sounds like – temporary. When your divorce gets finalized, these payments will no longer occur. This is because the spouse with a lower income needs to support themselves.
Another form of alimony is called periodic alimony. If you had temporary alimony during your divorce, you could get periodic alimony when the divorce ends. This type of spousal support is paid to the spouse with the lower earnings during the marriage. The divorce will clearly change this spouse’s income and lifestyle. This spouse will receive spousal support for a certain period of time and in a certain amount. Periodic alimony typically ends after a certain amount of time. Alimony also can terminate upon the receiving spouses’ remarriage, and in some circumstances, cohabitation. Cohabitation in Connecticut gets defined under specific statute.
One other type of spousal support is called permanent alimony. While the previous types of alimony mentioned are meant to be temporary, this type of support is permanent. Permanent alimony can only get terminated by one of two events. The first is if one of the parties involved in the agreement dies. The other is if the party that receives the spousal support remarries.
Sometimes cohabitation could end such alimony award. Despite the fact that permanent alimony is rarely terminated, it can be adjusted based on the financial situation of both the payer and the recipient. For example, if the payer gets a promotion, the recipient can petition for larger payments. The logic here would be that the person paying the alimony would be in a position to pay more without having it affect his or her financial standings.
On the other hand, if the person paying the alimony loses their job, or if they take a pay cut, a petition can occur to have the alimony amount decreased. The person paying the alimony would argue that they are no longer in a position to pay the same amount.
Alimony is typically modifiable. This means that upon a substantial change of circumstances, the award of alimony, amount and/or term could get modified with good cause. You should consult with your attorney to make sure specific provisions are in your divorce agreement to specify if alimony is modifiable.
Rehabilitative alimony is alimony given from one spouse with significant financial assets and job experience to another spouse who does not have these individual characteristics and needs time and money to attain them. One spouse might make payments while the other goes back to school or gets job training.
The options for alimony are: (1) none, (2) $1.00 per year, (3) lump-sum alimony or (4) periodic alimony. If the divorce judgment provides for $1.00 per year, that figure give the court the authority to modify the amount in the future, if the legal requirements for modification are met. “Rehabilitative alimony” is transitional support awarded to one of the spouses during a period of education or training necessary to achieve self-sufficiency or make up for time that the spouse has been withdrawn from the workplace. If you are awarded no alimony you cannot change that in the future based on circumstances. Because alimony is deductible to the party who pays it, it is a device to shift the tax burden to the spouse who is likely in a lower tax bracket. Alimony is therefore an important divorce financial planning device.