Alimony is a type of payment that one spouse might be legally entitled to pay the other as a direct result of their divorce. Depending upon numerous factors, the one spouse may qualify for spousal support from the other to help maintain their quality of living.

It is defined as a rehabilitative tool that is intended as a means of temporary support until the other party is able to become self-sufficient. The length of time and amount is based entirely on need of the party involved. Contacting an attorney to discuss your options concerning support is one of the best options for you.

Often, the support order is issued for a specified time frame. Usually, the payments are based on a weekly or monthly schedule, but often, they are the direct result of a divorce agreement. If the other party requests alimony or they are not willing to waive their right to it and there is no agreement reached between the parties, the judge may award the payments at the divorce hearing.

Depending on your individual situation, the judge may opt to award you with temporary support at the beginning of your proceedings. It will often remain in effect until after your divorce is completely settled, at which time it could become permanent or reconfigured to meet the needs of both parties.

Even though it is meant as a rehabilitative measure, it is intended to be short in nature, and only paid for a limited time frame. The order should be specific and define a termination period, which will often be when the one receiving the support is able to sustain himself or herself without support.

Many times, the support is only temporary, but there are situations where it can turn into a permanent basis. As long as the facts justify the long-term payments, the other party will be responsible for continued payment. If the other person suffers from a serious disability or is unable to work due to old age, permanent support may enter into the equation. The judge will look through occupation, health, age, skills, amount of income, where it comes from and what the employability factors are for both parties before making a final decision.

In order to determine whether one party is responsible for paying the other, the judge will look closely at the party’s ability to pay. Plenty of cases exist where the one person deserved support payments, but the other party was unable to make the necessary payments. If that were the case, the party would not receive anything from the divorce for support payments. Depending on the situation, the other spouse may be obligated to pay another spouse for child support or some other bill that cannot be excused.

Those who tend to be the best candidates for support payments are those who have been a homemaker for years and put their career on hold for the sake of the other spouse. Due to one spouse being at home with the family, the other spouse was able to advance their career, which means that they can afford to make the support payments.