Spousal support gives chances to go back to school

Alimony Part II: Types of Spousal Support

During the dissolution of a marriage, one party may be left at a significant financial disadvantage. In some cases, the court may award rehabilitative alimony or bridge-the-gap alimony to this party as a type of spousal support. These types of financial support are intended to alleviate stressors and ease the transition from being married to becoming single.

In this article, we examine a few of the factors the court may consider when determining if these types of spousal support options are appropriate in your situation.

Rehabilitative Alimony

What is Rehabilitative Alimony?

Rehabilitative alimony is awarded when the court determines one party needs assistance in establishing the capacity for self-support. This newfound self-reliance is often achieved through the redevelopment of a previously held set of skills or acquiring new education, training or work experience. When determining if this type of alimony is appropriate, the court considers a variety of factors.

How do I Qualify for Rehabilitative Alimony?

To decide if your situation calls for this type of spousal support, the court examines several different elements. The most heavily weighted factors include:

  • The length of the marriage
  • The amount of time requested to complete the rehabilitation plan
  • The costs of the rehabilitation plan

Supplementary elements the court may consider include the ages and incomes of both parties, the party’s ability to increase their income and the custody status of any minor children.

How Do I Create a Rehabilitative Plan?

Developing a rehabilitative plan requires writing out projections based on logical assumptions and probable outcomes. To be accepted by the court, projections must be specific, detailed and realistically attainable. The plan should include projected timelines, accurate cost estimates and specific goals.

Termination or Modification of Rehabilitative Alimony

Rehabilitative alimony is a temporary award and may be terminated or modified due to substantial changes in your circumstances. A few of these changes include:

  • Noncompliance with the rehabilitative plan
  • Completion of the rehabilitative plan
  • The receiving party remarries or passes away
  • The paying party passes away

Bridge-the-Gap Alimony

What is Bridge-the-Gap Alimony?

Like rehabilitative alimony, bridge-the-gap alimony is awarded to provide support for one party during the transition from being married to being single. Often, bridge-the-gap alimony is awarded in the dissolution of short-term marriages where rehabilitative alimony is not justifiable.

Bridge-the-gap alimony is designed to assist a party with legitimate, identifiable short-term needs. Due to the temporary nature of these needs, this type of alimony is usually awarded for two years or less.

Once a court determines bridge-the-gap alimony is appropriate, the amount or duration of the award is not modifiable. Termination of these alimony payments occurs upon the death of either party, the remarriage of the receiving party or when the allotted time has passed.

Learn More About Your Spousal Support Options! 

Dissolving a marriage often causes greater financial stressors for one of the two parties involved. The specifics of your case may qualify for bridge-the-gap or rehabilitative alimony to help alleviate these stressors. Contact Craig Vigodsky and get down to the brass tacks of your spousal support options.


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