The media portrays alimony like a life sentence — something that no one is happy about except for the person suing for it. It can feel like a sniping, exploitative loophole designed to stoke animosity and strain finances, but it is a useful tool for ensuring that both spouses separate in a secure manner.
California’s statutes, as detailed on their website, expand alimony options into five broad options. Most alimony awards, contrary to the above perception, are temporary and they all revolve around the unique details pertinent to the case.
This brand of alimony assists during the time after the spouses separate but before they finalize their divorce.
The courts may award this instead of a property settlement, but it stands as an option in case one spouse wants to pay it all at once upon separation instead of making monthly payments.
This award assists spouses who assisted their exes with financial debts during the marriage. A common example is a spouse receiving payments for their support for the other spouse’s pursuit of higher education.
Some spouses, once separated, may find it difficult to generate an income enough that they support themselves. This award has one spouse pay the other through the necessary training for them so that they can earn a proper living.
This award persists indefinitely until the death or remarriage of the payee spouse. Long-term marriages are most likely to merit this.
As Forbes points out, judges factor in a lot of details regarding a divorce case to determine what spousal support is appropriate. Length of the marriage, considerations of employment and well-being of children factor into these calculations. These tools help people move on with their lives, but it is important to keep the specifics in mind so that each party comes away fairly.