There are several factors that play in to a judge’s decision regarding spousal maintenance awards in a divorce case, including the length of a marriage, the ability of one spouse to pay, the ability of the other spouse to support themselves, and more. On this blog, our St. Louis divorce attorneys take a look at four recognized types of spousal maintenance, and discuss the key differences between them.
Temporary Spousal Maintenance
Temporary maintenance is one of the most common forms of maintenance and is awarded while a couple goes through the divorce process in order to allow the lower-earning spouse to maintain their lifestyle until the divorce is finalized. Most often this is awarded via a temporary court order, and ends when the divorce is finalized. However, it does not prevent the receiving spouse from then being awarded a different type of support in the final agreement.
Permanent Spousal Maintenance
Contrary to its name, permanent spousal maintenance is not necessarily permanent. These orders are given as part of a final divorce agreement, and usually have some form of a termination clause, though not always. Permanent orders are usually only given for couples who have been married longer and where the receiving spouse does not have a lot of marketable skills and cannot be reasonably expected to maintain their quality of life. Most often, these maintenance awards are terminated when the recipient passes away or re-marries (though can in rare cases continue even after re-marriage).
Rehabilitative Spousal Maintenance
Rehabilitative is similar to permanent spousal maintenance and serves the same purposes, but has more termination triggers than permanent maintenance. Rehabilitation maintenance is designed to help the receiving spouse achieve what they need to support their lifestyle on their own. Therefore, it can end when a spouse graduates college, gets a job with a certain salary, achieves a professional certification, or even just surpasses a pre-determined amount of time.
Reimbursement Spousal Maintenance
Reimbursement maintenance is somewhat rare. These awards are given so that one spouse can return the money the other spent on helping them with their career. For example, if one spouse worked to put the other through full-time medical school, the judge could order the med-school spouse to pay back the other in the amount of money the other spent on their career. These usually have a defined amount and can be paid in payments over time or in a single lump-sum if possible.
At Kallen Law Firm, our team of St. Louis divorce attorneys may be able to assist you with the complexities of your divorce, including spousal maintenance awards. We recognize the importance of being able to maintain your lifestyle after a divorce, and we work hard to ensure that your final agreement is fair and maintains the best interests of both you and your family. Our knowledgeable counsel can help guide you through your case with a compassionate and professional approach to all your legal needs.For a free initial consultation, call Kallen Law Firm today at (314) 441-7793 to speak with a representative today!