Three Forms of Alimony to Which You May Be Entitled
The main purpose of alimony is to provide financial help for a spouse after a divorce. You may view it as a way of recognizing a spouse's contribution to the marriage (which includes your financial status). For this reason, most people are used to long-term payments of alimony. However, this is not the only form of alimony that you may receive. For example, you may need alimony to do the following.
Rehabilitate Your Situation
If you don't have the means to support yourself, then you may need to rehabilitate yourself to get to the point where you can do so. For example, it might be that you got married before completing college. You may need to go back and complete it so that you look for employment or start a business.
The courts may be more compelled to award you this alimony if you have some potential. For example, if you dropped out of law school, and you were performing well, then completing it may give you a career with which you can support yourself.
Bridge the Gap to Your New Status
The transition from marriage to singlehood can be costly. For example, you may have to look for a new house if you are the one leaving your matrimonial home. You may also need it to cater for short-term daily expenses while waiting for your joint business to sell and get your part of the money.
In states that recognize this type of alimony, there is a limit on the duration for which you may receive it. This is to prevent the receiving spouse from abusing the system by prolonging the gap. For example, you should not dilly-dally in selling a house if you are supposed to sell it and use the proceeds.
Support Yourself during Divorce
Lastly, you may also need some money to support yourself during the divorce period. This is even more necessary if you don't have a source of income and the divorce is taking a long time. Given that the average length of a divorce for contested divorce is about 17 months, this can be quite a substantial amount of money. If you think you need it, then your lawyer will file a temporary alimony petition.
Discuss with your divorce attorney your financial needs so that he or she can help you decide which form of alimony to apply for. Remember that the court may require some sort of proof that you need the money for the stated purpose. For example, if you need money to rehabilitate yourself, then you need to show a viable plan of how you intend to do it.