Divorce Terminology: Different Terms for Alimony

Spouses have different reasons for seeking some sort of financial support after divorce--lifestyle adjustments, a career side-tracked to manage the home and raise children. The terminology surrounding this assistance can be confusing, but the terms all carry the same meaning.

There are situations where financial support is needed after a divorce, and this support can be limited to a time period, or it can be ongoing for a longer time period. The duration usually depends on how long the marriage lasted.

Alimony is the most commonly heard term for financial assistance from one spouse to another after a divorce. For some, the term carries the image of a ridiculously wealthy divorcee living to a standard she could not afford on her own, but the term is more than this image and its stigma. It may be this very reason why the terms “spousal support” or “spousal maintenance” came about. These terms directly describe the aspects of continued support without the baggage and implications surrounding the term “alimony”.

The important thing to keep in mind while divorcing is that you may be entitled to alimony or spousal support. If one spouse needs time to attain an education to help support themselves, or time to find a job, a judge may be in favor of rehabilitative alimony or spousal support. This means that for a certain period of time, one spouse continues to provide financial support in order for the other spouse to gain financial stability.

If you are considering paying alimony to a spouse, or if you fall into the category of the spouse who needs support, be sure you understand the scope of how this works. Our attorneys at Hickey & Hull can answer your questions, and we will seek to find the best solution for our clients. It’s about to get better. We’re here to help.