Spousal support is a form of financial maintenance that can help one spouse have a more stable financial situation after a divorce. For example, if you are not working due to caring for the home and children, your spouse may need to pay spousal support while you try to find work, go back to school or raise your children without time to work.
There are a few kinds of spousal support, but most are known as "rehabilitative alimony." This rehabilitative support is not intended to be permanent. That means that most people will receive it only until they're financial stable or for the terms specified in a court order.
Rehabilitative alimony is established for a fixed period of time. For example, if you need to go back to school to be able to get a job and it will take three years to complete school, you may receive alimony for four years, the time it takes to go through school and some extra time to secure employment.
In some long-term marriages, alimony might be ordered permanently. This is more common when both spouses are older or one is unable to work due to illness, age or other factors.
How do you know how much alimony you'll receive?
There is no way to know for sure. While there may be guidelines, the factors that play a role in determining how much alimony you receive vary based on your circumstances. A judge has to look at all aspects of your case before determining how much alimony is fair and for how long it will be necessary.