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Alimony: What Does it Mean?

We’ve all heard the word “alimony” but what does it mean? Alimony is maintenance payments from one former spouse to another. It is not meant to punish a spouse, but rather, to take into consideration that one spouse may have a better ability to take care of herself than the other. Alimony is meant to make things fair and equal for both spouses after a divorce.

There are several types of alimony – temporary, bridge-the-gap, rehabilitative, durational and permanent.

The length of a marriage influences alimony greatly. So does the standard of living established during the marriage, the age and physical and emotional condition of each party, the financial resources of each party, the earning capacity of each party, the contribution of each party to the marriage, responsibilities each party will have to any minor children and tax consequences and more.

A short-term marriage is defined as having lasted less than 7 years, a moderate term marriage is having a duration of more than 7 years but less than 17, and a long-term marriage is one that has a duration of 17 years or greater.

The types of alimony are designed to do things from helping a spouse transition to being single, supporting a former spouse while they learn a new skill or providing a former spouse permanently with the ability to live the lifestyle established in the marriage.

It’s important that you have a lawyer that understands the rules governing alimony. At Dunham and Ingram we have extensive family law experience that helps us protect you during one of life’s most stressful times.