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Understanding the types of alimony available through divorce

When Minnesota couples marry, they tend not to consider the possibility of the union ending in divorce. Yet, no matter the length of the marriage, if it is clear that a marriage is no longer working, divorce is likely the best option to take if the relationship is unsalvageable. While this means taking the time to consider any and all divorce issues, one thing tends to stand out for most spouses: finances. Ensuring that one's post-divorce finances are in check is essential when moving forward with dissolution, which is why some spouses request alimony during the divorce process.

Seeking monetary support post-divorce does not automatically mean that the spouse requesting alimony was a stay at home parent or the primary caregiver. It could simply be that they did not make as much as their spouse and are seeking to maintain the standard of living they became accustomed to during their marriage. No matter the reason for requesting spousal support, it is important to understand the different forms it could take.

A spouse could request rehabilitative alimony. This is financial support that is short-term and temporary. The goal of this type of alimony is to help a dependent spouse until he or she can become self-sufficient. These payments are often used to obtain a college degree, gain new job skills, or cover expenses until new employment is obtained.

Another form of alimony is termed "modifiable alimony." This type of spousal support can be modified by increasing it, decreasing it, or ending it when material changes occur. These could be events such as new employment, unemployment and remarriage. Alimony can also be non-modifiable. This is when a specific fixed amount is paid for a specified amount of time or until a certain event occurs. Finally, alimony can be permanent. This occurs when a couple was married for a long time and is frequently when spouses are old in age. This form of alimony is paid until a terminating factor occurs. This can include events such as cohabitation, remarriage or death.

Understand how alimony can take various forms can help divorcing spouses determine if it is right for them. No matter what divorce issue you are stuck on or disputing over, it is important to understand your rights and what mechanism could help you resolve them.

Source: Divorcemag.com, "4 Types of Alimony You Need to Know About," Donna M. Cheswick, Oct. 27, 2016

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