The courts have carved out a term for alimony durational alimony is a legal remedy that will run its course until it reaches its pre-determined expiration date. It is often referred to as spousal maintenance, and the payments include the costs of living and tuition for one spouse while the other continues to work. This alimony is a legal remedy for many divorcing couples, but it is not permanent. Therefore, if your spouse remarries or seeks a modification, it is essential to contact a qualified legal professional to help you make the best case possible in court.

Durational alimony 

What is durational alimony?  A financially dependent spouse receives aid through durational alimony. It might be months or years after the divorce. When there is no need for permanent spousal maintenance, durational alimony is usually awarded. It cannot be longer than the marriage term, which is capped at 17 years. The durational alimony clock begins ticking after the complaint about divorce takes place. However, the clock doesn’t start until after the divorce is finalized. The Holmes decision clarified the rule and addressed future alimony ordered through a complaint about modification.

While a spouse cannot stop alimony from running its course, a recipient spouse may take legal action to force the paying spouse to pay. If the recipient spouse fails to make alimony payments, a criminal or civil contempt petition can be filed. The recipient spouse must show that the owed spouse willfully disobeyed the order and intentionally violated it to prove a case.

If alimony is not paid until the final divorce, the court can award temporary alimony to the other spouse. This is useful in helping one spouse pay monthly bills and personal expenses. For example, an interim alimony award can cover the cost of attorney’s fees and child support. A spouse who cannot pay their bills is likely to be unable to maintain their standard of living.

Reimbursement alimony

Responsible alimony is another form of spousal support that reimburses the lower-earning spouse for expenses such as education and training. It is generally ordered for a limited period and ceases when the recipient becomes self-sufficient. Reimbursement alimony reimburses the lower-earning spouse for education and training, but it’s not ongoing. Lump-sum alimony is paid instead of property settlement.

The courts generally aim to make sure that both parties live at the same standard of living, so alimony may include tuition and costs of living expended by the student spouse. This alimony can also be a stepping-stone to further education, job training, or additional education. The type of alimony awarded depends on the facts of the case. For example, if one spouse is a student, the court may also award a non-student spouse spousal support for the remainder of their studies.

The Courts may also consider community contributions as reimbursable community expenditures. In California, for example, the Courts have noted that in Mullonkal & Kodiyamplakkil, the community contributed to the education of the student spouse. Thus the former spouse should be reimbursed for these contributions. Again, however, the obligor’s contributions must enhance the other spouse’s earning capacity.

Alimony can be modified or terminated.

In most cases, alimony can be modified or terminated after divorce. To do so, the party seeking a change must demonstrate that its circumstances have significantly changed. These changes must be substantial and lasting and are not simply short-term problems. For example, a significant debilitating illness or significant change in income can qualify for a modification. In other situations, however, the conversion may not be possible.

In such cases, the length of the duration of the durational alimony may be changed or terminated. In addition, alimony may be modified only if there are exceptional circumstances, such as a new job or a spouse’s health. Moreover, durational alimony is subject to a time limit – it must be at least as long as the marriage lasted.

UMDA SS 316 allows for modification of alimony when the circumstances of one spouse have substantially changed. The change must be substantial enough to make the terms of the alimony award unconscionable. This could include the death of one of the parties, a significant difference in the income level of one or both spouses, or a substantial increase in the income of one spouse. In addition, the change must be significant enough to warrant a modification of the alimony award.

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