Divorce can take a toll on anyone. However, divorce can be especially frightening for people who were dependent on a spouse who financially supported their lifestyle, paid for healthcare benefits and served as the breadwinner of the family.

However, dependent parties should know that they can request alimony. And they can request alimony based on their specific needs, as there are different types of alimony.

Types of alimony

The following are types of alimony a person might collect in California:

  1. Temporary (paid only during separation)
  2. Permanent (paid after divorce)
  3. Rehabilitative (paid only until the recipient can support himself or herself)
  4. Lump-sum (a one-time payment of support in place of monthly payments)

Factors to be considered in ordering support

The type of alimony that you might receive depends on the specific details of your case and circumstances. Generally, the factors that affect the type of alimony a person receives includes:

  • The length of the marriage
  • The needs of each party, including living and health expenses
  • The marital standard of living
  • Each party’s ability to financially support himself or herself
  • Earning potential for each party
  • The efforts and amount of time it would take a financially dependent party to be self-supporting
  • The contributions each party made during the marriage
  • Other agreements, including child custody and property division
  • Whether there is a prenuptial agreement addressing alimony in the first place

These factors can help the courts (or the individuals) decide if spousal support is justified and what type of alimony may be the most appropriate.

It is crucial to note that not every person who requests alimony will receive it. Courts can deny requests if there is no legitimate need for it or if it would be unreasonable for the supporting party to pay it.

Changing laws

The tax treatment of alimony changed on January 1, 2019. Under federal law, for new matters, support payments are no longer tax deductible and recipients no longer have to include the payments in taxable income. Without this incentive, people who are ordered to pay support may be more likely to seek lower spousal support payments.

Considering all that goes into decisions on alimony, having legal guidance can be crucial, whether you are requesting it or responding to a request for it.