Alimony is a court-ordered obligation for one spouse to provide financial support to the other spouse. Alimony can be ordered during a separation and divorce, and even after a divorce is final.
In Indian Land, both spouses can come to an agreement in regards to alimony or the judge may make a decision if you and your spouse can’t agree. Alimony arrangements can either be temporary or permanent depending on your unique case.
The judge can order either spouse to pay alimony as they see appropriate. Our family lawyers at Harden Law can let you know more about what to expect based on your circumstances during the separation and divorce process in regards to alimony.
What Will the Court Consider When Determining Alimony?
There are several factors that the court will consider when determining if alimony should be awarded, what type, and for how long alimony payments are appropriate. Some of these factors include:
- How long you’ve been married
- Both spouses’ age at the time of marriage and divorce
- Both spouses’ educational background, as well as whether either spouse needs more education or training to increase income
- Each spouse’s mental and physical condition
- Each spouse’s employment history and earning ability
- Current earnings and any expected changes in their incomes
- Current expenses of the spouses and any anticipated changes
- Each spouse’s property, including that awarded in divorce or separation proceedings
- Which spouse has custody of the children and whether that person can be expected to work
- Any misconduct or fault of either spouse that affected their financial circumstances or contributed to the breakup of the marriage
- Tax consequences of support payments
- Whether each spouse is already paying support to another person
With so many factors to consider, it’s impossible to make any kind of guarantee when it comes to what alimony arrangements you can expect from the court. At Harden Law, our team does our best to outline potential outcomes and prepare you for the proceedings, but nothing is for certain.
The Five Different Types of Alimony in Indian Land
There are five different types of alimony in the state of South Carolina, including:
- Periodic Alimony
In periodic alimony, one spouse is required to make ongoing payments (typically monthly) for an unspecified period of time to the other spouse. The court can review and modify this arrangement if either spouse’s circumstances change.
2. Lump Sum Alimony
This type of alimony is a set amount of support that will be paid either all at once or in a few payments, as is generally more common. In lump sum alimony, the amount can’t be altered after the order is made by the judge.
3. Reimbursement Alimony
Reimbursement alimony is ordered to compensate one spouse for support already given, whether financial or personal. This could have been support that allowed the other spouse to gain additional education or training that helped increase their income. The court will determine the amount of alimony to be paid, and similar to lump sum alimony, the payments can be made all at once or over time.
4. Rehabilitative Alimony
The purpose of rehabilitative alimony is to help a spouse who doesn’t have the ability to earn their own income or a significant amount of income. Rehabilitative alimony allows the spouse to attend school or training to improve job skills and earn more money. As in reimbursement alimony, the court will determine the amount, which can be paid all at once or in installments.
5. Separate Maintenance and Support
An Order of Separate Maintenance and Support is a common order filed when couples are no longer living together, but do not yet have grounds for divorce (for a no-fault divorce, couples must live separately for one year before filing).
In this form of alimony, either spouse may request support. The supporting spouse will pay on a regular basis (again, usually monthly), and the court can modify the amount or the terms if either spouse’s circumstances change.
How Long Will Alimony Payments Continue?
There’s no way to be certain how long a judge will order alimony to go on for. The duration of the alimony payments is usually dependent on the type of alimony a spouse is awarded.
Payments in periodic alimony are ongoing until the spouse receiving alimony either remarries or lives with another person in a romantic relationship for 90 days or more. If either spouse dies, the order is considered void unless the court determines otherwise.
Lump sum alimony, rehabilitative alimony, and reimbursement alimony will all end when the amount is paid in full. In some cases, the judge can order that the alimony end if a specific event occurs, such as if the spouse receiving alimony gets a job.
Likewise, the court can extend the order if something happens that prevents the spouse from attaining self-sufficiency. Any change in circumstances can mean the court can review the order and make adjustments as necessary.
In separate maintenance and support, if the spouses divorce or if the spouse receiving alimony lives with another person in a romantic relationship for 90 days or more, the order will end. If either spouse dies, it will be considered void unless the court says otherwise.
It’s also important to remember that the spouse paying support can deduct the payments from their income. For the spouse receiving, the payments count as income and are taxable.
Have More Questions About Alimony in Indian Land? We’re Here for You
Harden Law is a reputable law firm in Indian Land helping both individuals and families get through what’s often an incredibly challenging time with comprehensive and professional family law services. Let us help you secure the support you need for yourself and your children with our expert legal guidance during your separation and divorce. Call us today to set up a consultation to review your case!