Divorcing spouses who can show a need may be entitled to spousal support. Even though both spouses frequently work outside the home nowadays and earn income, inequality still exists. Spousal support comes in several forms, but it may end in certain circumstances. Read on to learn more about the various forms spousal support may take and how it usually ends.

Spousal Support Variations

There are three main ways for spousal support to be ordered:

  1. Temporary: This form of support may be ordered during the separation period. The support may end with divorce but usually continues with either rehabilitative or permanent support. Lasting only a few months, it can help spouses who need financial help to begin to live separately. Those who wish to continue the support after the divorce must show an ongoing need.
  2. Rehabilitative: This form of support covers an ex-spouse who lacks job training or education but has the potential to work and earn income. The support may end when the spouse accepts a job that provides an income.
  3. Permanent: This form of spousal support is usually aimed at older spouses or those with medical or other conditions. These spouses may not be able to attain employment and will need ongoing support for the rest of their lives.

Permanent Support: How Does It End?

Permanent support usually only ends when the receiving spouse marries again. Here is what else to know about the ending of permanent spousal support:

  • In most cases, permanent support is ordered only when the paying spouse can afford it.
  • Spouses receiving support may become involved in a relationship and begin to cohabitate. Some divorce support orders address this issue, but many do not. If the paying spouse objects to paying spousal support to their ex who is living with someone, they may take the matter to court. The judge, rather than viewing things from a relationship point of view, might instead find out more about the financial details of the cohabitating couple.
  • Some spousal support providers make arrangements to provide for their ex-spouse regardless of remarriage. Some providers go even further and make provisions in their estate plans to continue to support the ex-spouse after their death. Commonly, this is accomplished using a trust with a trustee appointed to oversee the disbursements.
  • Finally, some couples take a different route. Instead of paying their ex a regular payment, they provide them with a lump sum payment or property. This provides a quick ending to support and resolves any ongoing issues.

To find out more about spousal support, speak to a lawyer like Charles E. Craft, Attorney at Law