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How Do I Know if I Can Get Alimony?

Under the Alimony Reform Act, general term alimony is granted to a spouse who is economically dependent. Of course, the other spouse must also be earning sufficient income in order to have an ability to pay alimony.

The length of time general term alimony must be paid is dependent on the length of the marriage.  For example: for marriages that are five years or less, the duration of general term alimony is 50% of the number of months of marriage. There is a range of percentages for each five year increment in length, up to a marriage of 20 years. For marriages over 20 years the duration of alimony could be indefinite.

The formula for general term alimony is 30% – 35% of the difference in income between the two spouses.

Other types of alimony may also be available such as rehabilitative alimony, which is granted to a spouse who is expected to become self-sufficient by a predicted amount of time.  The duration of rehabilitative alimony payments can be no longer than 5 years.

Reimbursement alimony is compensation for a contribution to the other spouse’s support. An example where reimbursement alimony may be appropriate involves one spouse who supported the household and also paid for the other spouse to go to school. This type of alimony is restricted to marriages of not more than five years. It can be made as a periodic or a one-time payment.

Transitional  alimony is intended to allow the recipient to adjust to a lifestyle or location. This type of alimony is restricted to marriages of not more than five years and should not last more than three years from the date of divorce. It can be made as a periodic or one-time payment.

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