Divorce Alimony Laws - So You're Getting a Divorce, Helpful Things to Know In many cases when a couple seeks to divorce, one spouse has been the higher wage earner and provider for the family. Sometimes, the non-wage earner or lower-wage earner has less education and skills than the higher wage earning spouse. In order to ensure the economic and financial well being of the lower-wage earning spouse, alimony payments may either be agreed upon by the divorcing couple or set by the court. Alimony may be permanent or rehabilitative based on the circumstances of the couple. The guidelines used to determine spousal support payments are set by divorce alimony laws, and each state's statutes concerning spousal support are generally based on The Uniform Marriage and Divorce Act. Most state's alimony guidelines include the following considerations: • The standard of living established during the marriage • The length of the marriage • The age as well as the physical and emotional condition of each spouse • The length of time required for either spouse to obtain sufficient education or training to secure appropriate employment • The ability of the payer spouse to meet alimony obligations and still support himself or herself Additional guidelines may include considerations such as: • The non-marital and marital financial resources of each spouse, including income and debts • The available sources of income for each spouse • The contribution of and the services rendered by (i.e. child care) each spouse during the marriage According to divorce alimony laws, rehabilitative alimony requires that there be a specific finding that one spouse is financially needy and requires assistance from the other spouse in acquiring the skills needed to obtain proper employment and adjust to a new life. It is assumed that once the needy spouse has obtained employment and has achieved a level of financial stability, alimony will no longer be necessary. In some cases of rehabilitative alimony, a spouse may not be working because of young children in the home. In these cases, once the youngest child is of school age and the spouse is then able to work, alimony payments will be terminated. Temporary alimony may be awarded while a couple is separated and waiting on the divorce to be finalized. As with rehabilitative alimony, there is usually a set time limit for temporary alimony payments. Permanent alimony, according to divorce alimony laws, is the indefinite payment of spousal support. If the divorce decree does not specify a termination date for the alimony payments, then spousal support is to continue until the court determines that payments may be terminated. Reduction in alimony payments may be determined by the court if certain conditions are met by the payor spouse. The laws regarding spousal support do vary by state, but most state statutes follow the general guidelines established under The Uniform Marriage and Divorce Act. Wendy Pan is an accomplished niche website developer and author. To learn more about divorce alimony laws, please visit Divorce info Online for current articles and discussions.