5 Common Types of Alimony

When a couple gets divorced, the court may order one spouse to pay the other alimony, which is money paid to help support the other spouse. If the couple has children, one spouse may be ordered to pay child support. There are different types of alimony that a court may order, and this article will discuss the five most common types.


This type of alimony is a one-time payment that is made to the other spouse. It is usually given in cases where one spouse has a large number of assets and the other spouse does not have much income.

Permanent Periodic

This type of alimony is paid until the other spouse dies or remarries. It is usually ordered in cases where one spouse has a much higher income than the other spouse.


Transitional alimony is paid for a specific period of time to help the other spouse adjust to living without the support of the paying spouse. It is often ordered in cases where one spouse has left the other spouse for a new relationship.


To explain what is durational alimony, also known as rehabilitative alimony, its purpose is to provide financial stability for the spouse who has been economically disadvantaged by the divorce and to allow that spouse to become economically self-sufficient. This is typically awarded for a specific period of time, and it is generally not considered permanent support.

Alimony can be in the form of cash, property, or services. Different types may be ordered by the court and each type has its own set of rules. More than likely what you’ll need is an attorney who specializes in divorce law for your particular state. Familiarize yourself with the types of alimony and what each entails to make an informed decision on what is best for you and your family.

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