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Rehabilitative Alimony


After the divorce is final, the divorce court may order one spouse to pay the other rehabilitative alimony until the spouse has adjusted and established him or herself. This type of alimony award has an end date, unlike permanent alimony.

The divorce court will outline specific guidelines for rehabilitative alimony, including the purpose, goals and length of time alimony will be paid. Typically, the divorce court will determine the amount of time rehabilitative alimony will need to be paid by how long the receiving spouse will need to achieve the goals to become self-supporting. Rehabilitative alimony depends on the effort of the receiving spouse to work toward the goals too. If the receiving spouse fails to attempt to meet the goals, the rehabilitative alimony may be terminated.

Modifying Rehabilitative Alimony

As circumstances change for either spouse, it's possible to petition the divorce court to modify alimony. It may also be possible to terminate rehabilitative alimony if the receiving spouse remarries or one of the spouses die.

At the end of the set time period, the divorce court will review the circumstances of the case to determine if rehabilitative alimony is still needed or it the amount needs to be changed. If the divorce decree or written agreement doesn't specify to review the alimony award, the divorce court may not be able to review it, depending on the state's alimony law. A local divorce attorney can help you negotiate the terms of rehabilitative alimony to make sure you will be financial stable after divorce.

Requesting Rehabilitative Alimony

When requesting rehabilitative alimony to be awarded by the divorce court, the receiving spouse might need to present a plan describing what rehabilitation will need to happen for the spouse to become self-supporting. This may include education or skills needed, how to acquire them and the purpose of acquiring them.

The divorce court will take the plan and other factors of the divorce into consideration when determining length and amount of rehabilitative alimony. Before the divorce court will award rehabilitative alimony, the receiving spouse will need to prove that he or she has the ability to be self-supporting at the end of the alimony award.

Factors Determining Rehabilitative Alimony

When determining the amount and length of a rehabilitative alimony award, the divorce court will consider a number of factors, such as:

  • Financial needs of the dependent spouse
  • Costs of becoming independent
  • Age and ability of the dependent spouse
  • Other alimony awards and property disbtribtuion
  • Economic dependency of the dependent spouse
  • Sacrificed opportunities during the marriage by the dependent spouse
  • Financial needs of the paying spouse
  • Other relevant factors

Divorce laws in your state will determine what factors the divorce court should consider to determine a rehabilitative award.

Speak to a Divorce Lawyer about Rehabilitative Alimony

With help from a local divorce lawyer, you can understand the different types of alimony awards and which you may be expected to pay or receive in your divorce. Connect with a divorce attorney near you to discuss the circumstances of your divorce and how each may affect an alimony award. Call 877-349-1310 or fill out a divorce case review form to get in touch with a divorce lawyer near you today.

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The above summary of rehabilitative alimony is by no means all-inclusive and is not legal advice. Laws may have changed since our last update. For the latest information on alimony laws, speak to a local divorce lawyer in your state.