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What types of alimony are available in California?

Alimony, also known as spousal support, is money paid from a person to their former spouse after their marriage has ended. An agreement between the parties or an order from the court may establish an alimony obligation between formerly married persons, and the form of payment that the alimony obligation takes on can be very different depending upon certain factors related to the parties' case.

A prior post on this Santa Rosa family law blog discussed factors that can contribute to a court's establishment of an alimony order, and this post will build on that information by discussing the types of alimony awards that may be put into place after a couple's divorce. It is important, though, that readers understand that their cases may proceed down different legal paths as all legal matters are distinct.

Alimony may be paid in a single lump sum from one spouse to another, and once the lump sum is paid the obligation between the parties is terminated. It may also be paid for the duration of the recipient's life, and this form of alimony is considered a permanent obligation that may endure even if the paying spouse passes away.

Between lump sum and permanent alimony are other types of spousal support, such as rehabilitative and reimbursement alimony. These forms of support help a spouse get back on their feet after a divorce and may assist them in obtaining the training or education they need to reenter the workforce so that they can provide for themselves.

Alimony can be short-term, long-term, rehabilitative, permanent and practically anything in between. In order to better understand if alimony may be a factor in their divorces, readers are reminded that consultation with family law attorneys may be helpful.

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