How long do you have to pay maintenance?

SmartAsset: How long does maintenance take?

Divorce is obviously a difficult chapter in everyone’s life. In addition to clarifying personal matters, it is often difficult to deal with the financial consequences of a divorce. Whether you are paying or receiving alimony, knowing how long the alimony lasts is a top priority. And the answer is that it depends on the details of your divorce, but it can last a few months, several years, or even the death of a partner.

If you are sorting out the finances of a divorce, you should consider working with a financial advisor to create a financial plan for your new goals and priorities.

What is alimony?

When a marriage ends in divorce, alimony is an option on the table. In essence, alimony is a court-mandated financial support paid periodically by one ex-spouse to another.

Although it is an option for divorcing spouses, it is not very common. And it’s getting less and less common over time. According to Reuters, alimony was a result of 25% of divorce cases in the 1960s, but in 2015 it was just 10%.

Typically, alimony is only an option if you depend on your spouse for financial support, do not have access to sufficient assets to meet your needs, are unable to earn a living from work, or if you are unable to earn a living through work due to caring for a child.

How long does the maintenance last?

SmartAsset: How long does maintenance take?

SmartAsset: How long does maintenance take?

The length of alimony varies widely, depending on the details of your divorce and your state’s laws. Depending on the situation, child support payments can fall into one of these categories:

Temporary maintenance: With this type of alimony, the funds may be needed during the divorce proceedings. However, the payments end when the divorce is finalized.

Permanent or long-term maintenance: In this case, a former spouse would make alimony payments to the other until the receiving spouse dies, retires, or remarries.

rehabilitation maintenance: Rehabilitation support has a fixed end date. The goal is to ensure that a spouse has enough time to get back on their feet. This, the most common type of modern alimony, tells you the end date when the divorce process is complete.

The story goes on

alimony repayment: If one spouse has invested in the other spouse’s business or education, the reimbursement of alimony can serve as repayment for his or her sacrifice. For example, if a couple divorces at his wife’s expense after her husband graduates from college, he may have to repay her investment in his future.

The timing of alimony payments varies. However, these time frames are intended to give you an idea of ​​what type of obligation the court may order.

What factors influence the length of maintenance?

In addition to the type of maintenance, there are several other factors that affect the duration of this financial obligation. Key factors include:

State Laws. When it comes to divorce, it depends on where you live. For example, in the state of Florida, alimony payments may not exceed the duration of the marriage. But in other states, that may not be the case.

length of marriage. A longer marriage tends to result in higher alimony claims than a shorter marriage. Most courts consider 20+ years a long marriage.

employability. If one spouse was the main breadwinner while the other was responsible for household chores, that can affect the alimony promises. For example, the breadwinner may need to support their ex-spouse while they acquire the skills they need to support themselves.

parental roles. If a spouse is the primary caregiver for a child, that can affect child support payments. However, child support also comes into play.

standard of living. The amount of the maintenance payment depends on the standard of living that the former spouses enjoyed during the marriage. Higher expenses often lead to higher maintenance obligations.

Mistake. Some courts consider why the marriage ends. For example, if one spouse cheats on the other, that could affect child support payments.

financial resources. What counts is what each party brings with it. If both parties have sufficient assets to support themselves after the divorce, there is usually no need for alimony.

bottom line

SmartAsset: How long does maintenance take?

SmartAsset: How long does maintenance take?

Child support can be a significant part of a divorced person’s budget. Whether or not alimony payments are required as part of a divorce settlement depends heavily on the individual situation. In addition, the amount varies depending on the details of the divorce. In any case, it makes sense to create a plan for how these child support payments will affect your finances.

Financial tips for marriage and divorce

  • Divorce takes a huge toll on your finances. It might be time to enlist the help of a financial advisor while you work out the financial implications. SmartAsset’s free tool puts you in touch with up to three financial advisors based in your area, and you can interview the right advisors for free to decide which one is right for you. If you’re ready to find an advisor who can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.

  • Still in the early stages of marriage or unmarried? A pre-nuptial or post-nuptial agreement provides a way to protect your assets.

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