If the court orders maintenance, it can be temporary, permanent or permanent. If the court orders temporary maintenance, this applies for a certain period of time.
The court can order a temporary alimony that applies only while the case progresses through the court system, which is designed to ensure the payee has some income while the case is resolved.
Typically, permanent or rehabilitative support is provided for a specified period of time long enough for the payee to receive training, education, or to re-enter the labor market and build up earning capacity. The goal is that alimony payments serve as a bridge to self-sufficiency. Temporary alimony is far more common than permanent alimony.
Permanent or lifetime child support can only be granted in a limited number of states and is usually granted under limited circumstances. For example, it may be appropriate when a marriage is ending after a very long time and the payee’s spouse has given up his career to stay at home and support the payer’s work. Or it may be appropriate if the payee’s spouse is disabled and unable to work.
In other words, there must be good reason why the court considers that alimony should be for life.
Alimony payments can be made as periodic payments or as a lump sum.
States that allow permanent child support payments
Permanent or lifetime alimony is uncommon and, in states that allow it, is exceptional because of the health, age or disability of the payee.
Circumstances in which maintenance ends
Child support payments usually end when the payee remarries or begins living with a new romantic partner. It also ends with the death of one of the parties.
The paying spouse can also apply to the court to amend a court order if the financial circumstances of either party change.