In a divorce proceeding, if one of the spouses needs temporary alimony, there is a procedure for going to court almost immediately after the case has been filed to get an order for temporary alimony. At the final hearing, the court may grant alimony to either party and it may be bridge-the-gap, rehabilitative, durational, or any combination thereof.
In some cases the court may award temporary alimony while the divorce is pending while one spouse needs financial support during the divorce process. This type of award automatically ends once the divorce is finalized.
At the final hearing, the court may order less or more than the temporary alimony, or it may order no alimony. Other types of alimony that is awarded on a shorter-term bases include bridge-the-gap and rehabilitative. If the court determines that one party has the need for alimony and the other party has the ability to pay alimony, the court will determine which type and amount of alimony should be awarded.
The court shall consider a number of factors including but not limited to:
- The standard of living that was established during the marriage.
- The length of the marriage.
- The age, physical and emotional condition of each spouse.
- The financial resources of each party.
- The earning capacity, educational level and employability of each spouse.
Bridge-the-gap alimony may be awarded to help one party make the transition from being married to single. This type of alimony is specifically designed to help someone with legitimate and identifiable short-term needs, and the length of such award is not to exceed 2 years.
Bridge-the-gap alimony terminates upon the death of either party or upon the remarriage of the receiving party. An award for this type of alimony cannot be modified in its amount or duration.
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Rehabilitative alimony may be awarded to assist one party while he or she becomes self-supporting either through the redevelopment of previous skills or credentials or, through the acquisition of education or training or work experience necessary to develop the appropriate employment skills.
In such cases the receiving party is put on a "rehabilitative plan" and the award for rehabilitative alimony can cease upon a significant change of circumstances, the completion of the rehabilitative plan, or upon noncompliance of the rehabilitative plan.
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