Rehabilitative alimony is alimony that the paying spouse is supposed to pay over a specified period of time in order that the dependent spouse may achieve goals necessary to become self-supportive. This type of alimony is used as a means to ease the transition from married life to single life.

Is Rehabilitative Alimony Available To All Dependent Spouses?

The idea behind rehabilitative alimony is that short-term rehabilitative alimony will take the place of permanent alimony because the dependent spouse will, after the rehabilitative period, be able to financially support him/herself. Thus, in order to be considered for rehabilitative alimony, the receiving spouse must demonstrate the ability for future potential earnings. 

How Is Rehabilitative Alimony Requested And Received?

Typically, the receiving spouse that is requesting the rehabilitative alimony must present the court with a plan describing the skill, education, or rehabilitation to be acquired, the process and means to acquire such skill, and the end use or purpose of the skill. Determination of award and the amount of award is left to the discretion of the court. For alimony to be awarded, however, the court will need to see that there is the capacity and probability for self-sufficiency at the end of the rehabilitative period.

What Are The Factors To Be Considered In Awarding Rehabilitative Alimony?

Some of the factors that the court considers in determining whether rehabilitative alimony is appropriate and the amount of the award are:

  • Needs of the dependent spouse
  • Costs of achieving the necessary goals
  • Age and capacity of dependent spouse
  • Presence of other settlements or monetary awards
  • Extent of dependent spouse's economic dependency
  • Whether the dependent spouse sacrificed educational and employment opportunities during the marriage to benefit the marriage
  • Financial circumstances of the paying spouse

How Long Will Rehabilitative Alimony Last?

Typically, if rehabilitative alimony is awarded, the court will spell out specific guidelines regarding the purposes, goals, and duration of the alimony. When establishing these guidelines, the court will take into consideration the specific facts and situations of the spouses and the circumstances of the divorce. In general, the court will base the duration on the time needed to achieve the goals. Remember, however, that rehabilitative alimony depends upon a good-faith effort of the receiving spouse to attain the prescribed goals. Failure to demonstrate a good-faith effort being made in rehabilitation may result in termination of the rehabilitative alimony.

Do I Need A Family Attorney?

Rehabilitative alimony is perfect for spouses who have compromised their careers or education for a marriage and believe that they can achieve a higher earning potential if given the opportunity. If you are a dependent spouse and believe that achieving certain goals will assist in making you more self-sufficient financially, then hiring a family attorney to handle your rehabilitative alimony request will assist in getting you on the path to gaining your independence.