In divorce cases, there are different types of spousal maintenance that the court may order. In many cases, rehabilitative spousal support is favored because it is governed by statutory limitations with regards to duration and amount. On the other hand, the court may order temporary spousal maintenance if the divorce is still pending, or transitionary spousal maintenance when making the final decree of divorce. The court awards permanent maintenance when the divorce is being concluded. In cases involving spousal maintenance, the main questions are whether you will have to pay spousal maintenance, whether you will receive alimony, or whether Utah has spousal maintenance. Here is a look at the basics of rehabilitative spousal support and other forms of spousal maintenance orders
What Is Spousal Maintenance?
Spousal maintenance is money given by one spouse to support the other spouse after divorce. The purpose of spousal maintenance is to help the spouse with a low income and to make the standards of living for both spouses to resemble what they enjoyed while they were still married. Spousal maintenance is not gender sensitive, and in this case, any spouse could request for it.
What Is Rehabilitative Spousal Maintenance?
Rehabilitative maintenance is also called marital support, divorce maintenance, and spousal maintenance. This type of spousal maintenance gives a spouse a temporary arrangement to help them get back on their feet.
What Conditions Must be Satisfied for One to Get Spousal Maintenance?
A spouse will not receive spousal maintenance automatically. There are prerequisites to be met by the spouse asking for spousal maintenance. To qualify for spousal maintenance:
- The spouse asking for maintenance must lack enough property to cater to their minimum reasonable requirements. Sufficient property means both the property of the spouses and his/her portion of community property after the divorce.
- The divorcing parties should have been married for 10 years and above, and the party asking for support cannot earn enough income to provide for their minimum reasonable needs.
What Is the Duration for Rehabilitative Spousal Maintenance?
Rehabilitative maintenance is subjected to statutory limits of duration. Generally, the law allows alimony to last for 5 years for marriages that lasted between 10-20 years. For marriages that lasted 20-30 years, the law requires the support period to last for 7 years. For marriages that lasted for more than 30 years, the law requires spousal maintenance to last 10 years.
In all cases, the maintenance award should not be 20% of the paying spouse’s gross income and not above $5,000 per month. It is also worth noting that in all cases, the court is required to award only the least amount and duration of spousal maintenance that is necessary for a spouse to earn enough income and satisfy their reasonable needs.
Other Types of Spousal Maintenance
- Temporary Spousal Maintenance: This type of spousal maintenance is awarded when divorce is pending. It gives the poorer spouse an opportunity to receive sufficient funds to cater to their needs. Temporary spousal maintenance lasts up until the court gives a final divorce decree. This means that it could last for months or go for even years. For the judge to make a fair ruling, they must have all the information regarding all the aspects of the spouses’ debts, assets, and income.
- Transitional Spousal Maintenance: The above type of spousal maintenance is different from temporary spousal maintenance in the sense that it is not implemented when the final decree of divorce has not yet been reached but rather when the divorce decree has been reached. It gives the spouse in need time to receive an education, training, or any other skills to help them become self-sufficient. Transitional spousal maintenance terminates after a new permanent order that either terminates spousal maintenance or sets a certain amount of spousal maintenance.
- Permanent Spousal Maintenance: It is the amount of support that a paying party should pay as long as the decree dictates. Permanent spousal maintenance only changes by showing a substantial change in the circumstances of the spouse.
When Can the Terms of Spousal Maintenance be Changed?
The terms of spousal maintenance can be changed and the amount payable be increased or decreased by filing a modification petition. The first step to filing a modification petition is to prove a material change in circumstances. For example, the petitioner should prove things like a serious illness or loss of a job.
The second step after proving a material change in circumstances is that the court will review the same factors it did in the original ruling to determine if the spousal maintenance amount should be modified in any way.