Spousal maintenance is something the court might issue if it is requested by a spouse during a divorce. It used to be more common when women weren’t working and relied on their husband’s income for support. Now, more people than ever are dual-income earners, meaning spousal maintenance is somewhat less likely to be granted by the court. However, there are four types of spousal support a judge could issue, depending on different circumstances.


If the court orders temporary maintenance, or pendent lite, a spouse will be paid a stipend until the divorce is finalized. This amount is to help a spouse maintain his or her lifestyle between the date of the initial separation and the divorce. Usually, the court will issue it through a temporary court order.


Rehabilitative spousal support only lasts for a short period to help a spouse “rehabilitate” himself or herself. This is typically issued in a case where a spouse stops working for a period of time, such as to spend most of their time raising children. Rehabilitative maintenance allows a spouse the financial support needed to job train, get an education, seek job experience, or become self-sufficient. This type of financial support is granted for a fixed period of time, and the parties can either agree on that period or have the courts mandate a timeline.


Permanent maintenance will last until the death of the payer or the death or remarriage of the spouse receiving the payments. In some cases, it can even continue after the recipient remarries. Permanent spousal support can be modified depending on changes in circumstance. If the payer loses a job, for example, the payments can be amended to suit his or her lifestyle until he or she can find a new position. Likewise, if the recipient suffers a loss of income or a traumatic injury, he or she can petition for an increase in support.


If a spouse caused his or her husband or wife to lose money, that spouse might be ordered to reimburse the other for the cost. For example, if a woman pays to put her husband through medical school, she can request spousal support to reimburse her for the cost. The payments can either be a lump sum or paid over a longer period of time.

If you’re curious about whether or not you might need or have to pay spousal maintenance, talk to one of our experienced St. Charles divorce attorneys. Smith Law Offices, LLC has more than 20 years of combined legal experience to offer your case. Let us talk to you about your situation in a case consultation.

Schedule a conversation with us by calling (636) 400-1177 or filling out our online form today.

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