Spousal support is a common term to define money paid to a spouse during or after the divorce process. Alimony is designed to allow the supported spouse to maintain the marital lifestyle. In some situations, spousal support is awarded to one spouse to give them the opportunity to rehabilitate themselves to maintain that lifestyle. There are basically four types of alimony in South Carolina: permanent periodic alimony, rehabilitative alimony, lump sum alimony and reimbursement alimony.
Permanent Periodic Alimony
Is permanent (paid until either spouse dies, the supported spouse remarries or the supported spouse cohabits for a period of 90 days or more) and paid periodically. It can be changed or terminated on a showing of a substantial change of circumstances. Permanent periodic alimony is the most favored and common form of alimony in South Carolina. When the parties are not yet divorced, permanent periodic alimony is called separate support and maintenance or spousal support.
Is alimony set for a period of years and is also paid periodically. It is terminated when either spouse dies, the supported spouse remarries or the supported spouse cohabits for a period of 90 days or more. Rehabilitative alimony can only be awarded when there is evidence that the supported spouse can become self-supporting. It is frequently awarded when the marriage is short or when the supported spouse can become self-supporting through further education or training.
Lump Sum Alimony
Is alimony that is fixed in amount. It can be paid all at once or in set payments, however the total amount of alimony awarded is set, and cannot be changed. It is terminated when the supported spouse dies but not when the supported spouse remarries or the payor spouse dies. Lump sum alimony is typically awarded when the supported spouse needs a fixed amount of support or when the parties desire a fixed support obligation.
Is designed to reimburse the supported spouse for investment in the supporting spouse’s education or business. This investment does not necessarily need to be a financial investment; it can include investments of time and energy in taking care of the household (including children) or the household expenses while the other spouse expends effort and funds in developing a business or obtaining an education.
At the Law Firm of Sandye T. Hicks, LLC,
We help clients throughout the Conway and Myrtle Beach, South Carolina area understand the factors that are considered in spousal support / alimony. To learn more about the spousal support / alimony payments you may be expected to make or may be entitled to receive, contact us today (843) 488-2929.