Alimony can be one of the most hotly disputed topics in a South Carolina divorce case, especially since emotions are often closely tied to financial issues. State laws allow for different types of spousal support depending on the circumstances, and one may be important to you while the case is pending. South Carolina’s statute authorizes the judge to award alimony pendente lite, which would require one party to make payments during the proceedings. When you consider the fact that a case may take months or years to resolve, there may be a need to support the lower earning spouse.
However, when people think about the different types of alimony, they are usually referring to payments once the process concludes. There are multiple arrangements that a court might consider after making the decision that spousal support is appropriate. These options affect you as payor or recipient, so it is important to understand the basics. By consulting with a Charleston County alimony lawyer, you can learn more about the following:
1. Periodic or Permanent Spousal Support:
This is the most common form of alimony awarded in South Carolina divorce cases, and it is one that you probably recognize. Periodic spousal support involves monthly payments to the recipient to balance the financial inequities between the parties. Despite the terminology, this type of alimony is usually temporary because it aims to help the lower earning party become financially secure.
2. Lump-Sum Alimony:
In some cases, a judge may order one party to make a one-time payment to the other. Often, the arrangement is part of the court’s decision on property division: When assets and debts are divided, the lump-sum alimony is a way to make the distribution fair. If this type of spousal support is awarded, it may sidestep other alimony laws that would typically apply. For instance, remarriage by the recipient would not affect support.
3. Rehabilitative Support:
With some marriages, one spouse may stay out of the workforce to contribute to the family or household. This puts him or her at a disadvantage in divorce because employment opportunities may be limited without a work history. Rehabilitative alimony is awarded to help that person get the education and training necessary to become self-supporting.
4. Reimbursement Alimony:
When one spouse has incurred significant expenditures to support the other while married, a judge may order reimbursement of these amounts in divorce. The most common example is where a spouse helped pay tuition, training, and other expenses for the other’s education. Reimbursement alimony may overlap with the other types, such as where it is paid as a lump sum to one party.
Discuss Options with a South Carolina Alimony Attorney
It is useful to know the different types of spousal support, but retaining a knowledgeable lawyer is essential for a real-life case. Our team at the Peck Law Firm is ready to assist with alimony issues, so please contact us to schedule a free consultation. You can reach our offices in Charleston, Mount Pleasant, or Summerville, SC at 843.631.7117 or via our website.