PLM Family Law

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When does rehabilitative spousal support end?

Spousal support provides financial help for one spouse after a divorce. It is typical to help a spouse who leaves the marriage with less income and assets than the other and seeks to ensure neither spouse ends up in a bad financial place.

The court can award different types of spousal support, which usually carry set terms. One option for the court is rehabilitative support. The terms and conditions for ending this type of support are different from other types.

Rehabilitative defined

Rehabilitative spousal support is a payment to help one spouse prepare for employment. The court sets the payment period based on the needs of the receiving spouse. For example, if the person needs to obtain a degree, then the support payments would continue until the person obtains that degree. An award of this type may occur when only one spouse worked during the marriage or when one spouse supported the other through college, but the marriage ended before the roles could switch. The idea is to allow the receiving spouse a fair chance at seeking solid employment.

Typical conditions

For most types of spousal support, the court will end the obligation if the receiving spouse remarries or lives with a romantic partner in a marriage-like arrangement. But the law provides an exception for rehabilitative support payment. Because of the nature of rehabilitative support, the court will not allow the paying spouse to end the obligation before the stated term set in the divorce decree. Even if the other spouse remarries, there will be no impact on the order.

Because spousal support can be a large financial obligation, it is important for a person to make sure they completely understand the terms set by the court. They should also note an order of rehabilitative support is difficult to end early.