Spousal support or alimony is designed to provide the lower earning spouse with the required monetary needs to set better standards of living, even after the dissolution of marriage.
According to South Carolina laws, court provides 5 types of alimony.
- Periodic alimony – This is a ongoing support (generally paid every month) but only for a period of time. Court can review and modify the support if there are substantial changes in spouses’ life.
- Lump sum alimony – This alimony is a set amount of support which is decided by the court and it cannot be changed. It can be paid once or in few installments.
- Rehabilitative alimony – This support amount is paid so that the spouse can get into a school or training program and improve his/her job skills to earn more. The court decides the total amount to be paid.
- Reimbursement alimony – This alimony is basically designed to reimburse the supported spouse for investing time, efforts, and/or money in the supporting spouse’s education or training that improves his/her earning capacity.
- Separate maintenance and support – This type of alimony can be provided when the couple is no longer living together, but not filing for the divorce either. This support is paid on regular basis, generally every month and can be changed by the court in future.
Factors that court considers while deciding the alimony amount
- Length of the marriage
- Age of both spouses when they got married and at time the they are getting divorce
- Educational background of both spouses; whether they require any additional education or training to improve job skills
- Physical and mental condition of both spouses
- Earning capability and employment history of both
- Living standard during the married time
- Which partner holds the child custody
- Current and future expenses of both
NOTE: The above list is not limited to the mentioned factors only. For clear and better understanding of South Carolina alimony laws and related queries, it is best to consult or hire an expert alimony attorney.