Spousal support is common in many divorce cases and usually involves one spouse paying the other on a routine basis. For instance, there are many situations where one spouse is not working, and because he or she has been out of work for a period of time, the working spouse has to provide support.
Every state has different rules regarding the duration of spousal support, but in truth, there is no clear-cut way to go about determining how long spousal support lasts.
Spousal support, also called as alimony, is ordered by the court and is meant to be rehabilitative, in the sense that is will be in place as long as necessary for the receiving party until he or she becomes self-sufficient and self-supportive. It is not uncommon for the court to also set an exact time for when the spousal support expires or when payments are no longer necessary. If this does not happen, then payment must be continuously made until the court makes an order otherwise, or the paying spouse makes a motion to stop the payments.
Another possible element that could change the duration of spousal support is the personal life of either spouse. If the receiving spouse re-marry or has a live-in partner, the payments will most likely end. This could be true even if the amount paid up to that point is not enough to qualify as “rehabilitated.”
It is only on rare occasions that spousal support would be permanent, and that is only under a small umbrella of circumstances. The most common one is if the spouse that receives the support has health problems that would require them to have most, if not all of their costs covered.