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What are the different types of alimony in Hawaii?

On Behalf of | Feb 19, 2024 | Divorce

In Hawaii, as in many other states, courts can require one spouse to pay financial support to the other during a divorce to minimize the adverse impact of the separation on the lower-earning spouse. This is called alimony or spousal support and it comes in different forms.

In terms of duration

Courts can award spousal support for a specific period or until the situation meets a particular condition. These types of alimony are as follows:

  • Temporary: Courts award this type of alimony during the divorce proceedings, which aims to support the lower-earning spouse until they issue the final divorce decree.
  • Rehabilitative: This form of alimony supports the receiving spouse for a certain period while they gain the necessary skills or education to become self-supporting.
  • Permanent: Usually, courts award this type of alimony in cases of long-term marriages, where the age, health or lack of earning opportunities of the receiving spouse makes it unlikely that they can become fully self-supporting.

Nonetheless, durational alimony is not the only category of spousal support.

In terms of payment methods

Courts can also categorize alimony based on the method by which they are distributed, which includes the following:

  • One-time lump sum: This is a form of spousal support where the paying spouse gives the receiving spouse a single, fixed amount of money instead of ongoing, periodic payments.
  • Monthly payments: Contrarily, monthly payments refer to ongoing and periodic payments by one ex-spouse to the other following a divorce or separation.

The type of spousal support courts award depends on the unique factors of each case, including the length of the marriage, the standard of living during the union, the age and health of the parties and the financial resources and earning capacity of each spouse.

Understanding these factors, advisably with the guidance of a knowledgeable legal representative, can help divorcing parties prepare for the possibility of paying support and manage expectations as to what they can receive.

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