Spousal support, also known as alimony, is supposed to be temporary and “rehabilitative.” Rehabilitative means to an economic functioning level, i.e. earning a reasonable living. The public policy is to assist the former spouse to be self supporting.
If temporary spousal support cannot bring about rehabilitation, then the court can, in proper circumstances, order spousal support on a long-term or indefinite basis. Indefinite spousal support is granted less often these days.
Technically, husbands can get spousal support from wives, but it rarely happens. Spousal support is based upon the relative needs and resources of the parties. The legislature has set out certain criteria for the courts to consider and they include the following:
District of Columbia
Indefinite spousal support can be raised or lowered over time if there is a change of circumstances. If you do not get spousal support at the time of the divorce, you cannot get alimony later on.
Living with someone after the divorce, regardless of whether you have sex or not, may cause spousal support to be lowered or stopped. Death of one of the persons paying or receiving spousal support, or marriage of the person receiving spousal support, will terminate alimony unless the divorce settlement agreement provides otherwise. The court can require a bond or put a lien on property to ensure the payment of spousal support.