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What is alimony?
Types of alimony

What is it alimony?

Alimony consists of one spouse paying another spouse support payments, usually because the spouse receiving the payments is in need and cannot support his or herself. Usually, the typical alimony situation is where one of the parties did not obtain much education, had no career and was a "stay at home mom," or some other such situation that the person needs assistance.

In Louisiana, alimony is referred to as "spousal support" and there are two types of available spousal support.

Types of alimony

Temporary Alimony
Temporary alimony is referred to under Louisiana law as "interim spousal support." This form of alimony is designed to provide a spouse with proceeds necessary to meet their income and expense requirements during the pendency of a divorce. The interim spousal support can continue past the divorce, but no longer than 180 days past the divorce. Much of this is left to the discretion of the Court with regard to the amount of debt and income that both of the parties have.

One of the most important features of interim spousal support is that there is no necessity to prove any type of fault. All a spouse needs to do is demonstrate a need for support by showing income and expenses. Interim spousal support is designed to maintain the current standard of living that was enjoyed during the marriage during the pendency of the divorce.

Permanent Alimony
Again, Louisiana has its own term for permanent alimony, which is "permanent periodic spousal support." Permanent spousal support is available to a spouse who is free from fault in the breakup of the marriage and is in necessitous circumstances. As set forth above, to prove a claim for interim spousal support, all you need to do is merely demonstrate you need money to maintain the standard of living you enjoyed during the marriage. Permanent spousal support, on the other hand, requires rigorous requirements of proof. You must prove that you had no fault whatsoever in the breakup of the marriage, and also prove that you must have support or you simply cannot make it on your own.

Louisiana law provides statutory requirements for different types of evidence to demonstrate the basis upon which someone needs support, and the other party's ability to pay, all decided on numerous factors.

Also, there are numerous behavioral scenarios that could be construed to constitute legal fault in the breakup of the marriage, such that a party would not be entitled to permanent spousal support even if they were in the worst financial need imaginable.

Of course, all of the issues of alimony and support in Louisiana can be very complicated and any determination as to whether or not you would be entitled to support and how much, under either one of these support schemes, would have to be determined after a complete and thorough review of all facts and potential evidence.

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