What Is Difference Between Nominal Alimony & Rehabilitative Alimony?
- Generally, alimony is one spouse's legal duty to financially support the other spouse. Alimony awards are typically based on a nonpaying spouse's financial need and ability to meet those needs. You may be awarded alimony if, for example, your spouse was the family's primary breadwinner and you have a disability or some other impairment rendering you unable to support yourself outside the marriage. You generally don't have to be divorced to obtain alimony -- separation is enough.
- Nominal means "existing or being something in name or form only." In keeping with that definition, when a court grants you nominal alimony, it basically provides alimony "in name or form only." This is because the alimony award may be as little as $1, which would hardly constitute financial support. In states such as Florida, where judges award nominal alimony, the aim is to preserve your right to ask for an increase later. This might be necessary in cases where you're entitled to alimony but your spouse doesn't currently earn enough to pay it.
- If you stepped away from your educational and career pursuits to get married and start a family, you know the energy you could have directed toward increasing your earning capacity was likely directed elsewhere. Rehabilitative alimony is temporary support aimed at restoring you to a place where you can, again, support yourself to your fullest capacity.
- If you've been granted alimony, the Internal Revenue Service will likely tax it as income. Your spouse, however, may be allowed to right the alimony payments off. He must, however, meet certain requirements. For example, you and your spouse must live in separate households and file separate tax returns. Another requirement is that the court must have classified the support obligation as alimony, not child support.