How Rehabilitative Spousal Support is Calculated

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Rehabilitative Spousal Support is one of the forms of spousal support that might be granted in a divorce.  In general, rehabilitative spousal support is a form of spousal support that may be set for a certain amount of time so that one party can get back into the working world.  Unlike permanent spousal support, the payments may not be necessarily for the long haul, but instead the support will continue for a specified time so that you can upgrade your skill set and get into a position in your desired career field.  The basic premise behind rehabilitative spousal support is that it is compensation for the party that may have left a lucrative career field to care for the family during the marriage.  

Understanding Spousal Support

For example, if you decided to leave your job as an electrical engineer to care for the children while your wife or husband worked full time, then rehabilitative spousal support would potentially be a viable option.  
  • Assume, for example, that prior to you leaving your career to be at home full time, you made in excess of $4000 per month.  
  • When it comes time to calculate spousal support, your former spouse may bring up that six years ago you made $4000 per month on your own and he or she may refuse to give you anymore than $2000 per month as child support for the kids, and nothing for you. 
  • The court may then order that rehabilitative spousal support is paid by your spouse in the amount of $3000 per month, since your soon-to-be-ex-spouse makes $10,000 per month. This may be ordered for the period of two years.  This two year period will give you enough time to get on your feet, upgrade your skills in electrical engineering and find a job that matches what you made six years prior. 
If you manage to do this in a year and a half, then the courts will re-assess and the spousal support payments may drop or be eliminated entirely. The initial court order for rehabilitative spousal support will carefully outline the goals and expectations of both you and your spouse as well as provide an adequate expected timeline for you to accomplish those goals.  Additionally, the support order will be set up as such that your spousal support will terminate as soon as you exceed the initial ordered support amount.  This will ensure that both you and your ex are in a win-win situation.

Getting Help

If your marriage is ending, you should strongly consider hiring an experienced attorney. Your lawyer can help you to determine what options you have for spousal support and can help make sure that any agreement you come to is fair to both spouses.

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