Reimbursement Support FAQ

If you are dealing with a divorce, you may need to review these spousal support guidelines to better understand your rights or obligations to support. Each divorce case is handled on its own facts; however, some general rules apply to all cases.

Reimbursement Support FAQ

What is reimbursement support?

Reimbursement support is a term used for alimony which reimburses one spouse for expenses that the spouse paid out on behalf of the other spouse. Reimbursement support is often awarded in the situation where the wife supports the husband through an education, or vice versa. Spousal support awarded to compensate the spouse who paid for the education is called reimbursement support. 

Who is entitled to reimbursement support?

Either party can receive reimbursement support if he or she contributed to the business practice or education of the other spouse. It is not restricted to one gender. To be eligible for reimbursement support, the contributions to another partner's business or education should have been received during marriage. The spouse who will receive the reimbursement support should have provided most of the family support during the marriage or period during which contributions were made.

In cases where it is awarded to compensate for investment in another spouse's education, the more time that passes from the time the spouse receives the degree to the divorce will make it less likely that the court will award reimbursement alimony.  In some states, it may be possible for the supporting spouse to be awarded part of the degree's value because it is considered marital property by some state laws.

How is it paid?

Most reimbursement support awards are paid on a monthly basis. The court will order a specific time period during which support is to be paid. There are some cases that have awarded lump sum reimbursement support, but it is more rare.

What if I cannot afford to pay?

If at some point after marital dissolution, the support payments become difficult to make due to changed circumstances such as reduced income, you may petition the court to change your support order.

Getting Legal Help

If you have questions about the propriety of reimbursement support in your divorce case, an experienced family law attorney who practices in your vicinity can assist you with your case. An attorney can advise you of normal practices within the family law system and give you specific feedback about your case.

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