Alimony is the court-ordered payment of support from a spouse who has the ability to pay to a spouse in need of support for a period of time.  Only people who are divorcing or are divorced can ask for and get alimony.

The court will decide if any of the following types of alimony will be awarded. The four different types of alimony are:

General term alimony: support paid regularly to an ex-spouse who is financially dependent on the former spouse. The length of time general term alimony is paid depends in part on the length of the marriage. See How Long Does Alimony Last?  

Rehabilitative alimony: support paid regularly to an ex-spouse who is expected to be able to support themselves by a predicted time.

Reimbursement alimony: support paid regularly or one-time after a marriage of not more than five years to make up for costs that the ex-spouse paid to help the paying spouse, such as such as enabling the spouse to complete an education or job training.

Transitional alimony: support paid regularly or one-time after a marriage of not more than five years to help the spouse receiving the alimony to settle into a new lifestyle or location as a result of the divorce.