If the judge decides to award spousal support in your divorce, there are a couple of options for how that can happen. State law provides choices in the way the support works to suit various needs and situations.
The judge will typically make the decision about which type of spousal support to award based on the factors presented in your case.
Temporary support award
The judge will typically make a temporary order when you need help during the divorce process. It provides payments to assist with financial needs as you move through the divorce. It will end when your divorce is final. But the judge has the option to extend it into the other type of spousal support.
Long-term support award
Long-term support is ongoing after the divorce. It can assist with finances until you are able to provide for yourself. In some cases, it is an award to help you maintain the lifestyle you had during your marriage. The judge can set an end date or place conditions on the payments. It will either end when the judge orders or it stops if one party dies or remarries.
Spousal support should be to help one spouse who has less income to manage regular expenses. It can be helpful when one spouse has not worked during the marriage and needs to gain education or skills to secure employment. At the same time, it also may be available to help with large differences in income, which usually means it is lifelong support that only ends if one person dies or if the person receiving the payments marries again.