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How long alimony payments will last often depends on each individual’s unique circumstances and the type of alimony awarded. Some types of alimony are short because those types of alimony have a specific purpose and once that purpose is fulfilled it is no longer needed (for example bridge-the-gap alimony is limited to 2 years). Other types of alimony are limited by the duration of the marriage (for example if it was a 10 year marriage, durational alimony payments could last a maximum of 10 years). For Bridge-the-gap alimony, durational alimony and permanent alimony, payments could end before the court ordered time upon death, remarriage or the existence of a supportive relationship. 

A Brief Overview of the Duration of Alimony by Type

  • Bridge-the-Gap Alimony

    The length of bridge-the-gap alimony cannot exceed 2 years. Accordingly, the longest this type of alimony could last is 2 years. 

  • Rehabilitative Alimony

    Rehabilitative alimony terminates upon noncompliance with the rehabilitative plan, or upon completion of the rehabilitative plan.

  • Durational Alimony

    The length of an award of durational alimony may not exceed the length of the marriage.

  • Permanent Alimony

    Permanent alimony may only terminate upon death, remarriage or the existence of a supportive relationship.

  • Lump Sum Alimony

    Lump sum alimony cannot be terminated before the sum ordered or agreed to is paid. 

  • Temporary alimony

    Temporary alimony is for financial support during the divorce process. Accordingly, this type of award automatically ends once the divorce becomes final.

When Does Alimony Terminate Early?

  1. Death
  2. Remarriage
  3. Supportive Relationship

Death

For bridge-the-gap alimony, durational alimony and permanent alimony, the payments of alimony could terminate before the agreed upon time or court ordered time “upon the...

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Remarriage

For bridge the gap alimony, durational alimony and permanent alimony, the payments of alimony could terminate before the agreed upon time or court ordered time “upon the...

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Supportive Relationship

For permanent alimony, the payments of alimony could terminate before the agreed upon time or court ordered time “upon the existence of a supportive relationship.”

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