Entertainment Love and Romance Alimony and Spousal Support A Primer on Spousal Support Share PINTEREST Email Print JGI/Jamie Grill/Blend Images/Getty Images Love and Romance Divorce Relationships Sexuality Teens LGBTQ Friendship By Debrina Washington Family law attorney and writer University of Pittsburgh School of Law Skidmore College Debrina L. Washington is a New York-based family law attorney and writer, who runs her own virtual practice to assist single parents with legal issues. our editorial process Debrina Washington Updated February 18, 2017 Many questions come to mind when contemplating court determinations for alimony payments. Here is an overview to answer some questions before you ask them. Kinds of Alimony There is temporary alimony, which is generally ordered in between the period of time between a separation and a final divorce or permanent alimony will continue indefinitely. Duration of Alimony The spousal support award could be for an indefinite period of time, barring the death of the payer or payee, or a definite period of time such as four years, barring the death of either spouse. Remarriage If an ex-spouse remarries, spousal support will stop. It is generally understood that a new spouse will be providing support in place of previously established alimony. Synonyms for Alimony Alimony may be referred to as spousal support or maintenance in some states. Who Pays Alimony The overwhelming majority of alimony orders involve men making payments to women. However, in certain instances, such a man who is a stay-at-home father, while the woman is the breadwinner, the woman might be responsible for spousal support payments. Amount of Alimony A court will review your spouse's income and obligations along with your income and obligations. If there is a shortage, a court will determine a fair obligation. Unemployment You're entitled to a spousal support modification in cases of unemployment. A court will most likely grant the modification, so long as it determines that your job loss was involuntary and that you didn't actively attempt to lose your job to avoid paying alimony.