The current trend is favoring couples to substitute permanent spousal support with rehabilitative spousal support. The courts are now encouraging couples to go for the process of temporarily supporting one spouse while he or she tries to become financially stable and self-supporting. There are 11 factors which the courts use to determine whether permanent or rehabilitative spells of support is appropriate.

The longer the marriage, the more likely it is that long term spousal support will be awarded. If a woman in her forties has been married for 20 or 25 years, it is less likely that she will receive long term spousal support that a woman in her fifties or sixties who has been married for about the same amount of time. The courts consider not only the ability of the other spouse to pay but also the ability of the receiving spouse to enter the job market. Factors such as health, education, opportunities for employment and the needs of minor children can affect the ability to work.

Rehabilitative spousal support is a good way to assist someone with small children, and it leads to acquiring job skills, updating job skills, completing a college education or otherwise getting some kind of training for employment. The length of time for rehabilitative spousal support is dependent upon the circumstances of each case, as well as the length of the marriage. For some, two or three years is sufficient. But for others, it may be that seven or eight years is more appropriate. Spousal support is usually taxable to the recipient and tax-deductible to the payroll.