South Carolina has four basic types of alimony: periodic alimony, lump sum alimony, rehabilitative alimony, and reimbursement alimony. Periodic alimony is paid at regular intervals, usually monthly or weekly, and continues until the death of either party, the remarriage of the party receiving alimony, or further order of the court based upon changed circumstances. Periodic alimony is deductible by the payor and includable in the income of the payee. This is the preferred alimony by South Carolina Courts.
Lump sum alimony is a finite total sum which is paid at one time or periodically over a period of time. It terminates upon the death of the supported spouse but is not subject to termination for remarriage of the supported spouse or upon changed circumstances. There are various reasons for lump alimony including but not limited to, evidence that the paying spouse may not be able to pay periodic alimony in the future or that the parties simply want to conclude the alimony payments over a fixed period.
Rehabilitative alimony is generally used to allow the supported spouse to obtain additional training or education to become self-supporting. It is payable either in a lump sum or over a fixed period of time. It can be modified.
Reimbursement alimony is used to reimburse a spouse from the future earnings of the other spouse. An example might be where one party made a substantial contribution to the marriage, such as contributing to the professional education of the spouse, and the other party does not have the present ability to repay that contribution. In making an award of alimony the family court is required to consider 12 factors:
Unlike many other states, in South Carolina, adultery is a statutory bar to alimony.