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A party may petition the court for alimony in a limited divorce or an absolute divorce action. Temporary alimony, or alimony pendente lite, is alimony pending ligation. For pendente lite alimony, the court considers the need of the party requesting alimony, the ability of the other party to pay alimony and the status quo of the parties prior to the separation.

There are two types of alimony considered by the court at a trial for an absolute divorce: rehabilitative alimony and permanent alimony. Rehabilitative alimony, the most common form of alimony granted by the court, is alimony for a fixed period of time, to assist a dependent spouse in becoming self-supporting. Permanent alimony is alimony received forever.