How Is the Amount of Alimony Determined in Mississippi?

Alimony, also referred to as “spousal support,” is what the law allows one spouse to receive from the other for financial support post-divorce. In Mississippi, the law recognizes two different types of alimony: lump sum periodic payment.

This article looks at the differences between these two types of alimony and provides a brief overview of how alimony is determined in Mississippi. However, it is essential to note that every divorce case is different, and you should consult with a Jackson or Brandon family law and divorce attorney to understand your options better.

Lump-Sum Alimony vs. Periodic Payment Alimony in Mississippi

An ex-spouse entitled to lump sum alimony receives a fixed amount of money in either a single payment or via several payments distributed over a set period. The court cannot later modify the amount awarded via a lump sum, and the death or remarriage of either spouse does not affect this type of alimony. In comparison, periodic payment alimony, which is paid as a stream of income to an ex-spouse over an indefinite period, is open to modification in family court. Additionally, periodic payment alimony ceases when either ex-spouse dies or when the receiving ex-spouse remarries or formally cohabitates with someone new.

Mississippi Alimony Determination

The Mississippi Bar notes that when state courts are determining alimony orders, they take several factors into account, including:

  • The health of each spouse,
  • The earning capacities of each spouse,
  • All sources of income that each spouse has,
  • The reasonable needs of the wife and the child(ren),
  • The necessary living expenses of the husband,
  • Each spouse’s estimated income taxes, and
  • Other related issues and circumstances presented in evidence.

A family law judge will attempt to set alimony at an amount that enables both parties to maintain approximately the same standard of living that they enjoyed while married. After the judge sets periodic payment alimony, the ex-spouses are allowed to petition the court to modify their alimony order later. For example, courts have been known to alter alimony orders if the financial situation of either ex-spouse changes or if an ex-spouse experiences hardship or emergency situation. However, if an alimony paying ex-spouse purposefully charged their financial situation (ex. quit their job) to avoid paying alimony, a modification is unlikely.


Whether you are paying or receiving alimony, the specifics of your alimony order are essential to understand. If you need assistance collecting alimony, petitioning the court to modify an alimony order, or have any questions about your legal options around alimony, call the team at The Law Offices of Rusty Williard today at (601) 824-9797.