The court mandates spousal support (also called alimony) after divorce, much like child support. If the divorce conditions meet specific criteria, a judge will likely assign some amount of alimony. The amount of alimony to be paid and the duration of the payments are dependent on several factors that the court will consider. These factors were set by the Mississippi Supreme Court in 1993 and are used as a guideline by all divorce courts in the state. These factors include:
- The income and expenses of both parties
- The health and earning capabilities of both parties
- The age of the parties
- The length of the marriage
- The presence or absence of minor children in the home
- The standard of living of both parties
- Fault or misconduct
- And any other factor deemed by the court to be “just and equitable.”
Types Of Alimony
Based on these factors, the court will determine which type of alimony is appropriate for the situation. The types of maintenance are:
- Periodic alimony
- Lump-sum alimony
- Rehabilitative alimony
Length And Amount Of Alimony
In periodic alimony, you must make recurring payments until a particular event occurs. For instance, you may be instructed to make a monthly payment to your former spouse until they remarry. If the spouse never remarries, the payments may continue until one of you dies. Periodic alimony does allow for adjustments to be made, however. If something changes in the life of either spouse, you can return to court to ask that the amount be adjusted. As an example, a husband paying alimony to a wife may return to court to inform them that he has lost his job and therefore requires a reduced amount. Alternatively, the wife may return to court to tell them that she has become disabled and requires an increased amount. Whether either party gets their wish is up to the court.
Lump-sum alimony is when the dependent spouse receives all of the alimony they are ever going to receive all at once. In this version, adjustments by either party cannot be made later. Rehabilitative works just like periodic alimony, except the funds are intended to be used to get the dependent spouse back into the workforce. This is achieved through training or education. Rehabilitative alimony also has a deadline. Once the spouse can support themselves, the payments stop.
If you have more questions about your alimony payments or what else to expect from a divorce, call The Law Offices of Rusty Willard at (601) 824-9797.