What to Know About Alimony Before Beginning a Divorce


If there is a significant gap in income between you and your spouse and you’ve been married for a reasonable amount of time, there’s a good chance the court will require one spouse to pay the other payments in the form of alimony.

Typical Rules of Alimony

The court will typically define the following in terms of how much and how long a spouse might pay:

-alimony dates can run several years into the future 

-when the spouse payee remarries, alimony typically ends unless the payment is a lump sum or fixed amount paid over time.

-your children no longer need full-time parenting at home

-the court determines that after a predetermined period of time, the payee spouse hasn’t made a reasonable effort to become self-sufficient 

-one spouse dies 

Much of this can be determined during divorce negotiations and properly done through the guidance of a qualified divorce attorney. 

Tax Considerations with Alimony

Alimony is no longer considered tax-deductible for the paying spouse and supported spouses do not have to include it in their gross income. In any case, proper documentation should be kept of all checks paid out and all checks received. 

Rules Specific to Mississippi

In Mississippi, alimony can be either a lump sum or periodic payment. In the former, a one-time or over-time payment is made and cannot later be modified or changed. The decision is considered final and payments can continue upon the death or remarriage of either spouse. The latter is a more standard version of alimony where standard payments are made over a period of time and are modifiable. 

The spouse can petition the court’s ruling on any alimony amount or payment setup. Alimony is only given on a “long term” marriage. However, the Supreme Court has not said what “long-term” specifically means, the general consensus is a marriage of seven years or more. The court will consider a variety of economic and familial factors when determining an appropriate alimony schedule if the two parties cannot agree to one on their own.


If the two parties are not amicable, then alimony can be a highly contested issue through divorce proceedings. If you’re potentially considering divorce in Jackson or Brandon, it’s time to speak with a knowledgable and professional spousal support law firm. Call The Law Offices of Rusty Williard today at (601) 824-9797 to learn more about our expertise and schedule a free consultation.