Alimony is a significant concern for many couples approaching divorce. The intention of alimony is for divorcing spouses to be able to move forward following the end of their marriage in financially secure positions and maintain the same standard of living they did during the marriage to the extent possible. Alimony has changed somewhat over the years as in many families today both spouses work, while it may have been more common in the past for one spouse to work while one spouse may have remained at home to raise the children.
In Mississippi, different types of alimony are possible including lump sum alimony; periodic payments alimony; and rehabilitative alimony. Periodic payments alimony can be impacted by death, remarriage or cohabitation. While lump sum alimony payments are a single payment, periodic payments are monthly payments that can be modified. Rehabilitative alimony is designed to help the recipient spouse for a period of time as they establish themselves financially such as by returning to work or other vocational training. It can also be modified and is impacted by death or remarriage as well.
There are several factors that are evaluated when determining alimony. Factors the court may consider include the earning capacity of the spouses; the sources of income for both spouses; the estimated tax liabilities of the spouses; the health of both spouses; the living expenses of the spouses; and the needs of the children.
Because alimony can be a contentious issue during a divorce, it is helpful for divorcing spouses to understand how it is determined. Alimony is an important concern for many divorcing spouses so the more familiar they are with the process, and what to expect, the better.