Spousal Support (Alimony)—Frequently Asked Questions

Financial support (usually temporary) of one divorce party to the other.

Spousal support (formerly called alimony) should not be confused with child support. Spousal support may be granted in marriages of longer duration (usually over 15 to 20 years), when the spouse requesting the support can show that he/ she has a need for it, and that the paying spouse has the ability to pay the support. The courts also look to the parties' ages, health, standard of living, and work experience. Among questions the parties and their attorneys should address regarding the payment of spousal support are:

  • Whether the payments are taxable to the recipient and deductible by the payer
  • Whether the payments can be modified by the court
  • Under what conditions the obligation to pay is terminated
  • How the obligation can be enforced if there is nonpayment.

Continue to Attorney Fees