How Alimony is Determined in Mississippi
Alimony, also referred to as “spousal support”, is an allowance authorized by law for one spouse to receive from the other for financial support after a couple gets divorced. In Mississippi the law recognizes two different types of alimony: lump sum alimony and periodic payment alimony. This article explores the difference between these two types of alimony and then provides a brief overview of how alimony is determined in Mississippi. However, it is important to understand that each divorce case is unique and that for case specific information you must consult with a local family law and divorce attorney.
Lump Sum Alimony vs. Periodic Payment Alimony
An ex-spouse who is 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 of time. It is important to note that the court cannot later modify the amount of money that a lump sum alimony recipient is entitled to and that the death or remarriage of either spouse does not affect lump sum alimony. On the other hand, periodic payment alimony, which is paid as a stream of income to an ex-spouse over an indefinite period of time, can be modified by a family law court in Mississippi. Additionally, periodic payment alimony ceases when either ex-spouse dies or when the receiving ex-spouse remarries or cohabitates with someone new.
Determining Alimony in Mississippi
The Mississippi Bar’s website explains that when courts in our state 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.
Family law judges take these factors into consideration because their goal is to set alimony at an amount that enables both parties to maintain approximately the same standard of living that they enjoyed while married. After a family law judge in Mississippi sets periodic payment alimony the ex-spouses are allowed to petition the court to modify their alimony order later on down the road. For example, courts have been known to modify alimony orders if the financial situation of either ex-spouse has changed, or if an ex-spouse is involved in a hardship or emergency situation. However, if an alimony paying ex-spouse purposefully charged his or her financial situation (ex. quit their job) in order to avoid paying alimony that individual will not be issued a modification in Mississippi.
Need Legal Advice?
Whether you are paying or receiving alimony the specifics of your alimony order can greatly impact your life. Therefore, if you need help collecting alimony, petitioning the court to modify your alimony order, or have any questions about your legal rights and responsibilities concerning alimony in Mississippi do not hesitate to contact experienced family law attorney Derek L. Hall. Our firm offers a free no obligation consultation so call our office in Jackson today at (601) 202-2222.