When one spouse files for divorce, the other spouse can be left wondering how she or he will be able to afford the costs of living while living separate and apart. In many marriages in Mississippi, one spouse might earn substantially more income than the other spouse and may function as the breadwinner for the family. While the other lesser-earning spouse may be contributing to the family and to the home in other ways—such as childrearing—it can be extremely difficult for that spouse financially during and after divorce. This is where alimony can help one spouse to get back on his or her feet in the aftermath of the dissolution of marriage.
At the law office of Derek L. Hall, PC, we understand how financially difficult a divorce can be on both parties. If you have questions about spousal maintenance, an experienced Jackson alimony attorney can help with your case.
How Does Mississippi Law Define Alimony?
What is alimony, exactly? Under Mississippi Code Section 93-5-23, alimony is a term for spousal support or spousal maintenance. The law permits either spouse to request alimony during the divorce. In other words, whether you are the petitioner and are seeking alimony or your spouse petitioned for divorce and you want to seek alimony, the court permits you to ask the judge to award alimony. To be clear, it is a kind of financial support that one spouse provides to the other.
Alimony is not appropriate in all divorces. Before deciding to award alimony, a judge will need to determine the specific needs of the party requesting alimony, as well as the ability for the payor spouse to provide alimony payments. There are also other important factors that the court considers in determining whether alimony is appropriate.
How Does the Court Decide Whether Alimony Should Be Awarded?
What other facts will the court look at in deciding whether to award alimony? And how long will alimony payments last? Generally speaking, the court makes these decisions by looking to some of the following factors:
- Income of each spouse;
- Expenses of each spouse;
- Standard of living to which the spouse(s) became accustomed during the marriage;
- Needs of each spouse;
- Assets and debts of the marriage, as well as separate assets and debts of each spouse;
- Whether child support will be awarded; and
- Other factors that could be relevant in determining alimony.
A Jackson alimony attorney can answer any questions you might have.
How Are Alimony Payments Calculated?
In Mississippi, there are no specific alimony guidelines when it comes to the amount of the payment. However, the court will look to some of the factors mentioned above when deciding whether to award periodic alimony to one of the spouses, alimony in the form of a lump sum, or rehabilitative alimony to help the spouse get back on his or her feet. Rehabilitative alimony is common in cases where one of the spouses has not worked outside the home and needs to obtain training or education before reentering the workforce.
Contact a Jackson Alimony Attorney
Do you have questions about requesting alimony or concerns about whether it will be awarded? An experienced Jackson alimony attorney can help. Contact the law office of Derek L. Hall, PC today. If you want it all, you ought to call Hall.