Some Mississippi residents might be surprised to find that spousal support, or alimony, is not a given in divorce cases. Instead, divorcing spouses might negotiate alimony or a court might order it if certain conditions are involved, particularly if one spouse earned significantly less than the other spouse or did not work at all to take care of the family during marriage and now needs time to gain new skills to find employment.
How long does spousal support last?
Spousal support is not usually permanent. In many cases, alimony is used to support the lesser or non-earning spouse while they seek additional education or training to find employment. Once they can support themselves, alimony payments might stop. In other cases, alimony might be used to ensure that one spouse maintains the same standard of living they were used to in the marriage if the paying spouse can also support themselves. This type of support usually ends if the receiving spouse remarries. In some cases, spousal support might be paid for longer or indefinitely, such as in cases where the receiving spouse cannot work due to their age or a physical or health condition.
What do courts consider when making decisions about spousal support?
When a court must decide if it should award spousal support, the court considers a variety of factors. These include:
- How long the marriage lasted
- What the couple’s standard of living was during the marriage
- How old each spouse is as well as their physical and emotional health
- What each spouse’s financial situation is
- How long the receiving spouse will need to get training and find employment
- How able the paying spouse is to pay support and support themselves