About Alimony Resource

What is Alimony?

Alimony, or spousal support, is a common part of divorce proceedings.

Alimony involves payments made from one former spouse to the other.

Alimony can be temporary or permanent.

Alimony addresses the inability of one partner to maintain the same quality of life because of factors such as:

  • Marriage made individual put career on hold
  • A large imbalance in earning capabilities
  • Individual is physically, emotionally or otherwise incapable of supporting him/herself
  • Individual needs time to become qualified or otherwise find employment


Alimony can be negotiated before a divorce begins or during the divorce process.

When arguing for alimony, a person should prove that he/she:

  • Cannot maintain their standard of living
  • Provided a non-monetary, key contribution to the household during the marriage
  • Has earning capacity much below their spouse’s
  • Require time and investment to reach higher levels of earning capacity


More than 580,000 Americans pay alimony every year.

This number is down from previous years when the number was as high as 650,000.

Only 3% of those who received alimony in 2010 were men.

More than $13 billion is paid in alimony every year.

That is up 0.5% from a decade before.

Types of Alimony

Also called “pendente lite” alimony, these are payments made between the separation and the divorce.

Temporary alimony

Also called “pendente lite” alimony, these are payments made between the separation and the divorce.

Rehabilitative alimony

Support provided to a former spouse over the period of time required for that individual to become self-sufficient. May cover education expenses or the period when children are too young for the parent to work.

Permanent alimony

Support paid over the lifetime of the payor or receiver, barring the remarriage of the receiver.

Alimony in Gross

Is a lump sum or a set monthly or annual amount for a set number of months or years used to compensate one spouse’s interest in the property interests of the other such as retirement plans, real estate, business interests, or other investments.

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