Understanding Spousal Support In Mississippi
In Mississippi, alimony — financial support paid by one spouse to the other — is not always awarded. The court typically awards alimony in cases where one spouse’s income is not enough to provide for your reasonable needs and the other spouse is able to pay it.
Disputes regarding alimony can be contentious. It is important to work with an experienced attorney like Mel Coxwell of the Law Offices of Mel Coxwell. He will protect your rights and advocate for a fair outcome, whether you expect to receive alimony or make alimony payments.
Four Types Of Alimony In Mississippi
Periodic alimony is the traditional monthly payment of financial support on the basis of need. It does not have a fixed end. However, the court usually orders the end of periodic alimony if the receiving spouse remarries or cohabitate with someone. The amount can be increased or decreased by order of the court if a significant change in circumstances occurs.
2. Lump sum
Lump-sum alimony is designed to equalize the two parties and can be paid in a single amount or in fixed installments. Once the amount is determined in the divorce proceedings, it cannot be changed unless one party commits fraud. If a paying spouse dies before the full amount is paid, it becomes an obligation in the deceased spouse’s estate.
Rehabilitative alimony, as the name implies, is designed to help one party become self-supporting by financing their needs for a fixed period of time. It allows the receiving party to complete training or schooling that will enable them to find work. It can be increased or decreased by the court or even terminated.
Reimbursement alimony is designed to repay one spouse for contributing to the other spouse’s education or professional training during the marriage, if that expense has not produced substantial assets that will be divided at the time of divorce. An example is a husband who cared for a couple’s home and children while the wife recently completed law school.
Factors Considered By The Court
The court decides what type of alimony should be paid, by whom, and what the amount should be. In determining these things, the court will look at 12 factors:
- The length of the marriage
- The age of the two parties
- The needs of each party
- Each party’s health and earning capacity
- Each party’s income and expenses
- Each party’s assets and obligations
- Any minor children of the marriage who need child care
- Tax consequences of the spousal support order
- Each party’s standard of living, during the marriage and later, at the time spousal support is determined
- Each party’s fault or misconduct
- Dissipation of assets by either party
- Other just and equitable factors
Experienced Guidance In Determining Alimony
Family law attorney Mel Coxwell has extensive experience in determining alimony and handling all other family law matters.