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Navigation:  Home > Family Law > Divorce Law > Alimony


Alimony is payments for the support and maintenance of a spouse, either by lump sum or on a continuing basis. Alimony is paid by the supporting spouse to the dependent spouse. In some states, if the dependent spouse committed adultery, that spouse is not entitled to alimony. The factors that courts consider when granting alimony vary by state. Most states consider such factors as the length of the marriage, the conduct of the parties during the marriage, the age, health, station, occupation, amount and sources of income, vocational skills, employability, estate, liabilities and needs of each of the parties and the opportunity of each for future acquisition of capital assets and income. Courts generally also consider the contribution of each of the parties in the acquisition, preservation or appreciation in value of their respective estates and the contribution of each of the parties as a homemaker to the family unit. Alimony can continue indefinitely, until death or remarriage, or can be set for a fixed period of time.


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