Also referred to as "spousal support," alimony is a monthly payment made by one spouse to another in accordance to either a settlement agreement or a court decision. The purpose of alimony is to correct for any unfair economic effects of a divorce on one party, such as when a stay-at-home parent suddenly needs a source of income. FindLaw's Alimony section covers the basics of spousal support, the various different types of support, including temporary and lump-sum alimony, how to determine eligibility, calculating payment amounts, important records to save when paying or receiving alimony and much more. You can also start by downloading FindLaw's Guide to Spousal Support [pdf].
- Spousal Support (Alimony) Basics
An overview of how spousal support (also called “alimony”) works. Learn about how the amount of alimony is determined, how long it must be paid, recent trends in spousal support, and more.
- Alternatives to Monthly Alimony Payments
You may be able to avoid a monthly alimony payment by paying all of your spousal support in one lump sum. This section contains information on the benefits of a lump sum payment, how to obtain one, and the tax consequences.
- Are You Entitled to Spousal Support?
Not every spouse is entitled to spousal support. Generally, it’s only awarded when a spouse is unable to meet his or her needs. This questionnaire will help you determine whether you may be entitled to alimony.
- Records to Keep
Alimony is generally tax deductible for the person paying it and counted as income for the person receiving it. This section provides a guide to the types of documents alimony payers and recipients should hold onto.
- Alimony and Taxes
A look at the tax consequences that come with paying or receiving spousal support. In this section, you’ll find information on how to report alimony, how to deduct it, and much more.
- Forms and Information by State
A collection of links to forms and information on alimony, organized by state. Find information on your state’s spousal support process and download the appropriate forms to claim alimony.