Most divorces in Mississippi will not have Alimony simply because there is not enough money left in a divorce for you or your spouse to pay it. Even in cases where you might think there is substantial income and assets, after the dust settles there is just enough money to pay debts and provide for the kids. Actually, the purpose of Mississippi property distribution is to prevent the need for alimony. Mississippi recognizes several different types of alimony and is equally available to men and women.
- Permanent Alimony is a continuous monthly support payment intended as a substitute for the previous marital support. The award terminates upon the death or remarriage.
- Lump Sum Alimony is a fixed sum of money that cannot be modified, does not terminate upon the receiver’s remarriage or death, nor at the payor’s death. Though it is termed “lump sum” it generally is paid in monthly installments for a predetermined number of months. Generally, lump sum alimony serves to reward a spouse for substantial long-term contributions to the marriage when it cannot be accomplished through property division. Mississippi courts generally consider the following questions when determining whether an award of lump sum alimony is warranted. (1) Did a spouse substantially contribute to the accumulation of marital assets by quitting work to become a homemaker or to assist in business? (2) Were the parties married for a lengthy period of time? (3) Does the recipient’s spouse have a separate income or is the size of their estate small compared to the other spouse? Finally, (4) would the recipient lack financial security without the award?
- Rehabilitative Alimony is awarded to assist a spouse in making the transition to reenter the workforce. It is similar to permanent alimony, but has a fixed ending date. It terminates upon the death of either party, but parties are free to alter the termination date by agreement. In determining whether rehabilitative alimony is proper, courts generally apply the same factors used to determine an award of permanent alimony.
- Reimbursement Alimony is a lump sum form of alimony designed to compensate a spouse who supported the other through school or professional training. It is generally awarded when the marriage ends before a financial return on the education is realized. If the student-spouse divorces the other soon after finishing his/her school or training, then the supporting-spouse may be entitled to reimbursement alimony.
In order to obtain a divorce in Mississippi both parties must agree to Irreconcilable Differences or the initiating party seeking a divorce must petition the Court on fault grounds. There are twelve fault grounds honored in the Chancery Courts but the most commonly used is Habitual Cruel and Inhumane Treatment, Habitual Drug and Alcohol abuse and Adultery.
Again, the Chancellors have the discretion when assessing whether Alimony is proper is any divorce case. There are four forms of Alimony to be considered when determining if it applies in your case: (1) periodic (2) lump sum (3) rehabilitative (4) reimbursement Contact our office today to see if one of these forms of Alimony could apply in your case.