Alimony in Mississippi
Alimony is spousal support given by one spouse to the other and is often an important component of a divorce settlement. Although a primary purpose of alimony is to preserve the parties' economic status, even when both parties to the divorce are independently wealthy, one party may seek an alimony award.
For example, according to media reports of the high-profile divorce between Hollywood stars Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore, Ms. Moore initially sought alimony from Mr. Kutcher. However, it appears that there was no provision for alimony in their final settlement.
In Mississippi, there are four types of alimony award — lump sum, periodic, rehabilitative and reimbursement.
Lump sum alimony
Lump sum alimony is a fixed payment made by one spouse to the other that comprises all the alimony payable. It can be a paid all at once or in installments. Absent fraud, lump sum alimony cannot be modified, and continues to be paid after death or remarriage.
Periodic alimony provides the recipient with regular income. It terminates upon the remarriage (or in some cases the cohabitation) of the recipient and on the death of either party. Periodic alimony is modifiable if the financial circumstances of either party change substantially.
Rehabilitative alimony is awarded for a fixed period of time and is modifiable but is not automatically terminated if the recipient remarries. Its purpose is to help the recipient become self-supporting through education or training.
Reimbursement alimony, first recognized by Mississippi’s Supreme Court in 1999, is designed to repay a spouse who supported the other spouse while he or she obtained an education. It is used in cases where the division of the marital assets would not be sufficient to compensate the supporting spouse. Similar to a lump sum payment, reimbursement alimony is not modifiable and is not terminated on death or remarriage.
For advice on alimony-related issues, contact a knowledgeable and compassionate Gulfport divorce attorney. At Boyce Holleman & Associates, A Professional Association, our experienced and skilled attorneys are eager to help you.