Justia Lawyer Rating
Justia Lawyer Rating
National Bar Association
Fort Bend County Bar Association
State Bar of Texas
HLA
United States District Court of Southern Texas
Texas Supreme Court
Avvo Reviews Badge
Texas Bar College

Difference Between Alimony and Spousal Support

Divorce is a very hard thing to go through. When a couple splits up, there are many things that need to be taken care of. Financial support is needed when people split up. Alimony is used as a form of compensation payments. Spouse support is given to help maintain a certain lifestyle.

Spousal Support: A person who receives alimony must be financially dependent upon another person. Alimony payments may include child support but usually do not. An award of alimony does not require any legal relationship between the parties. Alimony is designed to help support an individual when he or she is unable to earn enough money to meet basic needs. In most states, alimony payments are made by the court based on financial need and ability to pay. Alimony is also sometimes paid as part of a property settlement. Alimony is a type of money paid to an ex-spouse when a marriage ends. The word comes from Latin, meaning “to give back” or “to repay.”

In the United States, alimony is usually awarded to help support a former spouse while she or he receives the training or education needed to become self-sufficient. Alimony may also be awarded if a couple divorces because of irreconcilable differences or if a spouse dies. Alimony is now called spousal support. Spouses who earn more money than their spouses should pay less than half of their income to them. This makes sense because if you're earning more money than your partner, then you shouldn't be paying him/her any money.

Spousal support should be based on the length of the marriage. A long marriage needs more financial assistance than a short marriage. Both spouses should be working and contributing equally to the marital standard of living. Neither party should sacrifice their career to help the other out financially. No one should be abused by their partner, and neither should make sacrifices for the other.

Divorce lawyers are critical. Spouses need to know how to protect themselves by hiring a divorce lawyer. Also, spouses need to assess whether they worked outside the home while their partner stayed home or took care of the kids. If they did, then they may be ordered to pay spousal support. There is a lot you can be doing to make sure the amount of spousal support you pay is fair and not excessive, but being honest with your lawyer, documenting everything, and coming to the table ready to listen are also important. Hiring a good divorce attorney who can advocate for you and make sure you get what you deserve is even more important.

Alimony and Spousal Support are two different things. Alimony is paid by the husband to the wife after divorce. Spousal support is paid directly to the spouse who needs it. In this case, the man pays the woman alimony, but she does not need any money from him. She gets spousal support instead. There is no real distinction between alimony and spousal maintenance. Both mean the same thing, but spousal support is a more modern term. Alimony is an outdated term used when referring to payments made to an ex-spouse.

Spousal Support is money paid by an ex-spouse to another person for the purpose of helping the recipient spouse meet basic living expenses. Alimony is typically paid over a period of time but may be paid upfront. There are two types of spousal support: permanent and temporary. Temporary spousal support is usually payable until the divorce is final. Permanent spousal support is generally payable after the divorce is finalized. In addition to these two types of spousal support, there is also child support, which is money paid by a parent to another person for the benefit of a minor child. Child support is normally paid directly to the custodial parent (the parent having custody of the child) and is based upon the needs of the child.

 Alimony is ordered when one party needs financial assistance due to the other party being more financially stable. Alimony is ordered if the judge deems it necessary for the well-being of the person who receives it. The amount of alimony ordered depends on many factors, including the length of the marriage, the age and health of the parties, the standard of living during the marriage, the earning capacity of the parties, and the relative contributions of the spouses to the marital partnership. The judge may also consider whether the payor spouse has been convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude, the payor spouse’s ability to earn income, and the payor spouse‘s fault in causing the dissolution of the marriage. The judge should consider these factors when determining the amount of alimony awarded. The judge may also award any property owned by either party as alimony. This type of alimony is called “in-kind” because the property is given instead of money. The judge may also order the sale of real estate, vehicles, or personal property belonging to either party. Each case is different and requires careful consideration by the judge.

A spousal support order is subject to review and modification. Property division orders are final and can't be changed. Spousal support ends when the marriage ends or when the marriage lasts longer than twenty years. If a supported spouse remarries, spousal support will end. Spousal support ends when either spouse dies. Property is divided up equally between the spouses. Bankruptcy does not affect spousal support or property division. Alimony is based on need and ability to pay, while property division is based on contribution.

Alimony is money paid by one spouse to another spouse who is legally obligated to pay it. Spousal support payments are made to help meet the needs of a former spouse and/or children. A family lawyer in Harris County, Galveston County, Fort Bend County, Montgomery County, Brazoria County, Houston, Sugar Land, Missouri City, Stafford, Texas at Thornton Esquire Law Group, PLLC, understand the law and the evidence needed to win your case. Contact us today at www.thorntonesquirelawgroup.com for a free consultation.

Client Reviews
★★★★★
Selecting an attorney can be one of the most difficult decisions a person has to make. In what seems like an overwhelming sea of attorneys who do you choose? Are they qualified, compassionate, and are they willing to fight for you without compromising their integrity? When faced with this decision in 2016 I received this and more when I retained Rahlita Thornton as my attorney. Since 2016 she has represented me on several court cases and I've never been disappointed. She is well versed and very knowledgeable on many aspects of the law. Attorney Thornton and her staff work diligently to ensure no stone is left unturned and justice is served. When I was crippled with fear, bullied, and felt like giving up she was my voice. She is highly recommend and I'm truly blessed to have her in my life. TTW
★★★★★
It was a divine power that drove me to call. There are ton of lawyers online but I knew this attorney was the one for me. C.B., Divorce Client
★★★★★
Attention & communication is very good when working with this professional legal team. They are here to help you whenever questions arise and explain details as they go. Thank you for taking the time to accept my case & working with me. P.L.