alimony (al-<<schwa>>-moh-nee).1. A court-ordered allowance that one spouse pays to the
other spouse for maintenance and support while they are separated, while they are involved in a
matrimonial lawsuit, or after they are divorced. • Alimony is distinct from a property settlement.
Alimony payments are taxable income to the receiving spouse and are deductible by the payor
spouse; payments in settlement of property rights are not. The Supreme Court has held
unconstitutional a statute that imposed alimony obligations on the husband only. Orr v. Orr, 440
U.S. 268, 99 S.Ct. 1102 (1979). — Also termed spousal support; maintenance. Cf. CHILD
SUPPORT; DIVORCE AGREEMENT. [Cases: Divorce 208, 230. C.J.S. Divorce §§ 315,
320–331, 336–339, 369, 394–400, 422–426, 481–487.]
“ ‘Alimony,’ which signifies literally nourishment or sustenance, means, in a general sense,
the allowance required by law to be made to a spouse from the other spouse’s estate for support or
maintenance, either during a matrimonial suit or at its termination, where the fact of marriage is
established and the right to a separate main-tenance is proved. Similarly stated, alimony is the
allowance which a party may be compelled to pay to his or her spouse for maintenance when they
are living apart or after they have been divorced.” 27B CJS Divorce § 306, at 102–03 (1986).
alimony in gross.Alimony in the form of a single and definite sum not subject to modification.
— Also termed lump-sum alimony. [Cases: Divorce 241. C.J.S. Divorce §§ 395–397.]
alimony pendente lite (pen-den-tee lI-tee). [Latin pendente lite “pending litigation”] See
final alimony.See permanent alimony.
lump-sum alimony.See alimony in gross.
periodic alimony.See permanent alimony.
permanent alimony.Alimony payable in usu. weekly or monthly installments either
indefinitely or until a time specified by court order. • This kind of alimony may usu. be modified
for changed circumstances of either party. It terminates upon the death of either spouse and usu.
upon the remarriage of the obligee. — Also termed final alimony; periodic alimony. [Cases:
Divorce 230. C.J.S. Divorce §§ 369, 394–400, 422, 425–426, 481–487.]
provisional alimony.See temporary alimony.
rehabilitative alimony.Alimony found necessary to assist a divorced person in acquiring the
education or training required to find employment outside the home or to reenter the labor force. •
It usu. has time limitations, such as a maximum of one or two years. — Also termed short-term
alimony; transitional alimony. [Cases: Divorce 247. C.J.S. Divorce §§ 373–377, 405–413.]
reimbursement alimony.Alimony designed to repay a spouse who during the marriage made
financial contribu-tions that directly enhanced the future earning capacity of the other spouse. • An
example is alimony for a wife who worked full-time supporting herself and her husband with
separate-property earnings while he earned a medical degree. [Cases: Divorce 231. C.J.S.
Divorce §§ 370, 379.]
temporary alimony.Interim alimony ordered by the court pending an action for divorce or
separation in which one party has made a claim for permanent alimony. — Also termed
provisional alimony; alimony pendente lite; allowance pendente lite. [Cases: Divorce 208. C.J.S.
Divorce §§ 315, 320–331, 336–339, 422–426.]
transitional alimony.See rehabilitative alimony.
2.English law. ALIMENT. [Blacks Law 8th]