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When an ex-spouse makes payments to a former spouse after the divorce, the payments are called alimony. Alimony payments (also called spousal support) are intended to preserve the lifestyle the former spouse enjoyed before the divorce. Unlike child support, which is a required payment to fund a child's necessities, no one is guaranteed alimony. If a couple can't agree, a judge decides whether to award alimony. A divorce lawyer who specializes in alimony knows what information you need to calculate alimony, and can also help if you feel your ex-spouse is asking for too much alimony.