Written by attorney Mary Elizabeth Milek

Factors for spousal support or alimony in Mississippi

One of the hardest questions to answer with a new client is will I get or have to pay alimony? I can’t answer that with a yes or no. I can give percentages based upon the information provided and knowledge of the judges in my practice area, but it’s still hard to say with any great deal of accuracy. I have used alimony very creatively to protect assets like retirement plans, but this is only if the parties can come to some agreement. Some would rather take their chances with a judge. Alimony is not as common as it once was. Chancellors have wide discretion when it comes to alimony. I know one that will not consider it for a marriage of less than twenty years. Another I know might give it after a trial, but will not grant temporary alimony. Many Chancellors will only award it to prevent destitution, but only if the other party can afford to pay it. Take a look at the factors below:

Factors for spousal support or alimony in Mississippi:

In Armstrong v. Armstrong, 618 So. 2d 1278, 1280 (Miss. 1993), the Mississippi Supreme Court outlined twelve factors that must be considered by a chancellor in arriving at findings and entering a judgment for alimony. These factors are:

  1. the income and expenses of the parties;

  2. the health and earning capacity of the parties;

  3. the needs of each party;

  4. the obligations and assets of each party;

  5. the length of the marriage;

  6. the presence and absence of minor children in the home, which may require that one or both of the parties either pay, or personally provide child care;

  7. the age of the parties;

  8. the standard of living of the parties, both during the marriage and at the time of the support determination;

  9. the tax consequences of the spousal support order;

  10. any fault or misconduct;

  11. wasteful dissipation of the assets by either party;

  12. any other factor deemed by the court to be "just and equitable" in connection with the setting of spousal support.

Additional resources provided by the author

See the link below for the three types of alimony in Mississippi.

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