Is there a limit to the amount of alimony awarded?

UPDATED: Dec 2, 2011

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Is there a limit to the amount of alimony awarded?

In seeking a divorce in MS. Is there a limit to the amount of alimony that can be awarded in addition to child support (understanding that they are completely separate)? Some websites say “yes”, others say “no”. I understand that I will have to hire cousel but I just wanted to understand the arena a bit.

Asked on December 2, 2011 under Family Law, Mississippi


L.P., Member, Pennsylvania and New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Thank you for submitting your question regarding alimony payments in Mississippi.  As you are aware state laws governing alimony and spousal support vary from state.  Mississippi, along with Texas and Tennessee, alimony will only be awarded in cases where the marriage lasted at least ten years, and the alimony payments will be limited to three years.  In marriages of ten to twenty years, your state, along with Maine and Tennessee, the length of alimony payments will be for half the duration of the marriage.  In both situations, the courts have the permission to extend alimony payments if extenuating circumstances support a reason to do so.

As with all marital affairs, including alimony support and distribution of the assets, the courts attempt to examine the set of circumstances particular to each case.  Given the court’s careful examination, it is difficult to say exactly what the court would rule given your situation. 

As an aside, there are 135 Appellate cases in your state, and in these cases the judges are prohibited from assigning an end date for alimony. 

As you may have heard, most states award alimony for life regardless the length of the marriage. 

In general, and in all states, there are four types of alimony:  temporary alimony, rehabilitative alimony, permanent alimony, and reimbursement alimony.  Depending on your circumstances the judge may award one or more of these to the party with the financial need. 

Additionally, a support award can be modified if there is a change in circumstances for one of the parties.  For instance, if the party paying alimony lost their job, by no fault of their own, the court may temporarily or permanently reduce the amount of alimony. 

If you need further assistance you should contact a family law attorney in your area.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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