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Is Alimony the Same as Spousal Support?

Posted by LEISA WINTZ | Apr 07, 2022 | 0 Comments

When a couple separates or divorces, a common concern is how significant the financial impact could be. During the divorce proceedings, the discussion of whether one spouse should have to offer spousal support or payments to the other spouse is often presented. You may have heard of the term “alimony” when it comes to one legally separating from your spouse. Spousal support is the same thing as alimony. There is no difference between the two terms. The word “alimony” is simply an outdated term that has been replaced by “spousal support,” however it is still commonly used and why people are sometimes confused.

Understanding Spousal Support

While there may be confusion regarding the two phrases, understanding the definition can ease the process during a divorce. Changing from a multi-income to a single-income household can be a burden in many aspects of your life. Some of the determining factors that decide if and how much a spouse must pay can vary.

  • How long you have been married.
  • The type of lifestyle you experienced during the marriage can influence the financial conclusion.
  • In some circumstances, a spouse may have sacrificed an opportunity to pursue educational or financial goals to support the relationship.

In the state of Florida, you do not need to prove the cause of the divorce and can obtain a divorce simply by stating the marriage is “irretrievably broken”. Certain states tie alimony to the person at fault. This can cause problems for the lower-income spouse. The court may likely order the “at fault” spouse, or the person responsible for the breakup of the marriage, to pay alimony to the spouse who suffered due to their wrongdoings. In Florida, the court will determine precisely who is responsible for paying the spousal support according to the factors as mentioned above.

Alimony Payment Explained

The duration of the marriage impacts how long the spousal support continues after the divorce is finalized. For couples that have been married longer than ten years, the court may or may not set a maturity date for the recurring payments. A maturity date is when your spousal support payments are not permanent. After a certain number of payments from your spouse, your alimony will reach its maturity date, and you will no longer receive financial support from your spouse.

If the spouse receiving alimony remarries, it is within reason to terminate spousal support. Suppose the spouse is receiving the spousal support lives with a new romantic partner. In that case, you must prove that they are not remarrying to avoid the termination of the alimony. Spousal support can be overridden if the other party demonstrates that they are self-sustainable and no longer need financial assistance. Every marriage is unique, and spousal support intends to assist the party who may not have the skills or the resources to support their post-divorce lifestyle.

At Family Matters Law Group, our experienced attorneys can help with negotiations and mediation to resolve your spousal dispute and obtain the best possible outcome for your case. Our attorneys are skilled in litigation and negotiation tactics to protect our client's interests. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and obtain the proper legal guidance.

About the Author


Leisa Wintz originally began her career as a marriage and family therapist. Ms. Wintz went on to attend law school and started practicing family law in 2009. However, she quickly realized that many family law practices lacked the empathy and compassion she believed were necessary in order to achi...


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