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How and when do I get alimony?

Divorces commonly end in one spouse paying alimony to the other.


How much and how long varies across the US.

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When do you get the alimony?

Alimony is sometimes called spousal maintenance or spousal support. It is intended to provide support to bridge the financial gap from marriage to divorce if you are reliant on your spouses income. Each state has their own rules for determining the amount and duration. Read more about it here.

Because it is up to the state’s discretion, it is practically impossible to say which state pays the highest.

When determining how much alimony should be paid, a variety of factors are included. For example, division of assets, dependents, and length of marriage. A few states still recognize common law marriage when making the determination.

In 2018 polices changed. Alimony that had been awarded in any divorce settlement after 2018 is not tax deductible for the paying spouse or receiving. The repeal of the taxable status does not impact cases settled before January 1, 2019.

Permanent alimony

Permanent alimony is becoming less and less common. Some states are looking to do away with it entirely. It may be awarded if:

  • a spouse is too old to feasibly reenter the workforce to have financial stability
  • developed a disability or health issue that prevents them from supporting themselves in the future

States that still award permanent alimony are:

  • Connecticut
  • Florida
  • New Jersey
  • North Carolina
  • Oregon
  • Vermont
  • West Virginia
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