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When and how will a Mississippi court consider awarding alimony?

Many Mississippi residents rely on spousal support to make ends meet after a divorce. In order to be awarded alimony in Mississippi, one party has to be at a financial deficit even after all of the marital assets are equitably divided. This rule was instituted when the state moved from being a community property state to an equitable distribution state back in 1994.

This is because an equitable distribution of assets does not necessarily mean equal. Therefore, one party could be left at a financial disadvantage. If this is the determination of the court, an award of alimony will then be considered. Depending on the circumstances, one of three types of alimony could be awarded.

Rehabilitative alimony helps the party in need get back on his or her feet. It is awarded for only a specified period of time. If the receiving party gets married again or is cohabitating with someone during that time, the support can be terminated. It will also end if either party dies.

Periodic alimony can decrease or increase over time. If the receiving spouse remarries or either party dies, it stops. If the receiving party is found guilty of some sort of misconduct, he or she forfeits the alimony.

The last type of spousal support is lump sum alimony. As the name implies, the party receiving it is entitled to one large settlement, which can be paid installments. It cannot be modified in any way.

Several factors go into a Mississippi court determining which type of alimony will be awarded. An attorney can review your situation and inform you of your options. Whether you are looking to receive spousal support or might be ordered to pay it, it is not advisable to go before the court without the assistance of an experienced family law lawyer.

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