Comes from Latin "alimonia" meaning sustenance, and means, therefore, the sustenance or support of the wife by her divorced husband and stems from the common-law right of the wife to support by her husband. Allowances which husband or wife by court order pays other spouse for maintenance while they are separated, or after they are divorced (permanent alimony), or temporarily, pending a suit for divorce (pendente lite). Generally, it is restricted to money unless otherwise authorized by statute. But it may be an allowance out of the spouse's estate. LaChance v. LaChance, Md.App., 346 A.2d 676, 679, 680.
Generally, alimony is separable from a binding property settlement agreement. Beard v. Worrell, 212 S.E.2d 598, 158 W.Va. 248.
State statutes which provide for payment of alimony only to the wife have been held to be unconstitutional. Orr v. Orr, 99 S.Ct. 1102.
See also gross alimony
- periodic alimony
- permanent alimony
- rehabilitation (alimony)
- trust (alimony trust).
@ alimony in gross
@ alimony in a lump-sum
Alimony in gross, or in a lump sum, is in the nature of a final property settlement, and hence in some jurisdictions is not included in the term "alimony," which in its strict or technical sense contemplates money payments at regular intervals. Refers to those alimony arrangements where entire award is a vested and determined amount and not subject to change. Imbrie v. Imbrie, 94 Ill.App.2d 60, 236 N.E.2d 381, 383
@ alimony pendente lite
alimony pendente lite
(temporary alimony)
An allowance made pending a suit for divorce or separate maintenance including a reasonable allowance for preparation of the suit as well as for support. Davis v. Davis, 15 Wash.2d 297, 130 P.2d 355, 359.
- permanent alimony
Tax treatment.
Alimony and separate maintenance payments are includible in the gross income of the recipient and are deductible by the payor. The payments must be periodic and made in discharge of a legal obligation arising from a marital or family relationship. Child support and voluntary payments are not treated as alimony. I.R.C. No.No. 62(10), 71, 215
- alimony trust (trust)

Black's law dictionary. . 1990.

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