Alimony in the United States

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Alimony is spousal support after the dissolution of marriage.

Dowry[edit | edit source]

In the past, the family of the bride would give the groom a payment known as a dowry. In the 21st century, when some marriage don't involve the approbation of parental families, giving dowry isn't practiced.

Before 1900s, when women didn't work full-time (aside from occupations like housekeeping), the provision of food, shelter, & medical needs fell on the husband.

Alimony[edit | edit source]

At common law, court factored in the fault of a spouse to determine spousal support awards.

Nowadays in the United States, the spouse seeking alimony must show that she cannot maintain herself without support payments from her former spouse (Section 308 of the UMDA). As of 2023, only 20% of divorces result in alimony awards.

Taxing alimony[edit | edit source]

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 affects divorces finalized in 2019 and after; alimony payments are

  • no longer tax deductible for the paying party &
  • no longer considered taxable income for the recipient.[1]

Forms of spousal support[edit | edit source]

The types of spousal support include

  1. Rehabilitative spousal support
  2. Incapacity spousal support
  3. Caregiver spousal support
  4. Reimbursement spousal support

Re-marriage[edit | edit source]

In most jurisdictions, re-marriage of an alimony recipients become grounds for termination of alimony.

References[edit | edit source]