Spousal Maintenance (Alimony) In Mississippi

Mississippi law allows for spousal maintenance or alimony — but legislators have made obtaining permanent maintenance very difficult.

Mississippi officially acknowledges four types of spousal maintenance:

  • Periodic alimony — set periodic or monthly payments
  • Lump sum or settlement alimony — a one-time payment
  • Rehabilitative alimony — until the spouse is able to support himself or herself
  • Reimbursement alimony — payback for funding or support the spouse provided during the marriage

Years ago, permanent alimony was not uncommon. But as times have changed and both parties in a marriage are more likely to work and have the skills for self-support, the law has evolved and temporary alimony has become the norm.

Many people think alimony is only for wives. It is not. It is for the partner who is less able to support himself or herself, regardless of sex. Alimony is gender-neutral in Mississippi and in every other state.

The Evolution Of Alimony

Note that the idea behind alimony is not to maintain the lifestyle a spouse was accustomed to; it is to keep the nonworking spouse from slipping into poverty. It is not uncommon for wage-earning spouses to abandon the other spouse. Alimony law is specifically designed to protect the party left behind.

There are many complexities in Mississippi's spousal maintenance laws. We invite you to call or visit with attorney Heidi Milam at our Southaven offices and discuss your specific situation. Call our lawyer at 662-655-1605. Or, you may ask questions via email.