Alimony vs Spousal Support – Difference and Comparison

What is Alimony?

Alimony can simply be described as the financial support given to the spouse after or during the termination of a marriage. It is a crucial amount of monetary support for the unemployed spouse in the marriage. Alimony is also given to the spouse with a lower net income in the marriage.

The process of deciding the alimony amount goes through various steps. Firstly, the court will decide the beneficiary partner. Then it will deduct the necessary sum from the net amount. This can include taxes, health care, and educational charges. Afterward, the final alimony amount will be assigned to the partner in marriage.

Alimony can be assigned or given to either of the spouses. This means that both the husband and wife can become the beneficiary. However, the spouse with the kids will receive the larger sum as they have to look for their growth. Therefore, it is a vital factor in alimony payment.

Alimony is helpful for the partner who was not employed by any means during the marriage. This can be due to his or her complete dedication to the family and their respective sacrifices. Therefore, it is an important and much-needed form of support for them.

What is Spousal Support?

Spousal support can be described as the monetary sum given to the wife or husband during the divorce settlement. However, in some cases, it can also be given after the divorce. This type of support is of different types and varies according to the cases, judgment or order.

Spousal support is given monthly to either of the spouses. The support period extends to the complete life period of the husband or wife. However, based on the judgment of the court of law, several revisions can be made in the future.

The amount of financial support is decided after a mutually agreed agreement is made and signed. Anything decided before the formulation of the official agreement is not considered. If the recipient spouse dies before the completion, then the support stops. Apart from that, many rules and regulations are related to spousal support.

Spousal support is beneficial for the spouse that needs monetary help. In complicated cases of divorces, the process can take a more than expected time to get completed. This is why spousal support helps them to sustain their living and handle finances during the separation period.

Difference Between Alimony and Spousal Support

  1. Alimony is the financial support given to the spouse while the separation gets final whereas Spousal Support is the acknowledgment of one’s role in the marriage.
  2. Alimony is given to the spouse unemployed during the marriage while a partner gets qualified for spousal support after five years of marriage.
  3. Alimony can be stopped after the orders of court whereas spousal can undergo revisions in the future related to the judgment.
  4. The alimony period is dependent on the completion of the divorce process and the financial needs of the partner whereas Spousal support is entirely dependent on the mutual agreement of the spouses.
  5. Alimony has different types like separation alimony or reimbursement alimony whereas Spousal support is permanent or temporary.

Comparison Between Alimony and Spousal Support

Parameters of comparisonAlimony Spousal Support
The receiverThe unemployed spouse in the marriage is the recipientThe partner who has completed five years in the marriage
MeaningThe amount of money given to the respective spouse during divorce completionFinancial support to acknowledge the efforts of the partner
TypeAlimony can be categorized as separation or rehabilitativeSpousal support can be categorized as permanent or temporary
DurationThe duration of Alimony is dependent on the judgmentThe duration of Spousal Support is dependent on the marriage period
ChangesChanges can be made according to the court orderChanges are made after assessing the situation