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Husbands CAN Get Alimony (& Alimony 101)

Is Mississippi an Alimony state? Yes.  Well then, can the man get Alimony?  It’s possible!

Vichaya Kiatying-Angsulee /freedigitalphotos.net

Alimony considerations provide that Chancery Courts are vested with broad authority to provide for the material needs of the spouses incident to divorce. Hubbard v. Hubbard, 656 So.2d 124, 129 (Miss. 1995).   “If there are sufficient marital assets which, when equitably divided and considered with each spouse’s non-marital assets, will adequately provide for both parties, no more need to be done.” Johnson v. Johnson, 650 So.2d 1281, 1287 (Miss. 1994).  In other words, alimony should only be considered if equitable distribution “leaves a deficit for one party.” Johnson, 650 So.2d at 1287 (Miss. 1994).

A Husband may make a claim for alimony.

Armstrong v. Armstrong, 618 So.2d 1278, 1280 (Miss.1993), sets out a number of factors for the court to consider in determining whether to award alimony.   Additionally, there are four types of alimony: (a) periodic, (b) rehabilitative, (c) lump sum, and (d) reimbursement.  When there is no marital property to divide upon divorce, the court looks to Armstrong to determine whether or not an award of periodic alimony is warranted. Ethridge v. Ethridge, 648 So.2d 1143 (Miss. 1995).

1)      The first factor is the income and expenses of the parties.  When there is a great disparity in the earning capacity and incomes of the parties it could support an award of Alimony.

2)      The second factor is the health and earning capacities of the parties.  This considers physical and mental health, as well as earning capacity, to include degrees, etc…

3)      Third, the court is to consider the needs of each party.  The living expenses.

4)      Fourth, the court is to consider the obligations and assets of the parties.  Is the marital estate encumbered by a significant  debt?  Is a party living off his credit card?

5)      The fifth factor to consider is the length of the marriage.  Less than 10 years is not long.  20 years and over is long.  Between 10-20 is the gray area.  Of course, it’s all gray and it’s possible to get alimony in very short marriages and not get it in very long marriages.

6)      The sixth factor is the presence or absence of minor children in the home.

7)      The seventh factor is the age of the parties.  Think years left for gainful employment and to live…

8)      The eighth factor is the parties’ standard of living, both during the marriage and at the time of the support determination.  Have the Parties  enjoyed a relatively high standard of living in comparison to most? Allowing them to take trips, to purchase recreational vehicles, to purchase a half a million dollar home in the suburbs, to send their children to private school, and have not had to be concerned about money or curb their spending during times when husband was not working?

9)      The ninth factor to consider is the tax consequences of the spousal support.   Alimony payments, normally,would be taxable income to the receiver and deductible to the payor, allowing her to receive a tax benefit in the reduction of her taxable income for the duration of the support payments.  It’s also possible to make it non-taxable, depending upon the duration of the payments and whether same is owed in the event the payor dies.

10)  The tenth factor is fault or misconduct.  Fault grounds; adultery, cruelty, etc…

11)  The eleventh factor is wasteful dissipation of assets by either party.  Booze, drugs, or gambling spending.

12)  The final factor for the court’s consideration is any other factor deemed by the court to be “just and equitable” in connection with the setting of spousal support.  So any other compelling reason in favor of alimony.

After weighing each of the factors set forth in Armstrong v. Armstrong, 618 So.2d 1278, 1280 (Miss. 1993), and viewing the totality of the circumstances, the court will find whether an award of alimony is warranted.

Matthew Thompson is an Alimony Attorney in Mississippi and has represented the man who received Alimony.  

Follow the blog: BowTieLawyer Visit the websiteThompson Law Firm  You may also contact Matthew with your family law case, question or concern at (601) 850-8000 or Matthew@bowtielawyer.ms

Taxing Divorce Issues

Tax consequences must be considered when the Court determines Equitable Distribution, along with  other economic consequences, and contractual or legal consequences to third parties, of the proposed distribution;

This blog is one in a series of blogs regarding Equitable Distribution in Mississippi.  Equitable Distribution is the method employed by the Court’s to determine how marital property is to be divided in a divorce.  The basics and factors to be considered can be seen here, Marital Property; How it’s Divided (click).

  • Tax Consequences.

Typically division of real property and even personal property can be had without tax consequences to the parties.  One party can buy the other out of the house and get the furniture without arousing Uncle Sam.  However, certain transactions can create significant tax consequences.  Usually investment/retirement accounts may be transferred without tax liability, but there is a catch.  The receiving party must roll the monies over into a qualified account and not access same to avoid taxes and penalties.  If the receiving party will need the monies to live, then they better make sure the Court is aware of the tax consequences for using those monies.  (Alimony may also have tax consequences.)

  • Other economic consequences;

Other economic consequences can include the nature of the asset.  Is it something that can be used and liquidated like an account or is it something that cannot be easily turned into cash, like a house or a collection of 17th French dishware?  The Court may determine the type of assets.  Also, some assets produce income or returns and some assets may decrease in value or require considerable upkeep expenses like an Arabian Horse.

Make sure you have discussed the type and nature of the assets that the Court is being asked to divide and be sure to consider the tax and long-term considerations regarding the asset(s).

Matthew Thompson is a family law attorney in Mississippi and recommends you pass on getting the Arabian Horse, as it will eat you out of house and home.

Follow the blog: BowTieLawyer Visit the website: Thompson Law Firm

You may also contact Matthew with your family law case, question or concern at (601) 850-8000 or Matthew@wmtlawfirm.com.