When is an award of alimony appropriate?

Alabama does not have a really hard and fast rule concerning alimony except that it can be requested in a divorce case.

There are two types of alimony, alimony in gross and periodic alimony.  Alimony in gross is a lump sum payment whereas periodic alimony is not vested and may terminate upon the occurrence of certain contingencies.

Periodic alimony is the most common form and is concerned and based in the law to serve as a tool to help preserve the status quo of the parties.  In times gone by this was usually awarded to the wife to assist her in maintaining the lifestyle for which she was accustomed.  Today it could go to either party depending on each person’s income and the circumstances of the divorce.

There are considerations that are taken into account when a court is deciding whether or not alimony is appropriate.  Some of those are length of marriage, income of the parties and any fault based grounds of the divorce.  Of course this is not all that may be considered and other circumstances pertinent to individual cases may be considered.

The award of alimony in any amount is determined by the court and at its discretion.  There are no state determined guidelines as there is in child support determinations.

Normally any alimony will terminate upon either the payment of the lump sum amount such as in alimony in gross or upon the death, remarriage, or cohabitation with a member of the opposite sex when dealing with periodic alimony.