Definition of alimony
1 : an allowance made to one spouse by the other for support pending or after legal separation or divorce
2 : the means of living : maintenance
Recent Examples of alimony from the Web
A few days later during the trial for Wein’s divorce from Philip Howland, the owner of a Fort Lauderdale car restoration business, Howland’s camp allegedly tried to have the prescription history admitted as evidence in an argument over alimony.
In 1985, the Supreme Court ordered the husband of a 62-year-old divorced Muslim woman to pay her alimony of about $15 a month.
The SEC claims Watkins defrauded professional athletes and other investors of millions of dollars to cover personal expenses including alimony, back taxes and credit card bills.
Part of the divorce process was to determine whether Naly would receive a form of alimony payments.
Others haven’t weighed in, or else have quirky rules about, say, alimony.
Another sign of a possible truce: A plan for a hearing about alimony that could have lasted two days has been dropped.
The next hearing in the divorce case in Washington, to consider temporary alimony, is set for Friday.
Rubi got alimony ($25,000 per year until remarriage), a fishing fleet off Africa, several sports cars, a converted B-25 bomber (La Ganza), and a 17th-century house in Rue de Bellechasse, Paris.
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Origin and Etymology of alimony
Latin alimonia sustenance, from alere
First Known Use: circa 1613See Words from the same year
Financial Definition of ALIMONY
What It Is
Alimony is a series of payments made to an ex-spouse or separated spouse according to a divorce decree or separation agreement.
How It Works
In general, a spouse must have been financially dependent on the other spouse for most of the marriage to receive alimony. The calculations and standard amounts vary by state, but each party's ability to earn money, the length of the marriage, the conduct of the parties, and health and age all affect the amount.
Alimony payments are usually made monthly. For tax purposes, noncash payments and voluntary extra payments do not count as alimony. However, payments to a third party on behalf of the ex- or separated spouse sometimes qualify as alimony (medical expenses, housing costs, tuition, etc.), however.
Why It Matters
From a financial perspective, alimony matters because it has significant tax consequences for both the payer and the receiver. Most notably, alimony is tax-deductible for the payer and taxable for the payee. Because of this tax deduction (and the resulting temptation to mask all payments to an ex as alimony), the IRS applies two tests to ensure that the payments are not really child support or property settlement payments (which are not deductible). For this reason, alimony payments should be explicitly described in the divorce decree or separation agreement, and they must be labeled as alimony. Otherwise, the IRS may tax child support as alimony.
Also, alimony payments to an ex- or separated spouse typically only count as alimony for tax purposes in years when the parties did not file a joint tax return or live in the same dwelling. If alimony payments decrease or terminate during the first three years, filers may be able to recapture the taxes paid (and deductions claimed) under the IRS's recapture rule. In any case, both the alimony payer and alimony payee must file an IRS Form 1040 rather than a 1040A or 1040EZ if alimony is involved.
ALIMONY Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of alimony for English Language Learners
: money that a court orders someone to pay regularly to a former wife or husband after a divorce
ALIMONY Defined for Kids
Definition of alimony for Students
: money for living expenses paid regularly by one spouse to another after their legal separation or divorce
Legal Definition of alimony
1 : an allowance made to one spouse by the other for support pending or after legal separation or divorce — compare child support alimony in gross : lump sum alimony in this entry alimony pendente lite \-pen-ˈden-tē-ˈlī-ˌtē, -pen-ˈden-tā-ˈlē-tā\ : alimony granted pending a suit for divorce or separation that includes a reasonable allowance for the prosecution of the suit —called also temporary alimony lump sum alimony : alimony awarded after divorce that is a specific vested amount not subject to change —called also alimony in gross permanent alimony : alimony awarded after divorce which consists of payments at regular intervals that may change in amount or terminate (as upon the payee's remarriage) temporary alimony : alimony pendente lite in this entry
2 : means of living, support, or maintenance fathers and mothers owe alimony to their illegitimate children — Louisiana Civil Code
Origin and Etymology of alimony
Latin alimonia sustenance, from alere to nourish
Seen and Heard
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