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Legal Definition and Related Resources of Alimony

Meaning of Alimony

Alimony Alternative Definition

Money paid for aliment or support. The allowance which a husband, by order of court, pays to his wife, living separate from him, for her maintenance. Bish. Mar. & Div. I 549. The term is sometimes restricted to an allowance for a wife’s support, made either pending an action for divorce, or after a decree of divorce. Alimony pendente lite is that ordered during the pendency of a suit. Permanent alimony is that ordered for the use of the wife after the termination of the suit, during their joint lives, or until the further order of the court.

Synonyms of Alimony


  • allotment
  • allowance
  • care
  • dispensation
  • emolument
  • grant
  • income
  • maintenance
  • maintenance allowance
  • pecuniary aid
  • pecuniary assistance
  • personal allowance
  • provision
  • recompense
  • remuneration
  • separate maintenance
  • separation money
  • settlement
  • stipend
  • subsidization
  • subsidy
  • subvention
  • support
  • sustenance
  • sustentation
  • upkeep
  • Associated Concepts: alimony award
  • alimony judgment
  • alimony penpendente lite
  • division of property
  • divorce
  • necessaries
  • permanent alimony
  • separation
  • support
  • temporary alimony

Related Entries of Alimony in the Encyclopedia of Law Project

Browse or run a search for Alimony in the American Encyclopedia of Law, the Asian Encyclopedia of Law, the European Encyclopedia of Law, the UK Encyclopedia of Law or the Latin American and Spanish Encyclopedia of Law.

Alimony in Historical Law

You might be interested in the historical meaning of this term. Browse or search for Alimony in Historical Law in the Encyclopedia of Law.

Legal Abbreviations and Acronyms

Search for legal acronyms and/or abbreviations containing Alimony in the Legal Abbreviations and Acronyms Dictionary.

Related Legal Terms

You might be also interested in these legal terms:

Mentioned in these terms

Comparative Rectitude, Faculties, Matrimonial Home, Rehabilitative Alimony, Temporary Alimony.

What does Alimony mean in American Law?

The definition of Alimony in the law of the United States, as defined by the lexicographer Arthur Leff in his legal dictionary is:

A payment judicially ordered (though often based on prior agreement of the parties) usually incident to divorce (though sometimes incident to judicial separation, or annulment of marriage), to be made from one spouse to the other for the latter’s support. Until recently, most statutes permitted alimony only from men to women, but that is almost certainly unconstitutional, and will change. The award may be of periodic payments in definite amounts in perpetuity (or until remarriage or some other significant change of the recipient’s situation), or may be of a single sum paid all at once or in a few installments; this latter is called “alimony in gross.” Alimony ordered after judgment is sometimes called “permanent alimony,” but in fact alimony decrees can almost always be reopened to take account of significant new developments. Sometimes a trust is established out of which alimony payments are to be made, this to guard the recipient against the notorious difficulty of actually collecting the alimony ordered. It is also common to order the payment of “temporary alimony” (also called “alimony ad interim” and “alimony pendente lite”) during the pendency of the proceeding, and to order the alimony payer also to pay the legal expenses of the payee, this last sometimes called “suit money.”

Given the current speed of developments in the area of divorce, and male-female relationships in general, the details of the law of alimony [are] likely to be unstable for some time. See also palimony for an emerging analogue to alimony, growing out of a prior relationship not quite officially marital.


You might be interested in these references tools:

Resource Description
Alimony in the Dictionary Alimony in our legal dictionaries
Browse the Legal Thesaurus Find synonyms and related words of Alimony
Legal Maxims Maxims are established principles that jurists use as interpretive tools, invoked more frequently in international law
Legal Answers (Q&A) A community-driven knowledge creation process, of enduring value to a broad audience
Related topics Alimony in the World Encyclopedia of Law


This definition of Alimony Is based on the The Cyclopedic Law Dictionary . This entry needs to be proofread.

Vocabularies (Semantic Web Information)

Resource Description
Topic Map A group of names, occurrences and associations
Topic Tree A topic display format, showing the hierarchy
Sitemap Index Sitemap Index, including Taxonomies The URI of Alimony (more about URIs)

Alimony in the United States

Alimony in Connecticut

Alimony in Property Law

The purpose of alimony is to meet one’s continuing duty to support . . . while the purpose of property division is to unscramble the ownership (more about ownership in the United States)ship of property, giving to each spouse what is equitably his.” Weiman v. Weiman, 188 Connecticut (provision) 232, 234, 449 A.2d 151 (1982). All property equitable distribution scheme: It does not limit, either by timing or method of acquisition (more in the United States here) or by source of funds, the property subject to a trial court’s broad allocative power Krafick v. Krafick, 234 Connecticut (provision) 783, 792, 663 A.2d 365 (1995).

English Spanish Translation of Alimony

Pensión alimenticia

Find other English to Spanish translations from the Pocket Spanish English Legal Dictionary (print and online), the English to Spanish to English dictionaries (like Alimony) and the Word reference legal translator.


See Also

  • Law Dictionaries.
  • Child Support; Damages; Divorce; Family Law; Husband and Wife; Marriage; No Fault Divorce; Sex Discrimination.
  • English Legal System: Alimony

    In the context of the English law, A Dictionary of Law provides the following legal concept of Alimony :

    Formerly, financial provision made by a husband to his wife when they are living apart. Alimony is now known as *maintenance or *financial provisio

    Alimony, Sexual Behaviour and the Law

    Further Reading

    United States Tax Concept of Alimony

    Payments made to a separated or divorced spouse as required by a divorce decree or agreement. Qualifying payments to an ex-spouse can be deducted as adjustments to income regardless of whether you itemize. They are taxable to the recipient.

    Alimony is an order of a court for the support of one spouse by the other spouse. country or state law, which varies by country or state, governs the award of alimony to a spouse.

    Alimony is an order of a court for the support of one spouse by the other spouse. State law, which varies by state, governs the award of alimony to a spouse.


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