Family and Divorce Law Jargon Buster: Part 15 – Alimony

October 10, 2014, By Slater Heelis

This is the next instalment in our bite size blog series in which we hope to demystify some of the legal terms which are frequently used by family solicitors when giving legal advice and in the family courts environment.

Alimony: This is an American term that often creeps into news articles and discussions here in the UK. Alimony means the payments, often monthly, made from the higher earning spouse to the other after divorce. In the UK we call this Spousal Maintenance and it is subject to strict guidelines as to when it is appropriate, how it should be paid and for how long. It has fallen out of favour in many courts over recent years as the merits of a Clean Break (see Jargon Buster – Part 14) appeal to many. Spousal maintenance is still appropriate in some cases but the individual circumstances will be taken into account to establish whether there is a requirement for ‘Alimony’.

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