alimony


alimony
alimonied, adj.
/al"euh moh'nee/, n.
1. Law. an allowance paid to a person by that person's spouse or former spouse for maintenance, granted by a court upon a legal separation or a divorce or while action is pending.
2. supply of the means of living; maintenance.
[1645-55; < L alimonia nourishment, sustenance, deriv. of alimon- (s. of alimo), equiv. to ali- (see ALIMENT) + -mon- action n. suffix parallel to -mentum -MENT]

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law
      in divorce law, compensation owed by one spouse to the other for financial support after divorce. Alimony aims at support of the one spouse, not punishment of the other. In some places, the term means simply a property settlement irrespective of future support. Alimony has traditionally been granted from husbands to wives but has occasionally been granted from wives to husbands.

      Alimony obligations were first imposed by the Egyptians, Greeks, and Hebrews. The practice helped to avoid feuds with the divorced wife's relatives. Under the Code of Hammurabi (Hammurabi, Code of), a Mesopotamian husband divorcing his wife without cause had to forfeit a piece of silver. Similarly, Roman law under Justinian I demanded a forfeiture of gold from the guilty spouse in a divorce.

      In England, alimony was purely a creation of statute—probably arising out of the medieval church's belief that divorce could not terminate the obligations of marriage in the eyes of God. Scandinavian (Scandinavian law) countries treat husband and wife as equals in divorce suits, allowing reciprocal claims for injury. Some countries—e.g., Russia, Austria, Belgium, and Romania—allow divorce as a normal cancellation of contract, with financial questions being settled by mutual agreement.

      Alimony is either temporary—for support and expenses during the lawsuit; or permanent—for support thereafter. Temporary alimony is designed to enable one party to initiate or defend the divorce suit. The granting of temporary or permanent alimony is within the court's discretion, as are the frequency and amounts of payments.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • alimony — al·i·mo·ny / a lə ˌmō nē/ n [Latin alimonia sustenance, from alere to nourish] 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… …   Law dictionary

  • Alimony — • In the common legal sense of the word, the allowance by order of the court a husband pays to his wife for her maintenance while she is living separately from him, or paid by her former husband to a divorced woman Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin… …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • alimony — al‧i‧mo‧ny [ˈælməni ǁ moʊni] noun [uncountable] LAW money that a court orders someone to pay regularly to their former wife or husband after their marriage has ended: • According to the IRS, alimony payments are taxable to the recipient in the… …   Financial and business terms

  • Alimony — Al i*mo*ny, n. [L. alimonia, alimonium, nourishment, sustenance, fr. alere to nourish.] 1. Maintenance; means of living. [1913 Webster] 2. (Law) An allowance made to a wife out of her husband s estate or income for her support, upon her divorce… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • alimony — An amount given to one spouse by another while they are separated or divorced. (Dictionary of Canadian Bankruptcy Terms) United Glossary of Bankruptcy Terms 2012 …   Glossary of Bankruptcy

  • alimony — (n.) 1650s, nourishment, also allowance to a wife from a husband s estate, or in certain cases of separation, from L. alimonia food, support, nourishment, sustenance, from alere to nourish (see OLD (Cf. old)) + monia suffix signifying action,… …   Etymology dictionary

  • alimony — [n] money paid in support of a former spouse keep, livelihood, living, maintenance, provision, remittance, subsistence, sustenance, upkeep; concept 344 …   New thesaurus

  • alimony — ► NOUN chiefly N. Amer. ▪ maintenance for a spouse after separation or divorce. ORIGIN originally in the sense «nourishment, means of subsistence»: from Latin alimonia, from alere nourish …   English terms dictionary

  • alimony — [al′ə mō΄nē] n. [L alimonia, food, support < alere, to nourish: see OLD] 1. Obs. supply of the means of living; maintenance 2. an allowance that a court orders paid to a person by that person s spouse or former spouse after a legal separation… …   English World dictionary

  • Alimony — For the 1949 film directed by Alfred Zeisler, see Alimony (film). Family law …   Wikipedia

  • alimony — /jelamaniy/ Comes from Latin alimonia meaning sustenance, and means, therefore, the sustenance or support of the wife by her divorced husband and stems from the common law right of the wife to support by her husband. Allowances which husband or… …   Black's law dictionary


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