What has commonly been referred to as “alimony” for many years, recently has been termed “spousal support” or “maintenance” in most states. So if you hear either term, it means the same. It is financial support paid by one ex-spouse to the other.  The details may be agreed upon by the parties or set by the court. Alimony is an order of the court. Failure of one spouse to pay the other the court-ordered amount can result in the non-payer being held in contempt of court. There are several different types of alimony. They vary by the amount, duration, modification and tax consequences/advantages.

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