In a divorce or legal separation, spousal maintenance may be ordered by the court to provide important financial support for one party or the other. Maintenance is paid by one spouse (or former spouse) to the other spouse (or former spouse). Some states refer to such support as alimony, others as spousal support. In any case, the purpose and result is the same, as well discuss in this article.
Historical Basis for Alimony — Times Have Changed
There was a time when traditional marriages were entered into with the understanding and agreement that only death could terminate the bond. A divorce was only possible when there was evidence of marital misconduct, or fault. Once fault was established, the court looked to punish the party responsible for destroying the marriage.