You may have chosen to be a stay-at-home parent so your spouse could pursue a college degree. And once your spouse landed their dream job you may have given up your own career opportunities to continue to take care of your growing family. However, career success does not always equate to marital success and some couples in Mississippi may find themselves facing divorce. For the stay-at-home parent with little experience in the workforce a major concern may be how they will support themselves financially post-divorce. These parents may be interested in learning more about spousal support laws in Mississippi.
The two types of spousal support in Mississippi
Spousal support is meant to help the lesser-earning spouse support themselves financially post-divorce. It is not punitive and is not based on either spouse’s gender. The purpose of spousal support is to provide the receiving spouse with the approximately the same standard of living they enjoyed while married although any spousal support award must be reasonable and the paying spouse also is entitled to maintain a decent standard of living. Mississippi law recognizes two types of spousal support: lump sum and periodic payments.
A lump sum payment is a fixed amount of money given to the receiving spouse all at once or over a period of time. Lump sum payments cannot be modified and will continue to be effective even if either spouse remarries or dies.
Periodic payment spousal support is paid in installments over a period of time. Unlike lump sum spousal support periodic payment spousal support is modifiable. In addition, it will end if either spouse dies or if the receiving spouse marries or cohabitates with another person post-divorce.
Factors judges will consider when determining spousal support
Whether a judge awards lump sum spousal support or periodic payment spousal support, the judge must state a specific amount of support to be paid. There are numerous factors judges will consider when determining how much spousal support to award. One factor is each spouse’s health and earning capacity. Each spouse’s sources of income will be considered as well. What the receiving spouse’s reasonable needs are and what the paying spouse’s necessary living expenses are will also be considered. Finally, what each spouse pays in income taxes will also be considered.
Learn more about spousal support in Mississippi
It is important that those going through divorce in Mississippi know what to expect when pursuing spousal support. This post is for informational purposes only and does not contain legal advice. Our firm’s webpage on spousal support may be a useful resource for those who want to learn more about this topic.