What is Alimony/Maintenance?

Alimony and maintenance are terms that refer to payments from one spouse to the other spouse for the bene- fit of the spouse who is receiving payment. Some states use the term alimony; other states use the term maintenance; both mean the same thing. Only about 15 percent of divorces or separations involve payments of alimony. (For simplification in the rest of this section, we will use only the term “alimony,” but wherever “alimony” is used, “maintenance” could be substituted.)

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