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Alimony

party, wife, court and means

ALIMONY is a pecuniary allowance which the Court compels one of the parties to a subsisting marriage to pay to or on behalf of the other party. Alimony is either pendente lite (pending suit) or permanent. The latter should be distinguished from the maintenance which is ordered to be paid by the guilty party to the innocent after a final decree of dissolution, of marriage. If the circumstance of the case warrant it, alimony may be paid by the wife to the husband. Alimony pendente lite applies to all matrimonial suits ; permanent alimony applying only after a decree of judicial separation. The usual amount of alimony awarded is one-fifth of the income pending suit, and one-third after anal decree of judicial separation. If the wife has separate means, her alimony pendente lite is such as will w ith her ow n income amount to one-third of the joint income of the married couple. In addition to his common law liability, the husband who is in default in payment of his wife's permanent alimony is statutorily liable to creditors for necessaries supplied to his wife. Alimony should be applied for directly the matrimonial proceedings have commenced. If the wife allows her alimony to go into arrear for more than one year, the Court will not enforce payment of the arrears unless she can show good cause why earlier application had not been made. A party entitled to alimony Teas, generally, the same

means available for its recovery as a judgment debtor. But there can be no attachment on account of the Debtors Act. If committal to prison is necessary to enforce payment, application therefor must be made upon judgment summons in the Bankruptcy Court. An affidavit must be filed proving service of the summons, the amount in arrear, and that the party in default has means to pay by instalments or otherwise. The debtor may appear in opposition to the application, but it will be granted if the Court is satisfied as to his means. If, after alimony has been granted, whether it be pendente life or permanent, the financial circumstances of the party by whom it is payable have improved, application can be made for its increase. On the other hand, in converse circumstances, the party paying alimony may apply for its decrease. See also DIVORCE for the provisions relating to maintenance and alimony in the Matrimonial Causes Act, 1907, and SUMMARY MATRIMONIAL CAUSE. In Scotland, alimony payable to a deserted wife ; to children who are unable to support themselves ; in respect of illegitimate children ; and to parents in poverty, is known as aliment.