Alimony, Child Support and Pre-Nuptial Agreements

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What is Alimony?

Alimony, maintenance or spousal support is an obligation established by divorce law or family law. The obligation of financial support is based on the premise that both spouses have an absolute obligation to support each other during their marriage (or civil union).  Alimony is the extension of the obligation to provide support, especially financial support, after the separation or divorce of marriage occurs.

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines alimony as:

  • An allowance made to one spouse by the other for support pending or after legal separation or divorce.

It is important to note that alimony is not child support, which is another ongoing financial obligation often established in divorce or marital separation. Child support is defined as a legal agreement where one parent is required to contribute financially to the support of his or her children through the agency of the child’s other parent or legal guardian.

What does a Private Investigator Need to Know?

A private investigator should be aware of the laws and regulations governing alimony and child support in the area in which their case is based. Although private investigators are not lawyers (in most cases), and they are not expected to provide legal advice, it is helpful to understand the law in order to act as a consultant to your client on such matters. The more you know, the better resource you become for them.

For more legal definitions, visit our Glossary of Legal and Investigation Terms.

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