Undoubtedly divorce is a complex procedure. In such cases, the issue is not connected to only one aspect; certain other things will require legal guidelines- the division of property, child custody, child support, alimony, prenuptial agreement, and many others.

Often in families, it is seen that either of the partners earns more than the other and provides more monetary support to the family. In contrast, the other partner may support the family in different ways rather than financial support. 

When the couple decides to get separated, there arises difficulty for the one who is not earning. So, there is an alimony rule. Now the question comes: who receives the alimony after the divorce. Alimony is meant to support the financially weak partner and is unable to maintain the standard of life that was when they were together.

Who can ask for the alimony?

At the time of divorce, both partners have the right to ask for alimony. If the original divorce judgment didn’t mention the alimony, you are eligible to file a complaint about alimony for the first time at any time after the divorce.

If you want a change in alimony after the divorce, it can be done through a modification process.

Types of Alimony:

The types of alimony that get awarded:

  • General Term Alimony: In this type, the support is paid regularly to the ex-spouse, financially weak, or dependent on the former spouse. The length of this alimony depends on the length of the marriage.
  • Rehabilitative Alimony: In this type, the support is paid regularly to the ex-spouse, who is expected to support themselves by a predicted time.
  • Reimbursement Alimony: The support paid regularly or one time after a marriage of not more than five years to make up for the costs and become self-sufficient.
  •  Transitional Alimony: The support gets paid regularly or once so that the dependent spouse may settle into a new lifestyle.

Determinant for who gets the alimony:

Like the legal custody of children, the judge may consider many things and circumstances to decide for alimony. The factors may include:

  • The length of the marriage
  • Educational qualification
  • Earning capacity of both partners
  • Age, the physical and mental condition of each partner
  • Income disparity between the couple
  • Standard of living established during the marriage

More factors don’t get mentioned in the list that the judge may consider for deciding who receives the alimony. Get to know more about how alimony plays a part in the legal custody of children.

How to Enforce Alimony Payments?

Modification process, there are cases reported when the spouses are unwilling to pay the alimony even after being mandated by the court. This unwillingness causes a financial burden on the dependent spouse. You can retrieve the alimony amount in the following ways:

  • Contempt: If the spouse refused or failed to pay the alimony, a judge can find the spouse(paying the alimony) in contempt of court. It means the judge will order the spouse to spend the money owed to you and add other fines for the refusal to pay.

If still, the spouse continues to disobey the court order, then the spouse can be fined a hefty amount or even sent to jail.

  • Writ of Execution: It is a court order that gives the right to an enforcing officer to seize the debtor’s property. The money taken is the amount the debtor owes to their spouse. The method may involve a court giving the part of the debtor’s bank account, part of their property, any asset deemed acceptable by the court.
  • Income Withholding: It is a court order in which the spouse’s employer (not paying the alimony) withholds a portion of their income and sends the portion directly to the other spouse for alimony.

This method allows the spouse to get the money directly without dealing with the spouse who is refusing to pay.


Who gets the alimony in divorce is uncertain, as there are many factors the court may consider while taking any decision. Whatever may be the court’s decision, it is necessary for both the spouses to obey it; otherwise, the court may order a more tough decision. Click here to know more about alimony.