Alimony, sometimes called spousal support, is an allowance made to one spouse by the other for support during or after legal separation or divorce. It's designed to provide the lower-income spouse with money for living expenses over and above any money that's provided by child support. There are several factors a judge considers when deciding whether to grant alimony. These differ from state to state, but they usually involve factors like the parties' relative ability to earn money, both now and in the future; their respective age and health; the length of the marriage; the kind of property involved; and the conduct of the parties. In many cases, a judge will award alimony when one spouse has been economically dependent on the other spouse for most of a lengthy marriage. Alimony is tax deductible to the person who pays it and included in the taxable income of the person who receives it. Alimony must be paid in cash or by check or money order, and all payments stop when the recipient spouse dies. In many cases, alimony also stops when the recipient spouse remarries. Alimony can't be claimed during any year for which a joint tax return was filed, or while both spouses live under the same roof.