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If one party is already receiving support at the time of the divorce, the previous order is not automatically continued (although this can be requested), as the arguments for support during and after the marriage can be different.

This can be modified at any future date based on a change of circumstances by either party on proper notice to the other party and application to the court.The courts are generally reluctant to modify an existing agreement unless the reasons are compelling.Liberalization of divorce laws occurred in the 19th century, but divorce was only possible in cases of marital misconduct.As a result, the requirement to pay alimony became linked to the concept of fault in the divorce.In Mississippi, Texas and Tennessee, for example, there are 135 Appellate Cases in addition to 47 sections of State Statute that shape divorce law.

As a result of these Appellate Cases, for example, Mississippi judges cannot order an end date to any alimony award.Post-divorce or permanent alimony was also based on the notion that the marriage continued, as ecclesiastical courts could only award a divorce a mensa et thora, similar to a legal separation today.As divorce did not end the marriage, the husband's duty to support his wife remained intact.In 2012, Massachusetts signed into law comprehensive alimony reform.This law sets limits on alimony and eliminates lifetime alimony.When she has brought up her children, a portion of all that is given to the children, equal as that of one son, shall be given to her. The modern concept of alimony is derived from English ecclesiastical courts that awarded alimony in cases of separation and divorce.