On Tuesday, the Mississippi Court of Appeals decided Layton v. Layton located here. The Court did a detailed discussion of what constitutes a deficit for alimony. The Court found as follows:
"It is true that alimony should not be considered unless the property division results in a “deficit” to one spouse. See, e.g., Seymour v. Seymour, 960 So. 2d 513, 519 (¶16) (Miss. Ct. App. 2006). But the “deficit” to which our cases refer is not one spouse’s receipt of assets with a lesser net value than those allocated to the other spouse. Rather, the question is whether the spouse seeking alimony is left “with a deficit with respect to having sufficient resources and assets to meet his or her needs and living expenses.” Jackson v. Jackson, 114 So. 3d 768, 777 (¶22) (Miss. Ct. App. 2013) (emphasis added); accord, e.g., Pecanty v. Pecanty, 97 So. 3d 1263, 1266 (¶¶19-20) (Miss. Ct. App. 2012); Deborah H. Bell, Mississippi Family Law § 9.01[b], at 235(2005).
Thus, an unequal division of property does not preclude an award of alimony when the chancellor finds that alimony is warranted based on an analysis of the Armstrong factors, including the parties’ respective incomes and expenses, fault, and the length of the marriage. See Pierce v. Pierce, 132 So. 3d 553, 565 (¶30) (Miss. 2014) (“[T]he chancellor must consider the [Armstrong] factors in determining whether alimony should be awarded . . . .”). For example, on comparable facts, we affirmed an alimony award even though the division of marital property greatly favored the wife, the husband’s income was significantly less than John’s, and the wife’s income was slightly more than Amanda’s. See Seymour, 960 So. 2d at 519-20 (¶¶13-17). The primary financial consideration was not that the wife was awarded more valuable marital property but that, despite “her share of the marital property,” her assets and post-divorce income were insufficient to cover her basic monthly expenses. See id. at 520."