What Is Spousal Support? Spousal Support (also called Alimony or Maintenance) is assistance through money, open to those who were legally married. It is in credit to a partner’s role in the marriage and to help the recipient spouse achieve independence. It is either based on an agreement between the parties or awarded by the court. It is not automatically awarded in divorces or separations. The judge has to decide it's needed based on a set of factors.