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Alimony (also called aliment (Scotland), maintenance (England, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Wales, Canada), spousal support (U.S., Canada) and spousal maintenance (Australia)) is a legal obligation on a person to provide financial support to their spouse before or after marital separation or divorce. The obligation arises from the divorce law or family lawof each country. Traditionally, alimony was paid by a husband to his former wife, but since the 1970s there have been moves in many countries towards gender equality with a corresponding recognition that a former husband may also be entitled to alimony from his former wife.