ALIMONY. The maintenance or support which a husband is bound to give to his wife upon separation from her; or the support which either father or mother is bound to give to his or her children, though this is more usually called maintenance.
2. The causes for granting alimony to the wife are, 1, desertion, (q. v.) or cruelty of the husband; (q. v.) 4 Desaus. R. 79,; 1 M'Cord's Ch. R. 205; 4 Rand. R. 662; 2 J. J; Marsh. R. 324.; 1 Edw. R. 62; and 2, divorce. 4 Litt. R. 252; 1 Edw. R. 382; 2 Paige, R. 62; 2 Binn. R. 202; 3 Yeates, R. 50; S.& R. 248; 9 S.& R. 191; 3 John. Ch. R. 519; 6 John. Ch. 91.
4. Alimony is granted in proporion to the wants of the person requiring it, and the circumstances of those who are to pay it. By the common law, parents and children owe each other alimony. 1 Bl. Com. 447; 2 Com. Dig. 498;. 3 Ves. 358; 4 Vin. Ab. 175; Ayl. Parerg. 58; Dane's Ab. Index. h.t.; Dig. 34, 1. 6.
5. Alimony is allowed to the wife, pendente lite, almost as a matter of course whether she be plaintiff or defendant, for the obvious reason that she has generally no other means of living. 1 Clarke's R. 151. But there are special cases where it will not be allowed, as when the wife, pending the progress of the suit, went to her father's, who agreed with the husband to support her for services. 1 Clarke's R. 460. See Shelf. on Mar. and Div. 586; 2 Toull. n. 612.