Definition of Aliment (financial support)
Under the Family Law (Scotland) Act 1985 there is a general obligation to provide support "as is reasonable in the circumstances" by a husband and wife to each other, a natural parent to their child and a person to a child who has been accepted by him as a child of his family. This is known as 'aliment' and could apply equally to the situation when husband and wife or parent(s) and child live together as when they are separated. A child is defined as a person under the age of 18 years or over that age and under the age of 25 years who is in education or training.
Claims for aliment may be made in either the Court of Session or the sheriff court unless the court considers it inappropriate in any particular case. In determining the amount of aliment to award the court is directed to regard the needs and resources of the parties, the earning capacities of the parties and generally to all the circumstances of the case. On an application to court by or on behalf of either party an order or agreement for aliment may be varied, recalled or terminated if there has been a material change of circumstances.