Family Lawyers Who Mean Business

The possible end of alimony

Illinois couples might be interested to hear that alimony as we know it may be coming to an end. Alimony is simply a court order that one spouse has to pay his or her ex after their divorce. Traditionally, those payments were for life. However, now many states are contemplating doing away with the provision that spouses have to make alimony payments for the rest of their lives.

Couples who didn’t enter into prenuptial agreements could find themselves faced with the possibility of making alimony payments to their exes. Some states are considering making it so that rather than spouses automatically having to make alimony payments for the rest of their lives, the amount and length of payments will be based upon special formulas. Some states have already started making changes. Massachusetts reportedly reformed its laws in 2012. Florida tried to reform its laws, but had the bill vetoed by the governor. New York is seeking to change its laws concerning alimony in a divorce.

Some people support the reforms, whereas other people oppose them. The people who support them say that it is not fair for a spouse to have to support his or her ex for the rest of their lives. People who oppose the reforms say that it is not fair to people who gave up their opportunities to have careers to become homemakers and child care givers to not receive alimony for the rest of their lives.

Family law attorneys may be able to help people seeking a divorce negotiate tough issues like alimony. They may also be able to help them work out issues like division of property, asset protection, and child support and custody. Attorneys may help make the divorce negotiation process go more smoothly and hopefully get settled without having to undergo a long, drawn-out divorce court battle.

Source: MainStreet, “Is this the end of alimony?“, Cheryl Lock, July 01, 2013