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Could alimony potentially be obsolete?

An alimony is intended to be a court-ordered provision paid out to an ex-spouse in the event that they are low-income or have no income at all. This is intended as a payment for those that would otherwise have no means to support themselves after the divorce, and alimony usually does not have a termination date: it is always effective. However, there is new legislation that might change the way that traditional alimony is viewed.

Many states wish to change alimony from a permanent payment to one that has specific terms, and these terms may be decided upon by an algorithm. Some people believe this is fair because there is no reason why someone would need support for the rest of their life, while others argue that it is not fair because there are people who have sacrificed their careers for their marriages and will not be able to get a job in an increasingly poor economy.

One example of alimony not acting as intended is the case of a nurse who divorced her cheating husband and ended up having to pay him $1,250 a month for the rest of his life. On the other hand, these changes may be harmful to women because women may not have the same opportunities as men to change their economic station.

While North Carolina isn't currently one of the states that is considering these reforms, it still may be in the future. Those that are considering divorce will need to understand the fact that alimony may not be as set in stone as it used to be. Those who are considering getting married may want to consider using a family law attorney to structure a prenuptial agreement that includes alimony within it. This will ensure that both parties are protected either way.

Source:, "Is This the End of Alimony?", Cheryl Lock, July 01, 2013

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