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Will alimony become a thing of the past?

Texas residents who have grown up in a home wracked by divorce are no strangers to the jargon of divorce and may be familiar with words like alimony, child support and custody. But the areas of alimony may be changing.

Simply put, alimony involves a husband or wife being ordered by the court to provide for his or her spouse after a divorce. The law intends for the spouse with low or absolutely no income to be provided for, and that alimony amount and duration are at the judge's discretion and also dependent upon the laws in the state where both parties reside. Many states, however, are now contemplating new legislation intended to terminate the practice of spousal support that is permanent and lifelong.

Instead of lifetime alimony, numerous states are considering using a formula to decide a specific number of years and a certain amount of total alimony to be paid. This occurred in Massachusetts last year, and Florida also introduced a bill, but the governor vetoed it recently. Legislation has also been initiated in the states of New Jersey and New York as well.

Some agree that alimony should only last a certain amount of time, while others disagree. Many women have raised children instead of continuing with their full-time careers, and it may be difficult for them to find a supporting job in this economy.

Although there are proponents on both sides of the alimony issue, it does appear that that laws are changing and could eventually affect divorces in Texas. The area of family law is surely changing every day, and having a highly experienced lawyer in this area of practice can help handle these issues if someone is involved in a divorce.

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

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