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Alabama divorcees should be mindful of potential alimony

When married persons decide to go their separate ways, the courts often strive to assist them in creating a more equally-yoked economic status beyond the marriage. Alimony is a court-ordered provision given to support a spouse after divorce. Alabama couples might take note of recent changes that are brewing in another state. States across the nation could potentially embrace such changes, which would be significant in the future lives of both former spouses.

Alimony is not intended to be punitive; rather, it is meant to support a lesser-earning spouse when a marriage ends in civil court. A group in one southern state has called for reform with regard to permanent alimony. Supporters of the legislation say that a person should not be legally obligated to financially support a former spouse for the rest of his or her life. According to the group, those paying alimony would be better served by having a time cap, whereby payments would end rather than continue until death or remarriage. 

Advocates of the proposed reform state that, many times, a person paying alimony is not able to retire from employment because of the ongoing payments. Further statements in support of reform suggest that a more defined time period would alleviate some of the current burden many judges experience in attempting to determine between rehabilitative and permanent alimony rulings. Typically, there are more than 10 varying factors that judges must consider in the process.

Regardless of whether the proposed legislation takes hold throughout the nation, Alabama couples preparing for divorce proceedings would probably benefit from seeking the advice of a family law professional. Navigating the system can prove quite complicated where issues of divorce and alimony are concerned. Sound legal guidance is one means of ensuring the best possible outcome for all involved.

Source: thestate.com, "SC alimony reform is long overdue", Heather Hahn, Feb. 18, 2015

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