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Changes may be coming for alimony laws

Illinois residents may see changes in alimony regulations in the near future. Many states have begun looking at changing the way that alimony is handled, and a few have even begun drafting laws that would change the duration of alimony and how it is awarded. One change that is being considered is to base alimony requirements on factors like the duration of a marriage. Those who support these changes point out that lifetime alimony can be unfair and that some individuals abuse spousal support.

The goal of alimony is to ensure that a spouse who has little or no income is still provided for financially. While the current dynamics of marriage and family are shifting, it is still somewhat common for one person in a relationship to stay at home and care for children, sacrificing his or her career in the process. Spousal support ensures that these individuals are taken care of. However, some feel that being required to pay alimony until one's ex remarries is a "life sentence" and an unfair burden. People in favor of these changes also point out that some individuals may not remarry so they can keep taking advantage of alimony payments while cohabiting with another partner.


Opponents of changes to alimony laws feel that women will be disproportionately harmed by these changes since it is usually the wife who stays at home. They also point out that the formulas many states are considering prevent judges from having the flexibility they need to make modifications to court-ordered support.

When a couple divorces, it is important that their assets be divided fairly and that any child or spousal support requirements are equitable. A family law attorney could help individuals going through a divorce understand how state alimony laws may impact their financial future and represent them in court if needed.

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

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