When two married people legally end their marriage using a no-fault divorce, they may say their marriage is dissolved. Our whole system is experiencing reform. Popular belief about the alimony system remains skewed towards men paying women at the end of the marriage. Three percent is a dramatic uptick from the figure when only 0.
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Though, anecdotal evidence and cultural attitudes play a role: judges are less likely to award spousal support to a man, but divorce attorneys also suggest men are less likely to ask for it. Recently, more women are asked by the courts to pay alimony to their former partners when the woman was the primary breadwinner in the relationship.
Out of the two post-dissolution payments — child support and spousal support — child support is far more common than spousal support. Now that women are asked to pay alimony more often, the case against maintenance is once again reopened. The concept of permanent alimony draws particular ire from both sides.
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Permanent alimony requires sending a check to the ex-spouse until their death. As a result, divorced breadwinners are fighting back. Today, alimony is unlikely to be awarded without first being fought by a costly legal battle.
Some states are also in the process of changing their alimony laws. Kansas, Massachusetts, and Texas all restrict alimony and support cases to a period where the money is used to help the lower-earning spouse get on track financially or to send them to school. It recognizes that creating two new households out of one is financially costly and that both should have the opportunity to maintain living standards, particularly when the two former spouses intend to co-parent.
These states suggest that everyone can work, and so they should earn their own money after the divorce. Some exceptions are included. Avoiding Monthly Alimony Payments. Spousal Support Alimony Basics. Find your Lawyer Explore Resources For Learn About the Law.
Understanding and Calculating Alimony in Kansas
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Can I Get Alimony? Spousal Support Forms and Resources This section has links to great resources like spousal support forms and information for each state. Alternatives to Monthly Alimony Payments You may be able to avoid a monthly alimony payment by paying all of your spousal support in one lump sum.
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Are You Entitled to Spousal Support? Records to Keep Alimony is generally tax deductible for the person paying it and counted as income for the person receiving it. Alimony and Taxes A look at the tax consequences that come with paying or receiving spousal support. Forms and Information by State A collection of links to forms and information on alimony, organized by state. Maryland has taken the lead in putting this concern to rest. Last year its top court ruled that, even though the state alimony law mandates that judges exercise discretion, it allows them to consult a formula to inform their decisions.
Legislatures should go further and require judges to start with alimony formulas, and then apply discretion.
Tell us what you think. Please upgrade your browser. See next articles. New Haven FAMILY law reform is gaining momentum in New York State: last month lawmakers legalized same-sex marriage, while last year they adopted no-fault divorce, allowing couples to end a marriage without a demonstration of wrongdoing.
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