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Several states considering alimony reform


Posted by Thomas Pettinicchi of D'Amico & Pettinicchi, LLC on Oct 16, 2013 in Alimony

Alimony laws are under review in Connecticut and other states after Colorado passed new legislation that will go into effect in January 2014. The Colorado legislation contains a new formula that will help courts calculate spousal maintenance and which could put an end to open-ended alimony.

Under early common law, a married couple could not get a divorce. Although they could separate it was still the husband's duty to provide for his wife, which is where the concept of alimony began. However, alimony is gender-neutral now and granted to help sustain the spouse with the lowest income after the divorce.

Once a judge determines that a spouse is entitled to alimony, then the amount of the alimony is based on the difference between the spouses' incomes. Judges usually use a number of factors in determining whether a spouse is entitled to alimony, such as how long the marriage lasted, how much need the spouse requesting alimony has, the earning power of that spouse and more. Moreover, there are different types of alimony, such as rehabilitation alimony, transition alimony and reimbursement alimony that helps specify what the alimony is intended for. Additionally, permanent alimony is not really permanent alimony in the strictest sense of the word. People are able to request modifications of their alimony when their financial circumstances change, but that procedure can be costly.

A person contemplating the termination of a marriage may wish to speak with an attorney who has experience in divorce matters. The attorney may be able to provide advice regarding the current status of alimony laws, and may be able to help negotiate and prepare agreements relating to property division and spousal support.

Source: WWNO, "Alimony Laws Under Review", October 10, 2013