ALIMONY: THE JURY’S OUT

We live in the United States of America. Yet many of our laws are written on a state-by-state basis. In the case of divorce laws, the variation in laws is dramatic. In some states, the woman will receive up to 80% of the assets of the marriage, and could also receive alimony for life. In other states, the going rate by most judges is 50% of the assets and a ramp-up for the partner needing to get back on track. Child-support is all over the map as well.

When a man seeks to remarry, often his new partner finds herself on the hook to support the ex-wife forever.  The math doesn’t add up, thus preventing new marriages.  The gripe isn’t that the ex-wife should deserve nothing. The gripe is that support becomes an annuity or entitlement that is undeserved over time, especially when no children are involved.

In April, a bill that would have ended permanent alimony in Florida cleared the house vote by a healthy margin. Governor Rick Scott vetoed it, saying that he was concerned that it would retroactively hurt current recipients. New laws are passing across the country.  Kansas limits alimony to 10 years and one month.  Utah limits alimony to the length of the marriage. Massachusetts removed permanent alimony in 2011.

Thus there has been a state-by-state emerging trend in the formation of the Second Wives Club. Women who wish to remarry have become the most powerful weapon in changing laws regarding payments to ex-wives.

How do you feel about this subject?

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