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Some advocate dissolution of permanent alimony

Many states still have permanent alimony laws that entitle one spouse to support for the rest of his or her life. In a high asset divorce case, this could feasibly mean that the supporting spouse pays thousands of dollars per month for life and that the spouse receiving the support might receive alimony for more years than the marriage existed. Opponents say that these laws need to change to reflect modern social and economic realities.

Permanent alimony is typically awarded in cases in which the spouses have been married for a long time, but some states, including New Jersey, Florida, and Vermont, may award permanent support for marriages ending after as little as 10 years. Both men and women pay spousal support although the majority of those assessed with alimony payments are male.

Opponents claim that permanent alimony has become an entitlement program that operates on unfair laws and rules. Even with government programs such as welfare or unemployment, there are limits to how much an individual can receive, and he or she is required to show honest efforts to find work. With permanent alimony, however, anyone receiving these benefits can simply take them with no consequences or requirements whatsoever. However, there may be problems with wholesale alimony reform. Studies show that divorce is overall more punitive for wives than husbands and denying women permanent alimony may punish women for remaining in the home for years and raising children, an effect of which most opponents might not approve.

A family law attorney in Missouri may be able to help divorcing spouses find answers to alimony, child support and other financial questions by working with them to reach a fair agreement. In some cases, one spouse may need the representation of a family law attorney to protect his or her interests as well.

Source: Yahoo Finance, "End Permanent Alimony Forever Say Opponents," Lauren Lyster, April 23, 2013