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Michigan Divorce Attorney Jannelle Zawaideh

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Should Any Spouse Expect Long-Term or Permanent Alimony?

Aug 07, 2014

Alimony.jpgOne of the biggest issues that come with the potential of divorce is each spouse having to realize what it’s going to cost them. The financial burden that comes with a divorce is complicated because the divorce itself comes with legal fees as well as losing spousal financial support that comes with marriage.

Some couples wonder how they will sustain themselves after the divorce is final. If one spouse isn’t working, will they still have to pay alimony to the other? Does permanent alimony or long-term alimony exist?

Can Women Still Receive Permanent Alimony?

While each state’s laws do vary, nowadays most states don’t give women permanent alimony even though at one time that was the norm. Fortunately, there is such thing as a rehabilitative alimony, which works as a buffer for women immediately after the divorce. It’s a time for women to work on their career, whether that means going back to school or going back into the workforce, while being temporarily financially supported.  

How Do Different States Approach This?

Massachusetts was still awarding long-term or permanent alimony until 2011 and then they began reforms to make their laws similar to the rest of the U.S.  Utah goes about alimony by granting it for a period of time that is equal to the duration of the marriage. Texas and Mississippi are more strict and will only grant it to marriages over ten years and it’s still a limited amount of time.

What Can Women Do?

Since the laws are now in favor of avoiding long-term or permanent alimony, women need to be cautious in their employment decisions. It’s possible to be a stay-at-home mom, become divorced, and be forced to have to support themselves financially once again.

Women are smart to retain some sort of employment while married and to keep expectations low on what they will receive financially if in fact they find themselves in the middle of a divorce. Women can breathe easy knowing there should be some sort of rehabilitative alimony while they get back on their feet.

Category: Alimony

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