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California man works to change state's alimony system

In previous generations, American women mostly stayed out of the workforce after marriage, but today many mothers balance family life with employment. In some families, women are the sole income providers, and in others both spouses work outside the home. Critics of California's alimony system say the law has yet to fully recognize this fundamental change.

Alimony is financial support provided to one partner from the other during a divorce or a legal separation. Typically, the spouse who makes more money ends up paying alimony to the other based on the couple's economic status. Based upon the length of a marriage a court can impose alimony ranging from short-term support to support that lasts indefinitely.

One California businessman is trying to abolish the practice of alimony altogether. Having gone through his own divorce, he is currently subject to a permanent $1,000 per month alimony payment to his ex. He has started a petition to abolish the practice of alimony altogether in divorce proceedings. It would further reduce the amount required to be paid under existing alimony orders.

It's too early to tell whether his proposal will go anywhere. In recent years, other states have seen efforts to reform their own alimony systems and these efforts have been highly controversial.

As it stands, individuals subject to alimony orders are under legal obligations to provide their exes with financial support. Many individuals and families depend upon these payments. However, alimony is often a source of dispute during and after a divorce. It's important to have the help of legal professionals when settling these disputes.

Source: Los Angeles Times, "Businessman seeks initiative to overhaul 'outdated' California alimony law," Bob Garcia, May 20, 2015

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