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Some looking for reforms to current alimony laws

When people in Connecticut say "I do," they rarely expect that their marriage will end in divorce. However, divorce is a reality for many couples.

When couples begin the divorce process, there are a variety of matters that must be settled, including alimony. In Connecticut, alimony is often awarded after people have been married for five years or more. Permanent alimony, in which one spouse pays the other for the rest of his or her life, may be awarded if couples have been married for more than 25 years.

Permanent alimony may be necessary in some situations. For instance, if one spouse has a disability and is unable to work. However, some believe permanent alimony is unfair, especially in instances when the recipient is college-educated and capable of working.

One woman says that her husband has paid his ex-wife $800,000 since they divorced in 2003.Those payments now account for 50 percent of his monthly income. They have asked the courts for a modification. However, the woman now fears that money she set aside for her 11-year-old son could end up in her husband's ex-wife's hands.

Many alimony laws were created during a time when women stayed home with children. Nowadays, more women are in the workforce and some are earning just as much as men. Because of that, some would like to see alimony laws reformed to better fit with the changing social structures.

Alimony payments can present challenges for those who are making the payments as well as those who are receiving them. People in Connecticut who are facing difficulties may wish to speak with an experienced divorce attorney to determine what the best course of action may be based on their specific situation.

Source: U.S. News and World Report, "Taking the 'Permanent' Out of Permanent Alimony," Geoff Williams, Jan. 23, 2013

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