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Should spousal support be a commitment even after divorce?

There is no doubt that both parents have a responsibility toward their child or children. When divorce is on the cards, a custodial parent has the right to expect that the other parent will continue to support the children, both financially and emotionally. For one spouse to expect that, following divorce, he or she will continue to receive spousal support, also referred to as alimony, is a more contentious issue. California residents may be aware that one of their number is pushing for a change in the state laws relating to spousal support.

At present, awards of spousal support are made as part of separation, divorce and annulment proceedings. What some people may not realise is that, according to California state law, a marriage that has lasted for more than 10 years could potentially become a lifelong financial encumbrance, even following divorce. The higher wage earner can often find that he or she is expected to continue supporting the lifestyle of the former spouse permanently.

If the petition gains enough support, it could spell the end to permanent alimony for future divorce proceedings. Further, it could also affect awards already in place, depending on the terms and conditions of the original ruling. Child support payments would continue to be considered as a separate issue, being dependent upon various factors, including the needs of the child or children and the parent's abilities to contribute financially.

Each individual has a unique set of circumstances that must be considered carefully during divorce proceedings. California residents may welcome or dread the idea of such reforms in family law, and it will be interesting to see whether the petition reaches its target number of signatures. The pursuit of spousal support requires the appropriate advice and guidance in order to ensure a fair and equitable outcome for all parties involved. This will continue to be the case whatever the outcome of the petition.

Source: hbindependent.com, "Alimony is 'outdated,' businessman says, and he's got a petition to end most of it", Bob Garcia, May 20, 2015

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