Atkinson & Kelsey, P.A.
Local:505-796-6238 Toll-Free:888-350-5903
Map & Directions Menu

Lifetime alimony under fire

It is not uncommon for spousal support to be awarded to an individual in New Mexico if they make less money than their spouse. However, many states are looking to change the way that alimony is calculated and how long an individual is responsible for paying it. As increasing numbers of women are able to forge careers for themselves, it has led to many questioning the need for alimony since both parties should be able to support themselves after a divorce. Still, many stay at home parents feel that alimony is necessary if a marriage dissolves.

Those who are against lifelong alimony point out that the way it is calculated is not always fair. For example, if someone has large earning potential but currently makes far less than their spouse, they may still be awarded alimony. Additionally, lifetime alimony can be an enormous burden for the person ordered to pay it. When someone hits retirement age, their income can drop significantly, but alimony does not always take this into account and can prevent people from being able to retire at all.

On the other hand, the idea behind alimony is that if one individual sacrifices their career to take care of their family, they will be taken care of via spousal support. A stay at home parent will often have a much smaller earning potential than their spouse, and without alimony, they may struggle financially.

Lawyers may be able to help those going through a divorce achieve an equitable outcome regarding spousal support. An attorney could help someone understand state law regarding alimony and argue on their behalf in court if needed.

Source: NPR, "Alimony Till Death Do Us Part? Nay, Say Some Ex-Spouses", Jennifer Ludden, May 28, 2013