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Changes in alimony laws sought

New Mexico residents may be aware that several other states are considering making changes to existing alimony laws. Their primary goal is to make permanent alimony a thing of the past. Massachusetts reformed its alimony laws in 2012 while Florida tried to reform its alimony laws recently, but its alimony reform bill was vetoed by the governor. Several other states are considering using special formulas that can determine the specific amount and length of alimony payments.

Proponents of alimony law reform believe that alimony should only be paid out over a limited period of time rather than for a person's entire life. Many women are calling for alimony reform because they feel they have been negatively impacted by the system when they are ordered to support their lower-earning former spouses. Proponents assert that a certain degree of flexibility should be allowed in alimony laws so that arrangements can be equitable to both parties. At the same time, they say that alimony reform laws should be structured and consistent.

Individuals against alimony reform argue that women stand to be hurt the most by changes in alimony laws because they were more likely to leave behind full-time careers to take care of their husbands or children. They also argue that using formulas to determine payment amounts removes the judge's discretion in the case. However, both proponents and opponents of such reform seem to agree that permanent alimony may be appropriate in some cases when the wife has been out of the workforce for decades and is older.

New Mexico family law attorneys may help negotiate alimony awards for spouses who will be negatively affected by divorce. They may be able to explain impending changes in alimony laws as well as modify payment amounts to reflect a change in circumstances.

Source: MainStreet.com, "Is This the End of Alimony?", Cheryl Lock, July 01, 2013