Friday, September 4, 2015

Some Progress in South Carolina

Alimony reform is gaining some traction in South Carolina. Governor Nikki Haley has singed a bill that sets up a committee to recommend reforms to the current alimony laws in the state.  The committee's report is due by the end of the year.

I would love to see the committee adopt the the South Carolina Alimony Reform organization's common sense and equitable primary legislative goals:
1) Graded term limits for allocation of alimony payments based on the length of the marriage. At no time should alimony payments exceed more that one half of the length of the marriage with exceptions for mental and physical disability.
2) Alimony should be offset by the amount of spousal Social Security once the ex-spouse is eligible to begin drawing it and by the amount of retirement that is awarded to the ex-spouse if alimony is still being awarded at retirement age.
3) Alimony should end if the ex-spouse's passive or active income exceeds your own.
4) If the payer returns to court to request a reduction in alimony the court can never increase your payments due to your return to court.
5) The second marriage spouse's income should not be considered during alimony settlements.
6) Everyone should have the right to retire without the burden of alimony.
7) Have a durational alimony so people can retire at a reasonable age with a safety valve for those that really need alimony due to physical or mental disabilities.
8) Eliminate the 90 day cohabitation clause and change it to simply "Sharing a household, expenses, and vacations, etc. with another as a romantic couple as witnessed by friends and neighbors will be just cause for alimony to be terminated."

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