Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Women Driving Alimony Reform

Reuters today has one of the best articles I have seen recently on how alimony hurts working women: How bread-winning women are driving alimony reform.

Tarie MacMillan, who is 65 years old, is in a similar position to me as she is required by the Court  to pay permanent alimony.
MacMillan was ordered to pay her ex-husband $7,000 a month 15 years ago. Even so, she has joined the crusade to lobby state legislators to change the legal obligation to provide financial support to a spouse before or after marital separation or divorce.
Hopefully the outrage women like MacMillan along with the women whose husbands or companions pay alimony to a former wife feel will, quickly I hope, finally result in reforming a system that is so tragically unjust.

The article also provides some interesting information on current alimony statistics.
Alimony, otherwise known as spousal support or maintenance, is an ongoing payment by the higher-earning spouse to the lower-earning one. It has changed and shifted over the 40 years since the Supreme Court ruled that it had to be applied equally to both genders.
Yet it is still heavily weighted toward men paying women. Only 3 percent of around 400,000 alimony recipients are male, according to the 2010 census, up a half a percent since 2000. Recipients claimed $9.2 million in payments in 2013 on their tax returns.
Unlike child support, which is common when divorcing couple has kids, alimony awards have always been very rare, going from about 25 percent of cases in the 1960s to about 10 percent today, said Judith McMullen, a professor of law at Marquette University. In one study of Wisconsin cases, she found it was only 8.6 percent.
I'm feeling rather unlucky.

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