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St. Paul debates merits of permanent alimony after divorce

The Minnesota legislature is considering another significant change to the state's family law scheme. This time, alimony has come under the microscope. Often times the most contentious issue of a divorce, alimony can be permanent in almost every state . But, given the potential inequity in these arrangements, local lawmakers are considering limiting spousal support payments.

The potential new law is suspected to have many different features. First, the length of payments would be limited to half the length of the marriage. So if a couple was married for 20 years, either spouse's alimony receipts would be capped at ten years. Also likely to be included is a clause that allows a paying spouse to stop payments once he or she retires. There is also some talk about being able to alter current alimony arrangements with post-divorce modifications.

Minnesota is not the only state to be considering a change. Florida is also reportedly going to pass a similar law and other states have also been slowly weakening alimony laws. These developments are being closely monitored by legal experts in the Twin City area.

Alimony payments can be a very crucial part of any divorce proceeding. If one spouse is earning substantially more than the other, a split can potentially have significant effects on the other spouse's standard of living. At the same time, excessive alimony payments can burden a paying spouse and reduce their standard of living substantially.

This is why divorcees need help working out a plan. Local St. Paul attorneys can help spouses understand alimony laws and what exposure exists. This can help the spouse understand his or her rights and know what to expect during the divorce process.

Source: My Fox 9, "Should Minnesota end permanent alimony?," Set Kaplan, April 25, 2013

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