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Alimony can have a lasting impact after divorce

In the aftermath of a divorce, financial obligations can linger. In Florida, this is true not only for issues such as child support, but also spousal maintenance -- better known to many people as alimony. This can be a particularly important issue in high-asset divorce cases where a considerable monthly sum might be at stake.

As might be expected, men are more often obligated to pay alimony to their former spouses than women are. However, just how often might come as a surprise to many people. According to the 2010 census, only about 3 percent of alimony recipients are male. What's more, that figure increased by about 0.5 percent from the previous census.

Of course, alimony is relatively rare, especially compared with the rate of child support -- something that is fairly common among divorcing couples with children. Experts say that only about 1 in 10 divorce cases see alimony awards these days, which is a decline from about 1 in 4 back in the 1960s.

In fact, it may be phased out even further, as reforms to alimony laws are gaining strength. The idea of permanent alimony is losing appeal, and it may be that eventually alimony will only be awarded in cases of disability, where the non-earning spouse is unable to work.

Every divorce case has different implications, of course, so it is often wise to consult with an experienced St. Lucie County divorce and family law attorney to help walk you through the process and understand what your options are.

Source: Reuters, "Breadwinning Women Are Driving Alimony Reform," Beth Pinsker, Nov. 17, 2015

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