Should alimony laws be changed?

January 19, 2012

By Yamiche Alcindor, USA TODAY


Michael Morgan only groans as his wife bathes his body, shaves his face and gently kisses his lips.

A retired physician diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease 14 years ago, Morgan, 72, no longer walks or talks. His wife and full-time caregiver, Linda Morgan, makes sure he’s fed and clothed, and that $25,200 in annual alimony is handed over to his ex-wife, a college professor he divorced in 1997.

“What’s sad is that this man who can’t get out of bed is paying a woman who is working,” says Linda Morgan, 61, of Lehigh Acres, Fla.

Linda Morgan is part of a growing movement pushing for changes to alimony laws in several states.

Massachusetts led the way, revamping its law last fall. The new alimony law creates different types of alimony with varying durations, depending on length of marriage and the finances of each spouse. The law also allows those paying alimony to modify their terms later and calls for ending payments if a recipient has a live-in mate or, in most cases, when the payer reaches retirement age.

In Florida, a similar bill is moving through legislative committees. In New Jersey, a state senator introduced a bill this month to study alimony laws. In Connecticut, advocates for changing the law have hired a lawyer to write a bill. And activists in Virginia, Arkansas, South Carolina and North Carolina are organizing online.

“I see this wave going across the country,” says Steve Hitner, who started Massachusetts Alimony Reform in 2006 and is a consultant to other state efforts. “Most people who are stuck with these outrageous alimony payments think they got a bad rap, but in fact it was bad law.”

Read the rest of the article here: then leave a comment please. USA today is the second largest paper in the country and this is a great opportunity to help push for alimony legislation reforms…


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3 Responses to Should alimony laws be changed?

  1. CJ Schroeder on February 4, 2012 at 9:34 AM

    There needs to be a serious overhaul on these old laws. I also have someone near and dear to me whom I have had to watch get kicked down by the Judges in our county. The ex wife has continually manipulated the court system where the judges have taken her word over tangible facts. He got custody of his two children 5 years ago; she pays nothing for them even after the final ruling. She got the marital home, he got a shell of a home which he cannot live in due to the fact that it is right next door to her and she continually calls the cops and harasses him, she has also filed 2 domestic violence’s against him during the divorce process. If the judge would have paid attention throughout the entire court hearings he would have known he cannot live in the house next door due to her actions. Before every court hearing she gets herself fired purposely, so he has to pay not just for his two children but also her. Which now she is employed fulltime. He cannot afford to live. But the judges want to keep her in a life style that they never even had while they were married.

    • real equality on February 4, 2012 at 12:49 PM

      Get smart men and file a domestic violence against her. Do vote for republican candidates that do not indorse womens lies and laws like obama and joe biden did with the VAWA act that now provides women to freely claim abuse with NO PROOF????

  2. John Erhard on February 4, 2012 at 9:32 AM

    Thanks for printing this article. I am a divorced father of two who have custody of our children. I also got handed down the alimony card. My ex cheated and put our two children and myself in danger with several men she has been seeing. Now I am barely making ends meet and still have children to take care of, when will it ever be for the children? I not only have lifetime alimony, the ex also got half of my 401K, half of my retirement, and now that I have entered the DROP she gets a bonus of $96,000. As it stands now I won’t ever be able to retire. I have been a civil servant for the state of Florida for over 30 years; I implore the state lawmakers and legislators to make the change set us free!

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