Is alimony an outdated concept?

Alimony, or spousal support, is one of the most common terms spoken about during a divorce, next to child custody and property division. However, the subject of spousal support tends to be contentious and controversial. You and other Tennessee residents may be interested in learning why some people think alimony is outdated, while others say it is still necessary.

According to Money, alimony came into existence when grounds for fault were still necessary to get a divorce. The person considered “at fault” through infidelity, spousal abuse or other factors was penalized by a court order for alimony. As you know, no-fault divorces are the norm today, but many people still consider spousal support to be necessary for the lesser-earning partner after the end of a marriage.

Why is this so? If you stayed home and took care of the children during the marriage, your job skills may be outdated now. Family law professionals say that alimony allows the lesser-earning spouse to have the same standard of living he or she had during the marriage. It can also give the receiving spouse time to update job skills and reenter the workforce, or put him or her back in the same financial position he or she was in before getting married.

However, opponents of alimony say that the practice is outdated and unfair to the paying spouse. If you pay alimony, you may feel imprisoned by being required to pay alimony for life, or experience financial hardships by being required to pay more than you can afford. It can also seem unfair if your ex dates and enjoys life but doesn’t remarry, which would terminate alimony payments.

Regardless of your opinion on alimony, experienced counsel is often necessary. Therefore, this information should not serve as legal advice.