Orange County, CA (Law Firm Newswire) July 17, 2015 - A divorced father in Huntington Beach, California, is calling for an overhaul of alimony laws, saying they are archaic and used unfairly by divorcing spouses to extract more money from their partners.
Businessman Steve Clark has claimed that current alimony laws were drafted when most women did not work. Women now comprise nearly half of the work force in the United States.
Alimony, also known as spousal support, is the payment one spouse makes to another after a divorce, based on a court decision or an agreement between the couple.
Gerald Maggio, a family law attorney in Orange County, California, said, “Spousal support can complicate divorce proceedings as it is often the most challenging issue to agree upon. Working with a mediator will help the divorcing couple define the standard of living in the marriage, which is the key to determining the nature of spousal support payments.”
Clark decided to take action after his divorce culminated in court costs of $100,000 and permanent alimony of $1,000 per month to his ex-wife, even though she works and has the ability to be financially independent.
In many divorce cases, the spouse with the higher income may end up paying alimony. However, a number of factors are considered when determining payments, such as the duration of the marriage, standard of living, financial obligations and more.
Clark is petitioning to end alimony via his website, calalimonyreform.org. He must collect at least 365,880 signatures from state voters by November 2 for the bid to qualify for the 2016 state ballot.
“Simply abolishing alimony is not the answer. The circumstances of each divorcing couple are different, and so are their spousal support requirements. Only by examining the future goals and needs of each spouse can a settlement be reached that works for both sides of the party,” said Maggio.
If the controversial initiative is passed, alimony would no longer be awarded during divorces, legal separations and annulments. Existing alimony payments that were to end within 10 years would also stop, unless a court extension is granted.
The Maggio Law Firm
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