Attorney Matthew R. Arnold answering the question: "How long does getting a divorce take?"
Though almost all couples exchange vows promising they will remain together 'til death do us part, many assume that divorce ends the eternal commitment. Sadly, in a number of states where permanent alimony laws remain on the books that is simply not the case.
A recent survey by US News and World Report found that permanent alimony laws still exist in several states, including New Jersey, Oregon, Vermont, Connecticut, West Virginia, Florida and right here in North Carolina. Thankfully a number of those states, including New Jersey and Florida, are currently considering some much needed alimony reform.
In fact, the Florida Senate recently passed a measure backed by the group known as Floridians for Alimony Reform, which would end permanent alimony. The measure not only ends the practice of permanent alimony, but would also allow for long divorced couples to reopen their divorce settlements and change long established financial arrangements.
The measure, which passed last month by wide margins, puts a cap on the amount of alimony that can be paid based on a person's income. It also would allow the spouse paying the support to file a petition with a court to terminate or lower alimony payments when the paying spouse reaches retirement age. The law also includes protection in some exceptional cases where the spouse receiving the alimony is not able to support themselves due to some serious handicaps.