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Alimony still available for many

Alimony can be difficult to understand in today's day and age. Many of us believe that because more women are joining the workforce, alimony is no longer necessary. This could not be farther from the truth. There are many reasons to award alimony to males and females alike, especially and educational and career opportunities become more widely available to all and traditional gender roles are eroded away.

Many situations therefore arise where spousal support may be appropriate. Although there are fewer stay-at-home parents today, some individuals still choose this lifestyle. Men and women alike can decide to stay at home and watch the children while their spouse works and furthers his or her career. This could place the stay-at-home parent at a financial disadvantage should divorce occur.

Another situation where alimony may be appropriate is when one individual makes a significantly higher amount of money than the other, then the couple divorce. For example, a doctor may be ordered to pay child support to her ex-husband who is a high school janitor in order to maintain his standard of living.

Alimony may be awarded to one spouse when a couple gets divorced. The amount of alimony is typically based on several factors. A Massachusetts Court often considers the contributions of each individual during the course of the marriage along with the financial futures of each individual once the divorce is finalized. The Court also assesses the health insurance coverage and career prospects of each individual. Alimony may also be awarded to help a party attend school under certain circumstances.

Divorcing couples may have different circumstances affecting the potential for alimony in their case. Discussing one's situation with an experienced legal professional is often the best way for that individual to understand their legal options and protect their rights.

Source: Massachusetts Legislature, "General Laws - Section 34," accessed on Nov. 18, 2014

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