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Are California’s alimony laws archaic? Depends on who you ask

A lot of people think that when they get a divorce and sign the last document, all ties are severed with their former spouse and they never have to be in contact with them ever again. But while this might be the case for some, for those who have children or for those who are receiving spousal support, this sentiment simply isn’t true.

For some of our readers, this is one of the holdups they find most disconcerting about California’s alimony laws. Alimony, according to some, continues to maintain a tie between two former spouses until one either passes away or one gets remarried. Only in certain cases can an alimony order be terminated via a court order or judgment.

This oftentimes makes one or both spouses feel as if they can never truly separate from their former marriage. So, for a lot of people, this begs the question: are California’s alimony laws archaic? But the answer to this question all depends on who you ask.

If you are like the readers we mentioned above who feel like alimony merely perpetuates a link between spouses who have agreed to end their marriage, then you might consider our state’s alimony laws to be archaic. If you are a spouse who does not have the necessary skills to join the workforce quickly after a divorce or might struggle financially because of obligations your former spouse typically handled, then you might see alimony very differently.

The fact that we can’t answer this question with a simple yes or no should once again emphasize the fact that not all divorces are the same. While some situations might require alimony, others might not. It isn’t until after speaking with a knowledgeable attorney that this fact becomes apparent, which is something we hope our readers will keep in mind when facing a similar conundrum.

Source: The Judicial Branch of California, “Spousal/Partner Support,” Accessed March 6, 2015