Is Alimony Reform Coming To Virginia?
- posted: May 12, 2014
In 2012, Massachusetts passed a new law reforming alimony laws in that state. In the past, it was possible for a judge to require a higher-paying spouse to pay alimony to a lower-paying spouse “permanently” for life. The new legislation puts limits on the amount and length of time for which a higher-earning spouse may be obligated to pay spousal support to the lower-earning spouse after a divorce. Could such legislation be coming to Virginia?
Thus far, the answer to that question is “no.” Currently, there is no serious effort on the part of politicians to reform alimony laws in the commonwealth of Virginia. But, in a 2012 CNN article, Steve Hitner, Founder and President of Mass Alimony Reform, claims that he has “[consulted] with divorce reform activists” in several other states, including Virginia.
What did the 2012 Massachusetts alimony reforms accomplish? In his CNN article, Steve Hitner says that the law “provides guidelines and structure, consistency and predictability” and more “reasonable" terms of alimony, including guidelines for alimony based on the length of a marriage. Hitner believes that the reforms will ultimately help lower-earning former spouses adjust so that they may choose to secure jobs of their own and plan and budget better so they can live on the alimony marital assets, Social Security and pensions they receive after a divorce. The new law also “suspends, reduces or terminates” alimony if the recipient spouse chooses to live with someone else. In addition, the obligation to pay alimony is set to end when the payer reaches full retirement age, as defined by the Social Security Act.
In a rebuttal to Steve Hitner’s article, attorney Wendy Murphy calls the new Massachusetts alimony laws “strangely arcane” and extremely bad for women, whom she says are 97 percent of the recipients of alimony nationwide. Murphy goes so far as to liken the results to a ‘government job:’ “The more years you log, the bigger your pension, and, if you make it to certain cut-off periods, you get a larger sum.”
If you have questions about alimony or spousal support in Virginia, Darrell M. Harding, Attorney at Law can help. The firm has served clients in Norfolk, Chesapeake and Virginia Beach for more than 20 years.
Virginia Beach: 757-499-2600
"In every case Mr. Harding takes, he strives to provide his clients with the highest level of legal service. If you choose Darrell M. Harding Attorney At Law, PLC to represent you, you can expect to receive experienced legal guidance and be treated with the utmost courtesy and respect at all times."
Below are some comprehensive pamphlets created by our firm that clients may find helpful.
Ratings & Reviews
always very pleasant and professional, even in an adversary situations
Mr Thomas F. Harding is an Attorney that I admire and very knowledgeable, He started on my case in May of 2019 and still in progress and soon to be over, but when I first went to Mr Harding office I was so afraid to go forward with my divor...
Mr Thomas F. Harding is an Attorney that I admire and very knowledgeable, He started on my case in May of 2019 and still in progress and soon to be over, but when I first went to Mr Harding office I was so afraid to go forward with my divorce because my husband is a mean man and he told me that he wasn't going to let me go, nor was he going anywhere I thought my life was over until Mr Harding explain everything and I knew that he had my best interest at heart and his soft voice gave me reassurance that it will be alright and with his loving secretary Mrs Raquel Knight they work together and I was bless and I thank God for them and I have two new friends now and I will be dropping in to see them occasionally, God bless Mr Thomas F Harding for all that you do for others, A job well done!
Working with this firm was an excellent experience! The communication was great and I cannot believe how fast my divorce was!! These guys are highly recommended!!
Mr. Jeff Harding and his secretary made my process very simple. Very compassionate about helping others.
I would highly recommend. Mr. Harding is a very good attorney. I was very pleased with him and the outcome of my case.