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December 2011 Archives

Florida alimony under attack in state legislature

Florida alimony laws may be tumbling down like London Bridge. Not long ago the state legislature passed a new law that essentially reserved permanent awards of alimony for long-term marriages ending in divorce. Now there is a move underfoot to limit it further by abolishing permanent spousal support. These changes reflect a groundswell across the country, led by reforms of antiquated laws in Massachusetts and attempts to do so in New Jersey.The new Florida bill pending in the House of Representatives would award alimony based on the length of the marriage but would terminate on the retirement of the paying partner. One man who was required to pay lifetime alimony after a marriage of 14 years is part of the Florida Alimony Reform group, which has redoubled its efforts for change after passage of the reforms in Massachusetts. The group argues that, if the proposed law passes, those currently subject to onerous spousal support awards should be able to go to court to get their orders amended.

Woman to pay alimony to ex-husband doing time for raping her

A lot of Massachusetts residents were outraged to learn of a bizarre twist in California law that is forcing a sexually assaulted woman to pay alimony to her incarcerated ex-husband. A judge there has ordered the 39-year-old woman to pay spousal support in the amount of $1000 a month to the man who raped her once he is released from prison. In addition, the woman must also pay an estimated $47,000 in legal fees that her husband spent in order to win the alimony case.

No divorce marriage: Gay couples challenge Texas divorce law

What defines "marriage"? The Texas Supreme Court has to evaluate that very question. They are charged with the task of deciding whether they ought to continue defining marriage as the union between one man and one woman. In essence, theirs is the task of deciding whether or not gay marriage ought to be legal in that state. Currently, two cases involving same-sex couples who married in Massachusetts and filed for divorce in Texas are before the courts.Because gay marriage is illegal in Texas, it is also illegal to divorce a same-sex couple in that state. Texas courts can declare the marriage void, but they cannot grant a divorce -- at least not yet. The two couples married in Massachusetts are pushing for change in Texas. However, for a gay divorce to be granted, the state would have to recognize that the marriage was valid in the first place.

Everything but marriage faces changes in 2012

Massachusetts is one of the six states that currently recognize marriage between same-sex couples as legal, but gay rights activists claim progress is far from here. The news the year has been ripe with the trials and tribulations all couples face when going through a divorce, same-sex couples have not been excluded from these hurdles. With the privilege of marriage, couples face the possibility of divorce -- regardless of the gender of the couple.

Same-sex marriage and divorce a "taxing" problem?

With more states permitting same-sex marriage, many same-sex couples have discovered the hard way that federal tax reporting for them is complicated and expensive. The same holds true for many state tax issues. These same tax hassles can become an issue when non-traditional couples who live in Massachusetts decide to file for divorce.