The Koblin Family Law Center

Initiative seeks alimony end

Believing that the need for alimony is outdated, a recently divorced California software consultant has received permission from the California Secretary of State to secure signatures for his petition to have alimony elimination included on the 2016 state ballot. He must obtain signatures totaling at least 5 percent of the number of voters in the 2014 gubernatorial election. The number of valid signatures needed is 365,880, and they must be from registered voters.

The initiator of the proposal states that alimony was put into place when many women did not work outside the home. Now, he says, women are earning their own money and some even have higher incomes than their husbands do.

If supporters of the petition secure enough signatures and California voters support it in November 2016, the courts would no longer be allowed to impose and enforce alimony. The initiative also calls for existing alimony arrangements of less than 10 years duration to end immediately and agreements with remaining lives of more than 10 years to be phased out over a five-year period.

Supporters of the initiative believe that alimony is often unintentionally harmful to children because a disagreement over spousal support may cause the divorce process to be drawn out, and alimony diverts money that could go to support children and their education. Although society is changing, many spouses and parents do not have jobs to support themselves. Some have put their education and careers on hold in support of their spouses. When a couple is planning to divorce, advise from a family law attorney could help to ensure that a spouse who is not in a position to be self-sufficient receives payments to pay for basic needs until the situation improves.

Source: Mynewsla.com, "Signature gathering approved for initiative to end alimony", Debbie L. Sklar, May 8, 2015

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The Koblin Family Law Center
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