Alimony Till Death Do Us Part? Nay, Say Some Ex-Spouses

Alimony dates back centuries. The original idea was that once married, a man is responsible for a woman till death. But that notion has shifted in recent decades, as more women have jobs and their own money. Now, a number of states are considering laws to end lifetime alimony.

During his two-decade marriage, Tom Leustek’s wife earned a Ph.D. and landed a job that paid as much as his. He’s a college professor in New Jersey.

But she quit to start her own psychology practice, and her salary plummeted. Then they split. Leustek says he was astonished when a judge ordered him to pay lifetime alimony, despite his wife’s clear earning potential.

“When the judge told me at one point, ‘It’s not fair, Mr. Leustek; it’s the law,’ I decided something had to be done about it,” he says.

Leustek heads New Jersey Alimony Reform, one of a dozen groups taking their cue from Massachusetts. A law that went into effect there last year sets up formulas limiting alimony based on the length of a marriage. Leustek says a similar proposal in New Jersey would also end alimony when the payer reaches retirement age.

Written by Jennifer Ludden. To read the full article, click here. For more information on family law attorneys, visit our website http://www.jwbrookslaw.com

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