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What state/states in the USA award the lowest alimony (amount and duration)?

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Old Jan 6th, 2013, 09:26 AM   #1
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Lightbulb What state/states in the USA award the lowest alimony (amount and duration)?

Question:

What state/states in the USA award the lowest alimony (amount and duration). In terms of assets division, what states are best for spouse with most of the assets so that the amount of equalization payment to the other spouse is minimal. Same questions for child support, in what states the amount of child support payment is minimal.

Answer:

It has been stated in Best and Worst States for Getting a Divorce - ABC News as follows:

"Move to Georgia, where adultery is a bar to alimony.

Randall M. Kessler, chairman of the American Bar Association's Section on Family Law, says that's just one of many differences between one state's divorce law and another's. Kessler, an attorney with Kessler & Solomiany in Atlanta, is an expert on such differences. Depending on your circumstances—on what advantage you seek or what penalty you hope to avoid—you'll be better off divorcing in one state than another."

"Child support in California is typically 10 times what it is, say, in Georgia or Nevada," he says. In Texas, "It's very hard to get an award of alimony."


From the above it can be seen that in Georgia adultery is a bar to alimony. In Georgia and Nevada the child support amount is substantially lower. In Texas it is very hard to get an award of alimony.

It has been stated in Divorce States: The Best And Worst - AskMen as follows:

"A wealthy spouse looking to keep all his or her possessions should stay as far away as possible of the nine community-property states -- Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin -- and head for the other 41 that divide property by the equitable-distribution method.

Also, if your spouse cheated on you, you'll get the last laugh in North Carolina because the state bars alimony to a dependent spouse who has committed adultery!"


The nine community-property states -- Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin are not suitable for you. You may head for the 41 states that divide property by the equitable-distribution method. North Carolina bars alimony to a dependent spouse who has committed adultery.

It is stated in Comparing Equitable Distribution and Community Property for a Divorce - Divorce - Guide - LegalZoom as follows:

"Most states follow equitable distribution laws. In these states, property acquired during the marriage belongs to the spouse who earned it. In case of divorce, the property will be divided between the spouses in a fair and equitable manner. There is no set rule in determining who receives what or how much. The court considers a variety of factors. For example, the court may look at the relative earning contributions of the spouses, the value of one spouse staying at home or raising the children, and the earning potential of each. A spouse can receive between one-third and two-thirds of the marital property.

Community property is observed in the following states: Alaska (by agreement), Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington and Wisconsin.

In a community property state, the spouses are deemed to equally own all income and assets earned or acquired during the marriage. This means that both the husband and wife are deemed to equally own all money earned by either one of them during the marriage, even if only one spouse is employed. In addition, all property acquired during the marriage with "community" money is deemed to be owned equally by both the wife and husband, regardless of who purchased it.

In a community property state, equal ownership also applies to debts. This means both spouses are equally liable for debts. In most cases, this includes unpaid balances on credit cards, home mortgages and car loan balances."


In the equitable-distribution method, a spouse may receive between one-third and two-thirds of the marital property.

Conclusions:

1. In Georgia adultery is a bar to alimony.
2. In Georgia and Nevada the child support amount is substantially lower.
3. In Texas it is very hard to get an award of alimony.
4. The nine community-property states -- Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin are not suitable for you. You may head for the 41 states that divide property by the equitable-distribution method.
5. North Carolina bars alimony to a dependent spouse who has committed adultery.
6. In the equitable-distribution method, a spouse may receive between one-third and two-thirds of the marital property.
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Old Jan 6th, 2013, 02:23 PM   #2
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Default Re: What state/states in the USA award the lowest alimony (amount and duration)?

In contemplation of divorce, the parties would have to head for one of these 'desirable for the spouse to get less' states and take up residency there. BOTH of them.

Some might think that a spouse moving to Georgia or Nevada might be grounds in and of itself for divorce.
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Old Jan 22nd, 2014, 05:18 PM   #3
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Default Re: What state/states in the USA award the lowest alimony (amount and duration)?

I am a 60 year old male. I work full time. We were married 17 1/2 years. Divorce began in 2008 and final settlement in 2010. The ex-wife is 59 and did not work then and does not work now.

Each of us have sufficient retirement money derived from the community property split.

I have a substantial existing spousal support order and I live in California. My ex-wife moved from California to Texas in 2013. She petitioned the court for an increase in spousal support in 2013 and the court has recently increased the support order even higher.

I dont see the court in California ever treating me fairly, reducing the support order, or even cancelling the support order.

One of the options I am considering is moving out of California. I have heard that if I moved then I could "move" or "register" the spousal support case with the court in my new location.

But where to move to? Which court or which state would be best for this situation?
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Old Jan 22nd, 2014, 05:58 PM   #4
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Default Re: What state/states in the USA award the lowest alimony (amount and duration)?

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Originally Posted by dputydwg View Post
I am a 60 year old male. I work full time. We were married 17 1/2 years. Divorce began in 2008 and final settlement in 2010. The ex-wife is 59 and did not work then and does not work now.

Each of us have sufficient retirement money derived from the community property split.

I have a substantial existing spousal support order and I live in California. My ex-wife moved from California to Texas in 2013. She petitioned the court for an increase in spousal support in 2013 and the court has recently increased the support order even higher.

I dont see the court in California ever treating me fairly, reducing the support order, or even cancelling the support order.

One of the options I am considering is moving out of California. I have heard that if I moved then I could "move" or "register" the spousal support case with the court in my new location.

But where to move to? Which court or which state would be best for this situation?
In order to be granted an upward modification, there would have had to be a significant change in circumstances. What circumstances did she state in her request for the modification?

For how many years has she been granted the spousal support?

Did she ever work, before or during the marriage? Even if she is not working now, is she capable of working? If so, is she making ANY effort to seek employment or earn any kind of income to support herself? If she isn't making any kind of efforts, that alone can be a reason to ask the court to either lower or terminate the spousal support order. Spousal support is intended to supplement or provide for the other spouse's income while they gain employment skills, training, or education so that they can support themselves without the assistance of their ex-spouse.

Are you still working, or considering retirement in the near future? A significant reduction in YOUR income can warrant a review and potential reduction of the spousal support obligation. Of course, I'm not suggesting that you quit your job, reduce your hours, or take a new job that pays significantly less as a way to intentionally reduce your income. However, those things CAN bring about justification to seek a modification. Once you retire, your income could potentially be even lower, unless you have a fairly decent retirement income to live on.

Have you thought about moving to a different state that has a significantly lower cost of living? I understand that Texas has a significantly lower cost of living. For instance, if you live in Los Angeles and are considering a move to Dallas, a $50k salary in LA would cover the same expenses as a $37k salary in Dallas. You can use this calculator to compare different cities: Cost of Living Calculator: Compare the Cost of Living in Two Cities - CNNMoney
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Old Jan 22nd, 2014, 06:13 PM   #5
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Default Re: What state/states in the USA award the lowest alimony (amount and duration)?

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In order to be granted an upward modification, there would have had to be a significant change in circumstances. What circumstances did she state in her request for the modification? CHILD SUPPORT TERMINATED IN JUNE 2013 THAT WAS HER CHANGE OF CIRCUMSTANCES

For how many years has she been granted the spousal support? CALIFORNIA HAS NO LIMIT

Did she ever work, before or during the marriage? NO

Even if she is not working now, is she capable of working? YES

If so, is she making ANY effort to seek employment or earn any kind of income to support herself? COURT IS NOW REQUIRING HER TO MAKE 10 JOB CONTACTS PER WEEK BUT SO FAR NONE HAVE BEEN SUBMITTED

If she isn't making any kind of efforts, that alone can be a reason to ask the court to either lower or terminate the spousal support order. COURT STATED THAT FAILURE TO MAKE JOB CONTACTS COULD BE REASON TO LOWER SUPPORT

Spousal support is intended to supplement or provide for the other spouse's income while they gain employment skills, training, or education so that they can support themselves without the assistance of their ex-spouse. MORE COMPLICATED THAN THAT IN CALIFORNIA

Are you still working YES,

or considering retirement in the near future? NOT FOR ABOUT 5-7 YEARS

A significant reduction in YOUR income can warrant a review and potential reduction of the spousal support obligation. PERHAPS

Of course, I'm not suggesting that you quit your job, reduce your hours, or take a new job that pays significantly less as a way to intentionally reduce your income. However, those things CAN bring about justification to seek a modification. Once you retire, your income could potentially be even lower, unless you have a fairly decent retirement income to live on. DOESNT APPEAR LIKELY IN CALIFORNIA

Have you thought about moving to a different state that has a significantly lower cost of living? YES THAT IS WHY I ASKED THE QUESTION

I understand that Texas has a significantly lower cost of living. YES THATS WHAT UNDERSTAND ALSO

For instance, if you live in Los Angeles and are considering a move to Dallas, a $50k salary in LA would cover the same expenses as a $37k salary in Dallas. You can use this calculator to compare different cities: Cost of Living Calculator: Compare the Cost of Living in Two Cities - CNNMoney
IM CURIOUS ABOUT HOW THE COURT WOULD RULE ON WHETHER TO CONTINUE SPOUSAL SUPPORT IF I MOVED TO ANOTHER STATE. A MOVE WOULD BE A MAJOR CHANGE IN MY LIFE.
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Old Jan 23rd, 2014, 05:43 AM   #6
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Default Re: What state/states in the USA award the lowest alimony (amount and duration)?

In the United States family laws and precedents as they relate to divorce, community property and alimony vary based on state law. Also, with new family models, "working couples", "working wives", "stay-at-home dads", etc. there are situations where some parties to a divorce question whether traditional economic allocations made in a divorce are fair and equitable to the facts of their individual case. Some groups have proposed various forms of legislation to reform alimony parameters (i.e. amounts and term). Some states (e.g. Florida, Texas, Maine) are moving away from permanent alimony awards that are intended to maintain a spouses' standard of living enjoyed during the marriage and are moving towards durational or rehabilitative alimony. In other states, like Mississippi, Massachusetts and Tennessee, alimony is usually awarded for life.
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Old Jan 23rd, 2014, 03:16 PM   #7
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Default Re: What state/states in the USA award the lowest alimony (amount and duration)?

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IM CURIOUS ABOUT HOW THE COURT WOULD RULE ON WHETHER TO CONTINUE SPOUSAL SUPPORT IF I MOVED TO ANOTHER STATE. A MOVE WOULD BE A MAJOR CHANGE IN MY LIFE.
Divorcing a 59-year old spouse and expecting someone to hire her and make her immediately self sufficient is something your lawyer warned you would not be likely to happen.

Moving to another state should not change your obligation for spousal support.
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Old Jan 27th, 2014, 03:46 PM   #8
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Default Re: What state/states in the USA award the lowest alimony (amount and duration)?

Dear Friend in Court,

Im sorry but Im not clear on your response. She was 54 when we divorced/separated. To date she has not made one dollar, thats over a period of 5 years.

When should I expect her to at least earn minimum wage?

Last edited by dputydwg; Jan 27th, 2014 at 03:47 PM. Reason: added dear friend in court
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Old Jan 27th, 2014, 03:49 PM   #9
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Default Re: What state/states in the USA award the lowest alimony (amount and duration)?

What did the judge say about your motion to discontinue or lower the support in 2013? What were her grounds to request modification?
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Old Jan 27th, 2014, 03:56 PM   #10
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Default Re: What state/states in the USA award the lowest alimony (amount and duration)?

Dear Disagreeable

The judge apparently did not consider any of the facts or precedent law that my attorney broght forward and simply reverted back to the original judges decision.......... in effect erasing the reduction of child support that occured when my son graduated from high school in 2013 and restoring the monthly award of spousal support to the previous total montly amont of child support and spousal support

Her grounds were simply that she needs the money. In fact she has moved to Texas where it is cheaper to live and there is no state income tax.
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