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Spousal support is not a new concept

Financially supporting a former spouse in Ohio is not something that has been enacted recently. In fact, ancient legal texts record the existence of alimony, an arrangement that existed as far back as the First Babylonian Dynasty. While today’s spousal support arrangements may differ from those in Hammurabi’s day, the concept remains. The question posed now, however, is whether or not this ancient tradition is offensive to today’s modern men and women.

The family unit and its dynamic have undergone a dramatic transformation from the days in which alimony was first introduced in the United States. Women in then were often in the home, managing household affairs and raising children. Many of these women were without extensive formal education and lacked employable skills that could be used to support themselves and their children when divorce occurred. Looking back at the historical value of alimony, some perceive it as a mechanism that protected women of this era.

Today, however, women are educated and can find employment that enables them to be self-supporting, even exceeding their male counterpart’s ability to provide. In the modern world where emphasis is placed on equality, some find the concept of spousal support offense for a number of reasons. It may be disheartening when a person is required to financially support a former spouse, and the former spouse is cohabiting with someone else. Some view alimony as something that encourages its recipients to adopt a victim mentality.

While each state is different in its penchant to alimony, it is important to understand that it existed anciently and was adopted early in U.S. history. When people have questions about financially supporting a former spouse, they may find it helpful to discuss them with an experienced attorney.

Source: Huffington Post, “Is alimony offensive to today’s modern women or man?” Diane L. Danois, Nov. 4, 2013

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