Alimony or spousal support is a payment from a person to his or her ex-spouse due to a court order. During your divorce, the court may award you spousal support or make you pay it. If you pay support, the court will also determine how long you will pay it. This is the point about alimony that some people have an issue with. There are many who believe that the concept of spousal support is outdated.

When courts first started to issue support orders, it was at a time when families usually had an arrangement where the husband worked outside the home and the wife stayed at home to take care of the children and the household needs. Because of this, after a divorce, women struggled to maintain their lifestyles and handle their daily needs. At that time, women also usually got custody of the children, which meant they not only had to finance their needs but their children’s as well.

Things are different now. Women work, too, so they often have financial freedom outside of the marriage. According to the Los Angeles Times, this is why some people feel that spousal support laws are no longer appropriate. The law in California allows for a judge to make a lifetime support order, which means you could pay alimony until either you or your ex-spouse dies.

This option is only available for marriages that lasted longer than 10 years, but it still has an impact. Those who feel the law requires a change think that judges should have to consider earning capabilities and potential of the spouse receiving support when making decisions on how long that person will receive it.