This chapter examines the current state of alimony law. It argues that alimony guidelines have morphed in two significant ways. First, guidelines are taking on more importance, shifting from local to state-wide application, and from optional guidance to statutory presumptions. Second, guidelines have assumed a new goal: in addition to increasing the certainty and predictability of alimony awards, guidelines are increasingly advanced as a means to limit alimony eligibility, duration, and value. Much of the energy of the contemporary guideline movement comes from grassroots alimony reform groups, state-by-state organizations composed largely of alimony payors (and sometimes their new spouses) who aim to end “alimony abuse.” These reformers are inspiring a new wave of disdain for alimony and new statutory restrictions on its availability.
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