The American family looks different today than it did decades ago. People in Minnesota are having children later in life and are turning to science and medical professionals to help them have children. While these fertility treatments are costly, they can help people have children for a much long period of time.
However, the divorce rate is still higher than ever before. So, many of these older couples are facing new challenges as they divorce with young children or with no children. Furthermore, this increase in fertility treatments has created growing requests for a new form of alimony -- money to preserve eggs or for future fertility treatments.
Alimony, or spousal maintenance, is a payment from one spouse to the other following a divorce. It can be permanent or temporary. But these payments are meant to help the spouses receiving them to have the income they need following a divorce. Spousal maintenance can help people maintain the standard of living they were accustomed to during the marriage, or help people get an education or start a new life following the end of the marriage.
Recently, there has been an increase in the number of women asking to be compensated for the loss of fertility they have suffered during the course of a marriage. Unlike a man, these women cannot have children whenever they want following a divorce, and therefore expect some compensation. This money could then be used to preserve a woman's fertility until she has a new partner.
Spousal maintenance can be essential to spouses looking to start a new life following a divorce. However, like many other issues involving assisted reproduction, requests for alimony due to loss of fertility are challenging to family law courts. Laws are still in flux and requests like this may require professional assistance.
Source: The New York Times, "Alimony for Your Eggs," Sarah Elizabeth Richards, Sept. 6, 2013