Letter to the editor: Alimony reform needed

Alimony reform needed

Men and women as far away as Brattleboro, Rutland, Putney, Barre, Burlington, and St. Johnsbury met recently to launch a Vermont Alimony Reform Movement.

The new activist organization is known as Vermont Alimony Reform. The movement is being spearheaded by the elected President of the group, Rick Fleming, a native of Brattleboro, who is forced to pay lifetime alimony to an ex-wife who has since remarried after the divorce was final. In most states, remarriage of an alimony receiving spouse terminates an alimony obligation.

Vermont Alimony Reform's mission is to reform and update Vermont's archaic and outdated Alimony Laws. The goal is to follow the lead of neighboring Massachusetts whose legislature unanimously passed the Massachusetts Alimony Reform Act of 2011. The highly successful, sweeping reform was the product of an Alimony Reform Task Force appointed by the chairs of the Joint Committee on the Judiciary. Among the active participants of the Task Force was Steve Hitner, the President of the group Mass Alimony Reform.

Vermont Alimony Reform will be urging the Vermont Legislature to follow the successful process by establishing a similar Alimony Reform Task Force. The Task Force should include a representative of all interested parties, including but not limited to VAR, The Vermont Bar, the Women's Bar, Judges, and members of the Legislature. Our goal is to bring predictability, consistency, and fairness to the family court system as it relates to divorce and alimony.

I encourage your readers to contact their local Legislators and to reach out to Maxine Grad, Chairperson of the House Committee on Judiciary and Dick Sears, Chairperson of the Senate Committee of Judiciary and urge them to move forward with the formation of a Vermont Alimony Reform Task Force.

For more information about our organization and a list of our Legislative Goals please look at our website, www.vtalimonyreform.com or contact Rick Fleming, President of Vermont Alimony Reform. Our telephone number is 802-490-8534. If you prefer, you can e-mail our organization at vtalimonyreform@outlook.com.

— Rick Flemming Brattleboro


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