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Cost of fertility procedure claimed in alimony case

When discussing the issue of alimony in Massachusetts, there are several considerations which typically arise. Common factors such as the income and living expenses of the divorcing parties are often the basis of many alimony determinations. However, one recent alimony case is bringing up a rather unusual issue: fertility.

According to a recent divorce case, one spouse is being asked to cover the cost of his soon-to-be ex's egg-freezing procedure. The rationale behind the request is that the woman had wished to have children of her own, but despite several in vitro fertilization attempts, they never did. Because of the woman's age, she fears conception may be increasingly difficult without the procedure. Since her expectation was to have children during the marriage, she feels it is the responsibility of her ex to provide the financial backing for her operation.

While fertility as an alimony issue may be rather different, it is not entirely new. Throughout the country there have been several cases which approach the issue of fertility, such as cases which have awarded custody of frozen eggs to the women claiming them. However, none of these cases have approached the issue of fertility as a marital commodity with monetary value.

Some experts believe her case has merit. They postulate that in this scenario, not having the child serves as a significant life choice that was brought upon by the marriage, similar to the choice to stay at home and raise a child.

This case presents a wide variety of issues, and highlights the complexities that settling alimony can present. Beyond only needing to consider the wages of both spouses, life choices and significant events can play into the way alimony is determined. Speaking with an experienced family lawyer can help those considering divorce work through all of the potential alimony issues that could arise.

Source: The New York Times, "Alimony for your Eggs," Sarah Elizabeth Richards, Sept. 6, 2013

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