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PA doctor ends life due to spousal support, says daughter

Divorce can be the beginning of positive change for many couples. Especially when a marriage is no longer functioning, the change in lifestyle can be a welcomed option.

However, one Pennsylvania man who is recently divorced from his ex-wife did not have such a positive response. According to reports, the man decided to end his life. His daughter said it was due to his responsibility to pay spousal support. The doctor's daughter claimed that freedom and independence were hugely important to her father.

He left the majority of his estate to Doctors Without Borders, which is a non-profit organization that helps people, especially in developing countries, gain access to quality medical care. According to his daughter, her father had been planning his death for three years, apparently unbeknownst to her or other loved ones.

Spousal support, also known as alimony, is a financial responsibility from one ex-spouse to the other. Essentially, it requires that one who is in a better financial and personal situation after a marriage ends pay the other spouse to help balance out for the other spouse's sacrifices both personal and educational.

Spousal support is not ordered in every divorce decree or asset division but this PA doctor who took his life cited spousal support as a reason for his life ending choice. However, spousal support is based on a variety of factors including current income, among other factors.

A spousal support decree can sometimes be modified if a person changes careers or sees a drastic drop in income, but not always. Attorneys are available to help make sense of the complexities of spousal support.

Source: pennlive.com, "Noted Pa. cardiologist commits suicide rather than pay spousal support, daughter says," Colin Deppen, May 20, 2017

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