Home Featured 5 Reasons New Divorce Laws Aren’t Unfair to Women

5 Reasons New Divorce Laws Aren’t Unfair to Women

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Take the kids. Take the house and the car, baby. BUT, PLEASE LEAVE ME THE ENTERTAINMENT CENTER!

By now, most of us have the transcript of the marriage adverse men memorized. Usually at or near the top of their unsolicited anti-marriage rants are the “unfair divorce laws.” This is often followed closely by the “unfair child support laws” but we’ll address that second topic another day.

I usually ignore these men because according to them divorce laws are archaic monsters that came into existence after the extinction of the dinosaurs and despite their general lack of evolution, like the menacing great white shark or equally formidable salt water crocodile, they still manage to thrive in the ecosystem. These primitive divorce laws continue to claw at the progress of an otherwise modern society. Divorce laws exist only to destroy innocent men, castrate their ability to date, and rob them of half their assets and their precious jewels. Finally, divorce laws render these men unsuitable for other women, limits their ability to procreate, and generally prevents them from functioning normally in society post-divorce.

As it turns out, Massachusetts agreed (somewhat) with these men’s vision of the post apocalyptic divorce wasteland. Therefore, the state recently became one of the first to make a significant change in divorce laws that better reflects – in their opinion – changes in modern day society. Specifically, changes to the law will better assist men in recovering post-divorce and, by the court’s estimate, encourage women to move forward after divorce without taking advantage of the system or their ex-husbands. For example, some women chose to live with another man while continuing to collect a check from their ex-husband because they knew re-marrying would end their alimony checks. Other women sued their ex-husband for more money if he remarried and his household income increased. The most contentious change was the removal of lifetime alimony payments. CNN featured two opinions on these changes to the law, one from a divorce consultant (a man) who championed for the change and one from a lawyer (a woman) who argued the changes are unfair to women.



I usually don’t take sides in my pieces, because I generally believe there is always two-sides to a story. This time, not so much. Below are 5 reasons I believe Massachusetts’ new divorce laws are not unfair to women but they are more fair to men. In fact, I believe similar laws should be enacted across the country, but let’s stick with Massachusetts for today.

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1. No able bodied person deserves LIFETIME alimony. Split the assets? Fine. Child support for the children? Fine. Pay you for the rest of your life? Hell no. Before the change in divorce law in MA, spouses (mostly men) were (sometimes) expected to pay alimony for the rest of their ex’s life, unless they remarried. This might have made sense in the past due to the historical disenfranchisement of women, but in present day society, such a law has no place on the books. A disabled ex-spouse aside, I cannot think of any logical reason why a full grown adult who is perfectly capable of acquiring and attaining gainful employment should be paid by another adult when the prior adult gains no benefit in their life from their services. MA’s new law empowers judges to determine an amount of payment over a defined period of time as you transition from living as a couple to living alone. This transition should not take you the rest of your life, which is why I agree it should be finite not infinite.

2. Marriage is a contract. Divorce is a breach of contract. I’ve never been married, but I don’t understand the theory behind divorce laws in this country other than to wreak financial and emotional havoc on one or both partners. These are two legally (assuming you signed the papers) consenting adults who have decided they no longer want to be together in holy matrimony. If you want to end your marriage that is your choice. If the government wants to take this opportunity to levy a heavy fine and punishment upon you both as a result, that’s fine. However, such a penalty should be limited – ages of the children factored in accordingly – and that should be that. Neither partner should be forced into financial obligation to an ex-mate for the rest of their life when you have already decided that you no longer want to be obligated to one another for the rest of your lives. If the marriage is terminated; unfortunately, the benefits of the institution of marriage should go with it.

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Oh you went there, brother?

3. Choices made in the marriage as a couple do not suddenly become the responsibility of one partner in divorce. I’m not going to win any popularity awards with this one but here goes nothing… If a woman, because I recognize that is usually the case – but this applies to men as well – elects to be a stay at home mother or father within the confines of the marriage, I still believe that is a choice made by both partners. Therefore, should a divorce occur in the future, I honestly don’t understand why a man (or woman) should be obligated financially to compensate for their partner’s choice to forgo career or personal development. For instance, if I quit my job to pursue my writing career full-time and then my writing career doesn’t work out. I can’t expect that my prior job owes me for all my lost wages and career advancement over the years. It was my choice to make – and I made it.

In the woman’s op-ed, she argues that the value of women’s contributions to the household are not recognized in the new law. I disagree. I recognize that both partner’s contributions to the house – even if not always strictly demonstrated financially – are important and both benefit from the other. However, as I said in point #2 these agreements are within the confines of a marriage. When that marriage is terminated, obligations made in the marriage, in my opinion, do not apply outside the marriage. Even if they do, they should not apply for a lifetime. Whether we want to admit it or not, both men and women are fully aware of the statistics showing 50% of marrages end in divorce. As such, both partners are taking an equal risk and one should not be punished more than the other – infidelity and other specialty circumstance withstanding – simply because the marriage itself did not work out.

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4. Your X-husband should not be punished for the unfairness of society. While up for debate, many men still make more money than women for the same work. That’s an ailment of society. This is not your husband’s fault. Why should he have to pay you for the rest of your life because society is unfair? He shouldn’t. That doesn’t make sense.

5. I hate the term “accustomed to a certain lifestyle.” This post is already wordy, so I’m going to keep this brief. If you became “accustomed to a certain lifestyle,” then you can get unaccustomed just like you were un-accustomed before you got accustomed. I’m accustomed to my job paying me every two-weeks, but if they fire my ass, I will have no choice but to get accustomed to being unemployed. I guess I’m a bit confused how someone can claim independence out of the same mouth that demands dependence on a lifetime of monetary payments from someone they are no longer married. If we have made the decision to move on with our lives a part from one another, then let’s truly move on with our lives in all aspects, including the financial.


Question & Answer: Do you think divorce laws are unfair and should be changed to better reflect changes in modern society? Why or why not? If yes, do you think Massachusetts’ changes to its divorce law is better aligned or have they done more harm than good? Do you think a wife (or husband) should be entitled to a lifetime of alimony from their X?

Comment(144)

  1. Amen brother!!! Finally we’ve gotten past the foolish political BS and stood up for men in what is right. Too many women are caught in a feminist world view that emancipates the woman from old school values and mores all the while holding captive men to the same system of thinking that enabled their lack of freedom and access to equitable justice. It’s good to see a man stand up for men without feeling like he’s dashing his hopes of getting the goods from women, seriously.

    I am for equitable rights, which treats two human beings the same regardless of SEX, race, religion or creed. Good for you WIM!!

    I doubt many support this post because it is a clear contrast to the man-bashing and one-upping that a lot of women have taken morbid pleasure in participating and encouraging.

    This bill passage is a win for ALL of us.

  2. I agree with you completely. Marriage is a contract and even though it is both a personal and financial and an everything included contract, it is still a contract. At the end of the day, if you decide its not working anymore, you have to give it ALL up. You give up the all the bad and ALL the good because you decided the good does not outweigh the bad anymore. I am not against a grace period for the spouse (woman) to figure out her plan of action but forever is just ridiculous. Actually, let me marry some rich dude right now before they change the laws here and I cannot get at their hard earned money anymore.

  3. Agree and disagree .

    I agree that if a woman is not sick and has a job that she should not get alimony and parties should just sit joint assets down the middle. Child support isnt even paid through out a child’s whole lifetime so why should alimony.

    I disagree about the housewife not getting any type of alimony. Most married couples choose the stay at home option togther. Once you’ve been a stay at home mom for 5 to 10 years jumping back into the workforce is not an easy thing. So she should atleast get 3 yrs of alimony until she gets on her feet kind of like unemployment because now that she is divorced(laid off) she no longer has a source of income .

    As far as accustom to a certain lifestyle I feel once you leave that man you leave everything he came with. As long as the children still are provided for in the same manner as they were when their parents were married everything else shouldn’t matter.

    1. Interesting point about the home mom being out of work for 5 to 10 years and the effect that has on finding a new job later. As an HR person, I must cosign this part. If she has a professional degree or wants to work a retail or similar gig, it may not be as hard to find work. But otherwise….

      **strolls off**
      My recent post Free Write Friday

    2. Agree. The stay-at-home mom part was the only part of the post I disagreed with. This was a joint decision. He agreed to take care of the family financially & she agreed to take care of the family in all other aspects (transporting to & from school, sports activities, & doctor's appointments, being responsible for physical & psychological well-being, helping with homework, etc, etc.). When a divorce occurs, the mother is (more than likely) still responsible for providing this support to the children. The man's only change in responsibility will be to now take care of the household chores, which doesn't compare to the childcare responsibilities. Therefore, the woman should still get some support from her ex-spouse until she can become gainfully employed. And if/when she does, he's going to have to pay more in child support because of daycare.

      1. I take issue with your recommendation of "Therefore, the woman should still get some support from her ex-spouse until she can become gainfully employed."

        I think the Wisdom's recommendation gave the judge leeway to create an amount of time that she would receive alimony. The judge would most likely take into consideration the ability of the former stay at home spouse to get a job.

    3. From the post: " MA’s new law empowers judges to determine an amount of payment over a defined period of time as you transition from living as a couple to living alone. This transition should not take you the rest of your life, which is why I agree it should be finite not infinite."

      If I'm not mistaken I believe WIM is in agreement with you here. He is saying the ex-spouse should receive alimony, but only for a finite period of time. In your example you used 3 years which I think is a solution WIM is eluding to. However, I could be wrong.

        1. Right, I believe he is just specifically saying even housewives should not receive lifetime alimony, but just alimony for a finite period of time, which you indicated that you agree with. WIM initially suggested even the able-bodied working wives are obligated to some alimony for a period time…just not forever.

          Long story short, no one's exempt (if you're able-bodied) from not receiving life-time alimony.

  4. I must agree in what you have stated. We women almost suffer from everything men can do into our relationship but in the end we still have no voice in speaking up the truth. I think that the law abide today is not fair to us because we cannot decide in our own.
    My recent post שיווק סלולרי

  5. In #2, you touch a lot on the notion that both parties want the divorce. In divorce, rarely is it that both people want out. Most of the time, ONE person wants out, and the other is left trying to pick up the pieces. I can't stand behind that person not being penalized heavier for the initial breach of the contract of marriage. If you didn't exercise every way possible to fix the marriage you entered into, and you want out, if we're treating this like ANY business obligation, breach of contract is penalized. Saying that people know that half of marriages end in divorce is like suggesting that cell phone companies should just let people get new, discounted phones whenever they want, because they know after a year with one, they'll likely want another. Things just don't work that way.

    I have to also cosign what was said above. Its difficult to break back into the working field after choosing to sit out. I am a stay home mom, and its probably highly unlikely that I will ever get back into my original, pre-baby field, because it is business travel heavy. Even if I was working, my obligations as a parent don't allow me to travel as much as I used to, and without another degree, after being out of work for the last 3 years, I likely couldn't work a different job. I don't think alimony is necessary for life, but I certainly feel like terminating a marriage should account for choices made inside the marriage because they affect life IN OR OUT of a marriage. A child is typically a choice made inside a marriage, but we can't discount the child because the marriage is over. Typically ONE parent will be granted custody, and be responsible for this choice made inside the marriage. You should account for choices made around the child, as well as other lifestyle choices that affect the child and the parent now that the marriage is over.

    I don't disagree that alimony for life is ridiculous, but I think these new laws could and probably will railroad as well as disadvantage a good amount of women divorcing in the future.

    Don't

    I also have to touch on 3-5 as a whole. I am a stay at home mom now. I have also been a working mother. I would honestly argue that MY life hasn't increased in quality since staying home, but my children? Their quality of life has certainly increased. They both are under 5 years of age.

    My recent post Case of the Fake People: Bitch, I see you…

      1. I knew someone would throw in this statistic. Yes, that is true, however, when women initiate divorce it is typically in response to adultery, which would be the initial breach of contract. In marriages with NO infidelity, there is not even a percentage to account for of couples who mutually decide to separate. The writer obviously over simplified something complex in order to bring it to a level of discussion for a website, so I responded to the things he was saying. If you'd like to harp on that 70% though, which most men do, please focus on where I said "breach of contract"…and take that into consideration as well,
        My recent post #ManicureMonday

        1. Also, since we're throwing out numbers… in that 70% of women who file for divorce…
          About 30% is due to abuse or egregious infidelity or rape
          around 23% is due to "mental cruelty" & being "undervalued/unfulfilled" by their spouse, with typical citation for suspected infidelity, but not sufficient proof for court preceding…
          Afterwards, the remaining % of women don't cite infidelity at all.
          My recent post #ManicureMonday

        2. @ YM – this is where you lose me.

          I don't believe the "initial breach of contract" in marriages can ever really be determined because the contracts are so unique to each individual marriage and the "breaching" is so subjective. When you start talking about a contract being breached your assigning blame to one person for the failure of the marriage. It's been my experience that marriage is way too complex for it's failure to be caused by one person.

        3. I feel like this only applies with Adultery and Desertion…Abuse as well.

          Blame is clear here. Regardless of what led up to those moments, those actions are an individual choice. After one of those actions, the wronged spouse has a right to determine to leave or stay without penalty.

        4. Desertion and Abuse I would agree with. Adultery I do not agree. Desertion and abuse are 99.9% of the times going to be breaches of the "contract" unless you have some really crazy wedding vows.

          Adultery, not so much. Firstly, not everyone promises to be faithful. Secondly, we don't like to talk about this but I think there understandable reasons why a person would commit adultery. If I stop having sex with my wife altogether, like, I just decide I'm no longer attracted to her – and I never step outside the marriage, I just stop having sex altogether, and my wife goes and sleeps with another man – who broke the contract? Didn't I break the contract by not holding up my end of the marriage sexually. We're both to blame in that situation. And it happens way more often than you think.

        5. Right is right and wrong is wrong. Two wrongs don't make a right. And any other common saying you wanna throw in there, lol.

          Gas prices are so high that I feel justified to rob a bank to fill my tank, lol. But robbery is still wrong so I either 1) chill and pay the prices or 2) lose the car and ride a bike.

          If you're unhappy in your marriage, leave…separate…something. Adultery is ALWAYS an individual choice and always wrong. Step away from my soft spot…please and thank you, LOL.

        6. But here is where the breach of contract analogy becomes extremely poignant. When person A breaches a contract, person B has a duty to ameliorate the initial breach, and not make it any worse. Both parties receive reduced damages for their breaches.

          Thus, if one person stops having chex (initial breach) and then the other party cheats (second breach), both parties are to blame for the total amount of damage, and their damages are reduced.

        7. With any contract, the court must assess the terms of an agreement and what may have been expressly or implicitly implied in that agreement. Determining the breach of the contract usually CAN be determined by looking at a number of factors, so your argument that breaching is subjective is actually not true.

          Breaching is simply not fulfilling all the terms of a contract. It's not assigning blame. Just as if a partner in a business fails to keep up some end of the bargain, he will be penalized. And if marriage is so complex, then why do so many men constantly try to compare it to a mere business contract when it benefits them as far as the financial consequences are concerned in divorce?
          My recent post A Hostile Takeover

        8. It's subjective because the bulk of the things one might consider as "part of the contract" are never explicitly stated. It's really just about expectations – what she expects and what he expects. Very few people actually sit down a list out the stipulations of their marriage as one would if it were a true business venture. Because these stipulations are never actually stated they have to be inferred based on a whole host of things.

        9. Well considering that the 2 main reasons why people divorce are money and infidelity, there is no real element of surprise as to the expectations you speak of for the most part. The traditional vows explicitly state love, honor, cherish, forsake all others, provide, etc.
          My recent post A Hostile Takeover

        10. We'll have to agree to disagree here. But I respect you opinions and appreciate your comments.

          Just out of my own curiosity though, are you or have you been married? Not that being married or unmarried makes your points any more or less relevant, I'm just interested in getting a full picture of your perspective.

        11. I'm not sure what you disagree with? The two main reasons for divorce, which is actually factual information, or that marriages end in divorce because of a failure to fulfill expectations on behalf of the husband or wife? Either way, the vows say til death, so leaving for any reason other than death is a breach.

          I am not married, nor have I ever been married. I'm in law school though and that's why I stated the things that I did regarding contracts and how you regard them as subjective when the courts have objective ways of determining what was agreed upon and what was not , implicitly or explicitly.
          My recent post A Hostile Takeover

        12. Gotcha. Best of luck in law school.

          The point I disagreed with was this: "there is no real element of surprise as to the expectations you speak of for the most part."

        13. Thanks!

          Hmmm…I guess I could see why you would disagree with that comment.

          I guess what I was trying to say is that yes, there are expectations that are not fulfilled in a marriage that may lead to divorce, but since money and infidelity are the 2 main reasons for divorce, and those happen to be two aspects of marriage that ARE usually addressed before marriage, explicitly in traditional vows (forsaking all others, staying for better or worse (financial or emotional issues included), and even implied (evidenced by many men and women wanting to be financially stable before entering into such a union), for the most part, there would be no surprise as to what is expected with regards to these issues, yet they are still the main reasons why most marriages don't last.

          I hope that clarifies my stance a little.

          My recent post A Hostile Takeover

        14. Nah, I totally got that. But even within those two specific areas, there's a great deal of complexity.

          What if you and your husband go into the marriage with the expectation that you're both going to continue on in your six figure careers. You build up this six figure life, then your husband decides he wants to give it all up and teach in the inner city. Your whole lifestyle has to change. But it's what's going to make him happy. He's breaching the what the two of you agreed to by making a career change that will have to lead to a lifestyle change for both of you. But if you leave him because of that, you're breaching the part of the contract that says "for richer or poorer."

          What if you agree that you won't sleep with other people, but then one person just stops having sex altogether. Everything esle is perfect, they treat you great, raise the kids great, all that, they just aren't interested in sex anymore. Do you break up and give up the 90% of the relationship that's good and everything you've built together because one person happened to turn a-sexual, or, do you just go get that handled elsewhere.

          When you're not married these things seem unfathomable. But when you're married, these unforeseeable, unpredictable complexities make themselves known. There are plenty of damn near perfect husbands whose wives harbor unspoken dissappintment because the husband doesn't bring in the kind of income they both expected he would early on and they can't live the life they promised each other. And there are plenty of damn near perfect wives who just can't bring themselves to duck a sick anymore or really buss it wide open for their husbands like they indicated they would. Happens all the time.

          This is the sort of stuff that's hard to really appreciate when you're in court. "Your honor, I know hiding income from my husband was wrong… but he promised our kids wouldn't have to go to public school" or "Your honor, I know escort services are morally reprehensible but I was getting carpal tunnel of the wrist because she had headaches every other night and wouldn't let me cut" don't play so well at the divorce proceedings.

        15. What you're essentially saying is "people change." I actually addressed that downthread in discussing my parents' marriage, so for me, it IS fathomable, but the bottom line, is you agreed to for better or worse, til death do us part. When looking at the four corners of the agreement, those are the terms – your vows. What is worse if it's not all the things you mentioned above and more?

          I like these stringent divorce laws because people are no longer getting married all willy nilly. Determining whether you can stay with someone given all these changes is what marriage is about. I've been engaged twice and did not marry because I really considered what I'd be promising, and I don't intend to make promises I can't keep. Sure, it's not easy to keep these promises when confronted with people who change drastically, but that is in fact what you are promising to do.
          My recent post A Hostile Takeover

        16. Most I've never been married but from what I understand based on my limited knowledge having known people who have filed for, been through and going through a divorce; the courts legal obligations are to equally and fairly divide assets and money, decide which parent the child/children will reside with or if they will reside with one of the parents, and decide on monetary child support and visitation agreements for the children. I think that alimony is only considered if it is filed for or stipulated in the initial file for seperation.
          Also the amount of alimony is decided based on the man or womans salary and the cost of the lifestyle. FYI – I think Anita Baker was ordered to pay her husband alimony in their divorce. She may have fought it but I think she lost.

        17. “I got my information from a Women’s Rights: Divorce Advocacy Course I took…”

          Exactly what I thought…..as if they don’t have they’re own agendas to skew stats.

          Not even worth a rebuttal.

        18. This is actually kind of hard to picture. It's a fact that majority of divorces stem from Financial issues…..not because of the guy cheating. So I would really like to know what NON-bias source you got your information from.

        19. “…I got my information from a Women’s Rights: Divorce Advocacy Course I took…”

          And you BELIEVE the statistic to be true? You must be kiddin’!
          You might as well read a Communist’s manifesto in an attempt to learn about capitalism.
          The fact is, most women file for divorce for that nebulous “irreconciliable differences” reason. Press them any further, they tell you they don’t feel “happy” in their marriages. And, with a gun pointed at their heads, they can’t tell you exactly what being “happy” means, or what their husbands did to make them unhappy. Talk of fickleness.

    1. I agree with you. When most ppl get divorced the mother becomes the primary caretaker and if she’s a stay at home mother her kids finicial picture shouldn’t have to suffer because mommy and daddy cant get along. The kids shouldn’t have to go from living in a nice house to living in a cramped apartment in the not so great part of town. Atleast with 3 yrs of alimony for a stay at home mother it gives her time to do finicial planing, find a job or get in a advance school program so she can provide for her children. Now if she has a job that can handle a majority of the finicial burdens, or if she has no children with her husband, then no I don’t think she should get alimony, maybe a onetime settlement if she was a stay at home wife(no children).

        1. well I have seen this with very rich men like real ballers. She usually is planning to have children.In some cultures or economic classes the wives don't have jobs they take care of the home and the man.

      1. I am a stay at home mother who got divorced a year ago. I can work full time but would
        Battle to drop my son off at school, take him to sport events and picking him up in time before the school closes. You have a lot to say so here is my advice to you. Let the mothers find a job and at the same time drop the kids at dads to lookafter full time. Mom can visit her kids every second weekend while dad can figure out how to juggle work and kids at the same time.

  6. I willing to bet anything that if these revisions to the divorce laws are implemented nation-wide. Divorce rates will plummet.

    1. Excellent observation. The government has unwittingly taken the position to ENCOURAGE divorce in its uninformed attempt to empower women.
      One other argument the author did not make: both parties are accustomed to a certain lifestyle during the marriage. The wife is accustomed to being financially supported, and the husband is accustomed to being sexually/emotionally supported. If the wife’s lifestyle must be maintained post-divorce, so must the husband’s. That is true equality. What we have in today’s family court is a monstruosity that is seriously discouraging many men from getting married.

  7. #3 – Let me save ya from some heat that you can't guard with the kevlar.

    Day care costs like $12-20 grand a year.
    Babysitters cost like $20/hour. That's like another $500-1,000 a year.

    Factor in all types of ish that you have to pay for when both parents are in the workplace and not at home. And as a man i'm coming home one day and saying, "Babe you not making enough money for us to be spending $30 grand a year when you can stay home and do that for free."

    The cost of having a stay at home mother sometimes add up in your favor. In those cases, she's taking an L. There are some women who take the easy way out, but a lot (won't say majority cause we don't know) are doing it for the cost savings.

    But I agree with everything you said. Let's ride out.

    1. Im telling any female I marry we're getting you some supplementary income while you stay at home, being a stay at home doesnt mean females cant have some type of online hustle, stocks, bonds, real estate etc.

    2. Your arguments are totally off.
      The stay at home mom is taking care of HER own kids, so does not deserve to be paid for them. She chose to have those kids, together with her partner. And, while she stays home, the husband provides financial assistance. Thus, it cancels out. She provides services; he provides money. No one owes any other person post-divorce.
      However, I am in support of fairness. The stay at home partner should be assisted for a reasonable period of time to get back into the market place. But this shouldn’t take a lifetime. A five year period, max, is reasonable in my opinion. And she does not have to live like a princess during this period.

  8. I agree with this post entirely!!!

    We need a new system like that in every state. If it doesn't happen fast enough, in the future, I might just marry in MA and tell her there was some special meaning to it lol.

    1. Be careful marrying in a state that you dont plan to live in, it creates a huge headache. Especially if one of you dies

  9. First off…let me shout out Smilez for posting my thoughts, lol.

    Second, as a divorced female, let me just say that I can't even identify with women who want anything from their ex after the marriage. I don't want you…or your pennies. Pay half of all the kids expenses and that's it. Lets finish paying off this joint debt and get on with our lives. I don't want your alimony or your child support. Iono…I just don't get it

    Now, if you cheat on or desert me, you may have to break me off a little something (if I feel like you have it to give) for this interuption to my life…cause I'm moving, getting a lawyer, etc. which ain't free and its your fault…but I won't expect you to pay me forever. Either give me a lump sum or pay alimony up to a certain amount for the inconvenience you've caused…cover my moving costs.

    1. "Now, if you cheat on or desert me, you may have to break me off a little something (if I feel like you have it to give) for this interuption to my life…cause I'm moving, getting a lawyer, etc. which ain't free and its your fault…but I won't expect you to pay me forever. Either give me a lump sum or pay alimony up to a certain amount for the inconvenience you've caused…cover my moving costs."

      This is not an unreasonable request.

      I take it that this also holds true if my theoretical wife cheats on me, right? If she cheats, there's no payment for attorney fees, moving, etc. Or, to even take it a step further, if I have to move out, will I be compensated for those same expenses. If I've been inconvenienced by her infidelity, those same rules would apply, correct?

      1. I believe that the same "rule" should apply to either spouse. If wronged spouse choses to leave or is forced out, the cheating/deserting spouse should cover the related expenses.

        Let me say this though…in my case, I chose to leave the marriage so I left our house. I don't believe in putting folks out of homes they help pay for, lol. I don't care what was done…change the locks on me and you'll find out what's really threatening in these here streets, LOL. Shoot. If you aren't giving me every dime I put into the house as you're putting me out of it, you may wanna stand down on that. Hmph. Teh…heh. Maaaaan, I wish somebody would…..

        1. jesus christ you have to be the first reasonable woman i've met when it comes to divorce settlements. But i wonder would you feel the same way if he was rich…

  10. Agreed, though I can see how some situations like #3 can become sticky.

    I know a few couples (all with kids though) who decided together to keep one parent home while the other worked . In fields like mine, taking a break or stopping like that would set me back to entry-level very quickly and in the minimum wage zone. If a couple like that happened to divorce I think it would be best for the stay-at-home spouse to quickly express what they desire to do (go back to school, find work, ect…) and make a conscious effort to make it happen within a certain time frame (say, 3-5 years). Of course there are other particulars involved, but this seems best for cases like this. Of course this wouldn't apply if they just said, "YOU workin, not me!" but if a choice like that is made together realize there could be consequences.

  11. "If you became “accustomed to a certain lifestyle,” then you can get unaccustomed just like you were un-accustomed before you got accustomed." <— ALL.OF.THIS

    I did my own post when I saw these 2 articles because I've been through a divorce and had to pay alimony. It was kinda personal to me. Although divorce proceedings are different state to state, it also heavily depends on the judge your case is assigned to. In NY, judges have more discretion than say Cali or NC. So they can determine how much spousal support you have to pay and for how long. Often times, if the split is amicable, you can just deal w/ all that through a mediator and file the court papers on your own. As we know, stats are often manipulated to prove a specific agenda. So I honestly think most divorces aren't as messy and about the money as people think. When you're truly done w/ a person and your ties to them, you wanna get it over and move on w/ your life as quickly as possible

    That being said, I think the new law is MA was a step in the right direction. It's reasonable that if it's mutually decided for the wife is to stay home, then the couple should come to an agreement on relocating, maintenance, splitting property, etc. For ex: if you lived in together in a house where the mortgage + household bills were like $2500+ and you didn't put in on that, why should your ex have to pay for comforts he/she no longer benefits from? That's crazy to me

    The law in MA had some other provisions to it that you were a little sketchy. But I pretty much agreed w/ the post.

  12. If you became “accustomed to a certain lifestyle,” then you can get unaccustomed just like you were un-accustomed before you got accustomed"
    That I agree with Wis as I agree with your other points.
    imo this clearly shows the childishness of folks and how when going through a divorce folks can mentally become 10 years old and act like selfish spoiled brats.
    Many people may not agree but I feel if your a grown azz man/woman with no disabilties and/or major diseases or health problems and able bodied and capable of working there is no good reason why you shouldn't work. In the event of a divorce assets and monies should be divided as equally as possible. I do agree that the house should stay with the mother only because it's she is typically the primary caretaker and the child/children needs a roof over his/her head. However in cases where the mother abandons the child and chooses to leave and be with another man then the man should keep the house.

  13. Everything should be done in the best interest of the child/children….EVERYTHING!
    On Mike Baisden's show I recall judge Mabelline saying one of the main reasons why typically the mother is awarded initial custody of the child/children is because she is the primary care-taker and the one who spends the most time with the child. She said that is what the courts look at, who spends more time with the child. Who picks takes them to daycare/school and picks them up, who takes them to Dr.'s appointments.

  14. Hmmm……

    Let's look at how divorce affects men vs. women.

    *Divorcing or separating (SINGLE) mothers are 2.83 times more likely to be in poverty than those who remain married.

    *Following a divorce, the parent with custody of the children experiences a 52 percent drop in his or her family income.

    *Over 35 percent of custodial mothers receiving child support were impoverished 16-18 months
    following the divorce, while only 10.5 percent of all non-custodial fathers (those paying child support and those not) were impoverished.

    1. *Approximately 44 percent of women fell into poverty after a divorce.

      *17-25% of wives who divorce after 2-8 years of marriage receive AFDC benefits. 20- 40% of mothers with minor children receive welfare benefits.

      *When a father separates from the mother of his children, according to new research, his available income increases by around one third.

      I'm not saying anythng, just pointing some stuff out. As the child of a single parent, watching my mother work until her eyes bled while my father took trips around the country, I have a bit of a biased view, so I find it will be best not to comment.

        1. Listen, I'm just happy when anyone assumes I am Latina at ALL & doesn't say, "but you CAN'T be hispanic!" #BlackLatinaProblems
          or my personal fave…
          "….do you go in the shower with your hair straight and when you get out is it curly?" #SideEye

      1. If "Approximately 44 percent of women fell into poverty after a divorce" is an accurate, recent stat then 56% of divorcees are doing okay for themselves. Plus out of the 44%, how many of them are working? How many of them have kids? How much of their income are they spending on daycare fees? How much child support are they receiving, if anything? What's their standard of living compared to their income? The numbers by themselves can't paint a complete picture. So would like to check out where the numbers came from

      2. Amaris my mom was a single parent as well. I don't have kids. But I will say on my mom's behalf she worked 2 jobs to put me in private school and I had a good life. She also had the help of my grandparents. She didn't ask my dad for any money…..just his time. She took very good care of me. She had to sacrifice some things but she understood that was part of being a parent.
        I do believe both parents should provide accordingly for their child. However, I've seen quite a few close male friends get taken to the cleaners and their lives destroyed all because the mother of their child wanted to punish them for not being with them. I have guy friends who told me the mother of their children told them she was going to make their life hell….and for what????

        1. Because this man chose not to be with her in part because of some things she did to contribute to the demise of the relationship. I had an ex girlfriend of mine tell me she was punishing her daughters father and making his life hell because he left her because she was crazy as hell.
          So in that respect my opinion is a little biased as well.
          I do see your point, however the reality that I see is that quite a few women nowadays are lazy as hell and want everything for nothing. I see women using men for all they can and getting mad when the man puts a stop to it and says "when are you gonna start doing something?" Gets mad when the man expects as much as he gives and holds them accountable.
          I have a guy friend who is a great guy I've known for years and his wife at one time made more than him. She was a Social Work supervisor and did not pay or contribute any money to 1 single bill during their marriage.
          She admitted to spending up his money and some of hers and saving some of hers.

        2. I do agree Amaris that deadbeat dads need to be held responsible for contributing to the upbringing of the children they helped create. They also need to be counseled and encouraged to spend time with and bond with their children, although at the end of the day you can't make anyone be a great parent, they have to want to be.
          I agree that people should handle divorces maturely and amicably especially when children are involved. I feel that things should be Fair. I think if a man so chooses and has the finances to continue to assist his ex wife financially then that is fine. However he should not be forced to continue to provide for her as if she is his wife. Her only provisions should be as the mother of his child and for the greater good of his child.

        3. It's a very fine line between a man providing financially for his child and continuing to provide for the mother so that she also is able to reap the full benefits of being a wife when she is no longer and is now an Ex-wife.
          I agree with the fella's that it is unfair for a woman to be financially taken care of as if she is a child also by a man she is no longer married to.
          Some may think this is cold, however, I believe that once the marriage is over you don't really owe that person anything. What you choose to give out of the goodness of your heart is up to you….but nothing should be forced by the law.
          Also in the black community those stats aren't as accurate…..many women make more than men and have more assets than men. Many women have better credit than men in the black community.

        4. The stats you speak of may be those of single moms whose childrens fathers are unemployed, uneducated, probably always made less and had less than the women, and probably selfish, lazy azzholes, and men who are pissed at the mothers for whatever reason and punishing them by withholding financial support and this is why those women are in poverty.
          If the father of the child is mature, unselfish, working and making pretty decent money, educated, and a pretty good dad who loves and cares for his child and has no beef with the mother then that women is not having the problems other women have for different reasons.
          That woman is doing just fine and so are her children and they are very well taken care of and she is not impoverished or struggling. I've seen the good as well as the bad. When you have 2 mature, and responsible people who are about the best interest of their child then things can and do go pretty smoothly.

      3. But then some would say that the man loses out on the opportunity to spend everyday with his children. I've watched this happen first hand. It's almost impossible for a man to get custody of his children after a divorce. He basically has to rely on someone who can't stand him to see his children. So yeah, for the dead beat who doesn't wanna be around his kids the above numbers suck. But the man who can't see his kids enough would gladly swap positions if it meant he could have custody.

        1. Most it's not impossible for a man to get custody of his kids…..he just has to fight much much harder than the woman. I think when men show the courts that they really really care, are serious and can discount and disqualify the mother on some things it improves his chances of at the very least getting partial custody. Men also need a good strong support system like women have.
          I've proudly been that support system for a few of my male friends during their fight for their children.

    2. " This is often followed closely by the “unfair child support laws” but we’ll address that second topic another day."

      It appears many of these statistics fall as a counter mostly to the child support debate. I'll have to admit from the outside looking in with statistics like these I wonder how come women overwhelmingly do not want to share joint custody of the children. If it's unfair that the men make a third more money once separation happens and seem to be more free to do more things (travel, etc..) then why not split the custody to better aid in costs and time (obviously assuming both parents are relatively responsible and able). One of my friends alternates every week with her daugther and the kids father as far as custody. The kid is with her for a week and with the dad the next week and so on and so forth. (this can't work in every case for obvious reasons…live in different cities, etc..etc….but just giving an example)

      1. If it's being suggested that men are doing more well financially post-divorce then should they not have some form of custody (joint or full)? (once again, not talking about the extreme cases, i.e. dead beat, loser, drug-addicted guy).

  15. I think divorce laws are the nasty side of marriage I hope never to deal with. I intend to marry someone who, like me, believes marriage is neither an interest, nor a real option.

    That being said, if my future husband chooses to break his sacred vows to me, I will treat it like the breaking of sacred vows and dissolve the holy matrimony. I won't treat it like a breach of contract to be capitalized upon to the utmost. He doesn't want to honor be and be with me any longer? Fine. That's his mistake. I will not spend any more time than necessary breaking the bond and moving on.

    I won't have given up my job for my career, because both my parents worked, so that won't be an option. I won't be taking his money. We can leave the marriage with whatever we both came in with. If we bought a home together, we can sell it and split the profits; neither of us will be living in our former HOME. If I need a prenup to ensure all of this, I'll make one, but I plan on getting with someone who knows the deal, agrees with it, and honors it, even if he doesn't honor me in the end.

    1. Hm…

      Pancakes or waffles?

      Also, how do you feel about a grown man who, on occasion, may decide to dress up like a superhero, Klingon, or wizard, and attend social gatherings with other like-minded individuals?

      This is not for me. I'm uh…asking for a friend. Yeah. That's what I'm doing.

      1. LOL. Being a Trekkie, I have no problem with anyone dressing like a Klingon and attending conventions. I think I might like to attend one someday. None of those costumes are a problem, actually. I've seen all the Harry Potters, Lord of the Rings, and comic books movies, so I'd probably be right there with "your friend".

        That being said, I'm currently already dating a like-minded individual who's as into superheroes and sci-fi as I am, among other things. 😉

        1. Ah, all the good ones are taken…

          But seriously, make him take you to a convention. Better yet, don't. You might get addicted. Between meeting celebrities, going to the parties, and all the swag, it's just too much fun. I'm at a point now where I try to schedule business trips around them.

          When I was with my ex-gf, we were entertaining the idea of going as Storm and Black Panther. In retrospect, I probably wouldn't have been able to rock the white hair as well as she would have.

        2. LOL! As of now, we're planning on dressing as Dionysus and Aphrodite for Halloween. That's the extent of costumes so far. But October is a long way away. Don't want to scare him planning too far ahead, lol.

  16. I think most people only disagree with not giving the stay at home mother temporary alimony. If you had money to take care of her and the kids without any help finicial then you can do it another 3 yrs until she gets on her feet so she can properly provide for your children. And yes while child support takes care of a portion of the child’s needs it does cover everything, like housing , transportation for example mommy has to provide those things if the child now lives with her. While lots of stay at home moms were once career women once you take more than a year off your experience starts to deplenish in the eyes of HR. if you have 7 yrs of experience in a field but have been a stay at home mom for the past 3 yrs you now only have 4 years of experience worth paying for. Meaning she won’t be making the same amount as her pervious caretaker her husband.

    1. Smilez I agree that the man should assist his ex-wife for a period of time with alimony. However not all women act right and deserve to get alimony. Some are greedy and bitter and want to punish the man and take all he has. Should that woman still get alimony? Some women have a support system in their family or may be with another man, should that woman get alimony? Some women will take the alimony and child support and spend a good 80% on themselves. Meanwhile the man is paying all the womans bills and paying daycare/school for the child and he has to eat and live too…..is that really fair?? I think not.
      The reality is more often than not, women will use this as a crutch and a financial support system and milk it for as long as they can, and for as much as they can. They will also want to claim the kids on their taxes and keep the entire tax refund money so they can live lavishly and flaunt to their friends and even spend money on another man. Sad reality is many women will take full advantage of this in the worse way possible while the man suffers because he no longer wanted to be with this woman. I just do not think that is fair.

      1. Again the children should be taken care of by at least 1 parent, (whichever one is working and capable of doing so financially) but the adults should be able to take care of themselves.
        That type of law regarding alimony for stay at home moms needs very careful consideration of both parties….because what can happen is the woman will be maintaining while the man has to move back with his mama and stay there for years and years and will be hard pressed to regain his independence and live again. You will also have many women who will continue to not work and want to be stay at home moms. Bottom line is, regardless of how much u want to be a stay at home mom if ur a single parent thats not feasible. It's not the most difficult thing in the world to get back into the workplace, I know plenty of folks that have done it following a divorce…trust and believe white folks do it all the time.

        1. FYI this is how Harry Potter author/writer J.K. Rowling got her start that has now made her a multi-millionaire. She was a single, divorced mom unemployed and collecting government assistance during the time she wrote Harry Potter. __Many people end up becoming great entrepreneur's during the time they are out of work and going through some major stuff in their lives. However, I think particularly in the black community we tend to get very lazy and complacent and content to "live off of the land" and get too co-dependent, instead of independent.

        2. The JK Rowling example is a big stretch. I don't know too many black stay at home moms anyway so the becoming dependent on the husband and lazy thing I cant relate too.

        3. Smilez I'm finding more and more black women homeschooling their children because they are becoming frustrated with the school system….there are some out there…not many but some.
          My point is there are too many of "us" who are just lazy…point blank period keepin it 100. I know many folks who take a little and turn it into a lot. I did it and with little to no support since I have no fam in MD where I live. I have friends who have great support systems and can do big things if they put their mind to it and put in the work.

        4. I know it's possible for a woman to move on post divorce and maintain even if she has no degree and not much job experience. I've seen many people do it…they work their azzes off and sacrifice and compromise but the get it done…they handle their business and they make it work. Life is about choices….some choose to and some choose not to.
          Either we can be victims of our circumstances or victorious over them….it's up to the individual and it's a choice, decision that we make.
          I chose to be victorious and I'm still winning, even when it seems like I'm losing cause I've maintained, excelled, grown, matured, attained more, learned more and I'm still here.
          (please excuse my color purple moment) lol

  17. *Applause. I am moving to MA.

    But seriously, I agree. Most famous case of WTF is Jeff Gordan, NASCAR racer. His ex wife gets a percentage of his FUTURE EARNINGS. He risks his life every time he races, and she benefits

      1. Not necessarily a bad lawyer.

        it could also be due to why they are divorcing or how long they were married for as well as if and when he started drag racing BEFORE or AFTER he said "I do" can and will also factor into the reasons she's getting a check from his future earnings.

  18. Did I mention part of the reason I am not married is because I stipulated that a condition of my divorce is my husband retains physical custody of the children? For some reason, no man has ever agreed with that.
    Hey, some people fear heights, or tight spaces. I have that same tightness-in-your-chest cold sweat nightmares of single parenthood. I cannot be left holding the bag while my ex enjoys the freedom to travel, unrestricted career advancement (as he has no constraints on his time), & the freedom to date/screw/marry+divorce as many crazy b**s as he wants untill he "gets it right". All the while I have to navigate childcare/schooling, enjoy career ruts due to time constraints and mommy guilt, watch my neighbors and any man I date view me as 'damaged' as I have to practically run any potential suitor thru CIA level background checks because I have to be 'discerning'…

    AND have to watch you complain, because your only concern is money, and how "unfair" it is…..

    So I'm a bitter child of a single parent. Sue me.

    1. LOL!

      I kinda feel you on this. However, we share physical and legal custody. We alternate weeks with the children so we have the same amount of free time. Some women were like, "I couldn't do that…my kids need to be with me". My response, "Our children need to be with their parents". Not to mention that I have no interest in being some super tired, stressed out, complaining single parent, LOL. So, I kinda feel you on that. At least share physical custody (summer/school year, alternate weeks, etc.)…

        1. I ain't gonna lie…I felt like a dead-beat Mom the first week they spent with their father. By the time they came back, got to day 3 and royally worked my nerves, I was counting down to the day I was shipping them back off, LMBO!

          I get them on Monday evenings. By Wednesday, I've over it, LOL… "Whose loud kids are these?! Take them back!!!"

    2. I cannot be left holding the bag while my ex enjoys the freedom to travel, unrestricted career advancement (as he has no constraints on his time), & the freedom to date/screw/marry+divorce as many crazy b**s as he wants untill he "gets it right". All the while I have to navigate childcare/schooling, enjoy career ruts due to time constraints and mommy guilt, watch my neighbors and any man I date view me as 'damaged' as I have to practically run any potential suitor thru CIA level background checks because I have to be 'discerning'…

      LOL, this is why Child Support and Alimony is given…^^^^^^

      You would really give up custody of your kids though?

      1. Yep.
        It's mostly a game of chicken of sorts. I would not be with a man who is not wiling to "give up his freedom" for his children and take them full-time, or is capable of just "walking away", and stipulating this in writing is really my best chance of finding it out. I have seen men do complete 180's after children are born-even when they were "doting parents" while the mother was pregnant. I do not want children enough to do it alone, PERIOD.
        And child support & alimony is BULLSHIT. My little sister applied for financial aid and was denied because her father, who was a non-mf**n factor, made too much money. The state took him to court for back support as a stipulation to receiving financial aide from the state. By the time his lawyers were finished with us, my mother had to pay HIM child support…AND SHE LIVES IN OUR HOUSE. Miss me with your "unfair". Divorce laws are only as unfair as the people who take advantage of them, just like Disability & SS.

        1. Amaris I see the point to your stipulation…I would be more like Cyn though and just want the dad to share custody and get the kids part time, and get a break sometimes.
          Amaris keep in mind that the father may ask you to turn over your parental rights to the child. This would mean you would have no rights and/or say so about any decisions made concerning your child. If your child were on life support and their dad wanted the plug pulled he could do so and there would be nothing you could do about it. If he was a Jehovas Witness and refused medical treatment for your child when they were sick you wouldn't be able to do anything about that either.
          So my question is: If your stipulation of the father retaining physical custody is contigent upon you giving up your parental rights to him, and if he remarries his new wife, and paying him/them child support, would you still keep this stipulation? Just curious

    3. I remember I said this too my mother and she told me if you cant see your self handling your children by yourself then don't have them lol But I agree men get off too easy with this children stuff. If I have a boy and God forbid me and my husband get divorced , he is going to live with his daddy just like boys in the hood lol

      ( I'll give child support no prob, I wont give alimony because I wouldn't ask for it from him if the tables were turned.)

  19. I'm sorry but it's easier to say and think what you wouldn't do in a situation like divorce VERSUS what a person would actually do once It's happening because depending on the duration of marriage, the lifestyle ya'll lived during the marriage and children, etc. — NEEDS WILL CHANGE and I don't feel they should now have to go unprovided for just because the marriage is over.

  20. It seems most people commenting agree that there should be no lifetime alimony. I also agree here.

    " If you became “accustomed to a certain lifestyle,” then you can get unaccustomed just like you were un-accustomed before you got accustomed"

    I know I'm not the only one who saw that Chris Rock stand up when he gave his opinion on being "accustomed to" certain things for the judge to take into consideration, lol. That's all I have to say about that.

  21. As usual, good post WIM.

    I have never been divorced, and no my parents were never married. I do study these kinds of issues though and I find it quite fascinating that MA would alter the laws regarding divorce. #noshotsfired, however, it does go without saying that society that is generally patriarchal would institute laws that would be counterintuitive to its own thinking. These laws are not fair, but they are supposed to be just and at least somewhat equitable. The fact that MA took the school of thought that just and equitable is actually fair is commendable.

  22. Man i’m never leaving Boston now lol…but i agree like EBT, unemployment, social security, while the intentions are good the abuse is way too great to ignore. For every woman who has devoted her life to being a wife and mother and now has to start over theres chicks shacking up with another spending her exes money on him.

  23. Everyone keeps bringing up "breaking your vows," as if it's this Earth shattering thing. Honestly folks, when you all get married, you're gonna break your vows pretty often. You need to accept that. Some of you ladies will curse your husbands out, choose not to take any of his opinions seriously, and be a generally curmudgeonly individual around the house. And some of you men will hide money from your wives, lie about big things, lie about little things, you'll lie by inclusion and lie by omission.

    I'm not saying this stuff is what happens on the daily or that you'll be guilty of every single one of these every single day, nor am I try to paint a bleak picture of marriage. All I'm trying to do is remind you all that you're all human and you will fall short of the glory of perfect spousehood. The vows you take on your wedding day are not meant to be a contract that dissolves the marriage once someone breaches it, they are a set of ideals you and your spouse work toward every day. If your marriage is healthy, most days you'll come really close … and some days you'll fall way short.

    How that relates to divorce laws, is that, in my mind, a marriage failing is never one person's fault unless something egregiously terrible occurs. Physical abuse, professionally diagnosed and sustained mental abuse … that sort of stuff. If that level of stuff ain't occurring and you just find yourselves not getting along anymore and wanna end it, chances are, it's both of your fault and the divorce laws should reflect that.

    Divorce laws nowadays work from the standpoint of marriage (at its inception) being a sound choice. The numbers don't bare that out though. At this point, marriage is a gamble and when two people take a gamble on each other, I don't think either deserves to be compensated when that gamble fails. I think. I really don't know how I feel about divorce laws though because honestly, it's not something I think about. I'm stubborn. You'd have to try to kill me, or bring another man's child home to get me to divorce you. Otherwise, I'll just sit here quiet for the next 50 years.

    1. That's a lot of lying. I can't cosign that that amount of lying is involved in a healthy relationship. I also don't think you should be breaking your vows "pretty often". Why? What's going on that the "love, honor and obey" stuff is going out the window every couple of days? I'd guess you've linked yourself with someone not quite on your page if it's happening all the time. That's not a reflection on YOUR marriage, Most, but no, I don't see my parents breaking their vows to each other "pretty often" and I strive for something more than that. I also don't think vows are just ideals. Otherwise, they wouldn't be VOWS.

      Hiding money? Hmmm. My parents have separate accounts and then a joint account. That's the way I plan to do it. Finances are a tricky subject but beyond the "for richer or poorer", I don't think the vows specifically address HIDING it. The Bible might go more in-depth into it, but not the vows.

      That's just my take. I have pretty strong feelings about marriage.

  24. I can understand WIM "un-accustom yourself" argument only if the person acquired such a lifestyle because of marriage. However, if the person contributed to the couple obtaining a certain status level than such reasoning should not apply. There has to be some consideration shown to both parties involved not just the one who has the greatest accessiblity to resources. Life doesn't reverses itself when "agreements" don't work out. Pivotal decisions are made that shape and molds a person's future whether he or she remains in a marriage.

  25. An ex…lover (What DO you call someone that was more than a jump-off, but didn't stick around to be a girlfriend?) is currently divorced from her rich husband and is currently shacking up with a dude. She actually told me "I'm holding off on marrying this guy, so that I can bleed my ex-husband a bit more."

    He cheated on her, and I can't abide that, but her motives made me look at her in a new light. Maybe it's the way she phrased it.

  26. The only reason I find it difficult to find fault with divorce laws as they stand now is because:
    – the woman's chances of remarrying after being married for so long are significantly lower than a man
    – a woman's body, if she has had children, is significantly altered and also may deter her from being able to find a suitable partner
    – and all the reasons mentioned above, such as being out of the workforce (if you were a stay at home mom) and if you (as the woman) weren't the one who wanted a divorce or divorced because of infidelity, abuse etc.

    The law seeks to discourage divorce by making it difficult and cumbersome. It is rightfully more taxing for the man because, if such laws weren't in place, there would be very little incentive for him to stay if things went sour in the marriage, and few consequences for leaving. The law wants people to honor their commitments, and the only way to make it less desirable to just walk away from marriage is to make it difficult for both parties, financially. That's juts the bottom line, like it or not.
    My recent post A Hostile Takeover

    1. You don't have to divorce to walk out on a marriage. I find it honorable to legitmately leave a circumstance rather than to stay out of selfish convenience. It shows respect for yourself and that person as well as the confidence to move onward with life.

      1. You're right, you don't have to divorce to walk out on a marriage, but that's what the discussion is about – divorce. People divorcing, not simply separating.

        The law does not seek to make anyone "stay out of selfish convenience," but to encourage couples to work through their problems rather than just throwing their hands up at the first sign of distress or because they saw someone they want to sleep with. From what I hear, marriage takes work. It's not all fun and games. Knowing that, and still committing to that – being there for someone in sickness and in health, til death do you part – makes you accountable. Til death is part of the traditional vows…if you don't mean it, don't say it. Divorcing before your spouse dies is breach of contract, and rightfully has consequences.
        My recent post A Hostile Takeover

        1. What the law doesn't not seek unfortunately and untentionally makes happen. Many people are married but living very separate lives because of the financial consequences they don't want to face. The law isn't structured to keep people together, its the love, respect and mutal compassion for one another that does. People can turn down what they are entitled to by law as well as people requests can be refused. People's ill feelings and desire for vengence make divorce messy not the law. An amicable resolution can even be made before a court proceeding takes place if both parties are willing. If a person's sole reason to seek reconcilation of a marriage is to protect oneself financially, he or she is preparing one's self for ruin. Yes, one may stay married in the legal sense but emotionally, mentally, spiritual they are very much divorced and bankrupt.

        2. What you speak of often is called the law of unintended consequences. The law is not perfect, but I think keeping the law as is will do more good than harm in the grand scheme of things. Maybe the lifetime alimony is a bit unfair, but I'm not even certain that that's the case. I know women who pay alimony as well, and it is usually calculated based upon the income of both parties, not gender.

          I am actually a product of two parents who argued constantly almost every day I can remember. They did not try to work through their problems, as neither of them sought counseling for their problems or tried to improve the relationship by improving themselves. I'm glad they divorced, and should have divorced long before, but honestly, it didn't affect either of them much financially (they were married for 28 years when they separated). There were MANY reasons for their divorce, possibly including infidelity. May dad remarried, my mom didn't because she didn't want a divorce even though she also did not feel it emotionally healthy for her to stay in the home. Oddly, my parents did love each other, but they had issues that went unresolved for too long. The only time people suffer in divorce is when women or men get vindictive, but the law as it stands actually appears to be fair for the most part, and it doesn't make people stay in relationships that they don't want to be in. There will always be people who abuse the law, but that doesn't mean we should change the law to accommodate for this.
          My recent post A Hostile Takeover

  27. I like the fact that, considering these laws, has required both parties to take marriage more seriously, and not enter into it lightly because of the emotional and financial consequences involved with divorce.

    The men who don't want to get married because of the stringent divorce laws not in their favor, are the main ones who shouldn't get married because they're already putting so much weight on the consequences of breaching the contract before they have even entered into it.
    My recent post A Hostile Takeover

    1. That's not true at all. It's called risk analysis and mitigation. In any endeavour, you concern yourself with the risks and do what is necessary to protect yourself. It's not looking forward to failure, but being wise enough to handle yourself if the situation arises.

      I agree that this may make more parties view marriage for what it is on the law. A contractual agreement between two able and willing parties.

      1. I look at it like this…
        At times, I go into a store, and overhear someone ask about the store's "return policy" WHILE purchasing an item that appears to be in good condition or else they wouldn't be buying it. True, it could be a gift. But, often it is not. And, I can't help but think that the person who inquires about a store's return policy while purchasing an item, expects or anticipates something may go wrong, or they want to wear it, reap the benefits and get their money back after the fact, and will likely be bringing that item back.

        I don't want my potential life partner second guessing his decision to marry, and specifically to marry me. If he is so consumed with weighing the consequences of divorce, he obviously is not certain that he will be able keep his promise, or honor this lifetime commitment, and therefore he should refrain from doing so until he is certain he will be able to honor his side of the agreement.

        Wouldn't you be a little leery if a friend of yours asked to borrow money from you, and you agreed, only for them to ask, "what if I can't pay you back?" Part of me will conclude it's highly likely I'm not getting my money back. This is how I think of people who constantly cry about the consequences of divorce.
        My recent post A Hostile Takeover

        1. I think you are wrong. I know many men view the laws as unfair to Men and that they are worried that half or more of their income could be taken away from them if the wife decides someday that she would rather be with someone else. This is a major risk considering the incentives the wife would have for divorce and the rate of divorces in this country. Most states have no fault divorce meaning the woman could divorce the man for any reason. So if the woman feels tired of the man someday he could be destroyed financially.

  28. I agree with all that you said in this post. As a woman I do think divorce laws favor women. I don't think a man should have have to pay a woman for life. Even in the case of a stay at home mom, I think the man should be required to pay for a preset number of years to allow her the chance to aquire the skills needed to get a job/career that would allow her to be self sufficent. However, this is my personal views, if I divorce my mindset will be take what you came with and i will do the same. Any community assets need to be sold and divided equally.
    My recent post I’m Baaaack!!

  29. If anyone, man or woman, should choose to go back on the contractual agreement made before a judge, God, and the person they chose to marry….. if that person is not experiencing abuse in any form, nor infidelity, there is no addiction, no clandestine behavior on the behalf of their now UNFIT SPOUSE… Then I submit to this forum that person should walk away empty handed and without ANY benefit of having ever known the other spouse…

    I liked the "CONTRACT" phrasing the author used in this post. When there is a breach of it…. there should be more evaluation of the circumstances surrounding the reasons for that breach. Its one thing if a woman is put in a position where she cant reasonably be expected to be married to her husband any more ( given the circumstances I outlined in the previous paragraph ). I believe that it is a totally different situation when someone cant deal with the ups and downs of marriage…. or has become uninterested for whatever reason or the other. I see that type of a divorce as one where the person filing has decided that they have no interest in ANY OF THE BENEFITS OF BEING MARRIED to that person … so why should ANY OF IT be allowed to continue past the drying of the ink on a signed decree ???

    as far as child support goes…… these courts will take a child out of the household of a father who has exhibited EVERY SUPERIOR CAPABILITY to provide financially, spiritually, emotionally and in every way important to brining up a child. They will then put that child in the hands of a woman who may or may not even be fit to raise that child.. they ALL BUT DESTROY a fathers ability to actually have an impact on the important issues surrounding that childs day to day life! All of these things together effectively reduce a father to nothing more than than a glorified FRIEND who happens to be a couple decades older than the child his or herself!

    All that damage …. and then the father is made to subsidize the upbringing of that child. I say that because once a father hits a certain level of income, the numbers get outrageous. If he is made to pay the average state standard rate for most states ( 20% )….. his combined liability for one child could be upwards of 1700 a month when taking into account support and health insurance. For one child the 1100 in child support would cover day care and food. The other parent would not be responsible for ANY MEDICAL whatsoever…. so what really then is that parent paying for…. the extra couple hundred dollars it takes to pay for electricity water and another room in the household ? I believe the split is much heavier on the obligations to the father than they are to the mother … what makes that bad is that the father in these scenarios is not really any father at all. As a divorced father of a 5 year old child … hearing judges and attorneys refer to what supposed RIGHTS I have as a FATHER only makes me upset and leaves me feeling demeaned.

    This comment was rushed and typed with much anger and hatred! please forgive

  30. Great post, i for one never really understood the logic behind lifetime alimony (Outside of special cases, of course.) Here in Indiana, alimony (which is referred to as rehabilitative maintenance) can only be ordered for a period of up to three years. As far as the courts are concerned, three years is more than enough time to find SOME kind of way to support yourself after a divorce. There are also limits to the amount of alimony payed, the combined spousal and child support payments should never exceed 50% of the payee's weekly income. After all alimony is inteded as a means of financial asssitance, not a replacement for a steady income.

    Personally, I also hate the “accustomed to a certain lifestyle” argument. Once you are no longer married the only lifestyle you are entitled to is that of a single person. It may be hard, but it is now your responsibility to do what it takes to make it easier.

  31. Great post, i for one never really understood the logic behind lifetime alimony (Outside of special cases, of course.) Here in Indiana, alimony (which is referred to as rehabilitative maintenance) can only be ordered for a period of up to three years. As far as the courts are concerned, three years is more than enough time to find SOME kind of way to support yourself after a divorce. There are also limits to the amount of alimony payed, the combined spousal and child support payments should never exceed 50% of the payee's weekly income. After all alimony is intended as a means of temporary assitance, not a replacement for a steady income.

    Personally, I also hate the “accustomed to a certain lifestyle” argument. Once you are no longer married the only lifestyle you are entitled to is that of a single person. It may be hard, but it is now your responsibility to do what it takes to make it easier.

  32. As WIM said though many of these laws are very out-dated. They served the purpose in the time period they were created. Now, times have changed, people have changed, and a lot has changed. Unless a woman is disabled and cannot work or she has no real previous job experience and no degree and is having a very difficult time finding work and has no family support to fall back on at the time of the divorce, it's not necessary for her to receive any alimony.
    At the time alimony was created the purpose was to help women with children

    1. Alimony has been discussed in ancient legal texts including the Babylonian Code of Hammurabi (#137-#142)[1] and the Code of Justinian.[citation needed] The concept of modern alimony in the United States derives from English ecclesiastical courts which awarded alimony in cases of separation and divorce. Alimony Pendente lite was given until the divorce decree, based on the husband's duty to support the wife during a marriage that still continued. Post-divorce or permanent alimony was also based on the notion that the marriage continued, as ecclesiastical courts could only award a divorce a mensa et thora, similar to a legal separation today. As divorce did not end the marriage, the husband's duty to support his wife remained intact.[2]

      1. The term alimony comes from the Latin word alimōnia ("nourishment, sustenance", from alere, "to nourish"), from which also alimentary (of, or relating to food, nutrition or digestion) and the Scots law concept of aliment, and was a rule of sustenance to assure the wife's lodging, food, clothing, and other necessities after divorce.[3]

        1. Liberalization of divorce occurred in the nineteenth century, but divorce was only possible in cases of marital misconduct. As a result, the requirement to pay alimony became linked to the concept of fault in the divorce.[4] Alimony to wives was paid because it was assumed that the marriage, and the wife's right to support, would have continued but for the misbehavior of husband. Ending alimony on divorce would have permitted a guilty husband to profit from his own misconduct. In contrast, if the wife committed the misconduct, she was considered to have forfeited any claim to ongoing support. However, during the period parties could rarely afford alimony and so it was rarely awarded by courts.[2] As males' incomes increased, and with it the possibility of paying alimony, the awarding of alimony increased, generally because a wife could show a need for ongoing financial support and the husband had the ability to pay.[2][5] No-fault divorce led to changes in alimony. Whereas spousal support was considered a right
          Taken from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

        2. This goes back to the original point that once the marriage ends it should be the responsibility of both parties to function independently and effectively of one another and not have to depend on one another financially.
          With the amount of time that it takes for a divorce to be finalized in most states which I understand is a year that is ample time to begin working towards independence financially and otherwise. jmo.
          I will say that in extenuating circumstances there should be a time limit and restrictions to alimony.

        3. Also if men want to protect themselves from potentially being taken advantage of financially in the event of a divorce and want to protect their assets and wealth they need to start insisting on prenups. You don't have to be a celebrity or a millionaire to ask for a prenup.
          This is one of those things where if more men put it out there that they wanted a prenup they would be able to clearly see the women who were really about them, and not just their money and material possessions.

  33. This is A losing battle to argue, and I'm still in them traning streets, so I'ma chill.

    I agree 1000% with this post, however!

  34. I have a girlfriend who pays her ex-hubby alimony. He put her through undergraduate and medical school. She is ok with it as far as I know. They are still very good friends but she claims they grew apart. She acknowledges his invaluable/financial support led to her realizing her dreams of becoming a dentist, so doesn't returning that support to him. That's kind of rare, but she's loyal like that.

  35. lol! This…

    "If you became “accustomed to a certain lifestyle,” then you can get unaccustomed just like you were un-accustomed before you got accustomed."

    … is going to be WIMs, "Bitch you wasn't wit me shooting in the gym!"

    Haha!

    oh and i agree with all of this. Carry on

  36. I agree with you 100%. My parents got divorced about a year and a half ago. I was 15 going on 16 so I was old enough to understand what was going on. My mother was a stay-at-home mom. In my opinion, she got way more than she actually deserved. My dad is paying her alimony for life, which I agree is unfair. Like you said in #3, her choice not to better herself is not my father's responsibility. I completely support what Massachusetts is doing and hope other states will start to adopt the same policy. Women only oppose this policy because it means less benefits for them. But in reality, women in modern society do not need these benefits. Women are perfectly capable of financially supporting themselves and divorce laws should evolve to recognize this.

  37. My husband makes over 200 thousand, I work part time after being a stay at home mom and moving around the country with him. We agreed I would stay home with kids, in the beginning I quit my job to move with him every few years. I am now 52, in good shape, but do not have the means to live a comfrortable life without alimony. I gave up my career to support him and at this age feel I am to old to start over. I will lose healthcare and my home, I am sorry he was not happy, I don't think he can be. I did my best. I raised his 3 children while he traveled for business, now what? There should always be exceptions to these laws, or the people will have more people on welfare, Would you rather pay for it in taxes or have the responsbile spouse pay his fair share?

  38. Marriage is a contract. As part of this contract vows and promises are made to each other. With most contracts when a person is found in breach of their contract then they are liable for the breach of contract. In our society asking for divorce is not considered a breach of contract and this is where the unfairness begins. Through marriage we become a partnership working together for the betterment of each other and for the children that came as a result of the marriage. Here is my story: I was happily married for 16 years. It was the "perfect marriage". During these 16 years together we brought 5 beautiful girls into this world. On Decemeber 25, 2011 my wife suddenly asked for a divorce. At the time I didn't know why…over time I discovered that she was having an affair with my daughter's soccer coach who was also married with three kids himself. In February, 2012 she become pregnant with his child. Our divorce was finalized in May of 2012. I would have done anything to save our marriage and preserve our family but she was already in love with another man and there was nothing that I could do. Here is our things were divided up. All let the readers judge whether this was fair or not:
    – Joint Custody of the 5 girls (This means they spend 50% of their time with the man that came into my home and slept with my wife)
    – Because my income was greater than hers I pay $575 a month in child support even though the girls are with me half the time
    – I kept our home…She received $40,000 in cash for her portion of the equity in the home. I had to refinance and increase my debt to get her the $40,000 cash.
    – She got the minivan ($8,000 value)
    – I assumed all Short term debts ($15,000 for medical bills and her new furniture for her apartment)
    – I pay all fees for the children (Including over $4,000 a year for club soccer)
    – I buy all the children's clothing
    – We split the Federal tax credit for the children. One year I get to claim 3 of them and the next year I claim 2 of them. I've never owed taxes until 2012. I owed over $4,000 which I am now making monthly payments for.
    Why should my children be forced to spend 50% of their time with the man that caused the breach of marriage contract? Financially the divorce has turned my life upside down. About 6 months ago I sat down to figure out what the divorce cost me financially and after calculating for interests the number came out to ~$150,000. Why is my life turned upside down because of the choices that she made. The personal pain of having someone you loved completely deceive you is extremely difficult to deal with without the increased financial burden.
    For me, because she was responsible for a full breach of contract I feel that I should have been awarded full custody of my girls without any financial obligation to pay her anything. Why should my life be turned upside down due to her carnal desires? If she wants to "move on" then that is her right but she breached the contract and can leave everything behind. We were a family if she wants out of the family then "move out" and leave us alone. As for "what's in the best interest of the children", a spouses ability to support them should be considered and not "income equalization". Just a few thoughts and I could go on and on.

  39. Love is free… Don’t you all agree with me? But why our love and marriagement need to count and judge by law,money,society and etc… Love was so perfect back then but people turn it into something ugly…

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