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Should alimony be abolished?

For discussion and debate about anything. (Not a roleplay related forum; out-of-character commentary only.)

Should alimony be abolished?

Yes
28
44%
No
6
10%
No, but reform it
18
29%
Force spouses to duel and the winner receives alimony
11
17%
 
Total votes : 63

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Yusseria
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Should alimony be abolished?

Postby Yusseria » Thu Apr 18, 2019 5:17 pm

Some reading to get the discussion going.
public school teaching career to stay home with their two children while his then-wife earned more than $100,000. After his wife filed for divorce, Craig cobbled together adjunct professor jobs and freelance writing gigs, but sustained for four years on dinners of potato chips and canned soup and “an allowance from my parents.” Asking for alimony was not an option.

“I’d love to have that money, but I’d never hit a girl and I’d never beg from a girl — and I see palimony as begging ,” says Craig, who at age 53 attributes his attitude, in part, to his generation. But not entirely. “If the roles were reversed and I were ordered to pay her alimony, I would just as soon jump off a cliff or dump $50,000 into legal proceedings to fight it,” says Craig who today works in marketing at a technology firm.

This is a typical attitude held by men of all generations, say Ressa and Lee Rosen, a Raleigh, N.C. based divorce lawyer and author of Divorcing Smartly: The End of a Marriage Isn’t the End of the World.  Both lawyers report that very few men walk into their offices with the intent of asking for alimony, even when their situations are clearly eligible for spousal support. Meanwhile, female breadwinners never pay alimony without a contentious battle. “Every guy in that situation has to go through a fight, while (breadwinning) guys go into the divorce accepting they have to pay,” says Rosen. Then, facing humiliation, stress and expense of that fight, they are further disincentivized from pursuing spousal support. “Men are essentially shamed into not receiving alimony,” Ressa says.

Adds Rosen: “Her attitude is always, ‘Dude, get a job.’”

Depending on in which part of the country you live, the judge may say the same thing.

In the San Francisco Bay area Ressa says that alimony is based on a fixed schedule determined by income and length of marriage, and that he does not see sexism on the bench. However, he recently represented a female vice president of a giant Bay area technology company divorcing an unemployed tire store worker who was seeking alimony. Despite the dramatic discrepancy in income, she fought and no support was awarded. Rosen, however, sees “a whole lot of bias against men in our judicial system” in North Carolina. In a recent case, the wife was an executive at a major national bank, while her husband stayed home with the kids, trying build a business “selling keychains online, but essentially not earning anything,” Rosen says. The man was awarded 6 months of alimony. “If they had swapped gender roles, she would have been given years of alimony, no questions asked,” Rosen says.

Men’s reasons for for foregoing alimony are not all attributed to sexism, however. Keith Craig says one of his motivations for financial independence was just that — a pursuit of a new life after his marriage. And like women I profiled in ‘I Turned Down Alimony — 3 Women’s Stories, he hoped taking alimony out of the divorce would make it a smoother process and facilitate co-parenting — which he says it has. Ressa says that the differing approaches to spousal support speak to another fundamental difference in the sexes. Men, he says, tend to be confident in their ability to be self-sufficient, regardless of how dire their immediate post-divorce situation may be. “In general, women tend to be much more cautious about finances, and are insistent on availing themselves of every asset they’re entitled to,” Ressa says. “Men are more the eternal optimists. They see a bright future, no matter how bleak their finances are now.”

Alimony, as an institution, is biased against men. The reasons for this vary. In some cases men are simply too prideful to ask for alimony due to their traditional gender roles as breadwinners and protectors having been ingrained in them from such an early age. In other cases, it's simply another example of US divorce courts being inherently biased against men. Alimony is an archaic concept from an era when women made up only a small fraction of the breadwinners in American. Now, however, women make up 40% of the breadwinners and as such alimony is no longer as necessary as it once was.

The question is this: should alimony be abolished now since it has become highly biased against men? I personally believe it should either be abolished or conpletely reformed.

What say you?
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NERVUN
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Postby NERVUN » Thu Apr 18, 2019 6:01 pm

Depending on the numbers, yes.

Though, rather, I would see it made strictly egalitarian with an ex who does not have the means to support themselves being automatically rewarded it, regardless of gender, for a set period of time.
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Aclion
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Postby Aclion » Thu Apr 18, 2019 6:07 pm

Alimony is a holdover from when men were expected to be the bread winners and women the homemakers, and it made sense in that context. There would be an argument if it was being applied in a nonsexist way to ensure partners without a source of income aren't fucked by the divorce, but it's not and I have no faith you will ever get the courts to apply it fairly.
Last edited by Aclion on Thu Apr 18, 2019 6:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Trinadaed
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Postby Trinadaed » Thu Apr 18, 2019 6:09 pm

Abolished. This would be DETRIMENTAL to people with low salaries.
Last edited by Trinadaed on Thu Apr 18, 2019 6:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Yusseria
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Postby Yusseria » Thu Apr 18, 2019 6:18 pm

NERVUN wrote:Depending on the numbers, yes.

Though, rather, I would see it made strictly egalitarian with an ex who does not have the means to support themselves being automatically rewarded it, regardless of gender, for a set period of time.

I think if it was kept around it should only be applied if one ex can't support themselves financially.
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Yusseria
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Postby Yusseria » Thu Apr 18, 2019 6:18 pm

Trinadaed wrote:Abolished. This would be DETRIMENTAL to people with low salaries.

What?
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Slotted Floppies
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Postby Slotted Floppies » Thu Apr 18, 2019 6:22 pm

Abolished effective retroactively to a decade or two ago. With all instances after that date repaid.
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NERVUN
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Postby NERVUN » Thu Apr 18, 2019 6:23 pm

Yusseria wrote:
NERVUN wrote:Depending on the numbers, yes.

Though, rather, I would see it made strictly egalitarian with an ex who does not have the means to support themselves being automatically rewarded it, regardless of gender, for a set period of time.

I think if it was kept around it should only be applied if one ex can't support themselves financially.

Well, yes. Supposedly that's what it's for. I would abolish the notion of maintenance of the current lifestyle. It should be for support for a period of time to allow the ex who could not support themselves as is to get their financial affairs in order.

Now, obviously, some exceptions need to be made for an ex who is incapable of supporting themselves (Due to health issues), but that is probably a bit beyond what you're talking about.
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Galloism
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Postby Galloism » Thu Apr 18, 2019 6:24 pm

NERVUN wrote:
Yusseria wrote:I think if it was kept around it should only be applied if one ex can't support themselves financially.

Well, yes. Supposedly that's what it's for. I would abolish the notion of maintenance of the current lifestyle. It should be for support for a period of time to allow the ex who could not support themselves as is to get their financial affairs in order.

Now, obviously, some exceptions need to be made for an ex who is incapable of supporting themselves (Due to health issues), but that is probably a bit beyond what you're talking about.

Presumably that person should be supported by the state’s disability system, no?
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Yusseria
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Postby Yusseria » Thu Apr 18, 2019 6:28 pm

Slotted Floppies wrote:Abolished effective retroactively to a decade or two ago. With all instances after that date repaid.

When did this happen?
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Yusseria
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Postby Yusseria » Thu Apr 18, 2019 6:29 pm

NERVUN wrote:
Yusseria wrote:I think if it was kept around it should only be applied if one ex can't support themselves financially.

Well, yes. Supposedly that's what it's for. I would abolish the notion of maintenance of the current lifestyle. It should be for support for a period of time to allow the ex who could not support themselves as is to get their financial affairs in order.

Now, obviously, some exceptions need to be made for an ex who is incapable of supporting themselves (Due to health issues), but that is probably a bit beyond what you're talking about.

The problem these days is that in many cases the "ex" (usually female) can support themselves yet recieves alimony anyway.
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Fostoria
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Postby Fostoria » Thu Apr 18, 2019 6:30 pm

Yes.

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NERVUN
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Postby NERVUN » Thu Apr 18, 2019 6:33 pm

Galloism wrote:
NERVUN wrote:Well, yes. Supposedly that's what it's for. I would abolish the notion of maintenance of the current lifestyle. It should be for support for a period of time to allow the ex who could not support themselves as is to get their financial affairs in order.

Now, obviously, some exceptions need to be made for an ex who is incapable of supporting themselves (Due to health issues), but that is probably a bit beyond what you're talking about.

Presumably that person should be supported by the state’s disability system, no?

Should be, one would assume. Sadly should be doesn't seem to be the order of the day in many areas. Now should such support be there, of course.
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Postby Ifreann » Thu Apr 18, 2019 6:33 pm

People shouldn't fear to end a marriage because of the financial consequences they would face. So keep alimony until and unless some other system is in place to support people recently out of a marriage who cannot support themselves.
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NERVUN
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Postby NERVUN » Thu Apr 18, 2019 6:34 pm

Yusseria wrote:
NERVUN wrote:Well, yes. Supposedly that's what it's for. I would abolish the notion of maintenance of the current lifestyle. It should be for support for a period of time to allow the ex who could not support themselves as is to get their financial affairs in order.

Now, obviously, some exceptions need to be made for an ex who is incapable of supporting themselves (Due to health issues), but that is probably a bit beyond what you're talking about.

The problem these days is that in many cases the "ex" (usually female) can support themselves yet recieves alimony anyway.

... Yes. But you asked me what I think it should be. :p
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LiberNovusAmericae
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Postby LiberNovusAmericae » Thu Apr 18, 2019 6:34 pm

It shouldn't be abolished, but it definitely needs reform. It needs to be implemented in such a way where income, not gender matters.

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NERVUN
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Postby NERVUN » Thu Apr 18, 2019 6:38 pm

Ifreann wrote:People shouldn't fear to end a marriage because of the financial consequences they would face. So keep alimony until and unless some other system is in place to support people recently out of a marriage who cannot support themselves.

Hrmmm, shouldn't the reverse hold true too?

I.e. the bread-winning spouse shouldn't be stuck in a marriage due to fear of an alimony hit?
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Ifreann
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Postby Ifreann » Thu Apr 18, 2019 6:44 pm

NERVUN wrote:
Ifreann wrote:People shouldn't fear to end a marriage because of the financial consequences they would face. So keep alimony until and unless some other system is in place to support people recently out of a marriage who cannot support themselves.

Hrmmm, shouldn't the reverse hold true too?

I.e. the bread-winning spouse shouldn't be stuck in a marriage due to fear of an alimony hit?

Yes, it should. But absent some not-alimony system to make that happen, which is the bigger harm? Making someone pay alimony to support their ex-spouse, or putting someone out on the street with only the clothes on their back to spare their ex-spouse alimony payments?
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Yusseria
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Postby Yusseria » Thu Apr 18, 2019 6:50 pm

Ifreann wrote:
NERVUN wrote:Hrmmm, shouldn't the reverse hold true too?

I.e. the bread-winning spouse shouldn't be stuck in a marriage due to fear of an alimony hit?

Yes, it should. But absent some not-alimony system to make that happen, which is the bigger harm? Making someone pay alimony to support their ex-spouse, or putting someone out on the street with only the clothes on their back to spare their ex-spouse alimony payments?

Well, with the way it is now it seems like the former is the bigger harm. :)
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Yusseria
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Postby Yusseria » Thu Apr 18, 2019 6:51 pm

NERVUN wrote:
Yusseria wrote:The problem these days is that in many cases the "ex" (usually female) can support themselves yet recieves alimony anyway.

... Yes. But you asked me what I think it should be. :p

I know. Just spouting off, I guess.
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Badb Catha
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Postby Badb Catha » Thu Apr 18, 2019 8:08 pm

Yes, it should be. Divorce is the separation of connections between two former lovers; it is illogical to force one to reimburse the other. It dates to a time when a woman could not work or live on her own and so required to be financially dependent on a man to survive. This is not longer the case in civilized societies and as such the system of alimony is no longer needed.
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Liriena
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Postby Liriena » Thu Apr 18, 2019 11:07 pm

I think there's an argument to be made for abolishing alimony in favor of stuff like publicly-funded universal child allowances and promoting a strong labor movement so both parents can have well-paying jobs with all the benefits.
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Postby Liriena » Thu Apr 18, 2019 11:09 pm

LiberNovusAmericae wrote:It shouldn't be abolished, but it definitely needs reform. It needs to be implemented in such a way where income, not gender matters.

Alimony looks to me like one of those cases where an attempt to solve a problem rooted in historical systemic sexism (generally of the misogynistic sort) ultimately got half-assed and left in this somewhat functional but flawed limbo between kind of helping the people who needed help while also still resting on old, traditional gender roles and stuff.
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Political compass stuff:
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For: Grassroots democracy, workers' self-management, humanitarianism, pacifism, pluralism, environmentalism, interculturalism, indigenous rights, minority rights, LGBT+ rights, feminism, optimism
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United Muscovite Nations
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Postby United Muscovite Nations » Thu Apr 18, 2019 11:11 pm

I'm conflicted because on one hand I think Alimony is bad, but I also think divorce shouldn't really be a thing.
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Liriena
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Postby Liriena » Thu Apr 18, 2019 11:12 pm

United Muscovite Nations wrote:I'm conflicted because on one hand I think Alimony is bad, but I also think divorce shouldn't really be a thing.

What if we turned all of humanity into one 7-billion-strong polycule...?
Last edited by Liriena on Thu Apr 18, 2019 11:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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