The Marriage Buyout: The Troubled Trajectory of U.S. Alimony by Cynthia Lee Starnes

By Cynthia Lee Starnes

From divorce court docket to pop culture, alimony
is a filthy observe. Unpopular and infrequently ordered, the awards are frequently
inconsistent and unpredictable. The establishment itself is frequently considered as an
historical relic that harkens again to a gendered earlier during which girls lacked the
economic independence to loose themselves from financial aid by way of their spouses.
In brief, critics of alimony declare it has no position in modern visions of
marriage as a partnership of equals. yet as Cynthia Lee Starnes argues in The
Marriage Buyout
, alimony is frequently the single sensible software for making sure that divorce doesn't treat
today’s basic caregivers as though they have been suckers. Her answer is to
radically reconceptualize alimony as a wedding buyout.

Starnes’s buyouts draw on a partnership version of marriage that reinforces
communal norms of marriage, supplying a gender-neutral replacement to alimony
that assumes equality in spousal contribution, accountability, and correct. Her
quantification formulae help new default ideas that make buyouts more
certain and predictable than their present alimony opposite numbers. taking a look beyond
alimony, Starnes outlines a brand new imaginative and prescient of marriages with young children, describing a
co-parenting partnership among dedicated undefined, and the conceptual basis
for source of revenue sharing among divorced mom and dad of juvenile kids. Ultimately,
under a partnership version, the focal point of alimony is on achieve instead of loss and
equality instead of energy: a wife with disparately low gains isn’t a
sucker or a sufferer depending on a set alimony fee, yet quite an equal
stakeholder in marriage who's entitled at divorce to proportion any earnings the
marriage produced.

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