Essay on Alimony & Spousal Support

2120 Words Jan 21st, 2007 9 Pages
Spousal support, or alimony, is based on an outdated social tradition that it is a man's responsibility to support women because they are weaker, incapable of being equal to men, and better equipped to raise children. However, this is not the case in today's society and our alimony laws need to be changed to reflect modern times.
Spousal support traces its roots back to a time when divorce was considered rare and indissoluble. As a result, a husband and wife remained married even after they had been physically separated. Since the marriage was permanently binding, a husband still maintained a financial obligation to his wife, even if they didn't live together. This is the reason why spousal support is almost always associated with a
…show more content…
This discretion is considered to be vast because the Legislature has not codified any particular part of the spousal support award process.
California Family Law Code §4320 is considered to be "gender-neutral" and it stipulates that alimony can be paid to either husband or wife and can either be permanent or short-term. The statue directs the courts to consider "all relevant economic factors ", including "the time necessary for either party to acquire sufficient education or training to enable such party to find appropriate employment " as well as "any other factor necessary to do equity and justice between the parties. "
According to the United States Census Bureau, nearly 90 percent of alimony awards go to the ex-wife in a divorce case . This statistic suggests that California Family Law Code §4320 is far from gender-neutral and inflicts a disparate impact on men. Other constitutional violations discussed in greater detail later in the paper include: the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, the Right to Privacy, and peonage or involuntary servitude.
Historically, the law was designed to provide women with compensation for skills and contributions made during a marriage that may or may not have a monetary value. Women who were destined to a life of

Related Documents