Sunday, January 21, 2018

Elle - Is Alimony the Last Feminist Taboo?

In an incredible article Elle Magazine asks, Is Alimony the Last Feminist Taboo? It is the story of good people going through a difficult divorce and their struggle and ultimate success in make the best of the situation. It makes me so sad that Spring's divorce of me ended up so horrible for all parties, especially the kids.

The most difficult obstacle the couple in the article had to deal with was alimony. As the wife made far more money than the husband, he could have asked for alimony from her. But in the end he came to his senses and decided not to pursue it.
“He has a lot of pride, and he’s not a jerk,” Andrea said. “To his credit, he saw how off the rails it was getting.”
It is painful that Spring, rather than acting decently took the exact opposite approach. She not only demanded alimony but she committed perjury and fraud in order to get as much as she possibly could.  Worse our legal system, despite overwhelming evidence that she did not deserved any alimony (the custody evaluator having ruled she was not the primary parent and the vocational evaluator ruling she could make just as much money as me), ignored the unquestionable evidence or her crimes. 

The sad reality is that unless both people in a divorce  act with integrity, the family law system operates in a way that rewards the bad and hurts the good.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Update: Alimony Reform in Alabama and Vermont

Alimony reform has often been dishearteningly slow and measured across the country but progress is being made. Rehabilitative alimony has now become the default in Alabama and a Spousal Support and Maintenance Task Force has been created in Vermont.

The biggest problem with alimony is that the way it is awarded is often not just unfair but clearly unfair. More often than not it hurts the responsible parent and rewards the irresponsible one. And often it is working that way because crime, even blatant crime, is not just ignored but often rewarded in family court. It doesn't take litigants much time to understand how the system works. And you are kidding yourself if you do not think the children involved, indeed anyone with knowledge of how it works, are not impacted in a very negative way.

I will never cease to be amazed by how easily people sacrifice their dignity for money and power. It is never worth it.

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Salary History

In 2016 Massachusetts was the first state to pass a law barring employees from asking job applicants what their current salary was. The law was designed to reduce inequities in pay. The idea is to prevent underpayment at one job moving with a person to a new job.  The law was pushed for mostly by women and women's groups but if helps everyone. And it makes sense. After all what does your current salary have to do with what you are worth to a different company?

Several states have followed Massachusetts's lead and passed similar laws, most recently California.

Massachusetts was also the first state to pass alimony reform, a move several states have emulated as well. Hopefully Minnesota will one day as well.

I am not sure what it is about Massachusetts that makes them more concerned with justice and fairness than other states but it is good for all of us when they lead the way.