Saturday, July 13, 2019

Is Lifetime Alimony Slavery?

Perhaps there is no greater emotionally charged claim regarding lifetime alimony than to equate it to slavery. In Florida a claim that lifetime alimony is akin to slavery was lambasted.

Claim: Forcing people to work for the rest of their life for someone else is pretty much the definition of slavery.

Counter claim: It is only a financial burden. And the recipient has earned it because she (98% of the time it is a she) took care of the kids and ran the household. Think of it more like a pension.

My take:  Although some women may have been the primary parent during the marriage it certainly isn't true of all and in my case was absolutely not the case. (The custody evaluator ruled parenting was joint) As for running the home, for every family where the women is the primary cleaner of the bathroom, there is one or more where the man is the primary cutter of the grass and remover of snow. Again, in my case, I did the vast majority of housework whether that be traditionally female or male work. Another issue is that often the person receiving alimony could have worked but simply chose not to work or chose to be underemployed because it was easier. There was never an agreement whatsoever in my marriage that Spring not work. She just avoided it because she could get away with it. She used me. The biggest issue in my my opinion is that lifetime alimony is equivalent to quitting a job and still receiving the salary until you die. That is bizarre.

It is ironic that in the 1960's NOW (the National Organization of Women) sought  to end alimony because it assumed that women were incapable of taking care of themselves.
(Betty) Friedan, by contrast, sought at-will, “no fault” divorce, where either party would be able to leave a marriage at any time. She also advocated for a one-time equal division of property in divorce because “as feminists . . . we didn’t believe women should ask for alimony” since alimony implies that women might put themselves in a dependent position in marriage.
Without alimony’s crutch, it was hoped, more women would pursue careers in case their marriages fell apart.
Unsettling the safety of marriage is an economic backbone of efforts to cultivate an ethos of independence among women: Education and careers would provide the safety that marriage no longer would.
Sadly NOW's position on alimony today reflects the the view that women need to be taken care of by men. So much for the ideology of their founders.

Legally the matter of whether lifetime alimony is slavery is not all that clear. The 13 Amendment states:
Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.
The United Nations bans involuntary servitude other that for those drafted into the military and after being convicted of a crime. It even states:
Each Member shall ensure that all victims of forced or compulsory labour, irrespective of their presence or legal status in the national territory, have access to appropriate and effective remedies, such as compensation.
So legally I am actually due compensation. I won't hold my breath.

My biggest concern isn't even alimony per se, it is that the most common way to obtain it is to commit the crimes of  perjury and fraud. Often, like in the case of Spring and her lawyer Nelly Wince, obvious crimes. Family court has become so corrupt that it is often just an arena to criminally obtain as much money as possible. Justice be damned. 

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