Mormons, Alimony and SAHMs

June 25, 2013

Who gets custody of the money?

“Do you have financial or other obligations to a former spouse or children? If yes, are you current in meeting those obligations?”  This question is asked in the temple recommend interview.  While child support seems fairly legitimate, and setting that aside for the purpose of this post, I question the validity of awarding long-term alimony obligations.  Children are innocent dependents, while divorcing men and women are adults who (generally) freely entered into a union and are now dissolving it.  Does alimony treat women like children rather than responsible adults?  I recently read a fascinating article in Time about current issues with alimony.

History of Alimony

The history of alimony is inextricably linked to the history of divorce.  Originally, alimony was awarded because while a wife could be “put away,” the marriage (which was ordained of God) could not be dissolved.  Additionally, the wife’s property belonged to her husband, so alimony made him responsible to pay for her maintenance.  [1].  In the 19th century, divorce became legal in cases of marital misconduct.  It was necessary to define which spouse was at fault. Alimony was awarded to the divorced wife who was bereft of financial support through no fault of her own; without alimony, adulterous husbands would have no consequences for their misdeeds. [2]  No fault divorce introduced a great deal of subjectivity into the process; “fault” became only one factor in assessing alimony obligations.  Since the 1970s, gender bias has been prohibited in awarding alimony, but as of 2006, only 3.6% of alimony awards obligated women to pay for men. [3]  This percentage is shifting as more women out-earn their husbands.  But is alimony a relic of the past?

One for you and ten for me . . .

Not all alimony is created equally.  There are 4 types of alimony in the US, and these types cover what alimony is intended to repair [4]:

  • Temporary.  Ordered to be paid pre-divorce during the separation in states that recognize separation.
  • Rehabilitative.  Given to the less earning spouse to bridge the time to allow them to become financially independent.
  • Reparative.  Awarded to repay a spouse who provided financial support to the other spouse during the marriage (e.g. paying for education).
  • Permanent.  Paid to the lesser earning spouse until the death of either spouse or remarriage of the receiving spouse.

How is alimony assessed and awarded today?  Here are some of the factors:

  • Length of the marriage.  For marriages under ten years, alimony usually doesn’t exceed the length of the marriage, but over ten years, permanent alimony may be awarded in some states.
  • Length of separation (in states where separation is recognized).
  • Age at time of divorce.  Younger divorcees are considered more likely to be able to recover financially.
  • Relative income.  Some states desire to keep spouses at the lifestyle to which they became accustomed during the marriage.
  • Future financial prospects.  If a divorcing spouse is on the verge of higher income potential, the amount may be higher.
  • Health.  If health is detrimental to the ability of one spouse to financially support him/herself, the award may take this into account as a need.
  • Fault.  Many states are “no-fault” states, meaning spouse behavior is not a factor in assessing alimony; however, in Georgia a spouse who commits adultery is prevented from being awarded alimony.

Why Alimony Is Outdated

Should ex-spouses be required to pay alimony?  What should the limits on alimony be?  Here are a few issues I see with alimony:

  • Moving on.  In addition to being mentally and emotionally tied to the one person you most want to sever ties with, alimony discourages the awarded spouse from becoming financially independent and provides disincentives for future marriages for both spouses.  In cases of permanent alimony, it shackles exes to their prior marriage in a way they can never escape.
  • Circumstances change.  Bankruptcy, disability and losing one’s job are all things that can happen in the years after divorce; yet an award based on more prosperous times can continue in perpetuity despite hardship. [5]  Some states (Florida, Texas, Maine) are beginning to see that permanent alimony is unwise, but in other states (Mississippi, Massachusetts and Tennessee), almost all alimony cases are permanent or “for life.”
  • Future spouse impacts.  If you live in Louisiana or Massachusetts, think twice before agreeing to marry someone who is obligated to pay alimony.  Believe it or not, if a spouse is obligated to pay alimony to an ex and s/he remarries, the court in those states can include the new spouse’s earnings in the obligation.  In some cases, the second wife is obligated to work to pay for the alimony of the first wife who may be living at a higher standard while not working!
  • Loopholes.  Among other loopholes, the most common is for the receiving spouse to secretly cohabitate to avoid losing alimony upon remarriage.

At least alimony makes you not wish your ex dead.

The main reason most people believe alimony is outdated is that adult women are generally able to support themselves financially.  Alimony is a relic of an era in which women were incapable of financially supporting themselves; an era still perpetuated by the call for women to stay at home rather than gaining the skills and experience that will make them employable.

What do you think?

  • Should alimony ever be awarded “for life” or is it only appropriate as a way to bridge the gap until someone can become financially independent?  I consider it unwise for any permanent alimony to be awarded.
  • Should alimony preserve someone’s standard of living or is it unrealistic to protect individuals from the vicissitudes of life?  To what standard of living should alimony be paid?  My opinion is that it should not preserve the standard of living but be a bridge to a basic (e.g. above poverty line) standard of living.
  • Should a spouse have to pay reparation for educational investments made in the former spouse’s career?  Conversely, is it appropriate to require a divorcing spouse to pay for the education of a spouse who deferred education to care for children or provide support to a spouse who was pursuing a degree?  Personally, I think both of these are fair expectations.
  • Should church members be bound (in accordance with temple recommend questions) for egregious alimony settlements when circumstances have changed?  Probably yes, just as we are bound to pay taxes that we don’t agree with.  But a former bishop once made the argument that he obeyed all the laws because he pays his speeding tickets.

Discuss.

 

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

[1]  Laurence C. Nolan, Lynn D. Wardle (2005). Fundamental principles of family law – Google Books. Wm. S. Hein Publishing. pp. 703–04.

[2] Report of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers on Considerations when Determining Alimony, Spousal Support or Maintenance Approved by Board of Governors March 9, 2007 (Microsoft Word). American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers.

[3] Raghavan, Anita (2008-04-01). “Men Receiving Alimony Want A Little Respect”The Wall Street Journal.

[4]  “Alimony/Maintenance”. The American Bar Association.

[5] http://www.divorceinfo.com/bkrcybankruptcy.htm

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23 Responses to Mormons, Alimony and SAHMs

  1. wonderdog on June 25, 2013 at 4:59 AM

    “Should alimony ever be awarded “for life” or is it only appropriate as a way to bridge the gap until someone can become financially independent?”

    I have seen cases where a man will divorce his spouse when he retires. This may mean that she is no longer left with a means for support. Throughout her marriage she counted on being able to depend on his pension when he retires. Were she to be suddenly in her old age left without means of support, I think the judge should award lifelong alimony.

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  2. Tracy M on June 25, 2013 at 5:37 AM

    In most cases, a wife is entitled to half of the husbands retirement accrued over the lifetime of their marriage. If they were married for his entire career, and he divorces her on retirement, she would likely receive half of his entire retirement/pension anyway. I think this negates the call for alimony.

    I’m a divorced woman with three kids, and I find alimony to be an outdated form of sexist entitlement where women are infantilized. Women now can (and should) get an education and have a means of support. They can and do own property, businesses and have rights under all US laws. There is a certain culture of “sticking it to the man” with alimony that I find just as offensive as stereotypes against women.

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  3. Kevin Barney on June 25, 2013 at 7:38 AM

    Good comments. My sister got divorced and as the higher earning spouse had to pay alimony. Her ex (who was entirely capable of supporting himself) moved in with his girlfriend, but they simply never married so as not to cut off the payment spigot. It was a joke. The notion that people wouldn’t live together without benefit of marriage to avoid some sort of societal shame is laughably anachronistic.

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  4. SilverRain on June 25, 2013 at 7:55 AM

    I think alimony is one of those things that should be taken case-by-case. Some people can’t earn for themselves for whatever reason, some can but don’t. Saying that every spouse should earn for themselves is somewhat myopic. There are dozens of possible scenarios where that isn’t the case.

    For example, I was pregnant when my ex left me. If I had been a stay-at-home mom, per an agreement made by me and my husband, I would have been completely screwed without hope of alimony to get me through. (For the record, I didn’t need or get alimony, but I can see what a thin tendril of protection I had. Many women in my situation don’t work, or have their jobs put in jeopardy by the actions of their abuser. Fortunately for me, my ex’s desire to spend money was marginally stronger than his desire to control me.)

    There are spouses with disabilities, uneven debt obligations (such as a mortgage being in one spouse’s name, but the title in both,) age, etc. that make the potential for alimony a very good idea, even in this enlightened age. Most of these good reasons are temporary, but not all. It doesn’t infantilize women (or men,) but it enforces part of a contract between two people, and helps avoid the state having to pay for an individual’s shirking of contractual responsibility. It puts the consequences back on the people with the power to act.

    I think that laws that increase a sense of responsibility in divorce are all to the good, even if they can be misused. With loopholes such as cohabitation, a paying spouse ought to be able to lodge a complaint to review the alimony. But every time there is law, there is someone exploiting it. We shouldn’t base our laws purely on the unprincipled, but just try to close the loopholes.

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  5. Jack Hughes on June 25, 2013 at 8:05 AM

    From a conflict resolution standpoint, alimony is counterproductive, and not conducive to the grieving/healing/moving on continuum that should follow the dissolution of a marriage. It is a relic of another time, but in the modern era has given it new, ethically questionable purposes:
    1. Squeezing out any extra money a receiving spouse believes he/she is entitled to;
    2. Enabling the above-mentioned sense of entitlement;
    3. Twisting the dagger on an already painful situation, turning it into a zero-sum game (“It is not enough for me to win, but for you to suffer in defeat”).

    The TR question is intended to reduce the occurrence of deadbeat dads in the Church, not necessarily to enable angry divorcees to “stick it” to their exes. If anything, alimony is contrary to the Christian principle of forgiveness by unnecessarily prolonging the “restitution” phase.

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  6. brjones on June 25, 2013 at 8:40 AM

    It’s worth noting that Permanent Alimony is becoming disfavored in the law and the trend is moving away from it and toward Rehabilitative Alimony.

    FYI, Kevin Barney, in many jurisdictions, non-paying spouses who cohabitate may lose their alimony just as if they had remarried, if it can be demonstrated that they are receiving support from their live-in partner.

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  7. chanson on June 25, 2013 at 11:00 AM

    I agree with you in principle, but I think Mormon culture is one of the few places where alimony has a certain logic. Girls are taught from a young age that they should plan to be dependent on a breadwinner husband for life, and are later strongly encouraged by their whole community to give up their own opportunities to put a husband through school and/or start a family early. So they deserve to be compensated for their investment in the aborted marriage. (eg. “Reparative” is often more than appropriate.)

    OTOH, if they just get “Rehabilitative” or child support alone, it will probably help them figure out more quickly that what they learned in YWs was wrong.

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  8. jks on June 25, 2013 at 11:46 AM

    I have a 21 year marriage. The past 15 years my husband and I have specialized. I am a really good SAHM, and he has concentrated on his career in order to support us. If he walks away from the marriage, he can still earn his-way-about-average paycheck. However, with a little bit of retraining I can make 1/3 of what he can make.
    There is no way he could have the job he has if he is the primary caregiver. Even when moms work they often take the family friendly job and don’t climb up the ladder because someone needs to go to parent teacher conferences, take a kid to piano, stay home when the kids are sick. My husband and I absolutely know he would have had far more failures at work if he was doing those things because we have four kids.
    So, if he divorces me he pays child support for a few years but I will never make as much money as he does.
    Splitting up our assets at the time of divorce doesn’t change that he would make more and would get to save more for retirement for the next 20 years.

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  9. Nick Literski on June 25, 2013 at 12:55 PM

    I think Mormon culture is one of the few places where alimony has a certain logic. Girls are taught from a young age that they should plan to be dependent on a breadwinner husband for life, and are later strongly encouraged by their whole community to give up their own opportunities to put a husband through school and/or start a family early. So they deserve to be compensated for their investment in the aborted marriage.

    So is this conditioning the fault of the husband? If women are conditioned in LDS culture to be dependent and give up career opportunities, perhaps the “reparations” you suggest need to be paid by the fifteen old men who created that conditioning/expectation.

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  10. whizzbang on June 25, 2013 at 6:38 PM

    When we split technicaly my ex was making more then me and so she decided not to go for alimony as she would have to pay for me and so now all I have to pay is Child support. In Canada here, don’t know if it’s like this in the US but uh alimony ceases when the person getting it becomes married. So, it’s almost like a temporary fix and not designed to be a permanent thing-it can be if the ex never marries but you could be having more cash if you do get married

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  11. hawkgrrrl on June 26, 2013 at 3:46 AM

    I suppose a huge part of the problem is that marriage is a relationship based on trust, and in a divorce, that trust was revealed to be misplaced. A woman agreeing to be a SAHM is de facto the employee of the husband because he benefits from her support. Yet she doesn’t have any kind of employment contract or retirement or COBRA health care if he decides to “fire” her by divorcing her. I wouldn’t enter into such an employment situation. Yet as women we are counseled to do so.

    It also makes the question of “fault” even more relevant. If the wife is totally financially dependent on the husband and has thrown away her ability to support herself by supporting him, she is more likely to stay in line and not divorce or commit actions that will cause her husband to divorce her. Those disincentives are less for men and working women. Now that state laws are moving away from forcing ex-husbands to provide for these women, the counsel to be a SAHM is even riskier than before.

    This is what equality looks like. Get ready, because it’s here.

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  12. ANON on June 26, 2013 at 9:17 AM

    “This is what equality looks like. Get ready, because it’s here.”

    Might women be better off then NOT marrying or having children so they can focus on their careers and earn a living to take care of themselves since they can’t rely on their husbands or the father of the children?

    As a woman who financially supported her husband through his schooling, put her career on permanent hold to bear his children, and works to support his successful business if my husband were to ever demand a divorce I would find it to be unconscionable for a judge not to award alimony in compensation–which also happens in the business world when someone is forced to retire early he/she receives a compensation package.

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  13. hawkgrrrl on June 26, 2013 at 10:01 AM

    ANON – Judges do things that are unconscionable sometimes. Your decision is yours to make, but it’s definitely a risk – one that is increasingly more stacked against you as the SAHP. It’s also much more likely based on how legislation is going that a judge will only award you enough alimony on a temporary basis to get you to a basic standard of living. If there are children, child support would be a separate award. This is a risk of being your husband’s economic dependent.

    But the notion that you can’t have children and a career is a strawman.

    People in the work world receive compensation in accordance with written employment contracts and employment laws. SAHMs are not employees according to the law; therefore those “entitlements” are subjectively applied as outlined in the OP.

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  14. Roger on June 26, 2013 at 12:32 PM

    As someone who has been down the road a couple of times, I have observed that one can always make more money; however, one cannot make more time–hence, the agreements for support in exchange for some space, peace and quiet.

    And as Count Tolstoy observed, it isn’t a question of finding compatibility, but, rather, how does one manage the incompatibility.

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  15. jmb275 on June 27, 2013 at 8:39 AM

    I’m a divorced woman with three kids, and I find alimony to be an outdated form of sexist entitlement where women are infantilized.

    One more reason why I love Tracy M!!!

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  16. Naismith on June 27, 2013 at 7:24 PM

    “A woman agreeing to be a SAHM is de facto the employee of the husband…”

    No, she is not a subservient employee, she is the partner of her husband. Their family is an economic unit, like any partnership. They have made an agreement to bring different, equally valuable things to the table. This could be codified through a pre-nuptial agreement if there were concerns about protections.

    “….because he benefits from her support.”

    He may or may not benefit from her support. My husband did. There are studies on business executives who do better. But there are also men who come home and cook dinner because their wife doesn’t know how or is busy with children. Every case is different. I think SilverRain is right about that.

    “Yet as women we are counseled to do so.”

    I think the church presents full-time parenthood for a season as an option. I’m glad they do, because it may be the only place that young people here about it (except as a joke). But mostly I hear the church counseling us to seek the spirit as we each decide for ourselves. And encouraging education for women.

    “Your decision is yours to make, but it’s definitely a risk – one that is increasingly more stacked against you as the SAHP.”

    Yeah, and why is that? Is it in part because many feminists do not respect that choice and make it harder for women to re-enter the workforce after taking a few years off?

    “This is what equality looks like. Get ready, because it’s here.”

    Pretending that women are only impacted as much by parenthood as men are is a sorry excuse for equality, in my book. True equality would recognize the differences and work around those.

    Also, let’s be real about the actual risk. For folks who married 20 years ago, the divorce rate of temple marriages was only about 5%, So while it is indeed horrible for those affected, and hopefully they had an education and job experience to fall back on, the actual risk is relatively low. Do you want to live your life in fear?

    I did not. I did what was best for our family, helped my husband excel in his career. I also did volunteer work in the community (which would give me references), had a part-time professional paid job when the kids were in school, and completed a graduate degree. Following advice at Relief Society, I also put all of our bills in my name so that I would have a credit rating if anything happened to him. And we had appropriate life insurance on both of us when we had small children.

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  17. hawkgrrrl on June 27, 2013 at 8:09 PM

    Naismith: Well, I agree with you about the prenup, and yet, I’ll go out on a limb and ballpark the number of LDS women who have required a prenup at 0%. This is a lack of planning. It’s a lack of taking the risks seriously. And it’s a lack of awareness. When a couple decides that being a SAHP is equal to bringing in an income (I doubt that people really believe this, but I’ll go with it), they very seldom put that in writing. Very few divorcing couples agree that their marriage was an equal partnership. Absent documentation otherwise, courts do not consider being a SAHP to be a form of income. They will expect both parents to work to support themselves after the marriage dissolves.

    “But mostly I hear the church counseling us to seek the spirit as we each decide for ourselves. And encouraging education for women.” That’s what I heard too, and it’s what I did. But I also hear many distressed SAHMs divorcing with no Plan B who say that is not what they heard. So which is it? Are they making it up?

    “Yeah, and why is that? Is it in part because many feminists do not respect that choice and make it harder for women to re-enter the workforce after taking a few years off?” If you had a choice to hire a person with 15 years experience in the workplace building the skills that are needed for the job or 15 years experience raising children in the home, it’s a no brainer. Being a SAHP is not a transferable skill set to most jobs (aside from day care). Most SAHPs (if they have zero work experience) will have to start at the entry level due to this lack of relevant work experience.

    “Pretending that women are only impacted as much by parenthood as men are is a sorry excuse for equality, in my book.” The spouse who chooses to be a SAHP is the one most impacted by divorce. That’s what the OP is about. The courts are moving away from awarding alimony in perpetuity. The courts no longer consider SAHP as a viable alternative for divorced women, so SAHPs (of either sex) will be forced into the workplace, possibly with significantly lower earning potential due to their lack of transferable skills and experience.

    “Do you want to live your life in fear?” I don’t live my life in fear because I planned for the future. Self-reliance is a virtue. For example, several of the things you listed: making sure you have a credit rating, life insurance coverage, education, and sufficient work experience to be able to support yourself and children if needed – all of these are great advice! But also not things many SAHMs are doing.

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  18. Naismith on June 27, 2013 at 9:04 PM

    ” If you had a choice to hire a person with 15 years experience in the workplace building the skills that are needed for the job or 15 years experience raising children in the home, it’s a no brainer.”

    You mean that you don’t have a brain if you automatically assume that the person who has been in the workplace is the better pick? I agree.

    The workplace is not one generic place. Workers vary in their work ethic, organizational skills, mentoring ability, and ability to respond to changing demands. I know a programmer who only learned to work on monster machines 15 years ago and did not have the flexibility to work with smaller servers. He can still get work, but has to travel to various places that still use the only machines with which he is comfortable. 15 years is a long time and few of us keep the same job forever. Just having your butt in a chair in an office rather than managing a family does not make one a better employee.

    “Being a SAHP is not a transferable skill set to most jobs (aside from day care).”

    That was not my experience. I am a project manager. I learned A LOT during my years at home that helped me in later in the workplace. I wasn’t just wiping dirty butts and snotty noses the entire time. From being the group leader for our Joy School and the process of scheduling our quarterly meetings with five busy moms, I learned techniques that helped me with the later task of scheduling project meetings with busy faculty. Since we kept our family budget on Excel, it was not a challenge to keep project budgets that way. As a scientist’s wife, I was adept with EndNote, and taught the software to the department where I was first hired; none of them were using it yet. I have a reputation for being good at giving clear directions to students and hourly staff, something I learned in teaching my children to cook and sew. My graduate school mentor was impressed with my ability to get my thesis written without nagging required for other students, and said that she would always be interested in having a returning mother as a student, because we have learned so much self-discipline and time management.

    Fortunately, my first job back after the last child was in kindergarten, I was hired by a man who had a wonderful wife and he understood and valued the skills I had acquired in my work at home. He told me later that he valued the accomplishment of managing a large family as much as my graduate degree.

    Sure, I can’t be a brain surgeon. But there are lots of jobs that value quick thinking, flexibility, clear communication, triage ability, excellent motivation. An employer should look at a parent at home as someone who was working in another field for a few years, something that is not uncommon in today’s workplace.

    Of course job-hunting after divorce is always harder because of the devastation to self-esteem and pressure to settle for a less-than-ideal position. But smart employers will look seriously at a parent who has thrived at home.

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  19. hawkgrrrl on June 27, 2013 at 9:25 PM

    Naismith: Of course there are some skills that one can use in the home that one can likewise use in the workplace. Executive function, mental organization, scheduling, and communication may all be used in the home, but are not always (any more than every worker has them). Those are your personal skills. You didn’t learn them because you were a SAHP. You were a more successful SAHP because you have them. Those skills can be demonstrated, in my experience, in an interview. There are many skills you can’t gain in the home: problem solving specific types of problems, many technical skills, experience working with regulatory guidelines in an industry, sales skills, customer service skills, presentations to clients. Demonstrated skills during the interview differentiate you from other candidates. But only if you get an interview.

    Depending on the age one is at divorce, the working spouse may be fairly well advanced in a career while the SAHP is forced to begin at entry level (as you also point out, while feeling depressed). Experience is often a requirement listed in the job description and you won’t usually get an interview if you have none unless that job is very low wage entry level work.

    People can choose to plan for the future or not. I’m just pointing out that the courts are not going to pay anyone to be a SAHP long term. That’s the reality of the current situation. You can dislike the fact that I agree with the courts for the reasons I’ve listed. But the courts don’t care what I think, any more than you do.

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  20. Douglas on June 28, 2013 at 12:52 AM

    #19 – Geez, where were you about 17 years ago when I was a free man the last time? At least if it didn’t work out, you’d be more “progressive”. Funny how it is with most other feminist types: they strut about their independence and how they don’t need a man, but when it’s time for divorce court they’re the poor-little-put-upon-hausfrau, and they play it up for the judge. It’s hokey anyway. Now that many women are getting stuck for alimony and/or child support, they’re crying in their proverbial brewskies. I’m dating a nurse right now and her support order is mild compared to mine, but she perceives it to be an injustice b/c her ex is a n’er-do-well and a pothead, his earnings are decidedly modest. She feels that she shouldn’t pay for his irresponsible choices. WELCOME TO MY WORLD, GIRLS!
    The chief problem with the whole system is that it assumes entitlement to support and leaves the burden of proof on the payor as to why it should be reduced and/or eliminated. It ought to be the other way around. Were it so, likely less women would file for divorce, save they made themselves capable of self-support first.

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  21. hawkgrrrl on June 28, 2013 at 8:20 PM

    Here is a great post for those who think motherhood and career are incompatible: http://aspiringmormonwomen.org/2013/06/28/work-and-motherhood-not-incompatible/

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  22. Naismith on June 29, 2013 at 8:04 AM

    ” You didn’t learn them because you were a SAHP.”

    Well, I guess I was a dumb housewife, too stupid to know what I was learning or not. (/sarcasm) More seriously, I have learned something from every job that I ever held. Why would that job be the only exception? I did learn a lot of skills that translate to my current position, especially the ability to multitask, triage, and get things done despite a zillion distractions during the day.

    Your assertion that full-time parenthood only has skills transference to daycare (which is actually an insult to professional daycare providers, who deal with all kinds of things that I never did as a mom) demonstrates the kind of ugly bigotry that works against moms making the transition to the paid workforce and can make their lives miserable when they get there. I had to deal with resentment from co-workers because they had been in the trenches for 15 years, and I was hired into a more senior position. If they accepted that I was working during the years I was at home, perhaps they would have been less angry.

    “People can choose to plan for the future or not.”

    Yes, and being employed full-time during one’s entire life is not the only way of planning. It is through the church that I was encouraged to get an education, etc. At BYU, I was encouraged to pursue a career that would allow me the least hours away from family. That’s what I did. But my girls who are at a state university get no such advice. It is assumed they will always be employed full-time and so should only consider that path.

    I would advise a young person who thinks they might be at home for some years to consider pharmacy, physical therapy, statistics, accounting, economics, or nursing. There are lots and lots of part-time opportunities at a professional rate of pay, and defined on-ramps to return. But the possibility of ever taking time off for childcare is not something that the university advisors are allowed to discuss. And this all-or-nothing attitude is one of the biggest barriers to a mother’s financial independence after divorce.

    And whether motherhood and career are compatible is a very personal thing, depending on your situation and your body. Telling a woman that it is a straw man argument is not helpful if she is curled up in a fetal position, unable to keep any food down for days due to pregnancy.

    I totally agree that no woman should expect to be supported for life. Parenthood is just a season of our lives. In my ward, every healthy woman has returned to paid work once their children are older.

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  23. ..... on June 29, 2013 at 12:26 PM

    Naismith, I’ve been around the bloggernacle for longer than I care to admit.

    Do you have any shtick other than “I’m a stay-home mom and people don’t respect me?”

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