STUCK IN THE PAST: THE UNITED STATES AND DIVORCE LAWS
While we may have moved into an era that is known for accelerating technological advancement and contemporary modern movements to encourage the formation of an open-minded and accepting society, we are still stuck in ancient times and scriptures when it comes to legislation pertaining to divorce and divorcees. The situation is not consistent across all the 50 states - some states have made major progress in this regard with the elimination of biased laws and the introduction of fair ones, many still struggle to give both parties involved a fair share by the end of the process.
Let’s explore the existence and implementation of a few laws that make a mockery of an already emotionally and financially taxing process.
While laws surrounding alimony payments from one spouse to another vary from state to state in the US as well as situation to situation, let’s take a look at the worst case scenario. Consider that you are the only breadwinner in your family. You spouse has chosen to not take up a job and share the earning responsibilities as your income covers the needs of the house and the family members. You are still some time away from your retirement. If you were to get a divorce now, you would likely have to pay over 20 to 50 percent of your current income for years to come until, at least your retirement, in terms of alimony payments despite your spouse being perfectly capable of working, earning, and providing for themselves. While these laws allow people to exit bad marriages and be able to lead sustainable lives despite being financially dependent on their spouse, they tend to put other people at a disadvantage.
It also ends up being something of a societal and ethical dilemma as on one hand, you cannot expect a woman, or even a man for that matter, to stay at home and care for the kids, nor can you demand that they go out and earn for the family, especially considering that the equal rights and responsibilities for all genders campaign is in full swing. It really comes down to the personal relationship between the spouses and the personal settlements they make with each other, but then again, there is no legal certainty behind these agreements and statements, making them of little use.
At the end of the argument, it is pretty clear that men often get the short end of the stick in a divorce where they are the sole earner under the maintenance law, regardless of the capability of the woman to work or earn. Women, on the other hand, may be discriminated against based on this very law by employers who may belittle them or treat them with unfair bias knowing that they are receiving benefit from their divorce.
Guilty of Adultry
While many states have overridden and removed laws related to Adultry from the legislation, some states are still sticking with the age old, ancient laws that make very little sense in this day and age.
This is applicable in many states including Arizona, Florida, Kansas, Illinois, Massachusetts and many more. Take the example of Massachusetts where, if spouses have been divorced and continue to live under the same roof, can be charged with adultery. Keep in mind, that adultery is still considered to be a punishable crime in the state, meaning it could bring some prison time with it. This absurd law makes it impossible for financially codependent divorcees to coexist on the same property or for divorced parents to continue to raise their children together without including in a marital relationship, a lifestyle that many people wish to adopt after divorce.
These primitive and ancient laws have no place in the modern world where we strive to make lives simpler and more convenient. However, many statesmen refuse to speak up against them as they might not be considered as pressing issues or they are too afraid to be questioned on their morals - many of them simply don’t want to take a side and so let the norm continue to be the same as it has been for the past few decades.
But it is a shame that normal hardworking ex-spouses are wasting away their lives slaving away to spoon feed, in most cases, the scheming and lazy ex-spouse.
I feel they don't need to put up with this gross injustice for ever. They could choose to be a slave for life, or take matters into their own hands and participate in Activism to bring about changes in the policy and Laws.