There are so many things wrong with how alimony is calculated these days. Furthermore, I've learned that it's possible to appeal final divorce decrees, so if the payor doesn't like the amount of alimony they're ordered to pay, they can drag their spouse back to court and appeal to have that amount lowered.
BEWARE, all of you SAHM who are just beginning the divorce process. Beware!
The most disturbing part of that article, if true (since it seems the author is trying to sell his book, so he might be a bit biased there), is that with any reform they are trying to take away the judge's right to rule on individual cases, and instead have a blanket ruling. Of course, again that could just be in the states the contributor to Forbes mentions in his article. Different states could have different laws.
Frankly, as someone who was a SAHM for 20 years, and did get temporary alimony, I don't think there should be long-term or permanent alimony, unless there are special circumstances. I also know there are others on SI who think otherwise. But for me, I didn't want to be financially or legally tied to ex any longer than necessary. It was necessary to get some sort of spousal support at first, and honestly I could have used it a year longer than I got it. But I'm a big girl, and I can, and did, go out to find a job, and manage my own life.
As for the ability to appeal the ruling after a divorce, talk to some of the BHs here at SI before you judge. Some of these men got screwed royally in court, because some judge decided that the wayward wife who destroyed the marriage was somehow also entitled to years more of support. An appeal is the only way these men have a chance at not taking such a large financial hit. It's not always about the man trying to duck out on his responsibility, ya know.
Pretty pretty please, don't you ever ever feel
Like you're less than, less than perfect
I rue the day I ever gave up my business. I never thought I'd be in this position today, one which it appears several other SI spouses are also in. I'm not asking for forever alimony. All I wanted was the chance to legitimately get back on my feet.
"Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in." -Cohen
From there I moved on to the next job. I have to view these jobs as stepping stones. I knew I wasn't going to get a dream job from the start, kwim? But I can work my way up towards a much better job, and future.
I know it's discouraging to even think about, but if I can do it starting at age 47, after being a SAHM for 20 years, than I believe most people can do it too.
I don't think there should be long-term or permanent alimony
I feel the same way. I think people need to remember that it's not just women who can pursue alimony. Had I not divorced when I did, my exwh could have pursued it in our divorce. He was perfectly capable of working, but managed to be unemployed most of the time. There was no way in hell I was going to be stuck paying him monthly support.
The problem with the private school is that it is 8:30-2:30 every day with no before/after school care and no transportation. So it is up to me to do those things. I also still have an infant at home. I am planning to get a second degree during this time though. The career that I had pre-children doesn't work for me now as it required a high level of travel. I am now pursuing a two year degree in the medical field.
Anyway, I agree with everyone else that it is important to be self-sufficient and I also don't want to be tied to STBX longer than these 5 years. However, I'm grateful that he wants me to be in a good place to support the kids when it's done.
I was fortunate that he agreed to this without a fight at all. He is terrible with money and knows it. He even admitted to me that he was glad to know that at least his income would be put to good use. Sad, but true.
Unfortunately for me the timing of it means we had virtually no assets and all of the investment was in his career. In the salary he now enjoys and it will ensure he enjoys a comfortable retirement.
It is ridiculous. It is hugely unfair. There should be a function where we get some reward for our investment in their financial future but it would be very difficult to rule on and would need to be done case-by-case.
Logically I get it. Morally and in practice it is so fucking unfair I could scream. Especially for SAHM. There should be a mechanism in place for those situations where the assets don't allow for an evening out of the intangible marital assets. That would be a nightmare to administer.
But we can't just lay down and die. We always have options no matter how unpalatable. I don't want to have a second jobs cleaning toilets in my 50s but it is something I will need to consider if I want to be able to afford the good cat food for me to eat in retirement.
It sucks. I don't like any of the options and I'm still mad about it. Doesn't change it though.
But, I also followed my ex around the country for his career, we both decided that I should stay home and raise the children once they arrived, I worked up until that point, plus put inheritance toward purchasing our houses..and my ex turned out to be gay. So, the entire 15 year marriage while I was giving up earning potential, he also knew the marriage should have never happened. It was all fraud.
I try not to think about the unfairness and just push through school so I can hopefully earn a decent amount of money in my future. No matter what, I will never earn close to what he earns, I lost huge amounts of my inheritance, plus I lost of the years of earning potential. By the time I start work, I will have been out of the workforce for 13 years.
I understand the complication of all the different circumstances surrounding spousal support. I wonder if this is the future, though? I know I will talk to both of my children about having pre and post nuptial agreements when they marry.
NO spousal support in Australia? Wow.
My Ex tried to "be relieved" of the alimony payment and my claim for his life insurance benefits but the court denied the motion.
Do your best to make certain the wording that awards your benefits in the finalized decree is explicit and if possible, set out for the length of time you require it.
I was married (stay at home mom) for 31 years and the divorce decree states that I will receive alimony until I die or am remarried. The amount is about the same as the payment on one of the four cars we had at the time of the divorce. (I didn't want any of the cars. I knew I couldn't afford a car payment.)
The title of the book Jeff Landers wrote pretty much says it all...
Divorce: Think Financially, Not Emotionally – What Women Need To Know About Securing Their Financial Future Before, During, And After Divorce.
Securing your financial future AFTER divorce can be a nightmare. Wish I'd read that book!
That said, the website (http://www.bedrockdivorce.com/) and quite possibly the book are tools specifically created for affluent women. What are the rest of us poor suckers stuck with?
[This message edited by invictus at 10:08 AM, September 2nd (Monday)]