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Where Alimony Started

Where Alimony Started

children Today’s alimony laws are different, but derived from the ones that began in the ecclesiastical court in England. Alimony rights were granted to women when the husband, as the property owner in the relationship, wanted a divorce. In England, unlike the United States, an absolute divorce was not recognized. Even if the husband and wife were granted the right to live apart, they were still recognized as married. Under alimony rights, a woman was entitled to an allowance for the rest of her life.
A woman had the alimony rights, since her husband was supposed to be the sole provider in a marriage. While a single woman had some rights, a married woman was not allowed to sign a contract or own property. A woman receiving alimony did not have her single rights restored to her, so alimony laws made it possible for her to survive. In England, laws allowed a woman to be dependent on her husband forever. A divorce was legally more of a permanent separation. A man was still bound to support his wife.
In America, divorce is recognized as a legal separation that has made both the husband and wife officially single again. However, the United States adapted England’s tradition of sometimes granting lifelong alimony payments. While alimony laws had previously existed, each state had different laws. For instance, the first alimony suit ever to be officially recorded in Nevada took place in 1868. 
The woman who sued for alimony was denied, due to the short notice she gave the court. However, in that case the term alimony was used to describe the legal fees that accrued from the divorce. Today’s alimony rights are different. Under alimony laws, some spouses are entitled to financial help from their ex-spouse, usually for a fixed period of time.
There have been many changes in the alimony laws from centuries ago, such that either spouse may be entitled to alimony payments depending on their financial situation.

Alimony Becoming a Requirement

Alimony Becoming a Requirement

Today’s alimony guidelines are very different from before. A judge will usually grant alimony to one spouse only if it can be proven that one spouse was financially dependent on the other.
However, in the past, paying alimony was required even though alimony law was vague on the subject. A woman was unable to support herself. She was to tend the home, and the man was supposed to earn enough money to put a roof over his family’s head, clothes on their backs, and food on the table. Men who did not work or feed their family were often considered failures. Since alimony guidelines made alimony a requirement, almost every single woman who divorced received alimony, unless she was at fault for the marital problems. However, divorce was rare in those days, so the issue of alimony law almost never came up. 
When a couple divorced, men were responsible for paying alimony. During the marriage, women were responsible for making sure that they did nothing that could hold them at fault for the divorce. Alimony guidelines followed the rule of a man supporting his ex-wife unless she had committed a wrongdoing that ended the marriage. Men who did not want to pay alimony would sometimes accuse their wives of . A man’s word was often believed over a woman’s, so there were times when alimony law would grant a woman nothing if she was accused of adultery.
Alimony guidelines have changed drastically over the years. A man used to be required to pay alimony because of a woman’s inability to support herself. In modern times many women make as much, if not more, money then their husbands.

Effects of Divorce Liberalization

Effects of Divorce Liberalization

While women on average still earn lower salaries then men, they have achieved a level of financial independence that previous generations did not know. Years ago, it was a given that a woman would get married and be supported by her husband. Thus, a divorce would leave a woman unable to support herself. Alimony payments could be denied to a woman if she was the cause of the divorce. If it was the man's fault, he would usually have to pay alimony, or an allowance, to his former wife forever. This was because a woman had limited earning capacity. 

Women in a liberal society do not typically rely on men to take care of them financially. Most women, married or otherwise, have careers outside the home. Due to the fact that many women have greater financial independence, alimony is not awarded as much or as easily as it used to be. 

However, studies do show that even in modern society, on average, men who divorce are better off financially, while women are more likely to have financial difficulties. This is attributed partially to the fact that many women still get primary 

Today, divorce is granted very easily. This is considered to be both a burden and a blessing by society. 

However, as the divorce rate grows, the number of spouses receiving alimony payments drops. Alimony is an area of family law that is very unpredictable. Each alimony case is unique. Surveys have shown that many liberal, modern women look down on alimony payments, due to the fact that they make the woman reliant on a man. If you need legal advice and assistance, contact a divorce lawyer.