Automatic entitlement to family court marriage has been long financially dependent Permanent alimony used to be the only kind of alimony payment.
For centuries, a married woman had limited rights and no way of financially supporting herself. Permanent alimony was necessary for the maintenance of the woman’s standard of living.
If she had caused the divorce, through adultery or any other means, she was usually not entitled to alimony support payments. Usually, though, a man paid permanent alimony payments to his former spouse, whether they had any children together or not.
Permanent alimony was considered to be a lifelong way of making sure that a man’s former wife was taken care of. The length of the marriage was not as important as the reason for its end.
Whether or not a woman was able to support herself was not considered in the way it is now. This was because it was a given that a woman would not be able to support herself.
The jobs available to women paid little. Many women worked for room and board only. Men were expected to feed their families.
Women were usually considered to be property, much like a piece of land or a house. A woman went from being the property of her parents to being the property of her husband. This arrangement existed for centuries.
If a divorce was granted to a couple with no children, the man may have been ordered to return the woman’s dowry and pay her family a set amount of money. This would not be considered permanent alimony today, since the alimony support was granted only once.
A permanent alimony settlement today can usually only be granted if the couple has been married for over ten years. However, in the past, a man would almost always have to provide some sort of alimony support for life, particularly if there were children involved.