Abolish Alimony

Barring a few outlying scenarios, there does not seem to be much need for alimony or palimony these days other than to be punitive.
05/14/2013 04:22 pm ET Updated Jul 12, 2013

In an age where women are pushing for prenups more than men and couples that simply live together are signing agreements prior to renting the U-Haul, relationships have truly become a business arrangement. I am not, necessarily, criticizing that process because I am nothing if not practical. However, I am suggesting we do away with all the paperwork (on both ends) and get back to living. If we crave equality, we have to behave like equals on all fronts.

If we live in a society where there is no fear of being penalized (financially) for splitting up or divorcing, I truly think there will be less cheating and happier couples. I'm sure some of you have heard the charming expression, "It's cheaper to keep her." That expression no longer has a gender bias and should never be the basis for staying in a relationship that makes you miserable. If the standard becomes that we all leave the relationship with what we brought into it, there may just be a lot less anger in the end.

There are, of course, exceptions to every rule. If one person gave up their career to raise their collective offspring, they should be entitled to compensation. That lapse in their resume may have set their career back years or, worse, ended it. People assume when I talk about child rearing that I am referring to women and I am not. Many men are taking on the role of primary care giver in today's world either by choice or as a result of a failing economy. Many women are better able to find jobs in their chosen professions that afford them the ability to provide for their families. Hence, the rise in female interest in prenups. Most families, however, are forced to have two incomes as a result of these troubled financial times.

Barring a few outlying scenarios, there does not seem to be much need for alimony or palimony these days other than to be punitive. I realize this is probably not a popular viewpoint but we are in an ever changing world and we must evolve. Alimony brings to mind the 1940s and 1950s when women did not work, were never really expected to and often lacked the skill set to perform outside of the home. If, for some reason, their marriage ended these women were destitute. That is no longer the case. Even if a marriage ends, most women have the skills to survive independently.

Again, there are always outliers and exceptions but there are not as many as one might think. Abolishing alimony may just make for a more civilized society and a less litigious one as well. Couples may think twice before entering into a commitment and certainly before exiting. Rather than staying simply because it is, "cheaper" they may decide to stay just because they really love their significant other -- and not due to the fear of financial ruin.