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View Diary: Yep. Fox's Bill O'Reilly, Traditional Marriage Advocate, Recently Got a Nasty Divorce. (206 comments)

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  •  How about women who give up their career (41+ / 0-)

    to support their husband in his and stay home to raise their children?  I've seen this happen many times over the years with financially successful men who "use" their wives for 20-25 years, then ditch them for a younger model.  The older wife has outdated skills and no work experience.  Alimony in these cases should be thought of as compensation for the lost earnings capacity during her career as an unpaid wife and mother.

    “The future depends entirely on what each of us does every day.” Gloria Steinem

    by ahumbleopinion on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 07:25:09 PM PDT

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    •  I have earned every penny (44+ / 0-)

      of marital assets and alimony if I should ever get divorced.  I've been married for over 32 years, raised two kids.  My husband traveled constantly so I did everything else.  I earned a salary for a year and a half before we got married and put it all in the bank (lived with my parents for free).  I worked for 8 years before we had kids and put my salary in the bank and we lived on his.  We bought our first house after 4 years of marriage largely on my saving before marriage.  Women like me who moved around the country with our husbands, switched jobs, and finally quit working outside the home because of our husband's schedules, travel and moves have earned alimony.  I do not deserve to live in poverty after a lifetime of hard work.  I earned it.

      That said, I have a great husband who realizes all that I have contributed to our family's income and security.

    •  Sorry, staying home and raising the children... (4+ / 0-)

      ...and gaining no work experience is a disgusting holdover. (Ain't it amazing how these views permeate supposed progressives?) What's the statistic on the percentage of women who fall into poverty when they divorce compared with the percentage of men?

      Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

      by Meteor Blades on Tue Mar 19, 2013 at 12:41:54 AM PDT

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      •  doesn't have to be (3+ / 0-)

        Alimony can be awarded in cases where it's not a traditional labor division -- anywhere one person sacrifices opportunities to be a homemaker.  Lesbian/gay couples, stay at home dads, etc.  Sometimes one partner being a homemaker makes financial sense for the family -- both partners need to be fairly high-salaried to make more than child care costs where I live.  Alimony is insurance that lets them make tht choice more securely.

      •  Hey, troll... oh, wait... WHAT? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        MB, I practically worship the ground you walk on, but on this... no. Just no. If you had said that it shouldn't be the assumption or the default option, I'd agree 100%. But this was in fact the choice that my wife and I made for several years. The important word there is "choice". Please don't take that away from us, or our children.

        Let us all have the strength to see the humanity in our enemies, and the courage to let them see the humanity in ourselves.

        by Nowhere Man on Tue Mar 19, 2013 at 05:31:49 AM PDT

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      •  It's not a disgusting holdover if a couple decides (4+ / 0-)

        it is the best option for them.  And it could be the husband that stays home if the wife has better earning potential.  My husband retired when our younger kids were in grade school and was a great hands on Dad.  Still is.  If we were to get divorced, he would deserve alimony and a fair distribution of assets even if my income paid for them.

        “The future depends entirely on what each of us does every day.” Gloria Steinem

        by ahumbleopinion on Tue Mar 19, 2013 at 06:46:20 AM PDT

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      •  MB, I think I have lost an amazing (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        amount of respect that I had for you because of this comment. As progressives and democrats, aren't we supposed to be the party of choices? Why on earth are we denigrating a woman for whatever choice she may or may not have made(as in whether it was willingly or foisted upon her)?

      •  Sorry, MB, you are just plain wrong here. (8+ / 0-)

        Second-wave feminists were talking about this issue when I was in college in the 60s. I am one of the lucky ones. I grew up in a middle-class family. I was ale to attend one of the "Seven Sisters" colleges because I had a 4.0 GPA in high school, stellar SATs, and financial aid. (Most of the Ivies were closed to women in those days.) From there I went on to get a PhD at the University of Pennsylvania. After a couple of years in a museum job. I was able to get a tenure-track job in an R-1 university. My husband had a similar academic history, but he went on to work for the federal government. We both had student loans, and we had our kids late in life (an option that is not available to everyone).

        Even with all these advantages, high quality child care took up a big part of our budget. We were in a fairly precarious financial position until our kids entered public school. This was the case, even though we both had good jobs. For folks with less income, good child care is simply  not affordable. It makes economic  sense to have one parent, often the mom, stay home. What we need, and what we have needed for 40 years, is a generous parental leave policy AND affordable, high-quality day care.

      •  What kind of "progressive" comment is that? (4+ / 0-)

        I was a stay at home mom. I left a growing career as an IT exec to spend 6 years at home with my child. They were the most rewarding years of my life.

        Before I stopped working that time, I decided to do something that worked with my schedule, so I got myself appointed to a municipal committee and served on the Police committee. I was elected chair while I was in the hospital for 8 days after having had a Caesarian.

        When I was at home a bit later, I ran for the council. I was elected and served. I did this because most of the events were in the evening, but if I had a day meeting, I packed up the kid and rode my bike. We didn't have enough money for a car.

        If you really believe your sig line, you would say (like I did), good for you. More people should do that.

        However, what you're saying today is that our kids aren't worth our time. I should have returned to work so we would have a 2nd car? That's better than being with your kids if that's a person's choice?

        Since then, I have indeed chased the almighty dollar. I did it by working in the public sector, making far less than I would in the private sector. It was a moral choice.

        Love the put down:

           disgusting holdover
        And here I was, thinking that I was serving both my family and my community/government when I was simply a disgusting holdover. Thanks.

        You can always count on Americans to do the right thing - after they've tried everything else. -- Sir Winston Churchill

        by bleeding heart on Tue Mar 19, 2013 at 09:15:44 AM PDT

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      •  Sticking the kids in childcare (0+ / 0-)

        is painful to the kids and the parents emotionally and physically. You can debate that it is positive, but I had three kids. People put their children in childcare out of necessity. The reason that both parents work now is out of financial necessity, because in most families today, one earner can't do it. And unless you can make significant money, it is usually not financially very attractive, after you add in the exhaustion, the job stress, the time away from the kids, the added doctor bills from the kids catching stuff all the time in childcare, the restaurant bills, the bills for keeping your house clean, the dry cleaning bills etc, etc, it is better to cut back a little and have someone stay home.
        That's why you have agreements in place, such as alimony to help support the person who decided that they were taking on a career that does not have a paycheck, and terminates after 12 or 13 years. I see sticking your kids in childcare so you work as a defensive move against a future event rather than taking care of your family not as a progressive value at all but some I kind of communist principle.

        "You can die for Freedom, you just can't exercise it"

        by shmuelman on Tue Mar 19, 2013 at 12:19:58 PM PDT

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    •  everyone makes their choices (0+ / 0-)

      being a house wife/husband has perks. No time card, no boss, few deadlines. Much of the work can be done in pajamas. There's a trade in for all that. You don't develop your own skills. It's not the earning spouses fault for that, even if he asked you to make that sacrifice. You're still a human being and have agency over your own choices. You're owed half of the marital assets in the case of a divorce. You're not owed a legally bound indentured servant who can't choose to retire or change jobs to a lesser paid one because they are permanently bound to work on your behalf until they are dead..

      •  I cannot even grasp this. (11+ / 0-)

        It does have its perks, one big one. You are a part of your child's life and witness all the good and bad that comes with that. You can get involved at school which IMO makes a huge difference, not only for your child, but for the school.

        No deadlines? How about getting to school on time every day, sometimes multiple schools, doctors appts, dentist appts, orthodontist appts, track, yearbook club, drama club, karate pick up.  Birthday parties, playdates, band concerts, jazz band practice, battle of the books practice.  I have been home with the kids and have never done any of this in my pajamas, I get dressed when they do. I spent countless hours at their school helping teachers, implementing a green club, organizing healthy eating fairs, creating their yearbooks, organizing parties. No skills? I have learned to make pretty much everything from scratch, establish a budget  so that months of unemployment didn't cause us to lose the house, dug and maintain a bunch of garden beds including vegetable, and negotiated a million conflicts.

        I went from earning the same as my husband to nothing when I chose to stay home. I love it, and find it very rewarding, but now that the kids are in middle school and I have taken a peek as to what is available for me I can see that I am fucked.  If we did get a divorce, I have no pension because my former employer of 20 years was sold so I got a small payout years ago, and my 401k tanked when everyone else's did. Obviously I have not been contributing to either, so my penalty for raising my own kids is security only if I remain married. I know too many women in bad and even abusive marriages because if this.

        Four be the things I’d have been better without: Love, curiosity, freckles and doubt, Dorothy Parker

        by kirbybruno on Tue Mar 19, 2013 at 04:20:07 AM PDT

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        being a house wife/husband has perks. No time card, no boss, few deadlines. Much of the work can be done in pajamas.
        I'm sorry, but in which universe are you living?!  That might be true for couples without children, but otherwise you're WAY off the mark.

        No time card?  True - but only because "kids" = "24x7", and that's hardly a decent tradeoff.  Why do you think so many couples have to exert specific effort just  to have "date nights"?

        No boss?  Perhaps - but no/few coworkers, either.  No delegation, few 'team projects' - it's all on you.

        Few deadlines? Try having 4 kids in 3 different schools (elementary, middle and HS), doing everything from academic team to band to basketball to football to theatre...THEN talk to me about a lack of deadlines.  (School assignments ALONE provide a healthy dose of deadlines.)  Given our activities, even getting dinner ready is a "deadline," depending on which kids will be home at what time on this particular day..."Oh, I can't eat after X o'clock, I have a game tonight"...

        It should be noted that I haven't even mentioned the typical "household stuff" of grocery shopping, meal planning, cleaning/laundry, minor repairs...when our kids were young, having a 24-hour grocery nearby was a godsend, because we often had to do our shopping between 10:30pm and midnight.

        My kids are teenagers now--which, in theory, means they're more self-sufficient--but, judging from my experience with role reversal (my job led to telecommuting from home, and my wife now works for a small local business), I'm in awe of how my wife pulled it off for more than a decade.

      •  I feel bad (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SilentBrook, Onomastic, kirbybruno

        that you think staying home with children is lamo and a bad choice.  I stayed home because I had two with problems and I tutored, drove them to therapies, dr appts etc.  I received no social security points during that time so I am screwed for ss.  Damn right I would be getting alimony if I had divorced.

        Everyone! Arms akimbo!

        by tobendaro on Tue Mar 19, 2013 at 01:14:36 PM PDT

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