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The Marriage BuyoutThe Troubled Trajectory of U.S. Alimony Law$
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Cynthia Lee Starnes

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780814708248

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814708248.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM NYU Press SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.nyu.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of NYU Press Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NYSO for personal use.date: 23 April 2021

(p.52) 3 Alimony and Mother Myths

(p.52) 3 Alimony and Mother Myths

(p.52) 3 Alimony and Mother Myths
The Marriage Buyout

Cynthia Lee Starnes

NYU Press

This chapter considers myths about mothers: Mothering just happens. Mothering is free. Mothering is for babies. These myths ensure that the daily realities of mothers' work, the economic consequences of that work, and its value to the family do not receive serious attention. It is argued that for real women who have lost earning capacity because of family responsibilities, mother myths pose great danger, threatening to seduce even fair-minded divorce courts into peculiar notions of equity. Until myths about the reality, the costs, and the value of mothering are debunked, divorce judges vested with broad discretion will continue to penalize mothers who prioritize caregiving over market labor.

Keywords:   divorce, alimony, mothers, mothering, women, earning capacity, equity

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