A Comparative Perspective
Alimony law draws on the culture it serves. Its role in any particular place is thus part of a larger picture of cultural views of the meaning and duration of intimate commitment and of individual versus community responsibility for dependency. A glimpse of alimony in other countries can broaden our perspectives of possibilities for alimony in the United States and enrich any discussion of alimony reform. This chapter takes a brief look at the law of alimony in a few select countries (Ireland, Malaysia, Russia, Samoa) and at the Principles of European Family Law regarding Divorce and Maintenance between Former Spouses. It then takes a more extensive look at the fascinating evolution of alimony law in Canada, culminating in the adoption of national alimony guidelines.
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