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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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(p.111) 6 Reasons Matter

(p.111) 6 Reasons Matter

Alimony, Intuition, and the Remarriage-Termination Rule

(p.111) 6 Reasons Matter
The Marriage Buyout

Cynthia Lee Starnes

NYU Press

This chapter considers the near-universal rule that alimony terminates upon a recipient's remarriage. The vast majority of states, either through case or statutory law, provide that a recipient's remarriage automatically terminates alimony, or at least creates a prima facie case for termination. However, the rule has no conceptual basis in contemporary understandings of alimony. As the American Law Institute (ALI) acknowledges, the underlying rationale for the remarriage-termination rule is “remarkably unclear.” The chapter begins by discussing the remarriage-termination rule. It then identifies the purpose of alimony, an essential first step in assessing the legitimacy of the remarriage-termination rule. The final section considers judicial rationales for the remarriage-termination rule, which fall into three rough categories: (1) unseemliness, (2) election, and (3) untidiness.

Keywords:   divorce, alimony termination, marriage, remarriage rule, alimony law

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