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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.128) 7 The Search for a Contemporary Rationale

(p.128) 7 The Search for a Contemporary Rationale

(p.128) 7 The Search for a Contemporary Rationale
The Marriage Buyout

Cynthia Lee Starnes

NYU Press

This chapter turns to theories of alimony offered by contemporary scholars in search of a rationale for the remarriage-termination rule. Contemporary scholars have long struggled to explain alimony in an age of easy divorce and equality rhetoric, but there is still no consensus on the answer to the questions: Why should anyone be forced to share income with a former spouse? If divorce severs the tie between spouses, if each spouse is entitled to a clean break and a fresh start as no-fault laws teach, what is the rationale for alimony? Most theories of alimony focus primarily on one of three interests: (1) a claimant's contributions to the other spouse (contribution theory); (2) a claimant's expected gain (gain theory); and (3) a claimant's loss (loss theory).

Keywords:   divorce, alimony termination, remarriage, alimony law, spousal support, contribution theory, gain theory, loss theory

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