Saturday, July 28, 2007
Marriage Strike Advocates New Banner? Update:1-24-12
Marriage Strike? Catch and release may be the theme of the marriage strike advocates. But what does marriage strike really mean? Posters have shared with Legal Pub that the movement started in California where alimony laws led to disastrous results for some men who were ordered to support their ex-spouses indefinitely. (This was despite their wives cheating on them and their ex living with another man or woman.) As a result, these men (and a few women) vowed to never remarry until divorce laws became fair to both sides. The movement spread to individuals who have never been married. The movement continues to gain momentum as it has spread across the country. The Bush administration tried to minimize the financial burden of marriage by reducing the "marriage tax" penalty, but it still exists today. It has never been about not supporting one's children. Obligations to support children is a given. (Marriage strike advocates who are parents tend to be great fathers and mothers who are active in their children's lives.) The movement is, however, about the law treating men and women as equals. Today, there is no logical reason why either sex should have to support an ex who is able bodied. The availability of alimony should be limited to case of financial hardship caused by disability.
Update: 8-29-07: Women may also benefit from the Marriage Strike. A recent study shows that after marriage men do less housework than when they lived with the woman!
Update 10-2-07: By Bob P. I am a marriage strike advocate and self educated financial counselor. Legal Pub allowed me to post my analysis of the financial penalties of those who do not believe in the marriage strike. Suppose a single working woman with 3 children makes $30,000 a year and a man makes 150,000 a year. The woman, because of the earned income credit will pay $0 in taxes and the man approximately $39,000. Together, their tax is $39,000. Now the cost of that little piece of paper known as a marriage license is as follows: Joint income 180,000 total tax is $44,724 which is $5,724. (This analysis is post Bush tax cuts which tried to reduce the marriage tax. The unmarried woman in the example may actually qualify to get additional money from the IRS which would just further increase the marriage penalty ) Have college bound children? A single parent who marries may lose college scholarship and financial aid due to a marriage even though the new husband (step dad) has no financial obligation to support his wife's children. Possible cost of the little piece of paper in this case could be over $100,000. Bob P.
Update 10-8-07 In a study of 9,011 British civil servants, those with the worst close relationships were 34 percent more likely to have heart attacks or other heart trouble during 12 years of follow-up than those with good relationships. That included partners, close relatives and friends according to a study in Monday's Archives of Internal Medicine. 'OK, being married is in general good, but be careful about the kind of person you have married.' The quality of the relationship matters," said author Roberto De Vogli, of University College in London. Over the following 12 years, 589 participants had heart attacks or other heart problems. Those with the highest negative scores on the questionnaire had the highest risks, even taking into account other factors such as obesity, high blood pressure and smoking. James Coyne, a University of Pennsylvania psychology professor who also has examined the health impact of social relationships, said De Vogli's results "make intuitive sense."
Update 4-14-09. Some information concerning unfair alimony. LINK.
Update 1-24-12: A study published in the Journal of Marriage and Family has found that the physical and emotional benefits of marriage do not outweigh the benefits of just living together. Science Daily. The study by Cornell University's College of Human Ecology, followed 2,737 single men and women from the National Survey of Families and Households for six years. 896 of those folks either married or moved in with their partners. Compared to those who stayed single, both married and cohabitating participants experienced the same increase in well-being (based on questions about their happiness.