Thursday 21 September 2017

Ahern's plans will make Civil Partner Bill a grabber's charter

The ending of a relationship should not confer financial rights on either party, says Emer O'Kelly

MANY years ago, before Helen Gurley-Brown became a worldwide lifestyle icon as the initial editor of Cosmopolitan, she wrote a Sixties syndicated newspaper column which millions of bright and budding women regarded as a bible. One such column, still in a paperback collection somewhere on my shelves, is the pithy title Alimony Turns Women into Bums.

Ms Gurley-Brown was of the opinion that no woman with any dignity would sit on her backside and accept being kept by a man whom she now loathed (on the basis of being divorced from him). Further, she suggested, alimony was inclined to embitter women rather than empowering them, encouraging them to milk their erstwhile spouse for everything they could get, rather than becoming independent and proud of it.

Child support, she added, was another matter entirely: you can never be an ex-parent. And, of course, in the United States, both parents are deemed responsible under law for the support of minor children: not just fathers. Ever seen the toxic Judge Judy of TV fame snarling at a woman, "Get a job! You had them. They're your responsibility."?

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