Sunday, August 13, 2006

Need Exists for Fair Assessment of Women's Overall Contribution to a Family

I thought this was a very interesting article regarding how the courts always ignore the dollar value of everything women contributute to a relationship. It is so much easier (or so they claim) to just look at the monetary value of something tangible such as an engagement ring and assign a value to it; then to figure out a dollar amount when a man benefits from your unpaid labor. In this situation, for instance, where a man (Donald) persuaded a woman (Dale) to function as an unpaid maid and babysitter for his kids from another relationship and then breaks off the engagement when they hit school age probably, and he doesn’t need her free services anymore.

How convenient.

AND, of course, the courts rule that the ONLY thing of value in the relationship was the engagement ring, which the woman (Dale) was told to return. Well how does this jerk (Donald) return the value of her unpaid labor, probably aiding and abetting him to keep those kids from their mother, so I won’t say I’m too sympathetic to this woman’s foolishness…Reading between the lines of the article you can see Dale even helped Donald in a moveaway. Again, probably aiding and abetting him in moving the children away from their mother in an ongoing attempt to alienate them from their natural guardian and the proper custodial parent...

Well one can only say Dale got her just deserts in the end...

YET it’s interesting how the courts assign value to things, but as always it the things men generally do that get assigned value. The things women contribute are, as always, ignored.

Feb. 12, 1998

Writer: Karen Meisenheimer

Source: Michael Moore, (352) 392-7139 or 379-1931

GAINESVILLE --- The engagement was back on! Janis was certain it would all work out this time. She had the rock to prove it -- an opulent, $21,000 commitment -- glistening on her finger.

Roger couldn't back out again.

Roger did back out, but this time Janis was holding on to the ring. She wasn't about to give up a girl's best friend twice.

She ended up in court.

Not the typical Valentine's Day love story but one a University of Florida law student examined while researching the legal perspective of broken engagements.

Second-year law student Michael Moore and UF law Professor Nancy Dowd concluded from the research that the laws should be reformed to reflect more balance in the value assigned to what each partner receives from the other.

"In most cases, the man will get the ring back," Moore said. "The problem with the existing law over broken engagements is that women are generally denied the right to claim monetary damages because expenses and sacrifices they make for the relationship are typically not valued."

In the Pennsylvania case of Roger and Janis, Roger prevailed on appeal, and Janis was ordered to return the diamond. Even though it was Roger who called off the wedding, the appellate court determined that an engagement ring is a conditional gift.

"Where the marriage does not ensue, the donee of an engagement ring is not entitled to keep the ring," the Pennsylvania court wrote in its ruling.

Lawsuits over broken engagements became popular in Revolutionary America, Moore said. But in the 1930s, several states began enacting "heart balm" statutes, which deny people the right to sue over a broken engagement. Moore said, citing social commentators' and legal experts' opinions, and that had a lot to do with status of women and the changing sexual mores in society.

Modern-day court actions over the recovery of a $40,000 or $60,000 engagement ring are a different story, he said. They deal more with economic value than broken hearts.

"The law is not very well-defined in this area because so few cases reach the appellate courts," Moore said. "Most people work these things out outside of the courtroom because the expense of the suit can well exceed the value of the ring."

Moore said cases that do end up in court usually come down to the issue of unjust enrichment, meaning it's not fair to let the ring recipient keep the rock if no marriage occurs.

"The engagement ring is recoverable, but little else is," he said.

Consider the case of Dale and Donald:

At one point during their eight years of living together, Donald bought Dale a diamond engagement ring. When Donald moved to attend graduate school, Dale joined him and handled the household duties, including cooking, laundry, ironing, cleaning and taking care of Donald's children from a previous relationship.

Donald ended his relationship with Dale and sued her for recovery of the ring.

In a countersuit filed by Dale, she submitted a monetary value for her years of domestic service to Donald. At $6 an hour, the total came to $25,000. Again, the court of appeals sided with the ring-giver, saying Dale's contributions had no market value.

Dowd said cases involving engagement rings are heavily gender-laden.

"Most people understand the ring as a gift," Dowd said. "No one says, I'm going to give you this ring, and if we don't go through with the wedding, I get it back.'

That's not the way it's portrayed in the diamond ads."

Moore said until there are more opportunities for people to recover other expenditures, nobody should be allowed to recover anything.

"While men buy engagement rings in contemplation of marriage, women typically make sacrifices in other ways," Moore wrote in his paper. "Unfortunately, courts have fallen into a pattern where men are permitted to recover engagement rings, or their worth, while women are not permitted to recover anything for performing household tasks or purchasing items in contemplations of marriage."

Exactly…and when women can recover their own as well as their families contributions towards the planning of a wedding (which women still predominantly pay for everything EXCEPT the engagement ring and maybe the honeymoon) such as the dress, ordering of flowers, caterers, renting a hall, bridemaids’ outlays etc., then we can think about giving the engagement ring back…as opposed to selling it to reimburse ourselves or our family for the wedding expenses.

But the bigger issue is that in general, women’s contributions to a relationship are consistently ignored by the courts. Even the stay-at-home mother is generally assessed to have contributed nothing of value to a relationship and thus, is given nothing after divorce unless she also has custody of her children. AND if she loses custody of her kids (which thanks to gender neutral custody and the greed of men) frequently happens today, she can even windup having to pay high child support or wind up in jail herself. While some stingy cheapskate takes custody of the kids just to get the house (as Judges generally give use of the house to the custodial parent) all household furnishings, the family car, and other marital assets.

This is a significant issue since so many marriages end in divorce today and frequently children are involved in them. So we need to accurately and fairly assess women’s contribution throughout the life of the marriage and adequately compensate her for those contributions.


BloggerNoggin said...

When a marriage does end though she gets her 1/2 of the house, 1/2 of his 401k, and she can get alimony, and possibly child support, and who knows what else, right?

NYMOM said...


That is not correct.

MOST Judges today do not award alimony in a short-term marriage...generally the definition of short term is less then ten years. So women married 5 to 7 years, for instance, rarely get alimony. AND most divorces occur before ten years...

This is a myth put out by men that so many women get alimony.

Actually out of all divorces only 15% get awarded any alimony (which includes figures for men within it too) and of that 15% only half (7.5%) actually manage to collect.

The half of the equity in the house is usually ONLY available for distribution AFTER the house is sold. So the custodial parent can stay in that house until the kids are 18 years old and the NCP won't get their 'half' until then...

Generally the house follows the children, so whoever get custody of the children will get the use of the house as well...which is another big reason men have started fighting for custody today to keep the house and all its furnishings...

Whether you give one half of oru spouse's 401-K is up to the Judge. Generally length of marriage is taken into account with this as well.

The ONLY accounts that are automatically split are joint savings and checking accounts.

Other accounts are divided as per the Judge's orders.

Regarding child support, again, jus like the house, this follows the custodial parent.

This is nonsense bandied about by men that women make out so well financially in court.

Total bullcrap.

BloggerNoggin said...

So what would be your idea so that a woman gets compenstated after a divorce? Economically a man could not do it if he had to pay support or even alimony. Would the assets be 70/30? What if there were no assets?

I'm not sure really to put the blame for this one. I just think that people need to use their noggin better when they want to get married. Sure, you want to trust your partner, and when you want a prenup done or everything is jointly done, the houses, car, bank acct etc, people get afraid to do those things because it might upset their partner and they'll get defensive or not love you anymore. When I married the second time, I used my noggin. :)

NYMOM said...

"...What if there were no assets..."

Of course there are no 'assets' for most people.

That's the main problem.

Most of us have nothing but a house, maybe a car or two and perhaps a TDA...but even that TDA is not a certainity as a LOT of people really don't save much at all.

The US has the lowest savings rate of all the industrial nations, as our housing costs are very high. MOST people could be said to have their savings in their house.

There is only one of two things that can be done.

First, we are going to have to reinstate alimony, even for short-term marriages, if children are involved. MOST states assumed that alimony was a relic of a bygone era but unfortunately it has not proven to be so. Even a few hundred a month can prove helpful to the lesser income spouse...

California is looking to make alimony like child other words against public policy to waive it.

Second, child support will have to be changed in order to reflect disparities in income, not so much custodial status anymore.

I mean with more and more men like you fighting for custody just to get out of paying child support, we need to find a disincentive for parents to do this.

So between the reinstatement of alimony, even in short-term marriages, and changes to how child support is allocated, I think we can get a handle on the unfairness of this situation.

"When I married the second time, I used my noggin..."

You mean you cheated her BEFORE the marriage, unlike your first wife who you cheated AFTERWARDS...

Well hopefully, she'll have the common sense after seeing what you did to your first wife and daughter, not to have any kids with you...

BloggerNoggin said...

"First, we are going to have to reinstate alimony, even for short-term marriages, if children are involved"

Are you insane? What if the NCP is paying support and on top of that alimony? When support is calculated it's done in a fashion that both mother and children can continue to basically live the lifestyle after the separation has occured. If you want both CS and alimony I would definitely see a rise in DV, without a doubt.

Let me tell you nymom, I am just as capable raising a child than you are or the next person. My ex is a psychopath, and she does not have the mentality to raise any children. Just because she carried 9 months, stayed at home and so forth, doesn't mean she has/had the right to raise a child.

"When I married the second time, I used my noggin..."

Your'e damn straight! From my previous experience, I learned to have a stash of some real high end money, hidden. All of the assets are in my name, or my fathers name given to me as a gift BEFORE the marriage was consumated. This removes all incentives for a woman to leave a relationship because all they will see is the almighty dollar, and a trip to Hawaii twice a year as a single woman.

"Well hopefully, she'll have the common sense after seeing what you did to your first wife and daughter, not to have any kids with you..."

We've got two more!

Marriage should be because you want to be with someone, not because there's a money tree at the end of the road when the woman wants to bail out. It's for better or for worse. I would have never married if she wanted nothing but bling bling. As a side note, my wife had me return the 1 carat solitare when I proposed to her because she said she only wants me.

I'm a real lucky man, not to mention the three wonderful children that will inherit everything I own,hence , seeing some greedy bitch taking it away from them when she gets a bug up her ass!

NYMOM said...

Listen, just because txfeminist coddles you on her site don't think you are getting the same treatment here.

You clearly stated that the ONLY reason you took custody of a five year old from her mother is because the child support was too high...and if that child's mother is a psycho now, YOU and your buddies at family court turned her into one, after they aided and abetted you in getting custody just so you wouldn't have to pay child support.

Furthermore how you've conducted yourself going forward (from your own posts on here) clearly demonstrate that you are not just an unfit father but an unfit human being as well.

Now get off my blog and don't come back here...go skulk around with the blogs of those gender-neutralized feminist monsters, that are so fond of you...

This is a site for mothers and/or their supporters...

So beat it...

BloggerNoggin said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
NYMOM said...

Goodbye bloggernoggin...

BloggerNoggin said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
NYMOM said...

I don't need to read any books to know what you're about...jerk...

You're a stingy cheapskate who denied a five year old her mother because you were too cheap to pay child support...and now you're hiding money on your second wife and kids...and guess what you'll be doing the same shady crap to them one of these days...

Don't bother posting her anymore as everything you say is being erased...

I told you before I'm not so easily impressed like these gender neutralized feminists are that you've been hanging around with...