Autor: Bridget Maher Fuente: Family Research Council

In her recent New York Times editorial, Marcia Pappas, the president of New York's chapter of the National Orgaization of Women, argued against allowing unilateral divorce in New York. She said it's a "bad idea" and "unnecessary."

According to Pappas, "The problem with unilateral no-fault divorce is that it hurts women by removing the incentive for the moneyed spouse (who is usually the husband) to make a settlement. Instead of negotiating with a dependent spouse -- whose only leverage for avoiding an impoverished post-divorce life for herself and her children may be her assent, or lack of it, to divorce -- the husband can simply go to court and obtain an uncontested divorce. Even if child custody and property division issues haven't been resolved, a judge can grant a divorce for "good cause" if say, the husband's girlfriend is pregnant."

Further on in the editorial Pappas writes, "And there's no question that unilateral no-fault divorce hurts women's economic well-being. A study in Connecticut conducted from 1977 to 1987, showed that under unilateral no-fault divorce laws, fewer women -- only 37 percent -- were awarded the marital home as compared with 82 percent under fault divorce. In 1970, California became the first state in America to adopt unilateral no-fault laws. These laws have had a devastating impact on the women in that state. For instance, in San Diego, the likelihood of a woman receiving alimony awards went to 30 percent in 1976 from 66 percent in 1968."

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