Alimony as an Equalizing Force in Divorce


Michelle Murray


Faculty editor: Paul Horton
Publication: Contemporary Legal Issues
Volume: 22
Start Page: 3
Month: December
Year: 2015
Type: Article


One does not achieve an equal property division simply by allocating tangible assets between divorcing spouses. In California some forms of intangible assets are recognized as “property” to be included in the “equal division” of the community estate on divorce. In many divorces, however, the questions remain: Do divorced spouses truly leave their marriage on equal footing so far as concerns accumulations during the marriage? For example, how will the spouse who has forgone a career to invest her valuable time and skills in her marriage support herself after divorce? Will a one-time property award (or its equivalent monetary value) be sufficient to support her for the rest of her life? Alimony has provided part of the modern answer to these questions.