Alimony (Square Peg) and “Partnership Marriage” (Round Hole)


Michelle Peña


Faculty editor: Paul Horton
Publication: Contemporary Legal Issues
Volume: 22
Start Page: 49
Month: December
Year: 2015
Type: Article


The rhetoric of partnership occupies a prominent place in the discussion of contemporary marriage. Among lawyers, use of the rhetoric proceeds from the recognition that, regardless of the legal rules supposedly governing the institution, modern marriages—a great many of them, at least—operate according to what Susan Prager has called the sharing principle. My question is whether the “partnership” rhetoric can reach past going-concern marriage to and through divorce to justify a court-ordered permanent alimony award. My answer is No.