Alimony & The Code of Hammurabi
Now that is not something that comes up every day, The Code of Hammurabi. But if we are to truly look at where we are today, we must look back and in this case we are looking way back, to 1754 B.C..
The ancient text states the following:
“137. If a man wish to separate from a woman who has borne him children, or from his wife who has borne him children: then he shall give that wife her dowry, and a part of the usufruct of field, garden, and property, so that she can rear her children.
When she has brought up her children, a portion of all that is given to the children, equal as that of one son, shall be given to her.
She may then marry the man of her heart.”
I find that to be a profound policy, it is straight forward and doesn’t seem to leave much room for debate or legal arguemnt. It doesn’t say, “if you have an excellent attorney you should be able to get settle on this” It says this is what you are entitled to, you are entitled to be able to raise your family in a reasonable manner. Once you have completed the task of rearing children you will be able to move on, without restrictions. You will also be in financial position to take care of yourself and be able to marry whomever your heart desires.
Today, we have an ongoing debate about alimony and whether or not alimony is relevant and still necessary in todays “modern” life. In my experience, it absolutely is necessary and relevant. However, there are unintended consequences that often leave the recipient with unreasonable restrictions placed upon them.
Maybe we should look to the past to consider the future, as it relates to how we handle alimony and asset division.
Maybe we should create a framework, that gives people a reasonable and consistent expectation.