Family Law Prof Blog

Editor: Margaret Ryznar
Indiana University
Robert H. McKinney School of Law

Monday, December 16, 2013

Divorced Men File Lawsuit Claiming Alimony is Unconstitutional


Condemning alimony as “an historical anachronism…from an earlier legal era when the rights of women…were radically different than they are today,” four divorced men last week sued Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy for enforcing the state’s alimony law, which they say is “unconstitutionally vague.” Their complaint, filed in U.S. District Court, asks the court to declare that the relevant state statutes violate the 14th Amendment and to permanently enjoin the state from enforcing them.

Although the complaint takes note of national conditions when it states that “former spouses pay approximately $9 billion in alimony each year,” the lawsuit is specific to Connecticut and rests on two main propositions.

Based on Supreme Court cases like Loving v. Virginia (which struck down anti-miscegenation laws) holding that the right to marry is a fundamental liberty interest protected by the 14th Amendment, the complaint argues that “the right to end a marriage, and the right to remarry are fundamental liberty interests” as well.

For the full text of the article, click here.


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