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Andy Ho, Senior Writer

Pay women alimony for 'love labour'

Published on May 16, 2014 4:59 PM
This picture taken on May 13, 2014 shows a bride and groom posing in front of Sydney's iconic land mark Opera House during their photo shoot. -- PHOTO: AFP

A JUDGE recently questioned the right that every woman has to seek maintenance or alimony at divorce.

Justice Choo Han Teck thought that this "unalloyed right" spoke to "patronising gestures" in the law called the Women's Charter that "belie deep chauvinistic thinking".

He rejected the request of a woman, a 48-year-old regional sales manager of a multinational firm, for $120,000 in alimony from her former husband, a 47-year-old senior prison officer after their 10-year marriage ended in 2012. She earned slightly more than him.

The judge hoped that Parliament might someday amend or replace the current law with a broader one fairer to the genders.

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Background story

Alimony can be seen as an entitlement, not a handout. That is, it is simply money that the man owes the woman because of her manifold investments in the marriage.