DISSOLUTION: Divorce, Marriage, and the Future of American Women by Riane Tennenhaus Eisler

DISSOLUTION: Divorce, Marriage, and the Future of American Women

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Eisler's cogent brief sheds much-needed illumination on the whole subject of Family Law, a judicial gray area and one, she suggests, that is particularly out of phase with rapidly evolving social realities. Herself a lawyer, Eisler proposes completely removing divorce from within our adversary system of law. Although recent ""no-fault"" legislation has lessened the stigma, Eisler cites case upon case to show how women and children are inadequately protected by current alimony and child-care provisions. Married women, despite community property laws in some states, are also vulnerable since judicial precedent and discretion leave management and control of property to the husband. Redressing legal and social anomalies, Eisler feels, must begin with remuneration of women's labor in the home--this to cover all women whether married, divorced, or on welfare. NOW and other women's groups are pressing to include homemaking and childcare in the GNP--a step in the right direction. An unsentimental feminist, Eisler argues practicality as well as moral rightness. Beyond an elementary ""Homemaker's Bill of Rights,"" she would like to see the state legally sanctioning ""multiple family forms""--including the growing numbers of single-parent households, homosexual unions, and the like. Though romantics will balk at the notion of a ""marriage contract"" (one husband and wife agreed to set aside an hour a week ""to communicate our feelings toward each other""), her case becomes stronger if divorce is viewed as a ""renegotiation' rather than an abrogation of a previous contract--as it must be if children are involved. Much of Eisler's book is based on current, often contradictory state court rulings, the rest looks to the future. Important to all women contemplating marriage bonds or the breaking of marital shackles.

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 1976
Publisher: McGraw-Hill