NATIONAL ORGANIZATION FOR WOMEN OF NEW JERSEY
PO Box 10299, Trenton, NJ 08650 ~ phone: 609-393-0156
Jennifer J. Armiger, Ph.D.
Jessica Van Liere
Administrative Vice President
Action Vice President
Membership Vice President
Legislative Vice President
Technology Vice President
Press Release Friday, March 29th, 2013
Contact: Jennifer Armiger, 609-251-7612
Current Alimony Reform Efforts in New Jersey Are Unnecessary and Potentially Dangerous to Women
Under the misleading label of “alimony reform,” Assembly bill A3909, sponsored by Charles Mainor (District 31, Hudson), and other similar bills currently pending in the NJ legislature, advance the interests of alimony payors—a majority of men and a small handful of women—seeking to overturn their alimony payments.
NOW-NJ opposes bills A3909, A685/S1388, and SJR36/SJR34 in their current forms. The thrust of these bills is a focus solely on the economic circumstances of the payor, while ignoring the economic circumstances of the recipients. Recipients, who are predominantly women, are often in much weaker financial positions. That is why they are recipients in the first place.
Representing the interests of those women who make up the vast majority of alimony recipients, NOW-NJ supports alimony laws already in place, which take into full consideration the economic circumstances of recipients. Women often invest years of unpaid homemaking and caregiving labor in marriages. This time out of the workforce has an impact on women’s ability to re-enter the labor market in well-paying jobs, and relegates many women to low-wage service sector jobs or underpaid “women’s work.” These factors have a collective impact on women’s lifetime earnings, robbing them of Social Security credits and limiting their access to company pension plans and security in retirement. The economic vulnerability of women who have invested years in the caring of households and the raising of children so that their spouses could work should not be ignored in the rush to overturn alimony payments for select groups.
NOW-NJ calls on Assemblyman Mainor and the NJ Legislature to uphold the purpose of alimony in the first place—to value women’s unpaid labor during marriage and to deter economic abandonment of women, children, and families—which the current “alimony reform” efforts threaten to do.
Jennifer J. Armiger