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Second Wives Club - Examining the Financial (In)Security of Women in Remarriages- Engel

Second Wives Club - Examining the Financial (In)Security of Women in Remarriages- Engel

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Published by woodstockwoody
This essay initially surveys the financial consequences of laws and policies, as shown by appellate court cases and state statutes.
The survey of cases and statutes will demonstrate that there is good
reason for women to feel financially disadvantaged. In fact, some
women consider themselves disadvantaged at a high enough level
to leave their marriages, while many other women who are in
ongoing marriages struggle to address current inequalities.
This essay initially surveys the financial consequences of laws and policies, as shown by appellate court cases and state statutes.
The survey of cases and statutes will demonstrate that there is good
reason for women to feel financially disadvantaged. In fact, some
women consider themselves disadvantaged at a high enough level
to leave their marriages, while many other women who are in
ongoing marriages struggle to address current inequalities.

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Categories:Business/Law
Published by: woodstockwoody on May 14, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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11/04/2012

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Pockets of Poverty: The Second Wives Club -Examining the Financial (In)Security of Women inRemarriages
Margorie Engel
Copyright c 1999 by the authors. This article is brought to you by the William & Mary Law School Scholarship Repository.http://scholarship.law.wm.edu/wmjowl
Repository CitationMargorie Engel,
 Pockets of Poverty: The Second Wives Club - Examining the Financial (In)Security of Women in Remarriages
 , 5 Wm. & Mary J. Women & L. 309 (1999), http://scholarship.law.wm.edu/ wmjowl/vol5/iss2/4
 
POCKETS
OF
POVERTY:
THE
SECOND
WIVES CLUB-
EXAMINING
THE
FINANCIAL
[INISECURITY
OF
WOMEN
IN
REMARRIAGES
MARGORIE
ENGEL*
TABLE OF
CONTENTS
I.
INTRODUCTION
......................................
310
A.
Structure
of
American
Law
Affecting
Remarriage
...
314
B.
Income
Disparity
and
Directional
nferencesAbout
Causality
.......................................
315
C.
Backdrop forThis
Modern
Dilemma
...............
316
1.
Research
on
Stepfamilies
and
Money
..........
317
2.
Growing
Awareness
of
a
Problem
.............
319
D.
Conceptual
Framework.......................
320
II.
STEPPARENTS
AND
STEPCHILDREN:
FINANCIAL
RESPONSIBILITY
AND
THE
LAW
.........................
322
A.
Statutory
Law:
State
Law
of
General
Applicability
.
325
B.
CurrentFederal
Policy
...........................
326
C.
In
Loco
Parentis
.................................
328
D.
Equitable
Estoppel
...
..........................
330
E.
Express
Oralor
Written
Agreements
toSupport
a
Stepchild
.....................
........
334
F.
Aid
to
Families
with
Dependent
Children
(AFDC)
..
335
G.
Yours,
Mine,
and
Ours:
Support of
Biological
Children
and
Stepchildren
.......................
336
H.
StepparentMarried
o
the
Noncustodial
Parent .....
337
I.
Proposalsor
Change
............................
338
III.
INHERITANCE
AND
THE GREAT
ESTATE
.................
343
A.
The
Partnership
Theory
ofMarriage
...............
345
B.
Wills
and
Will
Contracts
........................
346
C.
The
Second
Wife
and
Will
Contracts
...............
347
D.
The
Probate
Codes
..............................
350
E.
Revised Uniform
Probate
Code
(RUPC)
............
351
*
Margorie
Engel is
an author, speaker,
and
media
consultant
specializing
in
families
complicated
by
divorce
and
remarriage.
BA
in
Sociology,
Western Maryland
College;
MA
in
Education
Program
Development, Fairfield
University;
MBA
in
Management,University
of
New
Haven;
Ph.D.in
Law,
Policy
and
Society,
Northeastern
University.
Dr. Engel
currently
serves
as
president
of
the
Stepfamily
Association
of America.
Funding
for
this
research was
provided
in
part
by
Federated
Securities
Corporation,PhoenixHome
Life
Mutual Insurance
Company,
John
Hancock
Mutual
Life
Insurance
Company,
and Dr. Lynda
Schubert
Bodman.
 
310
WILLIAM
&
MARY
JOURNAL OF
WOMEN AND
THE
LAW
[Vol.
5:309
F.
Problems
in
the
RUPC
for Stepfamilies
............
353
G.
Probate
Code,
State
Code,
and
Stepchildren
........
354
H.
Adoption,
"Legal
Barrier
o
Adoption,"
and
"Equitable
Adoption"
.
.......................
355
I.
Stepparent
Wills
and
StepchildrenBeneficiaries
....
58
J.
Protecting
he
Child
from
Disinheritance
...........
360
K.
Wrongful
Death
Statutes
.........................
361
L.
Death
and
Taxes
................................
362
M
.
Observations
...................................
363
IV.
LAW
AND
POLICY
CONSIDERATIONSRELATED
TO
THE FINANCIAL SECURITY OF
WOMEN
IN REMARRIAGES
...
364
A.
Financial
Myth
and Financial
Reality
.............
365
B.
Policy
Evolution
..................................
367
1.
The
State
and
Marriage
Contracts
............
367
2.
The
Most
Vulnerable Years
...................
368
V.
CONCLUSIONS
AND
RECOMMENDATIONS
................
368
A.
Where
Does
Society
Go
Wrong?
...
.................
370
B.
A
Five-PointStrategy
........................
370
1.
Women
in
Stepfamilies
.......................
370
2.
Couples
in Stepfamilies
......................
371
3.
The
Financial
Community
....................
371
4.
Our
Government
and
Policy-Makers
..........
374
5.
Our
Legal
System
...........................
376
C.
The
Future
......................................
378
D.
Role
for
the
Stepfamily Association
of
America
.....
380
I.
INTRODUCTION
A
vast
amount
of
literature
shows
that
women
are
financiallydisadvantaged,relative
to
men, in
marriage.
1
The
objective
in
this
essay
is
to
"follow
the
money"
in stepfamilies in order
to document
the
financial
effects
of
existing laws
and
policies
in
two
areas:stepparent's
financial
responsibilities
to
stepchildren and
inheri-
1.
See
generally
GARY
S.
BECKER,
A
TREATISE
ON
THE
FAMILY
(1991)
(describing
family
roles and
how some
roles
are
valued more
than
others);
DAWN BRADLEY
BERRY,EQUAL
COMPENSATION
FOR
WOMEN:
A
GUIDE
To
GETTING
WHAT
YOU'RE
WORTH
IN
SALARY,
BENEFITS,
AND
RESPECT
(1994)
(explaining
the
legal
steps
women
can
take
to
demand
equal
pay);
JUDITH
STACEY,
IN
THE
NAME
OF
THE
FAMILY:
RETHINKING
FAMILY
VALUES
IN
THE
POSTMODERN
AGE
(1996)
(viewing financial obstacles
for
certain
family
members
whendescribing
the
political
values
of
the
family).

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