Yesterday I learnt something new, and not good 'new' either.
It seems that even in 21st Century Ireland if a wife is in an unhappy marriage her options are very limited. If she stays for the good of her children until they 16 years or older, the husband is only duty bound to support the children until they have finished full-time education, and owes the wife nothing at all financially. If the husband refuses to vacate the family home she must take him to court if she wishes him to leave and she to stay, and that case would likely only be won if there is extreme violence involved and she is in fear of her life.
If she decides to leave the family home the husband cannot dispose of the home without her consent, and vise versa. If it is sold they each get half the proceeds, if, in the current economic climate it could be sold.
There are no state benefits for a woman who leaves, so she'd jolly well better be able to support herself. She may claim 'job seekers allowance' once she has a separate address to the husband, but not before. Catch 22 situation.
The children would remain with the parent with the greater income, usually the father.
So in the end a wife gives herself to bringing up her children and keeping the home, the husband takes all her salary (whenever she is earning) and the wife ends up penniless, and, if the marriage comes adrift, homeless. What's more, the husband retains the moral high ground by not leaving the family home and continuing to support his children.
The moral of this story, dear ladies, is to either live in sin or not to put up with a lousy marriage for the sake of the children, get out early.
I totally agree that it should not be easy to walk away from one's Marriage vows, they were taken in all seriousness and in good faith. And who on earth ever thinks at the start of a marriage that they'll end up separated or as a negative statistic? But heck- should a woman be punished for having done the right thing by her family but finally refusing to take any more **** ?
Basically, ladies, not only have we no rights, we're scuppered.