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Perspectives on the 'Divorce Wars'

December 25, 1989

As an investment consultant who counsels women daily on a wide range of financial matters, I was dismayed to note that your article on Los Angeles' acrimonious "divorce wars" ("Nasty, Nasty, Nasty," Dec. 8) failed to challenge--indeed, reinforced--a chronic misconception regarding women and money and marriage.

In point of fact, marriage is an economic partnership. Thus, there is no such thing as "his" money or "her" money, only "theirs," a distinction which evidently escaped your writer, who persisted in such phrases as "Spielberg . . . gave (Amy) Irving" x-number of dollars, and Norman Lear "handed wife Frances. . . ."

The clear--and misleading--implication here is that the money belonged to the men and was theirs to give or withhold at will, an idea stemming from the notion that handling money is a man's job and therefore rightfully the sole province of the husband.

Notwithstanding the tremendous strides made during the last few decades, society seems still to be saddled with certain myths that stand in the way of women's taking responsibility for their financial well being. With more and more women bearing more and more responsibility for the financial security of themselves and their families, can't we please agree that money is everyone's business and move into the '90s with a renewed spirit of reason and equality?

ESTHER M. BERGER

Los Angeles

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