What is a Wife Worth?
This book represents an important development in the world of divorce law. Minton, an attorney from Chicago, argued that stay at home wives were entitled to assets from the marriage. He argued that there was economic value in homemaking. Prior to this time, a high earning husband can walk away with all the marital assets leaving a wife with nothing.
Minton represented a former wife of a Sears Roebuck executive and obtained a settlement arguing that she contributed economically to their 39 year marriage and deserved appropriate compensation.
Is this an important book? I would say so. Conceptually, this is the type of material that should be covered in a general public library collection. Calculating value of a homemaker might be 40 plus years out of date, but this was a huge change in how women were viewed in a divorce settlement. For librarians, context is important. As a help for someone going through a divorce in 2022, this is not going to be as helpful as a more up to date reference. For students of women’s rights, this book definitely has a place for historical significance.