Many marriages are entered into by two parties with the agreement that one party will be the primary caretaker of the children (home-maker), which is a profession that is unpaid. The other party will work outside the home and provide money for the family. In that case, the years of work that the home-maker has put in should be recognized as valid work, and in the event of a break-up of the marriage, the home-maker should continue to receive monetary support from the other party, as they (often) have no viable other professional skills. This needs to be enforceable in court in the interest of people whose profession is home-maker.
This is also why gay marriage (and gay divorce) should be legally codified like straight marriage is. People need legal recourse to persist their own standards of living.
If someone entering into a marriage does not want to take on the lifetime of responsibility of providing for the person who is promising to take on the role of home-maker in their household, perhaps they shouldn't enter into a marriage.
The question (probably similar to patents,) is: How can we protect the spirit of why this law is in place (to recognize the contribution of those who may not be directly compensated and give them their appropriate share), without letting people completely exploit and abuse it.
Looked at it that way, its an extremely hard problem with a myriad of economic and social issues along with a bunch of vested interests. Sigh...
That's a valid point, but do we need a one-size-fits-all approach, i.e. all marriages are the same contract? Arguably, we do not, so why not just let the parties directly involved decide what terms to have for their own marriage contracts (which might include inter alia some provision for cheap arbitration rather than expensive predatory lawyers if things break down).