Sunday Rant: Men are Not Equal

Reading about yet another bombing in Iraq recently, my eyes glazed over as I came upon the often-used phrase “innocent women and children” in the description of who was killed. You’ve seen this before: “27 people were killed in the blast, including 15 innocent women and children.”

So 12 of the dead are guilty men I guess. Guilty of what?

The tendency of the media to imply that the death of men is less chilling than that of women and children is just an example of a larger problem in our society: sometimes we devalue men and assign them characteristics and roles merely because they were born with a wiener.  While it’s true that men enjoy many advantages in our society, the males of our species are also saddled with expectations and assignments that the women are not, most notably the expectation that the male will be the primary breadwinner in a marriage.

Husband-Works-wife-shops

Many of you know about the work I have done on the issue of alimony reform. As we gear up for the next legislative session and redouble our efforts to end sexism in the family courts, this issue is especially nagging for me. Here’s how I see it:

Women have choices. Men have responsibilities.

Here’s an email I received this morning that should really piss you off:

“Dear Robin:

My divorce was granted on May 9, 2001. The court ordered that I pay for my former wife’s college education so she would be employable. She graduated U of O Magna Cum Laude but claimed she was unable to find work. Perhaps that is because the court ordered $3,500/month alimony indefinitely. Oh, and she remarried a lawyer with a net worth exceeding a million dollars. I’m 70 years old and unable to plan my retirement.

She moved to Springfield, Missouri and remarried around June, 2004. I asked the court to modify support based on a change in circumstance. During the hearing she presented the court with an antenuptial agreement that declared that she and her new husband possessed separate income. The court let stand the original settlement without comment. We appealed and the appellate court saw no reason to change the original agreement. I want to retire by next summer but don’t want to commit to retirement if I’m obligated to continue alimony. I understand that I have to retire first before the court would consider modification.”

This 70 year old gentleman, a former marine who has worked since he was 16 years old, can’t retire because he lives at the mercy of the courts which have granted his ex-wife the gift of a leisurely existence while sentencing him to a lifetime of indentured servitude.

alimony_o_297384

Are you seething? You should be. There are hundreds of thousands of men (and many women too, but that’s a separate rant for another day) in this country financially shackled to a former spouse and unable to retire because their barnacle of an ex refuses to earn a living and a judge says they have to pay regardless of whether they want to retire.  Although divorce lawyers will tell this guy he can retire and then get a modification, that is simply often not the case.  In the meantime, he has to hope and pray that is true, take the leap into retirement without knowing what his alimony obligation will be in the future, and then engage in expensive litigation with the ex that can last several months and even years, all while continuing to pay her.

Men have duties. Women have options.

If you divorce in this country and have a va-jay-jay, you can almost certainly expect to win custody of your kids if the issue is litigated.  If you CHOSE to stay home with the kids you can expect alimony. Especially disgusting are those women who demand and are awarded lifetime alimony because they CHOSE to stay home with the pets and/or furniture against the wishes of their spouse after the kids were in school and later out of the home and off to college.

lazy wife

Also infuriating are those women who claim to need lifetime alimony because they have “given up a career” to stay at home. A career doing what, exactly? Believe it or not, doing nothing and getting paid is not a career, unless you happen to be Kim Kardashian. And why is it that these women couldn’t pursue that career once the kids were in school? It’s bullshit – the entitlement mentality runs deep with these alimony queens.

princess

You know what’s hard? Being a man expected to provide every thin dime required to maintain a household. The pressure on men in single-income families is enormous and unrelenting. Sometimes it is so overwhelming that it can change them from this:

walter1

To this:

walter2

And after years of working hard to support their families, what can they expect should the marriage end?

Less parenting time and the yoke of alimony.

Alimony (unlike unemployment benefits and other forms of government assistance) comes with no requirement that the recipient even look for work, much less get a job and attempt to become self-supporting. Nope! You can just sit by and collect a check forever, even if you inherit money or find yourself another sugar-daddy to pay the bills.

lazy cat

Something’s gotta give. Things have got too change.

Rant over, DesCamp out.

-Robin

This Post Has 8 Comments

  1. littledab

    This same type of crap goes on all the time. There is NO reason for any man to ever get married.

    So after the divorce, why is it that we men are unable to bill our exs for the roof we put over their head, the chow they shoveled in their pie hole, and the hot water used for their baths.

  2. Linda

    A rant about my current favorite topic! You have hit the nail on the head with this one Robin! My partner is unemployed (due to something that his ex had done to him) and now she is demanding alimony. A dollar amount that is over half of what she is getting in child support. This woman has a degree and has worked in the past maing a very significant salary. It would be quite easy for her to get a job either in her former field or anywhere else.
    So, how is an unemployed student supposed to pay alimony and the required child support? We have a huge distrust of attorneys (present company excluded) due to paying a huge retainer to his former attorney. One who did not represent his best interest and had her own agenda. That is another story in itself. This whole thing has been a comedy of errors which has caused her (the ex) to look like a poor disadvantaged innocent (I scoff at that and just about threw up in my mouth as I thought it) ex-wife.
    Okay, I know we need 42 more signatures to send the petition to the governor. How can we get more and more people on board?
    My rant is over, for now :o)

  3. Debbie

    Well, It did make my blood boil. This is an insane situation. I have, however, think I have heard of the worst alimony story to date. A man with brain cancer was not allowed to terminate his alimony in NJ even though the ex wife was making more money than he was (he had to slow down work, duh!), and she had a greater net worth. I spoke to his widow Friday evening, and I cried with her on the phone. The ex bitch wouldn’t let go of the alimony because she wanted his life insurance policy knowing he was going to die!!!! When he finally had to stop working because he was so ill, his SS disability was garnished. I hope that bitch rots in hell. I am not a religious person, but I hope there is a special hell for her, and maybe while we’re at it, throw in all the other entitlement queens. I cannot talk about alimony anymore without it make my blood pressure go up and a feeling of extreme anger to these types of women. I hope they all get run over by busses tomorrow in their respecpective permanent alimony states.

  4. Ali Whiting

    I’m at a loss to understand the concept of permanent alimony despite the fact that I’m responsible to pay it each month. I just wanted to end a miserable marriage, split the assets and not have to deal with him on a go-forward other than when our children got married and we would both be in attendance at their functions. Instead, I’m stuck. How do I move forward with a monthly bill that is greater than our previously shared monthly mortgage payment?! Family Court is broken. Reform is needed.

  5. Lee Kallett

    I post this to inform the public about the current antiquated alimony laws still in existence around the country. This is my alimony horror story. In the no fault divorce state of Florida, the ex had many adulterous affairs with other women (while pregnant with the second and last child) and including her incestuous relationship with her own 20 year old female cousin. She gets rewarded for this and her changed sexual orientation with lifetime alimony by the Hillsborough County Court (Tampa Case No: 05-DR-013627) and I get punished financially. How is this right and just? It certainly isn’t and the time to fix such an injustice is now. The duplicity continues and she blogs and writes as well as conducts her day to day life under an assumed last name, only using her legal last name on the driver’s license and to cash the hefty checks I write. If you are outraged about this avaricious hypocrite, please get involved to fight the unjust alimony laws around the country. There is no reason why a judge can’t order her to return to the workforce. She is a four year university graduate. The children are adults and no longer living in the home. There’s no reason why an able bodied, healthy, educated woman can’t be instructed by new law and guidelines to fully financially support herself.
    The ex filed in the Circuit Court of the 13th Judicial Circuit, in and for Hillsborough County, FL Case No: 13-11991 Division G and on August 21, 2013 the judge ruled for
    Order of Dismissal of Temporary Injunction for Protection
    “The evidence presented is insufficient under Florida law”.
    The ex-wife attempted in her demand to muzzle our alimony reform efforts. She even had our 18 year old son testify against me.
    Please support alimony reform.
    Elvina and Lee Kallett of St. Pete Beach, FL – Pays lifetime alimony to woman unable to remarry http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l523XAgv_vc

    Lee Kallett of St. Pete Beach, FL – Pays $4K in permanent alimony to lesbian ex-wife
    http://www.youtube.com
    This is Lee Kallett and Elvina Kallett. He pays permanent alimony to a woman who left the marriage because she chose to live a lesbian

  6. Alimony

    Doesn’t take a genius to comprehend how unjust our family court system is. Debtors prison for payors while lazy recipients choose to not be productive in society. OR you have the ones who are employed but refuse to remarry as to not lose the bonus round of lifetime alimony. Those are the real zingers :). For example, my husbands ex spouse, employed, cohabitating, receiving over 10k monthly, child support 2k monthly until youngest is 23 and was so bold to place in writing that she “does not intend to ever remarry”…. Though she has committed herself to another male for life. Her adult children support this behavior also which exemplifies just how destructive family law continues to be for future generations. Another reason Reform is critical.

  7. danipearson08

    This story is spot on! A system has been created and alimony recipients are very crafty in learning how to “work the system”. They learn the right phrases to say from their attorneys and the correct actions to perform. For example, minimize your earnings, don’t make patterned behavior of “sleep overs” with your new love – and even when they don’t follow the rules and litigation occurs, the recipient STILL seems to be the prize holder after tens of thousands of dollars are exhausted by fighting to minimize or end the permanent alimony. Alimony should not be a “wheelchair” it should be a crutch. A crutch to help you along until you are able to stand on your own and no longer need it. A crutch that you LEAN on while YOU take STEPS FORWARD to better yourself and your financial independence. It is not a wheelchair that you get to sitback and relax and be pushed around for the remainder of your life!!! The person supporting you deserves to have some relief, retirement, relaxation and the ability to move on. Man or woman, young or old, there is no guarantee in life and the only thing consistent is change, take responsibility for yourself move on, move forward, let go of your past and embrace your future!!!

  8. John Waldorf

    Family Court at its very, very worst. Governor Christie you must appoint a Special Prosecutor to investigate the Judiciary Family Court Part in New Jersey. Should it really take death to terminate #Alimony? Is this humane, is this just…….. where is the compassion in our Courts??? Where is the equity in our system? There is a cancer in our Family Courts and it must be eradicated.
    http://njfamilylaw.foxrothschild.com/2013/10/articles/alimony/terminating-alimony-for-terminally-ill-patient-easy-right-wrong/#.Uml310b_0nA.gmail

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