Alimony – The American Housewife’s Wet Dream

March 21, 2014 — 100 Comments
HOORAY! I JUST LANDED MY FUTURE EX-HUSBAND!

HOORAY! I JUST LANDED MY FUTURE EX-HUSBAND

ALIMONY IS BULLSHIT.

Let me qualify.

In the state of New Jersey, we still have antiquated laws that require the payor (typically the husband) to pay LIFE LONG alimony to the payee. (typically the wife).

They were established in the 1940’s and 1950’s – when virtually all women were stay-at-home mothers and men the family breadwinner. Few career opportunities existed for women.

Today, women currently make up half the workforce in America.

Yet, a woman who has chosen to be a stay at home mother often walks away from a divorce with a lifetime meal ticket.

Even Powerball winnings end after 20 years.

 

FIRST: I’m an opponent of alimony grants in no-fault divorces initiated by the non-breadwinning spouse.

No fault, meaning one spouse just “got tired” of the other. He chewed too loudly. Left the toilet seat up.

And now, this chicken hoe can just hang out while her ex-husband busts his ass supporting her in the style to which her chicken hoe ass got accustomed.

 

I have a friend. Let’s call her Jennifer. Because that’s her name.

She decided she was more attracted to the 27-year-old meathead trainer at the gym than to her 40-year-old husband (duh!)  And divorced him, after 9 years of marriage.

But she gets to ride that gravy train forevah.

Her ex has to keep her in her house, and her Jaguar. She complains when there isn’t enough money for her Botox.

I’m tempted to cut open a rusty can and inject her face with the botulism to shut her up.

 

A lot of women around here choose to stay home with the kids – just because of that pot of alimony at the end of the rainbow.

Trust me, they have motherly instincts like Medea.  There’s an especially nauseating subdivision of parasite who stays at home with the dog even after their kids go off to college.

Often, it’s against the wishes of their spouse, and it’s ALWAYS so they can later collect lifetime alimony.

 

There are sometimes good reasons for a spouse to receive permanent alimony, such as having a disability.

I’ve personally never witnessed this – unless being a complete selfish bitch is considered a disability.

They set up a life-long imbalance with profound adverse effects on the others affected by the “agreement”: their children, their ex, and any new family he should have.

This continues until the demise of either party or the remarriage of the recipient.

The payor dies by working TO DEATH because his wife will NEVER remarry her live-in boyfriend.

Several states have passed laws that allow for the modification or termination of alimony if the recipient is living with another person.

Here in New Jersey, my friend gets to travel to the Caribbean with her muscle-bound live-in boy-toy on her ex-husband’s dime.

I’m in favor of Rehabilitative Support/alimony.

This is awarded for a short period and is meant to help a spouse “rehabilitate” himself/herself.

YES. This is what I’m talking about. Cap this shit off after a few years, and we’re good.

The courts really need to evaluate all of these divorces carefully on a case by case basis. But they don’t.

In New Jersey, vague alimony guidelines and interpretations only promote lucrative litigation to the multibillion dollar divorce industry and use court resources that are paid for by taxpayers.

There are other states which still grant spouses lifetime alimony.

 

I’m primarily concerned with my home state, where these Draconian laws are the legal equivalent of a sociopathic serial killer.

They’re killing people who are married to heartless opportunists.

They’re killing people who are forced to remain in loveless marriages.

They’re killing the concept of marriage altogether – and helping far too many young men swallow the red pill of the manosphere, and reject the idea of marriage altogether.

They’re killing the spirits of the children who get to bounce between savagely hostile parents embroiled in their own materially-driven War of the Roses.

The worst crime?

Girl, where’s your pride? We fought hard to be considered equal to men. Where’s your self respect? What kind of example are you setting for your children?

You’re killing the entire feminist ideal of the empowered woman who can take care of herself on her own.

YES. SHE CAN.

 

I know many women sacrificed their education and careers to raise families.

I know that women feel they can’t just transition to the workforce after being out of it for so many years.

Here’s the thing.

YES, YOU CAN.

1. Go back to school. Vocational, preferably, since a college degree is the equivalent to a big honking nothing these days.

2. Start the transition before you get the divorce. Even if you’re happily married, once your kids are a little older, and in school all day – don’t you WANT to work part-time? Or take some classes?

The SAHM where I live play tennis and shop an awful lot. They could work a college class or two in between lip injections and hair extensions.

3. Do anything. I don’t mean, go on the stroll. But the women who clean houses drive cars nicer than mine. Are you above home health care, house cleaning, babysitting? Be resourceful.

The woman who watched my son when I went back to work never went past high school. She watched 4 kids in her home, and made bank.

Some people are just “above” jobs like housecleaning. I went to a prestigious college, and I would work at Mickey D’s to put food on the table if I had to.

Money is money. It’s called a work ethic, women.

I’m not suggesting that a minimum wage job will pay all your bills. But it’s something. Stop acting like you’re incapable of work just because you think you’re all that and a bag of Skittles.

 

Recently, my friend argued a real-life example with me, against alimony reform.

Her friend was married for 25 years and was 55 years old when her spouse filed for divorce. She had devoted the “prime” years of her life to her family.  Based on the new alimony proposal, permanent alimony could stop at a retirement age of 65 or 67.

It could mean she would only receive alimony for 10 years.  After retirement, doesn’t she have the right to maintain a certain lifestyle? What is she supposed to do?

MY answer:

First – You’re 55, not DEAD.

If you were married for 25 years – could you not have begun to re-enter the workforce at some point in your marriage?

I’m not suggesting that the mom simply disappear into a full-time job when her children are teenagers.

In fact, I don’t like what I see in homes where both parents are away full-time and teenagers are left completely unattended.

Teens need guidance, and someone needs to be “minding the store.” But at some point, you must start re-building your life for when your kids leave for college.

You won’t be a SAHM then. You’ll just be a sloth.

Second – Your lifestyle will change. I’ve been rich, and I’ve been poor. Rich is nicer. But life is life. Roll with it.

Third – There are men who have to re-invent themselves at 55.

My son’s school has just informed us that starting next year, there will be no more hard copy textbooks. Only online.

That smells like an entire industry out of work to me. And a lot of men, many of whom are in their 50’s, are going to have to figure out how to feed their families.

I’m sure it will be hard for a woman to re-enter the workforce at 55.

DO IT ANYWAY.

 

Let’s play Devil’s Advocate, shall we?

Let’s say, the husband totally wants out of the marriage because he’s decided he’s no longer in love.

Should he then be forced to keep her in her pre-marriage lifestyle simply as a function of a now-defunct union?

What if the woman is an alcoholic psycho bitch? What if she’s abusive and unfaithful?

 

Let’s say she’s none of those things.

If a man has to pay a woman to maintain the creature comforts he provided for her while they were married, shouldn’t the reverse be instituted? He was the breadwinner, he’ll keep winning that bread.

You were the homemaker. Go to his house every week, clean it, do his laundry, cook some meals,

And have sex with him.

I think that’s fair.

 

Currently, there are many people who are working hard to change the laws in New Jersey. Good luck with that.

It took until  April 2009 for Jon Corzine, then-governor of NJ, to sign into law changes in the alimony statutes which would bar alimony payments to parents who kill, abuse, or abandon their children.

 

In case you’re wondering why I’m so passionate about this subject –

THE BIG REVEAL:

I’m not divorced. My Ex and I have been separated – over 3 years now. And ALIMONY is one of the factors that has been preventing me from finalizing my divorce.

I was the breadwinner in our marriage.

Ladies, girls – Do yourselves a favor. Learn from my mistake.

I don’t care if right now, if you don’t have one red cent. I have 2 very important words for you:

PRE NUP.

Make sure that there will be an equitable split of assets based on what was earned, and most importantly, eliminate spousal support.

You amazing, talented women are going to write best sellers. Or start a company. Or Invent something cool. Have a huge hit song.

I believe in you.

And after you’ve put all your blood, sweat and tears into something like that, there is NO reason why you should be punished for your diligence, sacrifice and success by having to support an ex husband.

 

And ladies – have respect for that hard-working husband of yours. It’s a lot of pressure on a man to support a family.

Remember, it turned this:

walter1

 

Into this:

walter2

 

How do you feel about alimony?  Has it impacted your life, or the life of someone close to you?
Do you know any women who are paying or have to pay alimony?
Talk to me. I’m listening.

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100 responses to Alimony – The American Housewife’s Wet Dream

  1. 

    My ex’s parents split after 33 years of marriage; his mother never working other than an occasional “hobby job” which was more of a tax shelter than anything else. After the (crazy, vicious) divorce, she was awarded an annual payment which was more than we made combined (and we were both executives and well compensated). Insanity.

    • 

      HOW did that happen?

      This is what scares the crap out me.

      Couldn’t she live well enough on far less? New Jersey is a nightmare. I don’t know what state you live in, but it’s really bad here.

      • 

        He was quite wealthy. She was to be kept in the lifestyle to which she was accustomed….for as long as he’s working. When he retires, she will probably try to re-open the settlement. It’s awful, really. She has started working for real but he would have to go back to court to reduce his payments…and I suspect that’s just too much for him.

      • 

        That’s the other thing I wanted to write – but the post was too long.

        When you try and have alimony modified, it just drags on and costs so much, the husbands usually give up. Sometimes they just can’t deal with it, or they can’t afford it – my friend who’s a doctor simply can’t afford to be out of work that many days.

        He doesn’t earn like he used to. But he’s still getting hammered for alimony.

        I’m sorry for your father in law. And it’s too bad she couldn’t just scale back. Awful.

  2. 
    NotAPunkRocker March 21, 2014 at 6:09 pm

    I know someone who is paying alimony to her ex-husband. I believe it is for at least 5 years or until he can draw his retirement.

    Because, you know, he left his job in the middle of their extended separation.

    • 

      Oh, shit – he did NOT.

      Five years? That’s too long. Unless he’s going to college?

      Do you think he purposely left to collect from her?

      (By the way, I’ve totally been pimping your blog. I told a number of people about that post. It left such a strong impression on me).

      • 
        NotAPunkRocker March 21, 2014 at 6:18 pm

        We can talk about it more off the board if you want (it isn’t me though, I promise) but yeah, I think it was very calculated.

        You are too kind to me, thank you so much. The response has been overwhelming and I am grateful that it has been so well received (and surprised, but we have already gone through all of that LOL).

        Much love to you, chica

      • 

        The most love, chica.

        Yes, let’s talk off the board this weekend, if you’re around.

        xo,
        S

  3. 

    Samara — I think I love you. I”m not going to say too much because I have a lot of anger around this issue on behalf of a male friend that the courts have consistently screwed over, not only with alimony and child support, but even with custody and visitation. In Canada, the mother gets the kids 99/100 no matter what kind of skeezy ho-bag she might be. Such is the case of my friend, who nearly had a nervous breakdown when he discovered his wife fucking another guy. Because of his breakdown, he was declared unfit to have custody of his kids — not “Let’s get this guy some help” just – access denied. He had to fight for two years to get his visitation rights — and all the while, getting pummelled with alimony and child support — for children he couldn’t even see, though dearly wanted to.

    AH, I’m getting angry. Don’t want to get angry about this. Thank you so much for speaking out about this issue — that it’s coming from another woman means so much to me — I’m going to show this to my friend, he will want to shower you with kisses (but don’t let him, darling — he’s still kind of rebound-ish!)

    • 

      Men get screwed so royally in this whole thing –
      I’ve never seen anything quite like it.

      I have male friends whose ex wives are living luxuriously – while they move HOME with their PARENTS.

      Insanity.

      I’m really sorry your friend is going through what sounds like complete craziness, but there are so many heartbreaking stories like this – it doesn’t surprise me.

      Don’t get angry.
      Write about it!

      love you, darling!

      • 

        I could. I could tell a story about how many times his pay has been garnished up to 50% without notice, because he missed two payments in a row, but when she doesn’t let him see his kids for months at a time (even though the court says he’s entitled to weekends) no government agency is there to enforce that.

      • 

        You’re preaching to the choir.

        I know men who almost get thrown in jail because of missed payments.

        I know men who split custody, pay a ton in child support -and not all of that is going towards the children.

        Ack. We could go on and on.

        I guess Canada is as messed up as the US.

    • 

      Yes, Canada apparently has this problem… look up Karen Straughan (a.k.a. girlwriteswhat) at YouTube. Plenty o’ vids about the issue, and more.

  4. 

    I’m an attorney in Florida and deal with alimony all the time. My professional opinion is if more women would just read your article on blow jobs, this posting would be entirely unnecessary. #sigh
    BTW , this is @montaignejns from twitter. I created this WP profile for a blog I’m starting (hopefully 1st post this weekend), It’s just an about page right now.

    • 

      Hi, montaignejns!

      Yes – you are right about the blowjobs. That’s what I say, right in the beginning of the post!

      Are Florida laws as harsh on the men as New Jersey laws?

      I’m excited for your blog!! If it’s as fun as your tweets…

      • 

        For permanent alimony in Florida it must be a long term marriage. In most Jurisdictions that means in excess of 17 years. It’s also based on need and ability to pay and the age of the parties comes into play. For instance, a woman in her 40’s coming out of a 20 yr marriage is unlikely to get permanent alimony without some showing of disability; whereas an older woman, such as the 55 yr old you mentioned might.

        My marriage only lasted 7 yrs. I didn’t ask for alimony in spite of the fact that my ex wife earns a multiple of my income because 1) length of marriage was too short 2) While my ex earns much more, my income would have disqualified me based on need. and 3) I work at the courthouse everyday and the fewer incidences of judges laughing at me the better.

      • 

        Yes, we can’t have judges laughing at you! Not a great idea!

        Here, there are other factors taken into consideration besides length of marriage. My girlfriend who was only married for 9 years gets alimony because she has no college education or training.

        We’ve been planning her “escape route” for years- she knew forever that she wanted out. I have redone her resume and begged her to go to school. She is bright, attractive and personable.

        She just has zero incentive to work. Why should she? It bothers me because she has a 10 year old daughter and I don’t like the message it sends.

  5. 

    I know this is a serious post. And I could not agree with you more about these awful people living off the system and how damaging this is to feminism. But I can not stop laughing at this: “I have a friend. Let’s call her Jennifer. Because that’s her name.”

    • 

      I’ve been saying that anecdotally for YEARS.

      I’ve always wanted to use that in a post.

      It is a “serious” post. But there’s always going to be a little snark in there, because, hey, according to List of X, I’m the Queen of Snark!

      It is damaging to feminism when able bodied women choose to not work because they don’t have to. I don’t like the example it sets, especially if they have daughters.

      • 

        I agree. And I also don’t like the example it sets to men or boys that see women acting that way and think all women are like that. Or that all women become that when you marry them.

      • 

        The sad thing is, some of the young men I know have decided they won’t get married, because they’ve seen their dads end up destitute.

        I know not every state is as bad. My friend’s brother lives in New Mexico, and he is not going through anything like this.

        I live in the wrong state. I should move to New Mexico.
        Her brother is HOT. hahahahaha

      • 

        And so is New Mexico!

  6. 

    Pretty sure we don’t have those kind of alimony laws in my state (NC). At least we didn’t when my parents got divorced about 40 years ago. Hell, my mom couldn’t even get child support! It is sick, women like this give women a bad name. You are the only person who can get me fired up and laughing my ass off at the same time!

    • 

      Hey Gretchen-
      I didn’t even realize your parents were divorced. I have to stalk your blog more.

      I’m glad I made you laugh!

      Most states are much better than New Jersey. But wait – your mom couldn’t get child support? That doesn’t sound good…

      • 

        I have never really written about my parents divorcing… not because it was traumatic or anything, they divorced when I was like a year old, so it’s just normal to me. But yeah, my mom fought for years for child support. The courts awarded it but that was before they enforced it (at least in NC- you know we can be a little backwards down here! 🙂 She never wanted or tried to get alimony but child support for me and my sister would have been a huge help! The system is so messed up in so many different ways depending on where you live. I know people who’ve stayed married just so they don’t have to deal with the custody issues. It just royally sucks that you haven’t been able to get divorced because of the alimony issue…

      • 

        It’s more like I chose not to. But there are other financial reasons. Like, my Ex would have no health insurance.

        And my kid really doesn’t want us to. I think I should have just ripped the bandaid off quickly, years ago. Now that he’s 10, he can really articulate these things…

        Oh, well. Things happen when they happen.

        Must have been hard on your mom with no child support.

  7. 

    Alimony is a fucking crock. And child support isn’t much better. Don’t get me started on either. They’re both fucked up and favor women overwhelmingly in most scenarios.

    Kentucky is pretty good about things, but the child support is still fucked up. I have to pay child support even though we have 50/50 custody simply because I make more money than her. As far as I’m concerned, each parent is equally responsible for half of everything, including financially. But I’m required to pay for his insurance and pay her so much a month simply because I went to school and got a better job.

    Fuck that.

    • 

      I don’t understand the whole paying child support thing if you share custody and you both work.

      And why are YOU paying HER? I mean, if you really can afford more stuff for the kids, then maybe it should go into an account for them? How do you know for sure that’s where the money goes?

      Maybe I expect too much, TD. But I just think women need to step up their game. Not be so dependent on men. It’s not correct. It takes too much of a toll on the man’s finances, and messes up his life going forward.

      • 

        I agree with that on child support. My mom had total custody of us, my dad barely did visitation. He was driving a Porsche while she was trying to figure out how to feed us. But she worked her ass off and made it happen. My sister got divorced a few years ago and had been a SAHM, three kids, but because they split custody she didn’t feel the need to ask for child support. She got a job and they split orthodontist bills, etc. She probably could have gotten awarded child support but since it was 50/50 custody she didn’t feel it was warranted. Her current husband has to pay a shit load of child support to his ex who totally scams the system and he is pretty certain that the money goes towards her wardrobe most of the time, but he can’t do anything about it. It’s craaaazzzyyy.

      • 

        See, THIS shit makes me nuts. Your sister’s quality of life is affected because her husband’s ex finds a way to screw him out of more money than she reasonably needs for their kids?

        Hate that crap.

      • 

        Well, the only reason I wasn’t completely screwed this time and can afford to live on my own was because of the twins. When I left their mom I was financially crippled and about half my check when to her initially, preventing me from getting my own place so I could have split custody of them. I had a shitty (female) lawyer and had to take their mom back to court a couple of times to get it all sorted out.

        She now owes me $1500 back child support, though I’ll likely never see it.

      • 

        THIS is what I don’t understand about the law.

        How are you supposed to “split” custody if what you’re paying her cripples you to the point of not being able to afford your own place?

        I know those pendente lite (temp alimony) arrangements can be ludicrous. And take way too long to get sorted out.

        Yes, don’t hold your breath waiting for that money.

        The laws in this country need a complete overhaul. That’s just my opinion. I know a lot of women who would disagree with me, but I have a “breadwinner” mentality.

      • 

        Well, I don’t consider myself a breadwinner. I just think that each parent should be responsible for half of everything in the event of a divorce. Time, finances…everything.

      • 

        That would be ideal, wouldn’t it?

        I agree. And women are stepping up to this ideal. But unfortunately, there are some that hold onto the archaic notion that it’s a man’s sole responsibility to shoulder all fiscal responsibility.

        And then they send their daughters off to college. For what? To get an M.R.S. degree?

      • 

        I don’t know. It’s fucking stupid.

  8. 

    My ex wife worked as hard on her career as I did on mine during the marriage. No alimony either way, Samara, just child support from me because my daughter lived primarily with her mother.

    The lifetime rules from New Jersey are so awful. Financial circumstances change on both sides of the split-up, politicians!

    I totally understand how the archaic and oppressive state laws are keeping you from a divorce agreement. And that sucks for you and the Little Dude.

    • 

      I’m glad you didn’t get saddled with alimony payments.

      The sad thing about the life time or long term alimony judgements is how impossible it is to get them modified when financial circumstances do change. My friend’s medical practice has really taken a hit, but he can’t get his judgement changed.

      Yes. I’m really ready to fully move on with my life. The Ex either begs me to reconsider, or threatens me with alimony- depending on the day.

      I’ve let it go on too long. I’ll own that.

  9. 

    I was nodding along so much while reading this that you would have thought I was listening to Dr. Dre. I cannot imagine the mentality of these women who have no scruples about living off their exes and not even pulling themselves up by their own bootstraps and bringing home a side of bacon for themselves. What’s scariest is that SO MANY of these people have spawned; what does this situation teach their daughters? That as long as they dig around enough, they too will find that lucky ex-husband? *Shudders.*

    • 

      Oh! Also, if you haven’t already, you really should make yourself a BlogHer account so you can share this over there.

      • 

        Wow! Cool- if you think I should, I definitely will.

        I have a bunch of posts entered in VOTY, so I guess that means I have an account there?

    • 

      Em, I wasn’t sure about this post- you know? Because I know there are women who have valid reasons, and I’m expecting to hear from them!

      But yes- I want to believe that we are capable of raising our game. Doing whatever it takes. Make sacrifices. Work more. Go back to school. Something.

      Like you said, the worst is the message it sends to these women’s daughters. That they either aren’t capable, or choose not to be. Either way, I don’t care for it.

  10. 

    I had a marriage contract (the Canadian equivalent of a pre-nup, I think, except that they seem to have more teeth in Canada) in place before I married The Narcissist, otherwise I would have been in terrible financial trouble. As it was, I had to pay him off to stop him from harassing my family, friends and employer. The thought of having to pay him alimony for the rest of my life makes me shudder (actually, I don’t think it exists in Canada unless the former spouse is disabled or ill). I had all of the assets and a steady, well-paying career – alimony would have been a nightmare. I agree with you completely that it is nothing but a throwback to the last century. Most people don’t need alimony – male or female – and they should just get going and find a job! Great post! 🙂

    • 

      Wait- you had to pay someone you refer to as “the Narcissist” (I understand why you’re not with him) to basically stop harassing people? Was he that hard up for money?

      My business takes care of my family, but alimony will put a real crimp in things. I don’t mind scaling back- I just don’t want him to lose anything, and he might. Kids activities are expensive!

      • 

        I was married to The Narcissist and I literally did a deal whereby I paid him to stop his harassment. I could have pursued him legally but I just wanted him to lay off what he was doing to the others in my life. And yes, he is hard up for money, but that’s because he won’t work and relies on others to pay for him – he has a long history of this. My understanding is that he’s now sitting on another woman’s bank account.

        Yes, kids’ activities are expensive. It sounds however like your ex is a “normal” person whom you still respect. Mine is a complete opportunist who would have taken advantage of such laws in order to avoid having to work.

      • 

        The Ex is (mostly) normal; he can be has had anger issues and been violent in the past. This is why he’s my Ex. But he is primarily a good person and I do have a lot of respect for him.

        Except he vacillates between asking me to take him back and threatening to come after me for alimony when I refuse! That’s unnerving! But he is not an opportunist and he isn’t trying to find someone’s bank account to live off of. I don’t know many men that would feel good doing that. I guess, a Narcissist would?

      • 

        Yes. Unfortunately, that’s how they operate. During my divorce, my lawyer found out that he had done this at least two other times. So, I’m really glad that there’s no alimony going on! 🙂

      • 

        Can I just interject that I gave my ex my car so that he would leave me alone. Basically paying him with a car to go away.

      • 

        THIS is what it’s come to.

        The bottom line is always the bottom line. Is that all certain type of sub-humans respond to?

  11. 

    Family Law in Australia is similarly fucked up and almost blindly geared towards the Mother with little regard for her true condition. My mate had to abandon his 2 daughters to the ruling that his heroine junky ex- not only got the girls without visiting rights but also 50% of his wage, every single cent of which goes up her arm…and get this, he just found out that for the last 3 years those girls have been living with another of her subsequent ex’s while she’s been off with several other blokes. He has to pay her until the girls are of age which is another few years yet, as a result he has chosen to earn minimum wage until then…makes it pretty hard on his new family but he doesn’t want to finance his ex’s habit even more. The Law can be an arse!

    • 

      Red, this is an utter nightmare!

      This might be the worst story yet – he’s paying this woman 50% of his wages, and she’s not even taking care of the girls? They’re with a different ex?

      How can this even be?

      This is what I mean. These laws impact everybody – look at what it must be doing to his new family. Don’t THEY deserve better???

      The laws are geared way too strongly in favor of the mother – even to the tune of feeding a junkie’s habit. So sad.

      • 

        Yes, it is Samara, it is massive inequity. The origins were pure but everybody’s just takin the piss now. When I was advocating in Court I was nearly imprisoned on numerous occasions for contempt because I spoke up in Court…it sucks!

        I have another mate who pays his first ex 50% and his second ex 50% of the remaining 50% of his wage…most laid back dude you ever met!

      • 

        Many ideas have “pure” origins – but circumstances and times change. And people distort and corrupt the system, which does not evolve to reflect the changes.

        How on earth does your friend even live paying off that much money to two ex’s?

        I can totally picture you speaking your mind and practically getting dragged off in contempt – you were probably completely right in whatever you were saying, and they just didn’t want to hear it. Hooray for the legal system!

  12. 

    Awful. I say 5 years, MAX. That’s a 4 year degree and a year of work experience or (if they’re as wise as Samara…) 1 year of vocational school and 4 years of work experience. The only reasonable exception I can think of is if they have children who are being taught at home and/or children with medical problems so severe that they need constant care. The lifetime deal is total garbage, though. Remind me not to marry in NJ.

    • 

      Gail, that’s pretty much where I stand. Five years. Women need to know (unless there are extenuating circumstances) that they CAN be independent.

      This lifetime deal leaves a lot of destruction in its wake. As a matter of fact, even very long term alimony is not a good thing. I don’t understand women who feel that they put a lot of years into a marriage, and now are entitled to a “pay off.”

      If you get laid off from a job outside the home, no one supports you for the next 10 years. You get unemployment, or severance. I understand that some women need time to train or gain experience, but please – women! Be independent! YOU did it – and you had a lot going against you, did you not???

      • 

        Honestly though, when we start picking apart the extenuating circumstances, they probably call for adjustments to child support rather than alimony. Sometimes when I read myself, I see myself. The idea that ‘she’ (or he) will still be paid more if she does more with the kids is a bit, um… “I was once for sale, but now… Well, I’m still for sale. No sex or cooking, though.” Let’s just get over the idea that we aren’t capable, any of us. It also categorizes our family members like they’re assets to be liquidated. Outside of the strong logic and argument for independence, what does this idea do to an existing healthy marriage? Probably not anything good.

      • 

        Agreed.

        Damn, you’re smart, Gail. I wish you blogged. You would have a sensational blog.

  13. 

    Way to promote family values, New Jersey.
    And I don’t think anyone has any right to any specific standard of living beyond basics like food and shelter, so requiring an ex spouse to continue providing it after the marriage has dissolved is unreasonable in most cases.

    • 

      My BFF who lives near you – she could have gotten some alimony when she and her husband got divorced. She’s a school teacher, and doesn’t earn a lot. But he ex doesn’t make a fortune either, and it would have really put a dent in his earnings.

      So, she tutors after school. Works at Gilette during football season. And works Comcast all summer. 4 jobs. The other 3 are all part time, but this is how she’s able to afford the extras.

      Not a bad deal. Plus, she happens to like working those venues!!

      • 

        And that’s why she is your BFF, and not Jennifer.

      • 

        That is SO true.

        Although – I love Jennifer. I see the person she COULD be. Her potential is enormous.

        Her essence, her spirit, has the right idea.
        Her personality fucks everything up.

        Does that make any sense to you?

      • 

        Not exactly. I mean, isn’t her personality a defining part of who she is? With spirit and essence being a part of personality?

      • 

        I think of essence or spirit as who we are inside- almost like our “higher selves”- our potential. The best part of us.

        And “personality” is all the dysfunctional shit that gets in the way of us tapping into our true potential as human beings.

        So, in spirit, I know Jennifer would like to be an independent, fully actualized human being. But her lazy, spoiled personality gets in her way.

        The world according to Samara!

      • 

        I think most of us would lump everything into the personality. Splitting personality from all the good qualities… You could totally make it into a best-selling self-help book.

      • 

        I guess it’s just my way of seeing everyone’s “higher self” apart from all the bullshit that they allow themselves to get caught up in.

        I always aspire to be my higher self. Does that sound all new agey and weird? Does that take away from my Queen of Snark title? If so, I’ll hide it better…

        A self help book? I can’t even get out of my own way!

      • 

        Well, first you write a self-help book, and then just follow the steps in the book to fulfill your aspirations to be your higher self.
        And no, it’s not new agey to try be better.

  14. 

    Hi, the ‘business’ of the pain & insanity associated with separation is the same but different in the UK.

    Where there’s misery & revenge to be had it’ll always be the ripest ground to plough. How its achieved depends on opportunity. And, it appears its a land of plenty in USA.

    Lessons learnt so far in life. When the shit hits the fan its never evenly distributed. Always but always have your head up & eyes open or you WILL hit something & it WILL hurt. You can never have a rational conversation with an irrational person – OK I have to admit I have not learnt this lesson yet, although I do know it. Evolve or die.

    You are a sage and power house of virtue & wisdom Samara

    • 

      Thank you, friend.

      I don’t know that I am a sage or a powerhouse of virtue – that seems to go above and beyond-

      But I do know a system that treats (predominantly) men unfairly when I see it, and women who willingly go along with it- thereby disempowering themselves and setting the worst possible example for their children.

      My mom was a widow with 6 children. She had no education past the 8th grade. Somehow, she kept us all fed and sheltered, and never relied on public assistance. She worked perhaps too hard – but I suppose that’s where I got my work ethic from.

      My brother always says, “You are your mother’s daughter!” (in that respect)

  15. 

    Your insightfulness & simple eloquence is so powerful. Fact. You state your case with measured rationale in plain speak, appealing to to the latent sensibilities within humankind. Its a gift.

    I hate (a word I choose with its true meaning in mind) injustice. It is one of the worst characteristics of people.

    • 

      Again, thank you. You are too kind. But I did spend quite a bit of time researching before I hit publish, in this case.

      Like you, I also struggle with injustice.

      However, I have learned not to spend my entire life fighting it. It is omnipresent, and I would spend too much time in distress.

      I’m trying to teach that to my son. He has an overly developed sense of “right” and “wrong.” Makes him too inflexible, for a 10 year old!

  16. 

    Okay, now I finally get all those Dateline NBC episodes about spousal murder. Makes perfect sense now.

    • 

      It actually does happen, you know. For exactly this reason.

      Sad but true.

      Dateline NBC!! That’s a guilty pleasure, for sure!

      • 

        Like I said, I finally get it. I used to watch and think, Oh fuck off! Just divorce her, why do you have to kill her?? But the answer clearly is, Because she will milk me dry!

        I shouldn’t make light of this! I will probably go to hell for that – but it is interesting to see it from a different light.

      • 

        Sometimes, when things are THIS bad, you have to view it in a comic light.

        I tried to be a little humorous, even in this post. Just to inject it with a little levity. As crappy a situation as it can be.

        Thanks, as always, for taking the time to read, and comment. I love when you visit!

  17. 

    “They’re killing the concept of marriage altogether – and helping far too many young men swallow the red pill of the manosphere, and reject the idea of marriage altogether.”

    I wouldn’t say it’s the foremost in my mind, but it’s not entirely out of the picture either. Watching my parents go through 40+ years of a rocky marriage and the fact that I’m not finding anyone that clicks with me are the major reasons. I’ve worked so hard to put a roof over my head and am concerned what would become of it if I ever had to walk down that road.

    • 

      I don’t blame you.

      I have a small business that adequately supports us. I never thought, when I was building it, that I’d have to worry about my husband coming after some of the profits.

      I think, in this day and age, it wouldn’t be unusual for you and whomever you decide to marry to sign some sort of an agreement- not a fancy Hollywood prenup. Just something that states that you both get to leave with whatever you came in with. Period.

  18. 

    I like the way you think… and the fact that you do.

  19. 

    Once you’ve drunk from the well of free money you’re not likely to want to trade-down for something as distasteful as work. Icky. Nobody who is used to a certain standard of living is going to wake up one day and say, gee, I think I’ll go to trade school or work at Micky D’s. That’s a step back. If the law is skewed in your favor, you’re going to take advantage of it. That’s not right, but that’s human nature.

    • 

      I’m not saying go from the lap of luxury to McDonalds-
      That’s just me, saying I would do job to put food on the table.

      But surely these women think more highly of themselves than to believe that they have to sponge off some man for the rest of their lives?

      Am I crazy that I value my independence so much that I’d rather work than husband hunt for a wealthy prospect? There are scads around here.

      I could write, do charity work, get my masters…I suppose the free time would be nice.

      Maybe it’s a New York thing? Being a “career girl”?

    • 

      Also, doesn’t it matter what it does to the man’s finances? I’ve seen men decimated by these laws, while the women are living much better off. The laws have got to be adjusted to fix that.

  20. 

    This shit horrifies me. I work my ass off and make decent money. I am not paying for some dumbass that wasn’t smart enough to keep me around. Pre-Nup all the way! Not that I am in any danger of being married any time soon or anything.

    • 

      You never know, Maurnas. Anyday now, some knit wear covered penis may sweep you off your feet…

      I think people have this idea in their head about a glamorous Hollywood pre nup.

      At this stage in our lives, just something simple that states that you and your partner can just leave with whatever we had to begin with would suffice.

  21. 

    My sister split from her husband and was the breadwinner. She didn’t want any money from him and didn’t ask for anything either. She also has her child about 90% of the time. But, they are friends, and this has worked out for them. He is pretty bad with money, and she’s always made bank. I don’t think he ever considered any alimony from her. I don’t know what the laws are out here regarding it. I hope things smooth out for you, Samara. You have some great advice. xoxo

  22. 

    Ok, So I had a dissenting opinion at first due to having a sister who made some pretty bad decisions in her life right out the gate. I would agree that paying someone’s ex is just exploitative after awhile, but in her case if they ever break up, he better pony up and take of her. Considering the fact that he won’t really let her finish school or have a proper job.

    However, I do agree that there should be a limit to how much and how long. Also if I ever start making a good amount of money and considering how hard I’ve worked up until this point, I don’t find it rude or horrible at all to ask for a pre-nup. We come in with our own stuff and we leave with it. However, if we have children they will be responsible for them. I don’t think that’s too much to ask.

    Nothing in this world is guaranteed, especially relationships.

    • 

      In the case of your sister – that’s just disgusting. I don’t understand this whole not “letting” her finish school or get a proper job.

      I shouldn’t judge. I don’t know what goes on in their marriage. But it sounds like the kind of relationship I just don’t care for.

      And yes, having someone pay to help care for your children is perfectly fine. Just make sure you don’t get stuck having to support someone.

      That sucks royally.

  23. 

    No one, man or woman, should get paid for life because they were married. Especially these days where you may well divorce at 35 and go on to live until well into your 90s! Take some responsibility.

  24. 

    State laws — at least in N.J. — are Alice-in-Wonderland lies. The divorce system made me give my ex large amounts of pre-marital assets DESPITE the laws saying pre-marital assets can’t be touched in a divorce.

    The “trick” was our judge told us I would be stuck with 100% of my ex’s legal costs (in addition to my own). My ex promptly blackmailed me. She assured me she would make the divorce as expensive as possible. Her blackmail was legal. I paid out an upfront settlement (in lieu of alimony).

    Understand the marriage was under 10 years. We had no children. I had even shelled out $120,000 while we were married for her to get an advanced education. And she was the one who asked for the divorce. (No cheating on my part; I was just boring to her.)

    And despite her claiming to be unable to find a job (thus needing the settlement) she miraculously found full employment three days after the divorce. In effect, she collected twice.

    While I fault my ex’s ethics I mainly blame the divorce legal system. It’ as if the legal system gave her a loaded gun she could hold me up with.

  25. 

    I was diagnosed with cancer and to keep this short I was misdiagnosed and sued. I received a decent settlement in which I asked my then husband who would never take a day off from work to support me (go to dr visits, chemo, take off for our child while I was in the hospital) to promise me that now since I will be paying off our mortgage and we will be comfortable to now take off once in awhile and put me first. Well it lasted about a year. Here is a guy whose house was paid off, got himself a nice little sports car, had two boats in 2 years, even went upstate to look at a 3rd boat while I was in the hospital and passed right by me and didn’t even visit me. Well by the 3rd time that I was rediagnosed with cancer he no longer wanted to take off for work when I needed to be hospitalized for a major surgery. This was for our daughter not me. Instead she was shuffled off to the neighbors. I decided that was it. I’m done. I wanted to be separated. Trying to make this short. Was out one nite with friends and met a man. First time in 15 years that I ever took down a phone #. Well 4 days later me, my daughter and husband went on a preplanned cruise that we had to do especially didn’t want to disappoint our daughter. We barely spoke the entire vacation. The final day of the cruise I told him I wanted a divorce. Also I failed to mention that prior to this divorce request I asked him twice for us to go for marriage counseling and he refused. When we returned home I called a lawyer and filed for divorce and also began seeing the man I met four days before the cruise. In New Jersey, even if I had been caught in bed with this man this is a no fault state, so adultery is not even a topic in the court room or it shouldn’t be. But it unfairly was. After 3 days in divorce court my ex walked away with half of my lawsuit money which is so unfair considering I’m the one who is sick and disabled and the only life savings I will ever have. Then of course he got 50% of the sale of the house which was a nice chunk if change considered I paid the house off. Being sick, I never got to appreciate that money. It afforded me the ability to go out to dinner or order out whenever I wanted because I was too tired to cook. But I never used that money for any enjoyment like HE did. So YES I GET ALIMONY. I feel I deserve it 150%!!! He is a 47 year old man with a very lucrative salary and now thanks to me he has a nice fat savings account. I had to go buy another small home for me and my daughter so my savings is almost gone. He is engaged, to a healthy woman who also has her mortgage paid off. Needless to say he cries poor and hates paying me 275.00 a week alimony but that money doesn’t go to getting my hair & nails done or anything fancy. It helps pay for my COBRA health insurance that I had to get because Medicare doesn’t cover all my medical bills. I deserve this till the day I die. Oh and by the way I’m entitled to 50 % of his pension but I truly doubt I will make it another 8 yrs till he retires. I am terminally ill with cancer. If I collect and live that long than I will not bitch about what he got from me. Unfortunately the pain and disabilities that I suffer I will never enjoy it, however my daughter will be able to start her adult life with a nice cushion in the bank!!!!

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