Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Should Alimony Die a Quick Death?

My PJM column is up:

The time for alimony as we know it may have passed, writes Dr. Helen Smith. “No man or woman should be held to being a slave to an ex-spouse after a marriage ends.”

Should we think about abolishing alimony except in extreme cases? Go read my column and tell me either there or here what you think.



Blogger Sid said...

I agree.

I think that short-term alimony is justifiable. But long-term alimony is not.

In the short-term (maybe 4 years), the support would allow the former husband or wife to re-enter the workforce. After that, it would only be fair that both parties end financial interdependence.

I also agree that child support is a different matter.

6:01 AM, December 19, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Too simple, too honest, too fair.
Over 70% of divorces are initiated by women (a number I have seen more than once, though not exact). "I don't want to be in this marriage anymore. I'm taking the kids, too. And you have to pay".

There is a young, recently divorced "girl" living down from me with two kids. Her ex is loaded up with alimony, child support, and his money also feeds the live in boy friend. I, too, have had to do the same (alimony and live in support) - except for child support. The kids have always lived with me - at their request. And I am glad to have them!

And you know the lawyers will never go for it. Too late for me, but there's lots of work to be done.

7:16 AM, December 19, 2007  
Blogger Mike said...

How can you justify it for anything other than someone who stayed home with the kids? The average woman today has a job of her own, thus they don't have a case for financial support.

7:19 AM, December 19, 2007  
Blogger Cham said...

I live in an alimony-free state, I don't know anyone who has ever gotten it. The state will only grant alimony if a spouse can prove they have no training to find a job to support a family. The longest it is allowed to last is 2 years while a spouse attends an educational training program. I agree with the law and I guess everyone else does because I've lived here 25 years and there has been no outcry to overturn it.

8:12 AM, December 19, 2007  
Blogger Helen said...


That sounds fair. I can see two years if the spouse (male or female) needs training. What state is it?

8:21 AM, December 19, 2007  
Blogger Cham said...


8:40 AM, December 19, 2007  
Blogger BobnMissy said...

Our situation: From 2001 to 2004, while they were still married and living together, Ex was a full-time student at Roane State. Hubby paid for her education which provided her with a certificate as a Rad Tech. They seperated in 2005, after she graduated from that program. Divorce was contested, 2.5 years to go to court, she refused to work that entire time. Although there was no abuse ..., she was given 3/4 of the marital assets including the paid for home, and she was awarded 3 years of alimony. She proclaims herself loudly to be a feminist yet we are providing her lifestyle. He got screwed, attorney was well-known here in Knoxvegas, charged $35000 for him to lose most of his assets. My advice: Stay married.

In case the above doesn't illustrate it, yes, alimony is a farce and it needs to end.

8:42 AM, December 19, 2007  
Blogger GawainsGhost said...

Here in Texas we don't have alimony, unless the wife stays home to raise the kids. And then only for three years after the divorce. The rationale is that because she was removed from the workforce, she needs support while she continues or completes her education or job training and reenters the workforce. I think that's fair.

I also think it would be fair for the wife to pay alimony for three if the husband left the workforce to stay home and raise the kids. But that is not the case.

I've said it before and I'll say it again. The law is set up to protect women from men. There is no law to protect men from women. And that is what needs to be changed.

Particularly, the law of presumptive paternity really must be done away with. Men should be storming the streets, marching in protests and demanding a revision of this law. I understand the need for child support, but it should come from the biological father.

A man marries a woman. He runs around behind her back and gets his girlfriend pregnant. Who's going to pay for the child? He is, and well he should; it's his child. Of course, his wife is then going to divorce him, take his house and kids, and receive child support also and in many states alimony too. That's a lose lose situation for him, which is why most men, I would say over 80%, are faithful to their wives.

A woman marries a man. She runs around behind his back and gets pregnant with her boyfriend. Who's going to pay for that child? The husband is. And there's nothing he can do about it. His wife could then divorce him, take half his money and the house, move the boyfriend in, and the ex-husband still has to pay child-support. So it's a win win situation for her. She gets money, property, her boyfriend, and her love child.

This is manifestly unfair and, frankly, corrupts the entire marriage contract. I read a study some years back that said 1/3 of the paternity tests performed in this country prove that the husband is not the father of the child. So obviously there is very little incentive for a woman to be faithful to her husband. In fact, there is every incentive for her not to be, and apparently at least 33% aren't.

What does she have to lose by being unfaithful? Not much. Her husband, but she never really liked him to begin with. She just wanted access to his money. This is why so many women file for divorce.

The way the law is constructed, with community funds, community property and presumptive paternity, marriage is a really bad deal for a man. Divorce is an even worse deal, which is why so few men file for it.

There isn't a woman alive who would make that deal, if the law applied equally to her. If she had to assume full legal responsibility for paying child support for every child her husband conceives, even those that are not hers, there wouldn't be a married woman on this planet.

But women don't really want equality. They want superiority. The sad thing is that the way she gets it is by conning some clown into putting a ring on her finger.

9:09 AM, December 19, 2007  
Blogger Sarah said...

If the mom has been staying home with the kids or worked part time in retail while they were in school and meanwhile, the dad was a lawyer (or something) I support alimony. If the dad has been at home with the kids or running a small business out of the house so that the kids will have someone to come home to while the mom was a plastic surgeon, I support alimony.

In general I think this sort of thing is best left up to judges. It's silly to say that twenty-three years after a divorce, the ex-wife is entitled to anything from a man's retirement payments. But every case is different, and I see no reason to mandate a specific "X number of years" rule. Better to have guidelines and elect reasonable judges.

Then again, I'm no fan of divorce. My parents collectively (including steps) demonstrated pretty thoroughly why it's better to wait to get married and then work through your difficulties -- their most recent marriages have lasted 24 years and 19 years, respectively (the average from all the previous ones was something like 3 years.)

9:10 AM, December 19, 2007  
Blogger Helen said...

"In general I think this sort of thing is best left up to judges."

You've got to be kidding.

9:55 AM, December 19, 2007  
Blogger BobH said...

To GawainsGhost:

I fully agree with you about eliminating presumption of paternity. In fact, it has become something of an obsession with me. I think the 1/3 figure that you quote is coutesy of the American Association of Blood Banks. It is from a self-selected sample and the "real" figure from a random sample is probably closer to 10%. But what is REALLY annoying about the situation the attitude, widely-expressed by women in power (e.g., 3 ABA committee chairs, Dr. Laura, Ann Landers), that men should just put up with it.

I have mentioned the issue in four different college classes that I have attended. Virtually all women of the women there said that the situation is unacceptable and should be changed. However, none of them seems willing to do anything constructive to change it. (I got to ask about 1/3 of the women several months later, thanks to one FEMALE primate ethology professor who was as fascinated as I.)

Several women self-righteously commented that "Men made the law and men should change it." Fine, what that means is that it's mens fault for "being stupid enough to trust women". (Believe me, that phrase DOES get women's attention.) The immediate implication is that when men stop trusting women, paternal presumption in marriage becomes irrelevant because marriage itself becomes irrelevant. Either that or American marriages start looking like Saudi marriages.

9:58 AM, December 19, 2007  
Blogger Marbel said...

"The state will only grant alimony if a spouse can prove they have no training to find a job to support a family. The longest it is allowed to last is 2 years while a spouse attends an educational training program."

Well, what about families where the mom stays home with young kids? They should have to go to daycare while mom gets job training? That would make sense if it was the mom who walked out. But if the parents agree that mom will stay home with the kids, and dad walks out - why should mom have to send them to daycare so he doesn't have to pay alimony?

10:09 AM, December 19, 2007  
Blogger Cham said...

Marbel, that is the law and that is the way it is. Alimony has nothing to do with child support, which is a different matter altogether. If a parent doesn't wish to send their kids to daycare they have the option to 1) Live with another person who is willing to watch the kids 2) Sharply reduce living expenses and attempt to live off child support payments 3) Use savings or settlement money for living expenses, if there is a will there is a way. There are plenty of jobs here, one should not be depending on their exspouse for income.

10:21 AM, December 19, 2007  
Blogger GawainsGhost said...

Well, Bobh, I don't know how accurate that study was, I just remember reading some years ago and being stunned by it.

However, the simple fact remains that men have very little incentive to be unfaithful in a marriage, while women have every incentive. That's the problem with the marriage contract right there.

But they're not going to change the law. Half of the voting population is female. There is absolutely no way women are ever going to agree to change the law. It gives them power.

I do agree however that men made the law, and it is up to men to change the law.

10:23 AM, December 19, 2007  
Blogger Cham said...

Gawainsghost and Bobh:

According to this, the rate of non-paternity in the Western hemisphere runs under 4%.

10:32 AM, December 19, 2007  
Blogger Reinholt said...

"In general I think this sort of thing is best left up to judges."

I would say that, in almost all cases, the worst choice we can possibly make is leaving anything up to a government entity or employee.

You'd have to strongly believe that an inefficient, stupid government solution (simply investigate the behavior of governments and their results to confirm this is your most likely case) is better than the problem before you'd want to make this choice... there are times when this is appropriate, but I don't think this is one.

In this case, I agree with Helen that, short of situations where a genuine need for short-term support exists (such as job retraining / training), there should be no alimony. I actually feel quite strongly about equal treatment in many situations and would not consent to get married under any circumstances without a quite binding pre-nuptial agreement restricting things like asset distribution and alimony (equal with regard to gender, but protecting the higher wage earner - if my wife out-earns me, I don't deserve to steal from her).

Funny how quickly women flee or turn angry in conversation when I discuss this view, but it was an excellent tool for rooting out the ones interested primarily in my money. Likewise, I don't think the issue is changing the law - I think the issue is refusing to put yourself in that position in the first place.

I also concur that child support is a totally different subject, and should not be mistaken for alimony.

10:32 AM, December 19, 2007  
Blogger Unknown said...

First, we all could cite examples where a woman has been screwed by the divorce system versus a man being screwed. Injustice happens. I wish it didn't. I think it is unwise to demand change based on one blown call. One has to look at the entire system. Even in states that award alimony, alimony is not that common. However, as several people have pointed out, there are several situations, rarer as time goes on, where alimony legitimately may be reasonable and necessary.

Second, the legal system is running about twenty years behind societal development. Law tends to be reactive - it always has (with a few notable exceptions). In my mother's generation (she is 65 and finally retiring) most women had limited career options and divorce was more rare. Therefore, much of the design of today's laws reflect the status of women and men twenty years ago, thirty years ago.

In regard to the implication that women divorce because there is no penalty to them-> they get the kids, child support, etc. I point out that in general, BOTH spouses standard of living drops upon divorce, men and women. There was a terrible biased study (now discredited) that women's standard of living dropped like 40% while men's improved.... Nonetheless, in general both standards of living drop. This makes logical sense, considering you are paying for double for many things. In any case, it is very true that mostly women are initiating divorces, but I don't think its because of the financial boon to them in doing so. There is no financial boon. I divorced my first husband, and it was because he was abusive. I am happily remarried to a man I'd gladly die for.

Lastly, the "children." Men don't like the idea of paying for support for kids that are them. Well, I feel all around bad about this. I think men are right, why should the kookoo's baby be pushed on father bird. On the other hand, for god's sake, the child is an innocent. She/he is calling what she believes is her dad "dad" irrespective of the biology. How can you punish that child, devestate her, throw her out the door like human garbage simply because she does not share your genome. Legislatures haven't found the easy answer to that one either.

In regard to the legal profession being the "stumbling block" that causes divorces to be both expensive and contentious. Please! Its expensive and contentious because the people involved are more interested in hurting each other than in getting through divorce cleanly. When my husband and I split, we didn't fight about money. We settled our accounts quickly and easily. It cost us 185.00.

10:48 AM, December 19, 2007  
Blogger GawainsGhost said...

Well, Cham, I don't believe that study, because the objective facts of the law contradict it. A woman has nothing to lose and everything to gain by being unfaithful to her husband, also known as the idiot who married her.

I knew a guy who married this girl. Four kids and ten years later, they divorced, citing irreconcilable differences. But then one of the children was diagnosed with a genetic disease. Since this disease requires two recessive alleles, one from each parent, to manifest itself, the guy went to a doctor to have himself tested, because he foolishly expected to marry again.

Turns out he didn't carry the recessive allele and the child wasn't his. In fact, only one of the children was. This women had four children with four different men during their marriage, but only one of them is required to pay child support for all four. The husband.

This guy is now flat broke and shelling out child support payments, to the tune of 30% of his income, to pay for three children that aren't even his. He appealed the divorce court's ruling; it was denied. He took his case to the state supreme court; it was denied. He took it to the federal appeals court; denied. He took it all the way to the Supreme Court; denied.

The court does not allow evidence of any kind to question paternity in a marriage situation. If she is your wife, they are your children, you will pay child support. Period.

Anyone who doesn't think this law needs to be changed is retarded.

10:56 AM, December 19, 2007  
Blogger Unknown said...

By the way, keep in mind, without certain safe guards in there that allow an equitable distribution of assets as versus simply on what you and your spouse respectively earned, you put in a true drive that each party - husband and wife - will have but one goal - to make as much money as possible. Both my husband and I are in very demanding and highly lucrative fields. We are expecting our first child. If we continue the path we are on, the child will see us perhaps one hour a night. It will be raised by strangers. It will be raised by nannys or daycare. We forget that the jobs that pay the best - doctors, lawyers, ceos, high level management - also encompass the most demanding hours. I think all the studies demonstrate a child's wellbeing is better when raised by its family rather than strangers. I have decided to step down, but not give up, my career, for the good of my child. As a consequence I am getting off of a career track that otherwise would lead me to significant financial success in my forties. To get back on, will be difficult. I accept that, and the consequences that may fall should my husband divorce me. However, its also why its very difficult to reduce the marriage conundrum to merely dollars in/dollars out.

10:57 AM, December 19, 2007  
Blogger Unknown said...

gawain: its bad science to deny a study based on one case. We've all seen airplane wrecks on the news - most people die a horrible firery death. Yet, airplane travel is safer that automobile. This person that you know married a harpy. God, that sucks, I feel for him. But it is the firery airplane wreck.

I am not retarded, but I don't know how to change the law to keep from hurting the ONLY innocent parties in the mess - the kids.

11:09 AM, December 19, 2007  
Blogger GawainsGhost said...

The way you change the law is to require the biological father to pay child support. And also to allow the betrayed husband to sue the living hell out of his whore wife and her boyfriends.

But that would require true equality in marriage, wouldn't it? I notice that that thought never entered into your mind.

11:30 AM, December 19, 2007  
Blogger Tam said...

Mr. Ghost,

May I politely suggest that you have some issues that you may want to work through before ever considering a relationship again?

11:44 AM, December 19, 2007  
Blogger bearing said...

Because I can't conceive of a situation that's more appropriate for alimony, I'm wondering if Dr. Helen thinks that the case where one spouse totally abandons his/her career in order to stay home with children is an "extreme" case.

Have we really come so far that to give up one's career in order to raise children with direct parental involvement is "extreme?" Not a reasonable, healthy, ordinary choice? Not, dare I say, a good choice?

I'm doing it, and I don't feel all that "extreme."

11:45 AM, December 19, 2007  
Blogger Unknown said...

Oh please, you have no idea what I think about equity in marriage. My question is what do you do about the wellbeing of the children, which of course, you utterly ignored as well.

11:46 AM, December 19, 2007  
Blogger Mark said...

A most interesting post and comments!

For a different perspective, I moved to a small town 2 years ago - really small, I am almost an hour from a movie theater, we are so small we don't even have a starbucks!

Out here, very few women work. The men work the farms and there is lots of construction work but middle America is still a lot more traditional than people realize.

I disagree that alimony should be eliminated. My personal view is that in the event of a divorce, if one person has not worked, the person (male or female although I suspect 99% of the time its female) who has not worked will need time and money to get trained and enter the workforce. The person with money should assist the other one and if they don't want to, the state must force them. Without alimony the person who divorces suddenly attains a substandard lifestyle, forced to pay for a home/childcare/etc on presumably minimum wage. Yes you could argue "you made your bed, now lay in it" but that makes no allowance for someone who divorces to get out of an abusive (mental or physical) relationship or other situations where the one suing for divorce is the "good guy" (such as infidelity)

However I do not agree with the concept of the permanent handout. A permanent payout just encourages the handout attitude (why should I work when I get money for not working?)

I too have a story, one of my good friends divorced and has paid alimony for many years. He recently remarried and his ex went to court to get HER wages attached to the settlement. Apparently alimony is for "family" income and once he married, her income was part of the families. So now the new wife gets to pay alimony also and the ex got a substantial raise.

11:49 AM, December 19, 2007  
Blogger Marbel said...

Cham, I understand the difference between child support and alimony. The abandoned spouse has to eat too. And I understand that that is the law; I just don't agree with it. The options you listed are all viable, sure. But if my husband were to walk out on our family, I would expect him to pony up for the life that he and I agreed upon for our children - a stay-home, homeschooling mother, living in our home, not with someone who can "watch the kids" while I go to job training. Yeah, "if there is a will, there is a way" but if he's the one who leaves, he should be the one to find the way. I'm not talking about an upgrade in lifestyle, just maintenance. Leaving the family is a choice a person makes, not a bad thing that happens, like an illness or accident that takes away someone's ability to support the family.

It'd be different if I was the abandoning spouse, or if we had not agreed on that particular life. And I understand that the law can't cover every possible situation.

11:50 AM, December 19, 2007  
Blogger GawainsGhost said...

Oh, please. A man is responsible for paying child support for every child he conceives. I totally agree with that.

But a man is also required to pay child support for every child his wife conceives, regardless of whether any of those children are his or not. I totally disagree with that.

And that is the reason why I have never gotten married, even though I'm self-employed, make a lot of money, have zero debt, and own a real estate corporation worth millions. As stupid as I am, I've never been so stupid as to trust a woman. Not with the law constructed as it is.

At what point are women going to own up to the fact that they should be held responsible for the consequences of their actions?

Answer: Never.

She doesn't want equality. She wants superiority and preferentiality.

Yeah, well, she isn't going to get it from me. I don't need the drama, and I'd rather have the money.

12:03 PM, December 19, 2007  
Blogger Unknown said...


Your arguments would have more weight if you didn't come across as a woman hater: "all women are deceptive all women are untrustworthy no women want equality." Such grandiose sweeping comments demonstrate nothing but a deepseated bias...

Its also kind of obvious that you don't have kids. Especially since you don't seem to give one THOUGHT about the consequences to the emotional wellbeing of the child. Change the law, I don't care, but at least turn some of that intellect to helping the child who lost his father in one fell swoop. If money was all it took to raise a child, paris hilton wouldn't be the utterly vapid idiot that she is...

only I guess MONEY and passing on your OWN PERSONAL genome is all you care about, not the actual well being of this small entity that through no fault of his own called you "father." To hell with that emotional attachment, huh? Because of course, the kid isn't "yours" is it?

Yah, for the feminist movement! I have my own job, make a damn decent living, didn't have to get alimony at divorce (didnt want it either) and can say to the egotistical self centered greedy men out there to take their money and SHOVE IT. All you seem to offer is money, and thats just not enough for a decent, honest, faithful, smart, and cute female like me to want to spend my life with you....

12:16 PM, December 19, 2007  
Blogger Cham said...

I've stated here my complete distaste of the alimony concept. But I would also like to go back and address 2 other Helen posts, the ones about dating toxins and the nice guys, so we can work all the subjects together.

Several commenters on those posts whined that the "nice guy" or beta male has a great deal of trouble finding a mate. Some posters complained that the alpha male or bad boy gets all the available women. A few days later we have men agreeing that alimony is a lousy idea.

I'm not saying these comments are right or wrong but...from what I am seeing within my local geographical population is that if you don't give a woman a payoff to marriage, she won't. Unlike men, many women don't view marriage as an avenue to find intimacy, sex and friendship. And the big down side to this is that women's offspring will grow up in a household without a male role model and those children will wreak havoc on a community like nobody's business.

Male commenters on this blog are very enthusiastic that women hold jobs during a marriage. (I agree with this, BTW, not because it is good for the men but because it is an insurance policy for women if the marriage doesn't work out). But if women will have the same standard of living in a marriage than without the marriage, more than likely you will have fewer women chasing those single beta males around.

Just something to think about.

12:20 PM, December 19, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Where in the hell did this batch of females come from?

mark - you're a dumb ass AND you need to move.

12:21 PM, December 19, 2007  
Blogger LZ said...

Very simple solution. The state will conduct paternity tests on every child born.

12:25 PM, December 19, 2007  
Blogger GawainsGhost said...

I am not a woman hater. But I'm not a woman truster either.

In fact, if you bothered to read my previous post on an earlier topic, I said, "If you know her, if she's honest, if you can trust her, then marry her. She'll be the best asset you ever had."

The problem is that all the women I meet that I do not know, have not convinced me that they are honest, and that I therefore cannot trust insist that I rush into marriage. Like I'm going to play that stupid game.

I don't need the drama, and I'd rather have the money.

What is it about women that they fail to see the fundamental inequity in the law?

What is it about women that they refuse to accept any responsibility for the consequences of their actions?

Answer: That which makes them not worth marrying.

12:27 PM, December 19, 2007  
Blogger Cham said...

Matthew, no way. I believe the state should require paternity tests on every child born, but the taxpayer should not be stuck with the bill for that service. Again, I don't know about other states but any person seeking child support payments here, the first stop is the paternity test so there are no mistakes. Paternity tests cost under $100.

12:29 PM, December 19, 2007  
Blogger Tam said...

"Where in the hell did this batch of females come from?"

They haven't covered this one with you yet?

Well, first Daddy kisses Mommy, and then...

12:30 PM, December 19, 2007  
Blogger Caved1ver said...

May I politely suggest that you have some issues that you may want to work through before ever considering a relationship again?


May I politely suggest that you learn to argue your position in rational manner rather than resorting to female "shaming language". Your echo chamber of like minded "strong women" do you a serious disservice.

12:46 PM, December 19, 2007  
Blogger Tam said...


Tell you what, you suggest a rational argument against the following: "At what point are women going to own up to the fact that they should be held responsible for the consequences of their actions?

Answer: Never.

She doesn't want equality. She wants superiority and preferentiality.

...and I'll use it, okay?

You can't argue rationally against something that is so patently nonsensical.

12:57 PM, December 19, 2007  
Blogger Caved1ver said...

Your arguments would have more weight if you weren’t conveniently naïve about the current state of institutionalized misandry in contemporary US society.

Thanks to the lobbying efforts of feminists focused on chivalrous “secular progressive” male politicians & judges, today’s women children live increasingly “responsibility optional, consequence free” lives. Women have the majority of civil, education, reproductive, marital, divorce, child-custody, and child-support rights in America. Result? Women are abusing “No-Fault Divorce”: women apply for 70% of all divorces while utilizing children as financial assets in order to leverage the largest amount of de facto Alimony: i.e., child support. Why find a new boyfriend if you don’t have an ex-husband to subsidize your new love life. Given their child custody monopoly, mothers commit 60% of all child abuse. Moreover, in recent poll 30% of women were willing to commit maternity fraud (lying about her fertility or use of birth control) depending on the prospective father’s income. Fifty percent (50%) of all married women commit adultery which results in at least 1-10% of women committing the most despicable act of domestic abuse: paternity fraud (lying about her child’s real father) w/ impunity by legally forcing their husbands to pay for some else’s children. Why not have an affair if you have an ambulatory wallet to pay for consequences of said affair. Women routinely employ abortion as de facto birth control that results in 25 % (1.4M) of all children conceived yearly being aborted for pure convenience. Also, since Women unilaterally decide to have children out of wedlock at least 37% of the time, those same chivalrous male politicians enacted social welfare programs ($1.4T per year) that benefit promiscuous irresponsible women at the expense of the majority male taxpayer base. Why is it always some woman implying that some semblance gender equality exists when it’s clear that we are living in an increasingly gynocentric, socialist dystopia?

1:03 PM, December 19, 2007  
Blogger Unknown said...


I didn't go back and read every post you did, but addressed the one where you made very sweeping claims that women dont want equality or that women aren't trustworthy.... Such sweeping generalizations do smack of a latent bais. Some men are dogs, I sure don't classify all men as dogs.

Its not refusing to accept or recognizing the inequity. Its not refusing to accept consequences.

Its that you will not address or recognize that the CHILD, the only innocent, is the one TRULY DAMAGED - taking the "consequences" of both of his parents actions - when the father says, opp, you aren't my genome, I want nothing to do with you. That type of reject hurts like hell, and to a child, can seriously damage. What happens if mom's picadillo was ten years ago? Who knows where bio dad is now, if you could even find him and nail him for child support? What happens to that ten years of bonding you've done with the child.

I think this conundrum is one of the reasons the legislature hasn't found an answer or made the changes you push for. You offer a change in the law - fine. I continue to ask you -> what do you do to safe guard the child's relation with the man who was raising him? Even if that man is not his biodad?

Matthew offers an answer: require paternity testing for every child born- who pays for it? insurance? dad? the state? I think you'd have to have it mandated so its done automatically- because I can't imagine after sweating for thirty hours or how ever long until I give birth facing my husband demanding a paternity test. That'd hurt like hell.

I think its stuff like this that demonstrates why marriage as an institution is dying on the vine, even though I am married. We want to marry, we want to love, we want to trust, but we are behind the doors, planning our exit strategy just in case. We have our premarriage contracts, we have our paternity tests when the child is born, we refuse to take the lower paying job just in case the man/woman walks out the door and leaves us financially destitute. Mom told me to make sure I had a career, becuase I couldn't count on any low down man. We put ourselves and our personal interests always to the forefront. It is a self fulfilling prophecy. The more we act like the marriage will fail, the more likely it does. Yet, marriage seems to still offer the single best way to get married.

1:10 PM, December 19, 2007  
Blogger Trudy W Schuett said...

Back in 1966, when NOW was established, part of their platform was that alimony should be abolished. For a brief time, "liberated" women who divorced did, in fact, eschew alimony.

I've always felt that if you leave a marriage, you should leave it, and not keep ties with the ex through payments.

If there are children it is a different matter, but not much. Many divorcing couples of my era decided child custody and support by who had the resources. The other party helped out financially when possible.

I think it was a far more civilized system than now, because hardly anyone involved the courts. People decided things privately, and didn't put price tags on their lives.

1:12 PM, December 19, 2007  
Blogger Caved1ver said...

Rational argument? Don't confuse being blind to the nation of institutionalized "female privilege" w/ superior standing in a logical argument. I can show you several examples of blatant female entitlement based upon the practice of "group-identity politics" practiced by Feminists. But for the sake of argument, a nd speaking as member of the “disposable” gender, I’m all in favor of an ERA (“Equal Responsibility Amendment”) which should contain the following items:

(a) Women are legally held accountable for their actions (e.g., CAPT Nowak, Mary Winkler, Andrea Yates, Debra LaFave, etc.) like their male counterparts;
(b) Current paternal court system is overhauled to be gender-neutral WRT divorce, alimony, child custody & child support
(c) The law mandates automatic paternity tests for all children born in the U.S. (NOW will fight this tooth & nail)
(d) Women accept the consequences of engaging in relations w/ men with whom they really don’t want to have children rather than using abortion as de facto birth control (apparently 20% of U.S. children conceived (1.4 MILLION) are annually aborted- pretty pathetic behavior on the part of the “morally superior” gender who has access to over a dozen forms of birth control);
(e) Women are prosecuted for committing the most despicable form of domestic abuse: PATERNITY FRAUD (we will need to build more prisons because this will apply to at least 10% of the female population)
(f) The U.S. government spends as much $ financing male specific disease research as it does female specific research (e.g., prostrate vice breast cancer research) which includes the average life-span disparity (men on average lived longer that women prior to the 20th century)
(g) Women comprise 50% of mining, construction & other work-related deaths (not likely since the lives of women are more valuable than men), e.g., “poor” women should be taken off the welfare rolls IOT be given the opportunity to die along side poor men since gender is a social construct;
(h) Women work 50% of all overtime;
(i) Women pay 59% of all income taxes (59 cents on every dollar collected by the federal government goes to pay for entitlements that almost solely benefit WOMEN)
(j) Men are accorded the opportunity to stay at home to raise their children without being subjected to the usual misandrist “shaming language”, nor losing their home & children
(k) The Social Security Retirement age for women should be extended to 72 IOT compensate for their artificially enhanced life spans;
(l) “Chivalry” (i.e., Pro-female sexism) will be treated as a felony; and
(m) Women do 50% of all standard dirty/analytically-challenging male domestic chores: e.g., replace/re-wire dishwasher, move 8 tons of river rock around the pool area, repair sprinkler piping, inspect crawl space, rip out & replace crawl space door, administer home WLAN, etc.

Feminists, like children, see rights without the associated responsibilities. They see a “Patriarchy” w/o acknowledging the power of the traditional domestic “Matriarchy.” They see the female as “Goddess” but not likewise as the “Devil.” They talk ad nauseum about the “glass ceiling” w/o acknowledging the men tied to the “glass cellar”, e.g., men still dominate the 20 most dangerous, low-paying professions & suffer 95% of all workplace-related deaths & injuries. They are pathetic, petulant, pedantic women-children & if they aren’t careful, the ADULTS with get tired of doing all the heavy lifting and allow the Bogymen to come in and put all of the women of this country in Burkas.

Ladies & associated self-loathing male enablers of female misbehavior: don’t bother to consider the merits of anything I have stated. Merely brand me a “woman hater” & start to attack my manhood. Let the “invalidation games” begin…

1:13 PM, December 19, 2007  
Blogger GawainsGhost said...

Exactly how is the child harmed by having the biological father pay child support?

I'd like an answer to that question.

1:14 PM, December 19, 2007  
Blogger Unknown said...


I am not as niave as you would believe. Thus, I don't take your numbers at face value unless you bother to cite the sources...

I never said the legal system wasn't skewed. I refer you to my first post where I stated that the inherent problem with the legal system was that it was running twenty years out of date. The way that the world is TODAY, with the equal opportunities that exist for women, is not what it was like in my mother's generation. My mother told me when she went to college, she could either be a teacher or a nurse... MY alma mater - UVA - didn't take women into undergrad when she was in undergrad. She went to mary washington instead.

I am actually a very big proponent of (1) joint custody and (2) getting rid of the automatic bias for placing children with the mother at divorce. That will rectify much of your complaints concerning the inherent lack of balance in the child support system.

And by the way, in all your citing about women lying and being deceptive to get pregnant- using abortion as birth control (I cannot tell you how wrong your conclusion is with that, but whatevah) and having children out of wedlock with impunity to suck from the state's teat or win some kind of lottery from a rich man...

Heh, tell me dear, are men to stupid to use a condom?

Common guys? Nobody likes stereotyping! I don't assume men are so stupid! You are sleeping with a girl you don't know if you'd want to marry! Are you not smart enough to safeguard yourself from having unwanted children by her by wearing a condom?

1:24 PM, December 19, 2007  
Blogger Caved1ver said...

“What happens if mom's picadillo was ten years ago?”


Thank you for being an apologist for female misbehavior. What if 4% of all men were RAPISTS? Rape is all about temporary control over another persons body. When some female commits paternity fraud she saying to her spouse: all you are is an ambulatory wallet whose life I will control for the next 18 years. Imagine giving another person control of your body against your will for 18 YEARS? It cost on average $250K to raise a child. Men routinely work themselves to death to support their families. They are willing to do so if they have little copies of themselves back home. It’s call “vicarious immortality.” These women are “life rapists” and should be treated accordingly.

The children in question should learn what a MONSTER their mother truly is so that they can either avoid emulating her behavior and/or avoid women like their mother altogether.

1:31 PM, December 19, 2007  
Blogger Cham said...

Caved1nver, my suggestion would be the eliminate the stigma for paternity tests. If they are mandatory then there won't be a problem in the future. If a man knows within the first month of a child's life that he is not the father then he has a choice to walk or be a parent. If 10 years later he decides that the marriage isn't for him he will still be on the hook for child support, a decision he made when he opted not to walk away from parenting. Joint custody and visitation should also be an option to the father. The father should also be able sue for custody.

Will women be insulted if their children are required to have a paternity test? Probably. I'm insulted every time the IRS asks for my W2 for proof of my wages but I get over it. I'm insulted every time a credit agency checks my credit, but I get over that too. Life is full of insults.

1:41 PM, December 19, 2007  
Blogger Unknown said...

I am not an apologist for bad behavior? Where did THAT come from. LOL. And I never approved of paternity fraud. Where did THAT come from? I sure don't approve of adultury either, by either sex.... You assume that a woman automatically KNOWS that the husband isn't the dad if she's sleeping with multiple men. I tell you, considering the difficulty I had predicting my ovulation to get pregnant with my husband, its not as easy as you think. Women are "hidden ovulators" it takes much counting, careful measurement of temperature, and pissing on a lot of sticks to determine the exact moment of ovulation.

I consider a woman who passes a child that belongs to her lover as her husband as dispicable as the man who founds a child on his mistress and prays no one finds out.

However, my concern is that the child loses his father, not that the skank gets punished. Apparently in your world, a man cannot form an emotional attachment to a child (and vice versa - a child cannot form an emotional attachment to a father) absence the presence of common genetic background.

You assume that men are so shallow, that they could not love a child or be a father to that child unless that child is their own genetic makeup. I luckly, think more of your sex than you do and do not consider the average american male so shallow.

A thousand adopted children prove that a child can love a father and father love a child without a genetic heretage in common.

I worry that the child, an innocent, may be severely injured when the father in his life rejects him merely because of his mother's idiot decision. In "punishing her" for her deception, what have you done to the child?

1:41 PM, December 19, 2007  
Blogger Edgehopper said...

Marbel has it right--the problem isn't so much alimony as it is no-fault alimony for plaintiffs. Alimony isn't proper for a woman who decides to run off because she's just unhappy with the marriage, but what about:

--The mom who stayed at home for 13 years raising the kids while the dad worked as a doctor, when the dad files for divorce? This was the case in my parents' marriage, and my mom, with her M.D. and long time out of practice, found it nearly impossible to work as a doctor. She didn't break the contract, why should she have to pay for his lifestyle choice?

--Same situation as above, but the mom files for divorce due to adultery or abuse. Again, why should someone like that be stuck in an abusive marriage because the guy gets to keep his money.

At a minimum, treat marriages like contracts, and hold the person who breaks the contract to providing the lifestyle that the married couple agreed on. Alimony for plaintiffs gives women far too much incentive to behave like the ones you're worried about; no alimony for defendants gives men far too much incentive to run off with their secretaries (or in my dad's case, 22 year old men.)

1:41 PM, December 19, 2007  
Blogger Unknown said...

wow Mar, HARSH in re: your dad.

1:44 PM, December 19, 2007  
Blogger Unknown said...

Um, not Mar, edgehopper, sorry

1:44 PM, December 19, 2007  
Blogger Edgehopper said...


The guy was abusive, cheated on her with men he met off the internet for random encounters during the marriage, and recently got caught on a To Catch a Predator sting. I have very little sympathy for him.

Generally I'm an anti-feminist (relative to what the feminist movement means in this day and age), but let's not pretend that all men are perfectly flawless, and all women in divorces are petty shrews.

1:50 PM, December 19, 2007  
Blogger BobH said...

To Alexia:

"I worry that the child, an innocent, may be severely injured when the father in his life rejects him merely because of his mother's idiot decision. In "punishing her" for her deception, what have you done to the child?"

That is the general excuse used by manipulative, hypocritical monsters trying to portray themselves and wonderfully caring and giving women!! The reality of the situation is that the mother is a criminal, the sucker "father" has made only one mistake - believing a woman - and what happens to the child is not his concern. THE MAN IS THE VICTIM OF FEMALE FRAUD, WOULD YOU F_____G BITCHES KINDLY GET THAT THROUGH YOUR HEADS!!!!

1:51 PM, December 19, 2007  
Blogger Cham said...

Bobh, you are stepping over the line with the personal attacks and the cussing.

1:54 PM, December 19, 2007  
Blogger Unknown said...

nice. you are so respectful of another person's opinion. Calling me a "bitch." You know, when people are forced to use invective like that, its because they don't have the intelligence, emotionally or i.q., to logically debate an issue. I never refered to these women as "wonderfully caring and giving women."

How can you not recognize that a child may be damaged if his or her father says to him, "you are not my child - I want nothing to do with you ever again" and leaves that child to fend for itself with out the father's positive influence. If it were otherwise, why do adopted kids get shook up when they find out their adopted?

My problem with this discussion has been that the men focus on punishing the evil women for her deception (fine - I don't particularly care) and protecting their wallets (I do too) without ever addressing the child they leave behind.

A child, an innocent, left in the hands of what you yourself discribe as a monster.

You also assume that the woman automatically knows the child is not her husbands... I point you to the legal concept of fraud, since you are throwing it around, requires "scienter." The mother must know the child is not his and must intend to mislead the man. This happens. But it doesn't mean it always happens... the woman may not have known it wasn't the father's child. I point to my own difficulties in knowing when to jump in bed with my husband, though god knows the child inside of me is his.

2:01 PM, December 19, 2007  
Blogger Marbel said...

"I think its stuff like this that demonstrates why marriage as an institution is dying on the vine..."

Isn't that a natural result of a culture that considers personal happiness the highest possible achievement of mankind? And I don't mean the personal happiness of others. It's all about me and my happiness, baby, and don't get in my way.

2:04 PM, December 19, 2007  
Blogger GawainsGhost said...

I'm still waiting for an answer to the question, how does it harm the child to require the biological father to pay child support?

Oh, no, wait, I know the answer. Some whore conned some clown into putting a ring on her finger, and now that he's her husband he is supposed to man up.

But when a woman gets pregnant by her husband, she's not required to woman up and raise the child?

Oh, no, no ,no, that would be oppression.

So, let me see if I get this straight. A man is going to be held fully repsonsible for all the consequences of his decisions. But a woman is not going to be held responsible for any of the consequences of her decisions.

Oh, okay, I get it.

I get it so well that I've never gotten married and don't intend to. Not that it matters to me, since I'm financially secure and debt free.

It seems to me that this is a female problem, and it never will be anything else. She refuses to be held accountable to the law that men are held accoutable to, even though the law was set up by men to protect women. She refuses to accept any responsibility for the consequences of her decisions. Rather, she expects a man to pay for all her indiscretions and poor decsisions.

So much for feminism. Or how to turn yourself from an asset into a liability 101.

2:07 PM, December 19, 2007  
Blogger Cham said...

Don't delude yourself marbel, personal happiness has always been the highest possible achievement of mankind. Life isn't a Hallmark card where we are more concerned about our spouses and our kids than ourselves. Years ago, a woman could improve her lot in life through marriage. Now, with a good education and some enthusiasm she can earn her way toward personal happiness. Sure, personal happiness is our culture, its everyone's culture, now and in the past and on to the future. I doubt those Chinese are working like busy beavers for the good of their country.

2:11 PM, December 19, 2007  
Blogger Unknown said...

Oh sorry, I will answer your question:

I don't think it hurts the child to have the biodad pay at all. If you can find the biodad.

I think the hurt comes from the loss of the father the child knew.

Usually, by the way, the woman always is forced to "woman up" and raise the child she is pregnant with... Unless she formally places the child for adoption. In fact, it is so rare that a mother simply abandons the child that it usually makes the news. Women are always accountable to the natural law - when the sucker is growing inside of her, she can't much easily get rid of it except by killing it. Now the dad tho... Dad can just disappear, especially outside the bounds of matrimony, and shirk his responsibilities.

Its one of the thousand reasons I think a woman should never had a child outside the bounds of matrimony. Or men either. Its why I don't think you should even live togehter without marriage, and its not a moral issue.

I should make this point, since this conversation has gotten way past alimony....

Women and men are equally monsters.. or can be. Women use the system and get pregnant with the superstar athelete's child... we don't have much respect for her when she does. Women cheat and lie and steal, just like men. Women abuse their kids and manipulate the system, just like men. I am all for men moving in and nudging the family law system into the 21st century.

However, in any system you execute to address the stupid crap men and women insist on doing to each other - adultury, abandoning, abuse, whatever - there is always a third party - the child. The child didn't have the choice to enter into this world and the child does not have the choice to dump his jerky parents until he hits eighteen. The child is powerless. So in all the decisions you make, keep the eye on that child.

Very often the state comes in and tinkers to protect the child. The state comes in to force payment to protect the child (and the tax payer, by the way).

2:29 PM, December 19, 2007  
Blogger TMink said...

"the woman may not have known it wasn't the father's child."

If that is the case then the woman is not very intelligent! Outside of rape, which is a totally different issue, the woman knows that she has had sex with another man. That puts her at risk in so many ways, one of which is a pregnancy. So I can't figure out how in the world she would not know there is a chance that the child is not her husband's. Splain that one to me!

Also, certainly a child is likely to be damaged by being rejected by his father figure. But if a father is deceived into thinking that the child is his when it is not, where is the original sin? (Sorry, could not resist.) The original sin would lie with the person who lied about the child's paternity. That sin has consequences that will hurt the child.

It is like men and women who come to my office and complain that their former spouse is a shit and want that person out of their child's life. Sorry Charlie, making bad choices about who to reproduce with is a REALLY bad choice and it hurts you and the children for a long time.


End of sermon.


2:38 PM, December 19, 2007  
Blogger Bill said...

Wow, this is an interesting comment thread. But I'm more confused than ever.

For example, I'm a proponent of traditional marriage. If we eliminate alimony in the name of equality, well, that seems like we're going in the wrong direction. Maybe asking the wrong questions.

But at the same time, there's really no going back.

That said, as a man, I would consider asking for alimony emasculating. Heck, I had a wealthy girlfriend who wanted to support me while I wrote a novel -- I couldn't do it. Gotta pay my own way.

If I were married, I'd consider alimony based on the circumstances. If I effed up the relationship, and she had invested years of her life assisting me in my career -- yeah, I'd consider alimony fair.

But if she effed it up (through something obvious, like cheating or giving me the clap or having someone else's baby), then no, I wouldn't be pleased to pay her alimony.

2:50 PM, December 19, 2007  
Blogger Unknown said...


I 1000% agree with you. People have sex way too much with people they would not want to procreate with. I like the "first sin" concept. I agree the mother is much to blame for hurting her child. However, even if the blame falls on the mom (I was never blaming the deceived dad), do you compound the pain? I dont have an easy answer for that one.

The woman that's doing two guys knows her hub may not be the dad. Of course. I was addressing the concept of "scienter" which I think requires more than doubt in her mind that hub is the dad. But until there is case law out there, who the heck knows.

A man has the right to rely on his wife's veracity. A wife has the right to rely on her husband's veracity.

But if you are merely dating, it is unwise to leave birthcontrol in another persons hands, when the consequences last for a lifetime.

2:52 PM, December 19, 2007  
Blogger Marbel said...

"Life isn't a Hallmark card where we are more concerned about our spouses and our kids than ourselves."

Right. It's not. But it should be. Not the Hallmark card part. But the part about people being "more concerned about our spouses and our kids than ourselves" - yes, that is the way it should be.

"...with a good education and some enthusiasm she can earn her way toward personal happiness."

Personal happiness = lots of money?

3:00 PM, December 19, 2007  
Blogger Cham said...

Personal happiness means the ability to be able to pay the rent/mortgage, food and utility bill leaving time to pursue outside interests.

3:08 PM, December 19, 2007  
Blogger GawainsGhost said...

Well, as a Catholic, I fully support the sacrament of marriage. But I also understand that the sacrament requires a man and a woman being fully honest with each other, keeping their vows and placing their children first in all things.

But that isn't the way of the world, is it? No.

The way of this world is the law. And the law is written to protect women from men. There is no law to protect men from women.

Perhaps that is why so many women refuse to or are intellectually incapable of realizing the inarguable inequity in the law.

A man is required to provide child support for every child he conceives. He's even required to provide child support for every child his wife conceives, even if none of those children are his.

A woman is not required to pay child support for any child a man conceives, especially if those children are not hers.

It is the fundamental failure of women to acknowledge this fact that renders them inferior. And I hate to use that word, but it is what it is.

She wants to be the head of her own house? Fine, she can buy her own house.

She wants to be the equal of a man? Fine, she can assume presumptive maternity for every child he conceives.

But there isn't a woman alive who's willing to do that, is there?

3:33 PM, December 19, 2007  
Blogger Unknown said...

FYI: Georgia allows you to contest legitamacy of a child born within a marriage and allows you to recover child support from the biodad. O.G.C.A. 19-7-20, 19-7-23, 19-7-24. Guess maybe we should know the status of the laws as they are before demanding they be changed.

3:47 PM, December 19, 2007  
Blogger Keoni Galt said...

I have no problems at all with the concept of alimony....provided we were to get rid of "no-fault" divorce and return to "at-fault" divorce.

Alimony is the perfect anti-dote to providing an appropriate stick to make the thought of infidelity by the supporting spouse...and the possibility that bad behavior on the supported spouses part would result in loss of custody AND support.

Marriage as it is currently is a legal contract that is simply not enforced if it is breached, and the only real determining factor in deciding custody and alimony is not based on anything other than gender.

Marriage will never be "fixed" unless we return to a legal system that supports the validity of that contract and punishes the offending party that breaches it.

3:48 PM, December 19, 2007  
Blogger Cham said...

Hawaiian Libertarian:

Um, you can't rip a child away from its parent just because the parent treated his/her spouse badly. That sounds a bit horrific for the kid.

and Gwainsghost:

You say:

A woman is not required to pay child support for any child a man conceives

Are you aware there are thousands of women who don't have custody of their kids and are paying child support?

4:03 PM, December 19, 2007  
Blogger Keoni Galt said...

Um, you can't rip a child away from its parent just because the parent treated his/her spouse badly. That sounds a bit horrific for the kid. it stands right now, a child gets ripped away from it's parent ALL the time. The only difference as of right now, as someone else pointed out earlier, is that men get punished for treating their wives horribly...while wives that treat their husbands terribly get rewarded under the no-fault divorce, default custody to the mother paradigm under which the family courts mostly follow.

With "At-Fault" divorce, men AND women would have a much more significant disincentive to treat their spouse badly, knowing it could cost them dearly.

Right now, women basically have carte blanche to behave anyway they chose...and make the man pay for it to boot.

And YES, there are exceptions to this rule...I'm sure there are anecdotal stories. but the overall statistical averages of divorce, custody and alimony issues are undeniable: the divorce courts are biased against men and by and large don't hold women accountable for breaching their marriage contracts.

4:13 PM, December 19, 2007  
Blogger GawainsGhost said...

This is ridiculous. I only have knowledge of the laws of the state I live in.

And those laws are decidedly in the favor of the woman. Which is why I have refused to enter into a fully binding legal contract with any woman.

I refuse to make a deal with a woman that she would not make if she were me. I refuse to do that.

And what is she going to do about it? Whine and complain? Yeah, that's what conceited, spoiled, stupid little girls go. They whine and complain about anything, about everything.

She wants something to whine and complain about? I'll give her something to whine and complain aobut. She can whine and complain that she isn't woman enough to marry a millionaire.

4:14 PM, December 19, 2007  
Blogger Unknown said...


and you wonder why I mentioned you sounded like you hated women.

In all of my posts, I never referred to "men" as whiners or complainers, I never spoke in a derogatory fashion about men in general. In fact I give them credit for intelligence and more than once stated that I felt the laws should change.

Yet, you dismiss all females as "whiners and complainers" "conceited, spoiled, stupid girls" that aren't good enough to marry you, because you know, you are such a catch just because you are rich.

Lord almighty. That comes across as mysogeny.

Any decent woman - the woman that going to stand next to you through thick and thin - isn't going to care a heck of a lot about how much dough you have if you treat her like crap.

I would have written you off the five time you bragged about how rich you are. You've done it almost every time you posted. I make enough money on my own, and as many real estate mogul is finding out in these real estate markets, one day, rich, next day, leveraged past their eyeballs and incapable of unloading their property....

Is your money really the only thing you have to offer? It sure is the only thing you talk about.

4:39 PM, December 19, 2007  
Blogger Ed said...

"A thousand adopted children prove that a child can love a father and father love a child without a genetic heretage in common."

There is a distinction that you are missing here. In the case of an adoption, the man is a father by choice. In the case of paternity fraud, the man involved is not the father at all, has no choice in whether to pay, and depending on the age of the child may have already been defrauded of hundreds of thousands of dollars.

"I worry that the child, an innocent, may be severely injured when the father in his life rejects him merely because of his mother's idiot decision. In "punishing her" for her deception, what have you done to the child?"

That's a sad situation, sure. However, isn't slavery sad, too? And is slavery not orders of magnitude more heinous than a child's hurt feelings? Because at root, that is what paternity fraud is: slavery, enforced by the State.

A man who refuses to pay for the upbringing of a child that is not his is no more punishing his ex-wife, than a slave who throws off his chains is punishing his slavemaster.

The 13th amendment explicitly prohibits involuntary servitude, and the practice of forcing men to pay for the upbringing of children who are not their own most certainly falls into this category. If it costs on average two hundred and fifty thousand dollars to raise a child, and a man is earning $25 an hour after taxes (which is a pretty darn decent wage), then that is ten thousand hours of his life that he is performing involuntary servitude.


Getting back to the topic upon which Helen wanted opinions, I have to agree with Hawaiian Libertarian. Alimony and no-fault divorce are exclusive; if one is kept, then it logically follows that the other must be abandoned.

And HL is absolutely correct that marriage must be a legally binding contract upon both parties, with sanctions for breach of contract.

Helen's earlier PJM articles on "should men get married" and "should women get married" elicited plenty of emotionally-charged negative comments, and at the root of those comments is the perception that the divorce laws are broken and that abuse of those laws is rampant, particularly among women and especially by divorce lawyers.

Much of that commentary was based upon subjective experience with very few meaningful, traceable statistics. However, those statistics that were cited overwhelmingly supported the case that the divorce laws are broken. Eliminating alimony in no-fault states would be a good way to begin to rectify the problem, as would the elimination of the presumption of paternity laws.

5:36 PM, December 19, 2007  
Blogger Unknown said...

I agree with Alexa.

Any man who has raised a child for 10 years and walks away just because that child does not share his DNA is a cad. Even if he was duped.

The definition of "father" does not stop at genetic makeup.

5:40 PM, December 19, 2007  
Blogger Tennessee Jed said...

The laws were designed for the booming fifties when successful men were leaving for younger women. Now women are leaving for younger men and boredom and taking daddy to the cleaners. It is a beautiful thing lawyers are still doing very in the game.

5:42 PM, December 19, 2007  
Blogger Unknown said...

My comments are this:

(1) children are not property. the relationship that your form with children, whether because adopted or through fraud, is still a valid relationship that does is not rendered defunct (in the child's eyes) merely because of the fraud.

(2) A relationship with a child is not SLAVERY, whether or not it carries your dna. It ends at 18 years of age, not forever. And is no bigger a burden that if you unintentionally knocked up some chick in a one night stand. Whatever mistake got you there, and curse the mother for lying, you now have a child, who if you treat kindly, might actually bring his children to visit you when you are old, decrepit, in a nursing home with nothing but your money to comfort you.

Honestly, this constant focus on money makes my stomach TURN. Yes, I think its horrible that women do this crap. Yes, I'd even support mandatory paternity testing, but to state that merely because the child's dna is not your OWN means that the child brings no value to your life... OMG... How can you devalue someone who looks to you as his sun and moon????

(3) Laws in at least Georgia allows you to challenge paternity and put the biodad on the hook. My point being perhaps the laws aren't as far off as what you think.

What scares me in this is how much we value the money over the relationship. Children can be rewarding... its why we have them. THey love us no matter how successful or unsuccessful we are. They are jerks and pains and cause much heart ache, but then bring us grandchildren to lighten our declining years.

In looking at the laws in my home state, I found a case where a man legitimized a son that he thought was his, based on the statement of the mom. Another man, who actually WAS the bio dad, showed up two years later and attempted to strip custody from the father. The father fought for his son, even though they didn't share dna, becuase he had raised this child since its birth as his own. He fought and won. The child was worth the money.

6:33 PM, December 19, 2007  
Blogger Reinholt said...

Some further commentary:

1 - Don't conflate the issues of alimony and child support; I seriously doubt you will find many people against child support. There is the legitimate issue of support for non-biological children, but as that wasn't the topic of Helen's post, I'll decline to debate that here in-depth, however the short view of mine is this:

It should be at the discretion of the non-biological parent - if they want to support, great. If not, also great. They, at no point, should be on the hook for a child which is not theirs involuntarily - the decision should not be made by a government, it should be left to the individual. Child support should be mandatory (and recoverable) from the biological parents only.

However, putting child support and alimony together as one concept does a major disservice to any rational and reasonable debate on the topic, as the issues are not the same.

2 - The best alimony laws would be able to be read in their entirety without ever seeing a comment about gender. The issue should be, if they exist (and as previously stated, I believe they should in some situations, such as at-home caregivers for children), that they are gender-neutral. The disadvantaged party has a claim against the advantaged party, nothing more, nothing less.

3 - I believe there is no problem with no-fault divorce and alimony co-existing so long as alimony is only awarded in very specific cases (as stated above). When you restrict it to a 'need' basis for maintaining a basic standard of living for a short period of time to either retrain for a new job, get back into practice, or simply absorb the frictional cost of divorce, the notion of at-fault is much less of an issue. At worst, one of the two parties is in trouble only for a short period of time (two years or less should be ideal).

Unlimited, lifelong alimony should, necessarily, only exist with at-fault divorce, otherwise the incentives are wildly out of whack.

Again, though, seriously consider - a legitimate alimony law should never, ever mention gender. If you are okay with that, then more power to you, and so long as it's a reasonable incarnation of legal writing, such a solution potentially has merit. But if not, what are you really trying to achieve, because it's clearly not equality?

6:56 PM, December 19, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The betrayal I would feel, having been duped into believing a child NOT my own WAS my own is beyond what I can convey. Then being forced to pay for the child's upbringing after the truth surfaced with no recourse, no defense...I don't know. I don't know how I would feel. The child, now knowing I am not the real father, would have a different view. I know I would. Both would have a lowered view of the mother.

But I am naive, perhaps a nice guy; maybe deserving of what those who would mock the sanctity of marriage, the bond of trust, who may think it's for suckers, would try to get away with. I took my vows seriously. As such, I can't ever do it again. But that's just me and how I am.

My dad was always there. Some people weren't that lucky. My kids' dad has always been there. He learned it from his dad. I am hopeful my kids will always be there, too.

6:56 PM, December 19, 2007  
Blogger GawainsGhost said...

Actually, what I have to offer her is truth, honesty, companionship, and loyalty. That's it.

But when I explain to her that my money is in a limited liability corporation, that my actual income is really quite low (under six figures), and that I require a prenuptual agreement that clearly states corporate funds are not community funds and that I fully intend to split every paycheck right down the middle--50% personal funds, which will be immediately deposited into the corporate account, and 50% community funds--she throws a fit.

Why is that?

Could it possibly be because her only interest in me is because I have money?

Yeah, well, I have no intention of giving her my money. I am not going to lie to her. I am not going to take advantage of her. And I am not going to buy her. It's just that I am not going to allow her to lie to me, take advantage of me, or have any access to my money.

I fully understand the law--I'm a Realtor, I have to--and I refuse to sign away my personal/corporate funds just because she figured out how to screw.

8:20 PM, December 19, 2007  
Blogger Mike said...


I was going to post a comment here in response to how to protect the child, while simultaneously punishing the paternity fraud, but it got too long for a comment. Here is an effective solution that addresses your concerns.

9:39 PM, December 19, 2007  
Blogger Mike said...


The money angle is something I don't think you will understand, unless you try to see this from the man's perspective. The wealth a bachelor has, is just about the only thing a man can claim safely as his own today. Society has granted women the right to shaft, steal and generally screw over men with impunity. What you are seeing is men defensively, defiantly protecting the last thing they have true control over.

And why shouldn't they? The average woman will never face the legal possibility of having the state effectively put a gun to her head and support her cheating husband's child. No offense, Alexia, but the average woman could not possibly understand what it feels like to know that you are legally at the mercy of your spouse.

9:56 PM, December 19, 2007  
Blogger Unknown said...

Actually Miket, I like the underlying idea in there of (1) notification to the biodad's wife and (2) automatic paternity testing at birth. At the very least, we might get an answer to the question of how prevalent paternity fraud really is. I used to support no fault divorce, butI am not so sure about that now either. What concerns me is how draconian it is. Granted the girl screwed up and PERHAPS really KNOWS the kid is someone elses (note my prior comments concerning women as hidden ovulators - not even the woman knows whne she's in season, so to speak), I don't know I'd strip custody entirely away from her. Unless you think anyone who's an adulturer should lose custody of their kids automatically? What happens when both the man and the woman are dispicable human beings (happens pretty often, hate to say it)?

And thanks that you honestly and directly answered my concern.

Gawain: all you post about is bragging about your wallet. Its all, I'm so rich and I'm so successful. And that comment about women crying and whining because poor them, they couldn't marry you the millionaire. Yah, your so smart, my husband pulled the trick when the computer market was hard and he was bringing in half a mil a year pre 2000, so please, get off your bragging and get off your "I'm so brilliant, look I am debt free" ego trip. If your point was simply that you demand a prenupt because you were well off, and women wouldn't take it, then your point would've been made. I don't know if you intend it, but you come across as a screaming bag of insecurity....

10:00 PM, December 19, 2007  
Blogger Mike said...


I did not bring in general adultery into that. This is only about paternity fraud. Adultery is too general for secular Americans to accept such harsh penalties for.

I'm curious. Do you have a hard time understanding that this is a species of adultery that goes well beyond normal adultery in terms of betraying your spouse? It is an adultery that intimately attacks both a spouse and a child. Other types of adultery just indirectly hit the child. This... this is a direct assault on both the spouse and child.

10:13 PM, December 19, 2007  
Blogger Ed said...

"A relationship with a child is not SLAVERY, whether or not it carries your dna."

Alexia, you owe me $250000 in child support. I'll make it easy on you and spread that out over 18 years. I know that my kid isn't yours, but you have to pay anyhow. If you don't pay me child support, the State will garinshee your wages, take away your driver's license and then if you still don't pay up, eventually throw you in jail. Don't bother trying to argue, the courts won't listen to you. Your maternity is presumed, so you owe me. Also, you have no say in how I spend my money that you owe me, and if I want to use it to support my string of girlfriends you've got nothing to say about it. Pay me.

10:15 PM, December 19, 2007  
Blogger Ed said...

Furthermore, Alexia, I know that you were the one working outside the home, paying the bills, but I have become accustomed to the manner in which you kept me. So, you've also got to pay me alimony. I realize that you now have to pay for your another home since I kicked you out of the house, but I don't care. You should have thought of that before I cheated on you. Pay me.

Also, that kid that you're paying child support on, who we both know isn't your kid? Well, forget any emotional attachment you had to that kid, because I'm not going to let you see him or her while s/he is under 18. I'll use the next X years to tell the kid what a horrible mother you were, how you left us all alone (I'll leave out the part about me kicking you out), and will make a special effort to tell the kid how much you hate him or her. Who cares if it's a bunch of lies? You have no recourse. Pay me.


Are you starting to see the source of the bitterness for some commenters?

11:08 PM, December 19, 2007  
Blogger GawainsGhost said...

Well, I'm not bragging about my wallet. There are a lot of guys who have a whole hell of lot more money than me.

All I'm saying is that the first rule of having money is to protect it. And I protect my money primarily by not allowing a woman to have access to it.

If that offends any of you, fine. I don't care. It's not your money. It's not your life. It's not your business. It's mine. I will spend it, I will live it, and I will run it as I see fit.

What I think this entire discussion reveals is the complete inability of women to speak honestly on any issue, whether it be alimony or child support.

I look upon that as their problem, not mine.

11:20 PM, December 19, 2007  
Blogger Unknown said...

I disabled and look after our home. If there was a divorce I would get zero alimony: If the sexes were switched, she would get lifetime alimony. THAT is wrong and must change. Sadly, due to the pressure coming from the women's political groups there is no hope of it changing.

It seems to me that the above is the problem. Pressure groups who have no intention of allowing fairness or decency have the power to force their way of seeing the world onto all of us.

It should be that alimony is GENDER-EQUAL in all ways and temporary; plus run under a specific set of guidelines.

4:24 AM, December 20, 2007  
Blogger Cham said...

jw et al:

Humor me, I live in one of these new fangled gender-neutral states so I know nothing about laws that discriminate on the basis of sex when it comes to marriage and divorce. The 14th amendment clearly states that no state in its jurisdiction shall deny equal protection of the laws. So please show me how your particular state specifically does just that. Cite a written law if you will.

7:51 AM, December 20, 2007  
Blogger Reinholt said...


I'll see what I can find for you over the next few days (I'll ask our general counsel if he's not out on the road) on that side of things.

Second, having a law in print and enforcing a law are two different issues; the 14th amendment did not stop slavery, it did not stop institutionalized racism, it did not guarantee women the right to vote, etc... these things have changed with time, but only as people fought for them.

Rights on paper are not necessarily rights in practice.

9:08 AM, December 20, 2007  
Blogger Cham said...


I'll be waiting patiently to see what information and laws you find.

10:06 AM, December 20, 2007  
Blogger jay c said...

If one spouse conspired to keep the other unemployable and dependent, then I think alimony is justifiable. Otherwise, it's just more state sponsored stealing. Women like to brag about being strong and independent and then they whine and cry that they can't make it on their own without that mean ol' man's money. "I deserve it! Waaaaa!" What a bunch of pathetic little children.

10:14 AM, December 20, 2007  
Blogger cma said...

IMHO, if the ex-husband is found not to be the biological father (and he didn't have prior knowledge of this) he should be given the option of remaining the child's father. If he chooses this option, he'd have all the rights and responsibilities of a father (right to seek custody, responsibility to pay child support, etc.)

If he chooses not to be the father, he would lose all parental rights and responsibilities (no right to visitation, no child support, etc.). To those who would assert this would harm the child, I would submit that the child is likely better off with such a person (who could walk away from a child he had helped raise) out of his or her life.

11:06 AM, December 20, 2007  
Blogger Mike said...


Show me in the laws where it is written that black men are supposed to get longer prison sentences for crack-related offenses than white men. It's not supposed to happen, but then that's how it usually turns out.

11:35 AM, December 20, 2007  
Blogger Cham said...

The federal guidelines for prison sentences of crack-related violations is very consistent and was mandatory for all offenders, black and white. The big difference is that mandatory federal guidelines for prison sentences of coke-related violations are much more lenient. Both forms of the drugs come from the same plant and have the same chemistry. According the supreme court, now judges will be able to be more lenient when it comes to crack-related offenses, but the guidelines aren't changing any time soon.

The big difference between the two sets of guidelines is not the drugs, but that crack related violations primarily impact African Americans and coke related violations impact Caucasians.

11:48 AM, December 20, 2007  
Blogger Jason said...

I also think alimony is useful, in some circumstances, as a tax planning tool.

If the custodial parent is in a much lower tax bracket than the paying parent, then all else being equal, it is better to structure a payout as alimony, since alimony is taxed to the recipient and is deductible to the payer.

If the custodial parent is in a higher tax bracket, then the reverse is true.

This could be something that the two parties agree on in advance, just as part of responsible divorce planning, and is a common point of negotiation.

12:06 PM, December 20, 2007  
Blogger SGT Ted said...

I think the hurt comes from the loss of the father the child knew.

Yes, well, maybe the cheating wife should have thought of that before she fucked her boyfriend. Maybe she should have considered her HUSBAND first since she MARRIED him. Or maybe, just maybe, she should have done the right thing and divorced him if she wanted to fuck other men.

No, she wanted her financially secure married lifestyle AND to fuck whoever she wanted. The WOMAN bears the responsibility for the child, not the cuckolded man.

I'm no woman hater. Hell, I love women.

But using an emotional appeal; "think of the child" is just more manipulative BS. You are trying to manipulate the man into taking on the womans fuck-up, as if she can't/won't handle it.


She needs to "woman up" and take responsibility. HER extended family can deal with it along with the boyfriend. If she was fucking some loser with no job, thats not her husbands fault.

That's how it used to be. The cheater went home in shame to her mothers to raise the child and endured the scorn and gossip she brought on herself as a home wrecker. I can respect that as it is a tacit ackowledgent of her screw-up and of her taking responsibility for her actions. Now, such women lawyer up and use a biased court system to screw over the victim once more and then crow how "liberated" and "empowered" they are.

12:30 PM, December 20, 2007  
Blogger Serket said...

I would say if both spouses are already working, then no alimony should be allowed. If the person who initiated the divorce doesn't have a job then no alimony should be given (unless the reason for divorce was abuse or cheating). Otherwise alimony should be paid for a set amount of time to allow the poorer spouse to find a reasonable job (perhaps 1 or 2 years). I found some information on Utah alimony. It looks like they take into account the financial status of both partners and that it can only exceed the length of the marriage in rare instances.

bobh: The immediate implication is that when men stop trusting women, paternal presumption in marriage becomes irrelevant because marriage itself becomes irrelevant.

I think if the paternal presumption was removed, women would be more faithful to their husbands. Perhaps there could be a requirement that in all divorces a genetic test has to be performed on the children (unless they were adopted).

3:10 PM, December 20, 2007  
Blogger Don M said...

I put my exwife through medical school in lieu of alimony.

Seemed fair at the time, and still does. We divorced with friendship intact.

Alas, the friendship didn't survive my remarriage. Jealousy is a green eyed monster.

11:25 PM, December 20, 2007  
Blogger Don M said...

How about this for fair. Each husband is financially responsible for all the children that his wife concieves or bears during marriage. Each woman is financially responsible for all the children that her husband conceives or bears during marriage.

Perfectly fair right?


11:34 PM, December 20, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You lost me cham. I look at the applied logic in your 12/20 7:51 A.M. post, and then again at your 12/20 11:48 A.M. post. I see a disconnect. Just saying.

If one spouse has full custody, when children are involved, how do you separate alimony and child support? Does a cop come in the house every month and label the food in the cupboards, the soap in the shower?

All in all, I blame it on horniness. If the horns didn't rear up all the damned time, men and women would have little use for one another. The way the different sexes brains work leaves them at odds much of the time. As witnessed by posts in blogs, on the street, in the house, and in the work place. Without it, the scales tip against relationships between the two sexes.

Oh, there's a God. And he has one hell of a sense of humor.

6:50 AM, December 21, 2007  
Blogger Cham said...


Here is the difference between child support and alimony. When you have kids you need a multi-bedroom home hopefully in a good school district. If you don't have kids you may need a 1 bedroom condo and it doesn't matter where it is located. Child support should be a fraction of the difference between the two budgets for the custodial parent, including the cost of extra food and utilities.

8:21 AM, December 21, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The first sentence in my post above was pertaining to your posts of what I mention. The rest of my reply is a different subject, and was not aimed at either of your posts I mention. Sorry. Should have clarified.

You are able to "make the leap" in the post between crack for blacks and cocaine for whites, but unable to make the leap for the differences between men and women concerning marital woes, divorce, alimony and child support.

And I suppose we part ways again as far as the one room condo and its location goes. The custodial spouse (the ex-wife, perhaps?) and kids get the great house and the great neighborhood, and it doesn't matter where the non custodial lives?


10:15 AM, December 21, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And if it's a one bedroom condo - the kids can't come visit and stay over.

That's fair for everybody, too eh? My guess is you've never had kids or been married. Perhaps you aren't seeing the whole picture first hand.

10:19 AM, December 21, 2007  
Blogger Don M said...

"On the other hand, for god's sake, the child is an innocent. She/he is calling what she believes is her dad "dad" irrespective of the biology. How can you punish that child, devestate her, throw her out the door like human garbage simply because she does not share your genome. "

That is a good reason to take all your money and give it to a third world child, whether you like it or not. I am sure we will now get Nigerian email spam asserting a claim to our bank accounts based on some nameless child that has been taught to say Daddy to Bill Gates.

Let us understand. The innocent in the case under discussion is the Father and child. The guilty is the adulterous wife.

Fair would be for the adulterous spouse to be sent to jail, and for the illegitimate child to be raised by her other parent. The lie of the adulterous spouse (call him Daddy) should have no standing.

11:01 AM, December 21, 2007  
Blogger Serket said...

Alexia: You know, when people are forced to use invective like that, its because they don't have the intelligence, emotionally or i.q., to logically debate an issue.

Here is an article from Fox saying anger helps people make better decisions. Plus I think sometimes anger can be a sign that the other person isn't understanding the argument and it becomes frustrating after a while.

Oh and I buy your argument that sometimes women aren't sure who the father is, if they sleep around a lot, but a wife who does it is being very deceptive and she would know the child MIGHT NOT be her husband's. The "step" father should have the option of taking care of a child when he finds out the true identity. However, the lying mother and the biological father should be FORCED to pay for the child. There is an opposite scenario in my family, whereby my cousin got a married woman pregnant, but he actually WANTS the child.

6:12 PM, December 21, 2007  
Blogger bearing said...

Boy, this thread got really off topic, and really boring, really quickly.

6:17 PM, December 21, 2007  
Blogger Helen said...


So what are you doing reading the whole thing and commenting on it? Go find something more interesting to do.

7:11 AM, December 22, 2007  
Blogger bearing said...

Hey, I did post on topic, waaaaay up there. I came back to see how the discussion was going. Seemed like a normal thing to do.

4:18 PM, December 22, 2007  
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