Utah lawmakers take stand against unfaithful marriages with alimony proposals

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  • Ann Amberly Greenbelt, MD
    Oct. 20, 2012 2:49 p.m.

    This is clearly a bill made by a man, since very few men get alimony. But this needs to be made an equal opportunity law--I know many women who have suffered years of psychological, physical, and sexual abuse because they are at a severe economic disadvantage because they completely marginalized their careers to be stay-at-home LDS moms. So how about alimony is TRIPLED in such cases, as well as being denied in cases to an unfaithful spouse as the original bill states?

  • sfcretdennis Nice, CA
    Oct. 19, 2012 9:25 a.m.

    I can see child support but I never understood alimony, we you get divorced you should not have to pay your ex spouse to not live you. She can go out and get a job. Too many men have been left with nothing in a divorce and the ex is do will and he has to work two or three jobs just to pay child support and alimony, plus the ex get everything in the divorce. I had a uncle who own a business before he got married and when the divorced she got the business Laws have always been un fair to the man in a divorce. I have un Army friend who caught his wife in bed with a anther man will the children were in the house and the judge gave her everything they had, out rages amount in child support plus he had to pay her an our rages amount in alimony and it was all he could do to put food on his table so he could eat and have roof over his head. Law are unfair to the man.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    Oct. 18, 2012 1:02 p.m.

    Madden - Actually I do get the point, I probably just didn't explain myself well enough. I actually have a friend - male - whose wife cheated on him multiple times. She had always taken advantage of his niceness... but eventually thought there were greener fields elsewhere ( as usual ) and she asked for a divorce. And with it, she asked for the home, and half his imcome as well.... nice huh.

    I think the courts need to take this all into account. Was my buddy a perfect husband - nope. But didn't violate his vows either. And yet at the end of the day, it is a no-fault divorce, with the house, and alimony for several years. In this case, I would not be in favor of paying her one red cent. Both kids are college age, and I don't see why any support my friend gives them ever needs to go through her pockets what so ever.

    You see, I think there needs to be consequences either way. If the breadwinner violates his contract -they own the spouse for the breach of contract. If the non-breadwinner breaches the contract, they should be get nothing.

    Its a contract.

  • pburt Logan, UT
    Oct. 18, 2012 12:30 p.m.

    1. This seems biased against women, since many more women than men are left unprepared for careers when a marriage breaks up, so the subtext to this law is that when women leave their husbands, the husbands shouldn't have to pay alimony. Sounds like a few high-powered divorced men lobbied our lawmakers.

    2. Will this result in morality trials in divorce courts? Spouses hiring detectives and bringing in evidence of wrongdoing by their definition? So if a husband wants to get out of alimony, he shows some phone records of calls to men and gets the judge to "convict" his wife and cancel any payments.

    I don't see any mention of increasing alimony as a penalty when the payer is guilty, just lowering it when the receiver is guilty.

  • Madden Herriman, UT
    Oct. 18, 2012 12:26 p.m.

    @UtahBlueDevil - I don't think you understand their argument. They are saying that you didn't want to break the contract, the other person did, yet you are forced to pay them. While two make a contract, it only takes one to break it in divorce.

    They should follow up this article with in-depth coverage of the purpose of alimony and child support. US law is very liberal in rewarding damages, even so far as to make a man may child support for a child after he finds out it wasn't his kid - his wife cheated on him before the divorce. The law is built to favor supporting children at pretty many any cost, fault and blame have little to do with it. Is that just? I admit, I'm torn, but lean towards fault being a factor to be considered.

  • mark99 LINDON, UT
    Oct. 18, 2012 12:06 p.m.

    Put a cap on fees that attorneys can charge for divorce which would encourage attorneys to resolve issues between the parities vs stirring the pot and increasing acrimony.

    In the event of abuse, the innocent should not be required to pay alimony to the abuser.

  • Katherine Centerville, UT
    Oct. 18, 2012 12:02 p.m.

    It's about time someone brought this type of legislation to the table. My husbands ex-wife cheated on him for 16 years. While he was in the hospital recovering from a brain anurisym she had another affair. When he came home to recover she kicked him out, moved the boyfriend in, and filed for divorce. When the boyfriend went back to his wife and kids and her (then) husband wouldn't move back in she modified the divorce request to include alimony. And she got it!!

    People who committ adultry should not receive alimony. Period.

  • RockOn Spanish Fork, UT
    Oct. 18, 2012 11:26 a.m.

    Alimony has its place. Known too many women sacrifice their careers by working to put their husbands through college and graduate programs, have the children and be rearing them when the husband cheats on the wife. How would it be fair to make her go back to work at a lower rate, barely subsistence while he goes on with his good salary that she helped him get? I'd trust the judges to figure out that for a certain period of time he must pay her alimony provided she's using it to get on her feet, get education and into a paid profession or... married again... And to let one party who in some cases is the sole reason for the divorce get away without recriminations -- no. That is not fair.

    As to the argument against this saying it will force people in their infidelity to be more careful, that is the bogus argument used in enforcing immigration, drugs and many other laws.

  • WillTheWolf SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Oct. 18, 2012 10:31 a.m.

    I wonder how the patrons at the oyster bar feel about this.

  • uwishtoo MESA, AZ
    Oct. 18, 2012 10:07 a.m.

    I have always disagreed with alimony for anyone but if there are children involved they should still be taken care of by both parents. They had nothing to do with mom or dad cheating and they are still parents

  • Thinkman Provo, UT
    Oct. 18, 2012 10:01 a.m.

    Take away or severely limit the amount and time that Alimony has to be paid and you will see divorce rates drop at least in half.

    During my single years, I dated dozens of divorced women. Many were receiving, or did receive Alimony for a time. Most of these women sought the divorce for no reason other than irreconcilable differences (aka, no-fault). Eliminate Alimony in no-fault divorces then you will absolutely see a dramatic drop in divorces.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    Oct. 18, 2012 8:40 a.m.

    I love all these comments that alimony and such are pointless. Two adults enter a contract - a legal contract - where certain conditions and promises are made... pure and simple. Now we have a crowd that feels that if you do not live by these agreements, well, there you go....

    How would these people feel if their banks lived by the same moral standards with their mortgages - that one day they could just say "hey, we found someone we like to lend to better than you - we are cancelling your mortgage... deal with it." Or two companies decide to do a joint venture, and then mid way through the project, one partner could just walk from the legal agreement without any penalty.

    Why is a legal contract of marriage any different? You made a contract. You breach the contract - you owe damages, just like any other legal contract.

    Commitment and personal integrity seems to be a dying ethic - what feels good in the moment and living without consequences rules the day.

  • Ballplayer Spanish Fork, UT
    Oct. 18, 2012 8:31 a.m.

    Whoa, wait a minute here. Someone is proposing a law that makes people accountable for their actions? That's just crazy tall!

  • Flashback Kearns, UT
    Oct. 18, 2012 7:47 a.m.

    Why not a bill to discourage divorce? I know that at times, divorce is warranted. But I've seen divorces for no other reason than someone wants to do something different and doesn't want to have the commitment. People should keep their pants on and keep married. No alimony! Yes child support.

  • Aggielove Cache county, USA
    Oct. 18, 2012 7:36 a.m.

    There should never be alimony period.
    Just child support.

  • DaveRL OGDEN, UT
    Oct. 18, 2012 6:35 a.m.

    This from the folks who claim we need smaller government and less intrusion into the lives of Americans. What's next "Scarlet Letters"?

  • DC Alexandria, VA
    Oct. 18, 2012 6:32 a.m.

    I'm not sure if this is a good thing or not, but one comment told me this is needed - in response to the bill, the lawyer saying it wasn't necessary argued that the bill would make people work harder to cover their tracks. That's a good thing, isn't it? To make people work harder to skirt the law?

  • My2Cents Taylorsville, UT
    Oct. 18, 2012 5:59 a.m.

    Pointless law is right. Shared property is their only assets to divide. Alimony is wrongfully being applied to divorces. Alimony should be removed from any divorce, each can and should live by their own merits and not on the back of others as dependents.

    Proving a case for unfaithful marital partners should have no bearing on divorce settlement. Just as in premarital cohabitation and bearing children has become acceptable lifestyles then this should nullify any and all expectations of alimony by either party. The marriage was a life of immorality to start with and a divorce is the wrong time to try and apply some morality laws for a marriage.

    In a divorce, why is the non custodial parent the only one required to pay child support? Shouldn't both parents be required to supply "equal" financial child support funds? Fathers and mothers share costs and the lowest income provider is the basis of child support payments. If mothers income is less, the fathers share can not exceed the taxable "earned" income of the mother and vice verse. Household or joint incomes of new marriages or cohabitation of ex's shall not be a basis to calculate/adj child support.

  • From Ted's Head Orem, UT
    Oct. 18, 2012 5:38 a.m.

    While I can see that having fewer laws and allowing judges more leeway in determining alimony makes sense, the assumption is that the judge has a clue. More laws takes away some of the judges' ability to interpret the situation, but also protects against judicial bias. Certainly the laws need to be updated from the time when alimony was intended for the wife to reflect our current time when it could be the husband who has set aside his career, is the primary caretaker of the children, and is deserving of alimony to help him get back up to speed following a divorce. Some divorces are "caused" by a spouse's infidelity, abuse or indifference, yet most have have contributing factors of bad behavior or poor choices by both spouses. I do like the idea that a financial remedy should exist for those whose spouse's infidelity or abuse is clearly the cause of the divorce. My cynical side whispers to me that sex and money are frequent partners, in or out of marriage, and it will always be difficult to get a clear picture of cause or fault.

  • azgal Buckeye, AZ
    Oct. 17, 2012 9:57 p.m.

    Why can't the court simply use common sense and grant alimony (or not) based on the individual circumstances, instead of relying on a law telling them not to reward the guilty??

  • Rob Logan, UT
    Oct. 17, 2012 6:36 p.m.

    It sure would have been great to include the abuse, neglect and cheating when I got divorced. It feels like it was all glossed over with the no fault divorce. It sounds good to make the cheating party pay. Not personal at all here. LOL

  • Tolstoy salt lake, UT
    Oct. 17, 2012 4:03 p.m.

    great another pointless message bill.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    Oct. 17, 2012 1:38 p.m.

    For example... a guy has a wife that cheats, tells him she wants a divorce when he finds out, than gets half of the chaps income..... doesn't sound to right to me. Some divorces are truly no fault, they married too early and just didn't know each other for example. But many divorces actually have someone who broke their contract... did damage to the other. The fact that society has gone to the point that we don't hold these people responsible for their actions... it is a sad direction we have headed.

  • Rifleman Salt Lake City, Utah
    Oct. 17, 2012 1:32 p.m.

    Works for me. People who cheat on their spouses, destroy their marriages, and inflict pain and suffering on their children should not be rewarded financially for their selfishness.