Advice Goddess Blog
« Previous | Home | Next »

What's Good For The Goose
Women discover what it's like to be on the other side of the alimony hustle. From a press release I just got via e-mail:

womenpayingsupport.jpg

Glenn Sacks, who has been his kids' "primary caregiver for the past nine years," has a balanced take on it:

Unlike many in the men's and fathers' movement, I believe that alimony does have a place. I believe alimony is warranted when one partner--male or female--really has put aside or cut back his or her career to be the primary caregiver for his or her children, and is economically disadvantaged because of it. I certainly think alimony can be abused, usually by women but occasionally by men.

Posted by aalkon at November 1, 2007 11:58 AM

Comments

Thing that amazes me about alimony & child support payments, is how many payers complain that because they are paying for kids by their first partner, how hard it is to afford more kids by their second partner.

Posted by: Norman at November 1, 2007 9:27 AM

Unfortunately, as I've written in my column, while you need a license to cut hair, you need only working ovaries to have a child.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at November 1, 2007 9:31 AM

Mr. Sacks better watch out!

An enraged feminist might throw an ashtray at his head.


Or is that only if he spends the alimony on strippers?

Posted by: RedPretzel in LA at November 1, 2007 10:06 AM

I believe he's still married!

Posted by: Amy Alkon at November 1, 2007 10:10 AM

Pre-nups all around, I say! That way, what's mine is mine, what's yours is yours, if you want to share, fine, if not, fine, but don't think you're going to get mine if I had it first and you had nothing to do with me acquiring it. One reason why I'm disgusted with Heather Mills McCartney - she thought she deserved half of Sir Paul's money after having 1 child and being married to him for only 4 years - she wanted half of all his earnings! She wasn't even born when the Beatles were first starting out! But shame on him for not getting a pre-nup. I know he has no problems with taking care of little Beatrice, but the gold-digger? Pheh. His daughter Stella warned him, but he didn't listen. And what if the shoe were on the other foot? What if she were the one with all the dough, and he was a sorry-ass has-been musician, looking to get some big bucks? She'd have had a pre-nup in place before the 3rd date. o_O

Posted by: Flynne at November 1, 2007 10:20 AM

I actually believe, what with marriage not lasting like it used to, and the person -- Glenn, in this case, but usually a woman -- taking time out to raise kids (as a true stay-at-home parent) usually suffering serious setbacks in their worth in the work world...that there should be some sort of pension plan for the primary parent from the salary of the other. Or some financial arrangement made.


Posted by: Amy Alkon at November 1, 2007 10:26 AM

Beatle gossip in 2007! I love this! Divorce with kids is never funny, but there's something abjectly symetrical about seeing this happen to McCartney. He's had a such a weird edge to his ego anyway, it doesn't seem surprising that he lost sight of another person's motives so completely.

> And what if the shoe were
> on the other foot?

What indeed? Jim Treacher loves you for using exactly those words.

Posted by: Crid at November 1, 2007 10:28 AM

And I agree with you, Flynne, about this rapacious witch married to McCartney.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at November 1, 2007 10:28 AM

"And what if the shoe were on the other foot? "

Flynne, you are a hoot! (Heather Mills is...mobility impaired.)

Posted by: martin at November 1, 2007 10:31 AM

Yes, I knew that, martin! :) Supposedly, when she appeared on the fiasco that is "Dancing with the Stars", she said something about "losing [her] leg". But I still couldn't bring myself to watch that show, even in anticiaption of that happening! o_O

Posted by: Flynne at November 1, 2007 10:37 AM

:::earworm alert:::

And if you say run, I'll run with you
And if you say hide, we'll hide
Because my love for you
Would break my heart in two

Posted by: Flynne at November 1, 2007 10:44 AM

The spoiler in parenths was for people who don't know your fiendishly clever side.

But seriously, if Mills is going to get a legitimate entertainment career of her own, she'd better hop to it. I hear she's leaning toward a book deal.

Posted by: martin at November 1, 2007 11:11 AM

*groans*

Posted by: moreta at November 1, 2007 11:39 AM

Mills was on the Today show this AM (love the late-morning shift!). I don't know much of the story b/w the two but her claims, obviously, seem to claim otherwise. http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/21575655/

During the interview she said something to the effect of: If you tell the paparazzi to leave me alone we can walk away from this marriage completely...

As in, she claims she did NOT millions. Maybe, if her work-world worth suffered b/c of her sacrifice to the family during the marriage, she is entitled to SOMETHING. But, under no circumstances, should she gain millions of dollars which he earned well before the marriage. Shame on him for not having a prenup!!

Posted by: Gretchen at November 1, 2007 11:48 AM

"Shame on him for not having a prenup!!"

Prenups are frowned upon by a number of traditionalists because it implies that the marriage isn't perfect and won't last. Kinda makes all of the vows of "till death do us part" seem kinda lame, doesn't it?

People who need prenups, probably shouldn't get married, since someone asking for prenups probably has more realistic expectations that the relationship isn't eternal. Keep pushing for time-limited legal partnerships, I guess.

Posted by: Jamie at November 1, 2007 12:25 PM

Prenups are frowned upon by a number of traditionalists...

Based on Mills' most recent public behavior, I don't think she falls under the "traditionalist" catgory. I could be wrong, but I rather doubt it.

Posted by: Flynne at November 1, 2007 12:35 PM

"catEgory" oooops! o_O

Posted by: Flynne at November 1, 2007 12:36 PM

"Based on Mills' most recent public behavior, I don't think she falls under the "traditionalist" catgory. I could be wrong, but I rather doubt it."


It wouldn't have been in Mills' best interest to HAVE a pre-nup, only Paul's. McCartney's first marriage lasted until her death. He might well have had similar expectations of the 2nd one.


The statement about "traditionalists" was directed generally towards people who expect marriage to last forever. That may well have not been Heather's thinking at all.

Posted by: Jamie at November 1, 2007 12:41 PM

Equality comes with good news and bad news. The good news is you make more money than your hubby. The bad news is now you get to pay up. Ain't it great! Welcome to our world ladies, pull up a chair and get your checkbook out. Seriously though, it's sad that we've gotten to this place, but it sure has changed divorces. My dad got reamed in two divorces and now many men are getting a big check from their exec wives. Wow. Times have changed.

Posted by: Brian at November 1, 2007 4:25 PM

Thing that amazes me about alimony & child support payments, is how many payers complain that because they are paying for kids by their first partner, how hard it is to afford more kids by their second partner.

In many cases, alimony and child support are set at outrageously high rates. In the Bay Area, living in the Berkeley flats, I had a barely six figure income while my wife was a ph.d student. With two kids, I was paying $2500 per month for the child support.

Since child support is to pay for my share of the kids' expenses, it doesn't seem to unreasonable to ask that the money be spent on the kids and not on down payments for the vacation home, new car payments, or what have you while I can barely afford a 2br apartment in a very poor section of the bay area.

I do agree with Amy that the partner that stays at home should have some claim to a pension/income or something, at least until a job can be found, or an education completed, or something.

On the other hand, it's bogus to think that the person at home had no benefits from staying at home and being with the kids. Many people will treat that as an incredible imposition on them, and then turn around and claim that they should be granted sole custody of the kids.

Out here where I am, a mother just killed her kid, accidentally it seems, by leaving him in a car all day while outside temps climbed to 90 degrees. Turns out Monday night she told the father that she no longer wanted the kid in her life. He volunteered to take the kid. She declined.

Parents should have a rebuttable presumption of joint shared physical custody.

And support issues need to be much more flexible and more attuned to job life in the 21st century.

Posted by: jerry at November 1, 2007 9:33 PM

Since child support is to pay for my share of the kids' expenses, it doesn't seem to unreasonable to ask that the money be spent on the kids and not on down payments for the vacation home, new car payments, or what have you while I can barely afford a 2br apartment in a very poor section of the bay area.

Awww, how sad for you. Meanwhile, my ex pays me a whopping $69/week for 2 children, which works out to about 1/2 of my weekly grocery bill. It's a good thing I have a job, because Ex hasn't worked in 7 years, and at the rate he's going, he won't get a job until our youngest is 18. His reason being, why should he get a job, when his parents have bought him a condo, a car, and give him an allowance? If he were to get a job, he'd have to (gasp!) pay me more child support! The horror! o_O

Posted by: FLynne at November 2, 2007 5:59 AM

Flynne I assume your child support arangment has previsons regarding thingss like medical bills, as he has no job to pay his half if the bills, sue him, and put a lein on his condo and car and anything else his parents buy him so he is unable to sell them without paying you off

Posted by: lujlp at November 2, 2007 6:11 AM

Lujlp, thanks for the support, but everything is in his parents' name! He is also supposed to be paying for the girls' medical insurance, but of course, he can't, since he doesn't have a job! *sigh* It's an uphill battle, but I'm still working on it, I've issued an ulitmatum (yes, I know it won't work, but I've got to try to instill some sense of responsibility in him where the girls are concerned) that when it comes to school functions and situations that cost money, that he must pay half or the girls won't be able to participate. If they can get that across to them, that he is the one keeping them from whatever it is they want to do, maybe he'll pony up. Maybe he won't. He already talked the older one out of getting her class ring this year, by telling her "well, you don't wear jewelry anyway" and "you're only a sophomore, you can get your class ring next year", just so he could avoid paying his half. The urge to just choke him already has really gotten stronger!

Posted by: Flynne at November 2, 2007 7:42 AM

See if you cant place a lein on his parents estate so that when they die the money goes to you and your kids first

Posted by: lujlp at November 2, 2007 2:22 PM

Lujlp has a good idea.

And I just have to ask, is the $69 a week really worth it? He is totally lazy as a father - if he can only handle your kids for six hours a week, I'll bet he could see them even less, and you would eliminate a huge source of aggravation from your life. Do your kids even want to see HIM that much?

I just don't think you're ever going to see a dime from that guy, and it doesn't seem worth the effort to even bother trying. It's really irritating to think he is getting away with it, but that's not going to change. (Lujp's idea would still be a good one either way.)

Posted by: Pirate Jo at November 2, 2007 3:55 PM

Yes. Pirate Jo, you're both right. I've made an appointment with my lawyer (he's so sick of me, but loves my money!) to see what can be done about placing a lien on the grandparents' estate.
Unfortunately (or, maybe, fortunately for him) the girls do want to see him, because, hey he's the fun guy! They don't have to do homework, or house work or follow rules when they're with him, so it's fun for the three of them!

Posted by: Flynne at November 2, 2007 5:22 PM

"Unfortunately (or, maybe, fortunately for him) the girls do want to see him, because, hey he's the fun guy! They don't have to do homework, or house work or follow rules when they're with him, so it's fun for the three of them!"

Well sheee-it, I was afraid you were going to say something like that. I guess the best you can do at this point is go out and spoil yourself when they're with him, try to be happy for them if they're having fun, and hope that their common sense prevails as they get older.

Posted by: Pirate Jo at November 2, 2007 5:37 PM

Yes, ma'am, that's about where I'm at with it. Going to the salon without them is nice, having Sunday afternoon sex with the boyfriend while they're out is wonderful, and I get to create lovely Sunday dinners (last week it was seafood gumbo, with pumpkin pie for dessert) without them underfoot for when they get home. And I know they are glad to get home, so it seems their common sense is in place, for now. o_O

Posted by: Flynne at November 2, 2007 5:41 PM

I'm reading these comments and I'm thinking...WOW. You have a job and your at least getting $69/week. Thats more than someone not getting thier support. How namy payors have to deal with mothers staying unemployed and having more kids instead of getting a job(when the child is older) and improving the lifestyle and paying for the first one. Fathers have that responsibilty cast upon them, why not mothers too. Child support and alimony gifts never take into account the payors financial position after all payments. We can't be fathers unless we open our wallets....now there's a double standard.

Posted by: RobJ at November 5, 2007 5:46 AM

Child support and alimony gifts never take into account the payors financial position after all payments.

Now where did this fantasy come from? Child support is based on what both parents' incomes are at the time of the divorce. I was making more money than Ex at the time, and was living with my parents, so did not have a rent or mortgage payment. Once the girls and I moved out of my parents place, into our own, the Ex had quit his job, so when I took him back to court to get more money, I was told, not until he gets work. Now, my mortage, utility bills, grocery bills, and other things that I myself pay for are considerably more than $69/week. In fact, it comes very close to $2K monthly. So, $69/week x 4 weeks = $276/monthly that he pays to support his children, leaving a balance of a little over $1700 for me to cover, which I do, without fail, every month. That's some double standard.

Posted by: Flynne at November 5, 2007 6:04 AM

A few words for today's women:

You wanna play? You gotta PAY.

What, are you surprised or something? Welcome to the real world. Men have been dealing with it for a long time now.

Heh heh.

Posted by: metalman at November 7, 2007 2:11 PM

The real world is what you make it. I never want a relationship to be about money, and for that reason, among others, I don't get married or combine funds with anyone. Your money is your money, and if you choose to buy some gift for me or vice versa, so be it. It's a gift, not an entitlement. Of course, I have no desire to have children, either, which simplifies things.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at November 7, 2007 2:17 PM

Leave a comment