The letter about alimony below appeared in The South Florida Sun-Sentinel on Thursday February 2, 2012 and is followed by the articles to which it responded.
Re: “Report: Should alimony laws be changed?” on Jan. 25:
Why permanent alimony? Why should any state have laws granting alimony for life? For a law to continue, there must be a sound reason for its continuation.
A case can be made for short-term rehabilitative alimony for education or job training. However, in 2012 where women surpass men in education, occupation and income, no case can be made for unpredictable permanent alimony awards made by judges on the basis of unfathomable reasons.
So why do these archaic laws continue? In the cited USA TODAY article, the only advocates for continuing permanent alimony are members of the divorce industry who personally profit from the legal conflicts surrounding permanent alimony. Enriching the divorce industry is no reason to keep permanent alimony.
The money would be better spent on those who come first and deserve better — the children of divorce.
Gordon E. Finley, Florida International University, Miami
USA Today is following the Sun Sentinel in reporting on the movement to change alimony laws with the Florida Legislature considering a bill in the current session. Advocates for changes in the law want alimony not to be necessarily permanent if the former spouse receiving the checks, usually the wife, does not remarry. They argue that the lifelong payments can place an unfair burden on the paying ex-, usually a man.
In its story, USA Today profiles a Florida disabled doctor with Alzheimer’s still paying alimony to his ex-wife, a still working professor who declined to talk to a reporter. The doctor’s current wife argues that the money could be better spent providing more medical care to her husband.
Michael Morgan only groans as his wife bathes his body, shaves his face and gently kisses his lips.
.A retired physician diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease 14 years ago, Morgan, 72, no longer walks or talks. His wife and full-time caregiver, Linda Morgan, makes sure he’s fed and clothed, and that $25,200 in annual alimony is handed over to his ex-wife, a college professor he divorced in 1997.
“What’s sad is that this man who can’t get out of bed is paying a woman who is working,” says Linda Morgan, 61, of Lehigh Acres, Fla.
Linda Morgan is part of a growing movement pushing for changes to alimony laws in several states… click here to read the rest of the USToday article.