NCFM Advisor Gordon Finley letter published in The South Florida Sun-Sentinel re alimony

February 2, 2012

Alimony: another form of indentured servitude with little prospect of freedom

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.

 Alimony laws are archaic

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

 Report: Should alimony laws be changed?

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.

 Should alimony laws be changed?

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.

see “Issues” for more about discrimination against men

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One Response to NCFM Advisor Gordon Finley letter published in The South Florida Sun-Sentinel re alimony

  1. goldie on April 14, 2012 at 7:13 AM

    My husband got a divorce in 2010 and the wife was awarded permanent alimony. She works for the school board and he is a mainetance technician her lawyer wrote the judgement for the judge and the judge signed off to it. The wife put that she never had to rely on public assisistance but while they where married they where collecting foodstamps and cash assistance she also lied about a situation about her legs but did not submit proof of such. The children they have in common are adults. She said that my husband always took care of the kids since they where born till they split in 2009 but she took him to the same court house and they had him pay arrears since 2007. I feel that they discriminated against him cause he was a man and that he represented himself. He was laid off last year april and he put in for a modification he goes to court this month 2012. We already know whats gonna happen sometimes we feel like going to the news about this cause whats right is right and whats wrong is wrong

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