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Burnett's Urban Etiquette

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Physical semantics or legitimate complaint?

Have you guys heard about the alimony case under review in Clearwater, Florida?

Seriously, a guy there petitioned the court to end his alimony payments to his ex-wife, because she had a sex change operation and is now a man. The court shot him down yesterday.

The plaintiff's argument was that he agreed to pay support to his ex wife, not the man she became.

I have mixed feelings. His ex-wife did not drop dead or anything. The person's still alive, just with a different set of tackle, and so that person should keep getting the ex-husband's check every month.

Buuuuuuut, I can't front. Call me closed-minded, but I sort of understand why the ex-husband is annoyed. He's paying spousal support to another man now. And, while he may not have any issues with anyone else's lifestyle as a general rule, he personally doesn't get down like that. So it bugs him.

On the other hand this could be about nothing more than the ex-husband wanting to get out of having to pay anymore. And he might have tried it even if his ex had remained a woman. Somehow I doubt it though, 'cause their original divorce agreement was pretty clear cut: he'd pay her until she died or remarried.

What do you think?

Oh, if you want to read a complete account of this story, here it is.

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  • A sex change is about 100K or much more if you count prep and follow up. Not covered by insurance. Does this person actually need alimony?

    I know I know... Even if she won the lottery that guy will have to pay for the rest of his life or until he/she/it remarries.

    A distasteful situation all around.

    By Blogger Hammer, at 1:59 PM  

  • Takes a lot of cojones to drop alimony for a reason like that.

    By Blogger The Sarcasticynic, at 4:53 PM  

  • Too bad for the hubby. Now that the chick is a rooster, I bet the hubby has to pay forever!

    If I were the hubby, I'd make sure I told every person the ex dated about the sex-change. Just to be spiteful.

    By Blogger SWF41, at 5:15 PM  

  • All I know is that we are not ready for stuff like this.

    By Blogger mist1, at 5:51 PM  

  • I'm with you on this one! It's confusing as Hell!

    I wonder what would happen if the husband decided to become a woman? How about then? Would he still have to pay his ex-wife then?

    I'm getting a headache!

    By Blogger Dan, at 5:52 PM  

  • Maybe it's just me, but I find it highly amusing that a judiciary that (in most of the States, and certainly at the Federal level) is so vehemently against same sex marriage has just set a precedent by compelling same sex alimony.

    There would seem to be a test of reason here...if you can have same sex alimony, it stands to reason that the court would be okay with same sex marriage. I'll bet ten bucks that hubby wins on appeal.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:04 PM  

  • Maybe he can pay half...and none of that amount can be used for fishing gear, hunting gear, sports equipment or after shave.

    By Blogger Michael C, at 7:17 PM  

  • Hahahahaha!!! Does this now make the husband gay? I can't help it. Sex change operations fill me with mirth. Hahahahaha!!

    I know.

    I'm very insensitive.


    By Blogger Lee, at 9:11 PM  

  • I think the ex-husband is just upset at having to fund his ex-wife's sex change operation. Although not the same thing, I imagine he would have had similar feelings if she was getting a boob job or butt implants.

    He just has to let it go. There are no laws mandating what his ex-wife can or can not spend her alimony on. Pay it and let it go.

    By Blogger GrizzBabe, at 10:15 PM  

  • I'm sure if it were me in that situation I wouldn't find this whole thing so hilarious. But, I do.

    I guess I can understand the ruling. The alimony agreement doesn't change just because the sex of one of the parties does.

    Just one of those situations they didn't consider when passing the alimony laws and setting the precedents in court.

    By Blogger Jay, at 10:55 PM  

  • I take it same-sex marriage is not legal in Florida, so if she did want to remarry, whom is she prohibited from marrying? Could go either way, huh?

    By Blogger katrice, at 2:58 PM  

  • I'm just breathing a sigh of relief because this story is coming out of Florida and not, say... my neck of the woods.

    Dear Florida: Good luck with that one.

    By Blogger Queen of Dysfunction, at 11:38 PM  

  • I'm leaning towards the husband ---
    there is nothing I hate more than deception and lies.

    She/he married under false pretenses and now husband is paying the price (as well as paying for a sex change op on his wife)

    By Blogger Pamela, at 1:46 AM  

  • Pay the dude! Hahahahahaha!

    By Blogger Angie, at 5:08 PM  

  • Alimony payments make no sense to me anyway. I certainly understand the need to support children, but a lifetime of free rent seems like a bit much to pay for a few years of cohabitation. I'm betting the husband didn't even have such a great deal while married either, considering the choices his spouse made afterwards. You would think that someone who was always trying to wear the pants in the family would be able to support him/her self.

    By Blogger wordsonwater, at 4:44 AM  

  • I don't understand why it's a problem. The issue is marital equity, not gender. Whoever brought more to the marriage to share has to pay for the other person's increased standard of living if it ends. The alimony and rehabilitation systems of support after divorce used to be weighted in favor of women, but with more women attaining success in their careers, they now get to also pay the costs of success. Unfortunately, so does this guy to his ex-whatever.

    That's why I really have no objection to gays getting married. If they want to take on the grief of a divorce like 60% of married hetero couples, who am I to deny them their freedom?

    By Anonymous Big Daddy, at 11:46 AM  

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