I’ve been divorced for about 12 years. My ex-husband married the woman he was seeing during the last years of our marriage. Now, he has become a minister.
He recently told me that all of his money needs to go to the church, so he can’t pay me alimony anymore. I’m doing OK without his money, so I decided to just let it slide.
My (now grown) kids are furious. They say that legally he owes me this money and that I need to talk to my lawyer. I guess it would be nice to have the money, but wouldn’t I be stealing it from a church?
-Stealing from the collection plate
I can certainly understand wanting to be done with an ex, and just not wanting to fight anymore.
However, in this case? Go after your damned money!
If your ex has a legal obligation to pay you alimony, it’s not up to him and it’s not up to you to change that obligation. You need to go to court to change that obligation. That’s just good recordkeeping. Oh, and it’s how The Law works.
Secondly, using the church as an excuse not to pay you funds to which he is legally obligated is slimy. Like, slimy in a sweaty-televangelist-robbing-old-ladies kind of way. Seriously. You’re telling me that your husband cheated on you, you guys divorced, he married his mistress, and now he’s all holier-than-thou and hiding behind a church as an excuse shirk his obligations? And you’re agreeing to let him do this?
You might not need the money right now, but we could all use a nest egg. Tuck it away for retirement or your grandkids’ college funds. Based on his stellar moral record, I sincerely doubt that by not paying you alimony, your ex is donating that exact amount to his church. And even if he is, he’s getting a tax benefit from the charitable giving. From a karmic standpoint, it’s a disaster. Don’t be a part of it.
Stick to the straight and narrow. Let your ex know that you – and the state – still expect alimony. Give your lawyer a heads-up, and be prepared to go to court if necessary.
And if you’re really torn up about “stealing” from a church? Donate the alimony to the charitable organization of your choice – preferably one that has nothing to do with your ex.
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