Victim to victor
The story of Crystal Harris spurred the California legislature into action.
August 27th, 2012
06:30 AM ET

Victim to victor

By Jim Roope, CNN

Editor's Note: This story contains content some may find objectionable for younger listeners.

Los Angeles (CNN) - The California legislature unanimously passed a bill last week that would prohibit victims of spousal abuse from having to pay alimony to their convicted abuser. The bill is a result of one California woman who says she was a victim of spousal abuse and the justice system.

[:48] “Four years ago, my husband attacked me. He raped me and I just…it’s hard to talk about,” said 39-year-old mother of two, Crystal Harris.

Harris is a successful financial planner and her husband, Shawn, was a stay-at-home dad raising their two boys. Harris said in the years after their second son was born, her husband began to get violent. First verbally then physically, and as the years progressed it only got worse.

[1:14] “He had been threatening to kill me for months before that and I believed him,” she said. “And so it was the second attack in less than a week where the violence was so escalated that shifted my whole world where I didn’t really think I was going to survive that attack.”

That second attack happened on March 28, 2008. She caught the second attack on tape.

When Shawn Harris was convicted of forced oral copulation, the judge ordered Crystal to pay her husband, her convicted attacker, spousal support; $1,000 per month and to pay his legal fees.

She reached out to the California legislature for help.

[6:59] “I was shocked to learn Crystal had to pay alimony and legal fees to her abuser," said Democratic Assembly Member Toni Akins. “I think that’s the whole point to what led me to picking up this bill and moving it forward.”

The bill now goes to Governor Jerry Brown for his signature. Atkins says there is every indication he will sign it into law.

What are your thoughts about Crystal’s story? Join the conversation below.

soundoff (1,304 Responses)
  1. pablo

    Alimony should be abolished at least life-long alimony. The point of alimony is the help the former spouse get back on their feet, not to support their lifestyle. You can thank the idiots in hollywood for this travesty of law.

    August 29, 2012 at 8:43 am | Report abuse |
  2. Liz B.

    It's interesting to see how many men, guarded by the anonymity of the internet, think it's justified to force a woman to have sex of any kind just because they are married. News flash : If you weren't such a misogynistic jerk, you'd probably have a wife who still wanted to tend to your "needs". It's pretty obvious to me after having friends with children that the whole sexless marriage bit goes both ways. Take a shower, shave, act like a gentleman, and stop thinking you can caveman your way into it. 😛

    I'm a proponent of states getting rid of the "no fault" crap and actually having consequences for getting divorced for not being faithful, being verbally abusive, etc. People treat marriage like a hobby or a fling; maybe it would be different if one would be punished via property or monetary loss for not treating their spouse with respect. No fault should be reserved for special cases where both individuals are truly at fault.

    August 29, 2012 at 2:34 am | Report abuse |
    • boltMCdolt

      As a man I never thought once that it was ok to force a woman to have sex. If she doesnt want to have sex thats her choice, but it is also my choice to get divorced. But if i do that i have to pay for her to not have sex with me and most likely have sex with somone else how is that fair?

      August 29, 2012 at 4:28 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Gryla

    I am so glad to hear that this law passed.

    FINALLY men who are stuck with wives who won't give them sex and have to forcibly train their spouses to do their duty will NO LONGER have to pay alimony!

    This is a great day for married couples everywhere and will hopefully send a message to the 'cold fish' out there to do the right thing and just take it in the mouth. The extra protein is good for the skin anyways so what's the problem?


    August 28, 2012 at 11:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ellen

      you are beyond stupid. Hopefully you never procreate.

      August 29, 2012 at 2:28 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Juan

    Does the same apply for men who have to pay their abusive wives alimony? Does the law include emotional and mental abuse in addition to physical abuse? For example, a divorced man who was beat up several times by his wife (he just had to let her pound on him, but could not hit her back because he would get in trouble, obviously).

    I have known cases where the wife punches the husband and hurts her hand, and she calls the cops because "she hurt her hand punching him." It's pretty ridiculous, are there limits to this law?

    August 28, 2012 at 4:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kate

      Juan get real, pay a rapist alimony, pos.

      August 28, 2012 at 11:09 pm | Report abuse |
      • Tom

        Kate did you just call Juan a "pos" for stating his position on the debate? All he said is he hopes other kinds of abused spouses (emotional abuse, financial abuse, verbal abuse, substance abuse etc) also get special consideration in their divorce/alimony cases just like Ms. Harris did in her case. Why the ad-hominem attack?

        August 29, 2012 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
  5. JulieG

    Both my ex husband and I worked. This was our 2nd marriage each and after 19 years we ended it. I am not a hateful nor vengeful person. Got a semi decent settlement, spread over 6 years so he could afford the few thousand dollars it is instead of a big chunk at once, I get child support for our two sons and alimony for me. I gave him an extra 25% cut on what he had to pay, I knew he didn't make a ton more money than I did. My alimony is less than $170 a month, child support for 2 teen boys less than $650 a month. Because I didn't take the house (it was his family land sitting underneath it and I am not like that) I feel I got a fair deal. I had no home and had to find a place for the kids and I, that pays rent. I also still work and will would work 2 jobs if necessary. But I also believe that it should be dealt with on a case to case basis of who owes whom how much and why.

    August 28, 2012 at 4:13 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Tom

    I am glad this lady got her justice, but I am wondering why the CA legislature isn't considering a wholesale reform of ALIMONY laws,instead of introducing these but's/if's/also's into existing no-fault divorce law.

    The no-fault divorce law first enacted in 1970 in CA took out any consideration for code of conduct during the marriage out of financial split/alimony/CS decisions. The pre no-fault considerations included not only sexual abuse, but other conduct like infidelity, abandonment, substance abuse, emotional abuse etc. Now through this new law you are putting back sexual abuse into the bucket but keeping out other things like emotional/verbal abuse and infidelity.

    August 28, 2012 at 2:54 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Ali

    There should not be any alimony period. When a couple gets divorced split the assets and well as the debts in half. no arguments then maybe couples will treat each other better.

    August 28, 2012 at 2:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ellen

      Ali: what about when one partner racks up huge amounts of debt by using drugs or gambling? Why should the other partner have to pay for half of that? Pre-nuptial agreements all the way! And BTW the men aren't the only bread winners in households, I know lots of women who make more than their husband.

      August 28, 2012 at 3:22 pm | Report abuse |
  8. flipnlucky

    he should have just divorced her...you can get a really nice hooker for 1000.00 and you could bring her over to meet the EX. oh well some guys just never learn.

    August 28, 2012 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • D.I.

      I think you are confused. The woman was the person earning the money in the relationship and she is the one that has to pay alimony. The man is the one collecting.

      August 28, 2012 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • jimroopecnn

      I think it would help if you listen to the complete story.

      August 28, 2012 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
  9. SillyBean

    All this court fuddy duddy business of alimony, child support, divorce is for not. Courts got involved originally to help settle familial disputes to people don't gun eachother down in the streets. In reality, people are still beating eachother up and gunning eachother down in the streets over family issues and the courts have only made it worse! Ideally, there should be no such thing as alimony or a marriage contract at all, between anyone. Each person should be autonomous in the eyes of the law. No marriages, no divorces, just people who decide to and then not to live together... life goes on and people are responsible for their own welfare, independently.

    August 28, 2012 at 12:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Juan

      Excellent and I agree.

      August 28, 2012 at 4:27 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Sharon Kavanaugh

    Of course a victim should not have to pay "anything" to his or her abuser. Thats like getting abused all over again.

    August 28, 2012 at 10:19 am | Report abuse |
    • D.I.

      That is why there are also cases for bills to be passed granting no rights to rapist for their subsequent children, and they may also have to pay child support (checks go to the state, so there won't be any way for them to know where the children and victim are).

      August 28, 2012 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
  11. John

    Let me guess – you stopped having sex with him after your 2nd child. YOU see it as it was because he was going down hill. HE sees it as he started going downhill after the sex stopped. I'm not justifying what happened beyond the beginning of the downslide, by any means, but there are 3 sides to every story – yours, mine, and the truth.

    August 28, 2012 at 10:16 am | Report abuse |
    • CJ

      You obviously have not heard Crystals entire story (I have). While you are entiled to your ignorant opinion perhaps you should not assume before you have all the "truths".

      August 28, 2012 at 1:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ellen

      So John, it's OK to rape your wife if she refuses sex? What makes you so sure didn't have a valid reason to refuse sex, like maybe he was selfish in bed and only after his own pleasure. She was likely tired of being used no better that a blow-up doll.

      August 28, 2012 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kay

      Sorry, but you *are* blaming her.

      It's amazing how many twits actually blame the victim...no matter the circumstances. I wonder how they'd feel if *they* were victimized and *they* got blamed for it.

      August 28, 2012 at 11:34 pm | Report abuse |
  12. AlsoAVictim

    My sincere apologies – I stand corrected. I had gone through all of the posts (I thought) I no longer saw it. You are correct, it is on page 2. Thank you for pointing out my error and I hope others go there to read. There are several good posts defending the ability for a man to rape his wife. My children do not know – I've tried to reserve whatever relationship they can have with their father and do not want them to be effected by it. I only wish they could somehow understand why I am quite sensitive with words... but I do not want to share my pain with them.
    Again CNN I apologize.

    August 28, 2012 at 10:01 am | Report abuse |
    • jimroopecnn

      Never have to apologize to me. I'm glad I can help. Yours is a good post and I applaud your courage.

      August 28, 2012 at 10:27 am | Report abuse |
  13. AlsoAVictim

    Funny how my own abuse post (defending her viewpoint as I was also abused and raped in my marriage) I put up here yesterday has now been deleted. I guess I can see which side of the issue CNN is on. Perhaps I won't be watching their biased TV anymore... Very disappointed.

    August 28, 2012 at 9:13 am | Report abuse |
    • jimroopecnn

      Are you sure it was deleted? check all the previous post pages. If it was deleted it's because you used inappropriate language or the content was in appropriate. We try to monitor these posts. We can't catch them all but the ones we do catch we delete. There is no need for viciousness. But again, check all the previous post pages to find your post.

      August 28, 2012 at 9:20 am | Report abuse |
      • fidgetwidget

        There was absolutely no visciousness or vituperation in her post. A little over the top with your assessment maybe?

        August 28, 2012 at 9:34 am | Report abuse |
        • jimroopecnn

          I wasn't assing her post.. I merely explained why some are deleted. Her post is still there. I just saw it. If you go back a few pages you'll see it.

          August 28, 2012 at 9:36 am | Report abuse |
      • AlsoAVictim

        No, I used no inappropriate language and I checked all previous pages, I even did it as a "Print Preview" to be sure I wasn't missing it. Sad – many woman are abused and actually raped in their marriages. It is sad that there are so many closed minded people (other posts I've seen) that say it isn't so...

        August 28, 2012 at 9:56 am | Report abuse |
    • jimroopecnn

      Your original post is on page two. I just saw it. IThis is page four. It has not been deleted.

      August 28, 2012 at 9:40 am | Report abuse |
    • Craig

      In all honesty, I did not read the below string. I apologize. With that said, I hope the judge rendering the decision that forced the victim to go to the state legislature is run out of office as quickly and legally as possible. The anarchy of judges making those found guilty in crimes to be victims of their own misdeeds is becoming old.

      August 28, 2012 at 9:59 am | Report abuse |
      • EEper

        Unfortunately the judge was following the law as it stood prior to the new law just enacted. Had the judge done any differently, the judge would have been in trouble for not following the law, and the ex-husband would have won on appeal.

        August 28, 2012 at 3:20 pm | Report abuse |
  14. cb

    Ridiculous. Another power-mom. Like my ex. Blaming a stay-at-home-caregiver dad [ bviously a deadbeat, right? ] of 'abuse' so she can control his relationship with his kids. Like my ex. SO what do we do? We make it a law–to make t even more impossible for the current 85% of divorced fathers to have any contact with their kids.

    Where oh where in this article is the father's voice or viewpoint?
    Bravo, CNN! Bravo, Jerry Brown!

    August 28, 2012 at 8:46 am | Report abuse |
    • jimroopecnn

      We reached out to Shawn Harris who declined. We reached out to the judge who declined. If you listen to the story, your concerns are addressed and your questions are answered. This is a bill that would require a conviction on felony abuse before it can be used. This is not a tool for divorce lawyers. It's a criminal action. I urge you to listen to the complete story.

      August 28, 2012 at 8:51 am | Report abuse |
    • ekwinne

      Are you really that DENSE? Don't let personal experience cloud your judgment. She caught it on tape. If you would read, you would have noticed. There is solid evidence of his abuse. He should not receive compensation for raping and abusing her.

      August 28, 2012 at 9:14 am | Report abuse |
    • GetReal2012

      He lost his voice after he raped his wife.

      August 28, 2012 at 9:16 am | Report abuse |
  15. gair22

    So he threatened to kill her multiple times. Previously raped her, and she stuck around? What an idiot. It sounds to me like she is trying to play a game here and there is obviously more to this. They both should be investigated, not just him.

    August 28, 2012 at 8:30 am | Report abuse |
  16. razedeyebrow

    Crystal Harris seems like an intelligent woman. Which makes me wonder why she didn't leave the jerk she was married to for good the FIRST time he threatened to kill her. Death threats are (or should be) an instant deal-breaker in any marriage.

    August 28, 2012 at 7:34 am | Report abuse |
    • EEper

      She didn't leave because her attorney likely advised her that since the ex didn't rape the kids, he'd get at least half the time with them, possibly more since he was the primary caregiver. So, she'd been raped, emotionally scarred at risk for losing kids and broke. That is an awful scenario to face. If you listen to her tape, you hear the terror and screams. it was enought to convict the ex. Leaving in these situations is not so simple when kids are involved.

      August 28, 2012 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
  17. sir

    bottom line. don't MARRY!!! hookers are cheaper.

    August 28, 2012 at 7:23 am | Report abuse |
    • duh

      umm how about just don't beat your spouse and threaten to kill them....

      August 28, 2012 at 8:23 am | Report abuse |
  18. NCguy

    Alimony is not about compensating a dependent spouse for enabling the supporting spouse to become successful. It is theoretically designed to make sure divorce doesn't shift the cost of the divorce to the rest of society. If you helped your spouse become successful, your reward for that comes in the equitable distribution, and in the lifestyle you lived while married, not in an alimony award. Alimony for rapists is pretty ridiculous, but I think we should at least understand that it is not payback for years of sacrificing or as recognition that you were the true reason for your spouse's success.

    August 28, 2012 at 7:13 am | Report abuse |
    • warsteiner

      Sure tell that to the millions of women who refuse to marry again so they just live with boyfriends. I know women who refuse to get a job or even take classes. There job is to make sure if he gets a raise she gets a raise. That is the exes revenge tool alimony. Its like welfare for the middle and upper classes.

      August 28, 2012 at 7:22 am | Report abuse |
  19. Alissa

    Personally I don't think anyone should have to pay their spouse alimony, male or female. What ever happened to self respect and taking care of yourself? Reading some of these posts, however, makes me sick. What is the matter with some of you? There is never an excuse for physical violence against your spouse! There's no such thing as "she deserved it". If your spouse does something you don't like, LEAVE...plain and simple. There's no need to try to assert control over another person to make yourself feel better.

    August 28, 2012 at 6:39 am | Report abuse |
    • nccltdave

      I just don't understand this article. I understand your position of why should anyone pay Alimony but why would this upcomming law effect the outcome of her trial. The judge has already ruled in her case so why would it apply to her. This wasn't the law at the time of the crime?

      August 28, 2012 at 7:04 am | Report abuse |
      • jimroopecnn

        Listen to the complete story. It will explain everything.

        August 28, 2012 at 8:58 am | Report abuse |
  20. josh rogen

    my guess is every woman who makes more then her husband will now accuse him of rape when they get divorced

    August 28, 2012 at 2:39 am | Report abuse |
    • warsteiner

      You know that nightmare is coming, I can see it already women will start months before they decide to leave the husband. He will be coming home to find that she just blew his best friend. Then shell call the cops and say he pushed her or some nonsense. Smart conniving women will start creating histories of abuse so when they finally decide they have enough pooof his life is destroyed

      August 28, 2012 at 7:18 am | Report abuse |
      • ekwinne


        You are what we call irrational. You give into an unsubstantiated fear that will strip protection away from the true victims. She has undeniable proof of his abuse. She videotaped him raping her. When you try to say that women will use RAPE as an excuse to get more money, you put yourself into the category of people that first blame or disbelieve the victim. Women who are raped have very little protection and are judged enormously for the abuse they have endured. Many people don't believe them. Many say they were asking for it, or that they are weak for not reporting it immediately. Do you really think that men do not rape women? It is a crime, pure and simple, and there should be a way to protect these women through federal laws.

        August 28, 2012 at 9:30 am | Report abuse |
    • duh

      she had videotaped proof of rape/abuse and a jury convicted him. it's not as if she just made everything up. wisen up.

      August 28, 2012 at 8:25 am | Report abuse |
  21. Mrs. M

    REGARDING THE ARTICLE, I expected to read what the penalty/sentence was for "forced copulation" as the article said the victim's husband was convicted prior to being awarded alimony and court costs. Unfortunately, it seems all too obvious that the Judge who heard this case doesn't consider "forced copulation" a big deal. Yet, I'm sure he'd reconsider if it happened to him.

    August 28, 2012 at 1:49 am | Report abuse |
  22. carol

    how about the guy who hit his wife (who had already filed for divorce) with a baseball bat and proceeded to beat the snot out of her co worker who gave her a ride home from work....gets sent to prison but the courts ordered her to drive 180 miles round trip so he could have visitation with their son all at her expense while receiving nothing for child support? this was in indiana

    August 27, 2012 at 11:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Down with California

      Do you know all the facts. You gave nothing more than brief story. If she was cheating she deserved it you prude

      August 27, 2012 at 11:29 pm | Report abuse |
      • shannon

        She deserved what exactly? To be raped by someone she should have been able to trust? To be abused? or did she deserve to have to pay alimony to a sack of s who rapes and abuses his wife?

        August 28, 2012 at 9:30 am | Report abuse |
  23. dlb

    I'm a bit shocked I must say reading through all these comments; because I can not believe there are so many men out there that would say what they are saying. I work with primarily men, in IT, and based on the number of comments I'd hate to think that even ONE of them believed that women fake; makeup abuse; and stage to setup "their men" to ensure they received more money or the guy had to pay less. Because frankly there are a@@holes on each side..men and women.

    But regardless NO male or female should be libel to pay their abuser...period. And frankly don't give me any crap about how the guys always get screwed. No kids; masters degree and guess what...the ex who had NO job went for alimony...he got the house instead...and guess who's friggin' paying for it so I don't lose my credit? Try selling a house with a drug addict living it in 3 states away. OH wait...sure some brilliant person will comment I should have had a prenup; should have not married a drug addict; should let my credit be destroyed.....BUT you have zero say; zero right and zero understanding of me OR anyone else that has been screwed by the system abuse or not when it came to a past relationship.

    So get off your high horses...and ensure your own life is as pristine as you think the rest of eveyone else should be. Don't beat your spouses or your kids...that's a good start.

    August 27, 2012 at 10:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • agree

      I agree that except in one case I can personally think of, it seems to be the women screwed more than the men. The women may get the kids, but have to do all the worrying, running around, and figuring out how to live off what is left. Half the dads only show up when they feel like it leaving mom to run around last minute on a day she thought she had free. One friend burned his wife out (he asked me how she could file for divorce while in the same breath complaining how he would get home at 6:30 and his wife wouldn't have dinner waiting for him, so he'd have to cook for him and the kids since she left for work at 7pm. When I asked when she was supposed to sleep he said that if she left as soon as her shift ended instead of chatting with coworkers she could be home by 4am, and the kids didn't get up until 8), then took the house and the kids. At least she didn't have to pay child support since she earned so much less.

      I cannot think of a single dad forced to drive the child to the wife. The only ones I can think of who actually put a lot of time and care into their children didn't get divorced in the first place.

      August 28, 2012 at 12:28 am | Report abuse |
      • Randy

        I clearly see your point and to an extent agree with you. However, when the mother of my little girl became a prescription drug/heroin addict and then moved out of NY state to "get away" from her problems, nothig happened. I took her to family court, went through the whole wonderful thing. I used to be a police officer and screwed that up (not for drugs, or violence, or anything of that sort) and because of the small comunity, it may as well of been myself being brought into court. The judge concluded that my daughter's mother could have her and "allowed" me ten weeks to see my child out of the year. Things are currently considerably different right now, only because I pushed and pushed for my child's sake. So, you cannot tell me that it is essentially the woman who always gets screwed.

        August 28, 2012 at 1:03 am | Report abuse |
    • Jane

      As you can see from these comments, this is WHY we have spousal abuse. Men think its ok to beat up they're wives,and how dare anyone think they should have to pay for it.She must have antagonized it, must have wanted it since she put up with it before, blah blah blah.The statistics speak loud and clear. Even in the most abusive cases as woman will leave her husband 7 times before finally leaving him for good,if she lives through it. Women have to think through all the pros and cons before leaving someone. I love him,but I can't take the beatings.... my life will change without him,how do I go on? How will my kids deal with it? Can I support myself and kids if I leave? These and many other questions will go through a woman's mind before its over and she decides enough is enough.For a man, its simple ...I'll just grab my stuff and go.These men commenting need to wake up.If you are depending on some woman for your support, THEN DON'T ABUSE HER STUPID! She's doing more for you than most women would.

      August 28, 2012 at 9:13 am | Report abuse |
  24. gstlab3








    August 27, 2012 at 9:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • What?

      All Women want is money???? and to basically extort their ex? Did you not read the article? I hope the Gov of CA is smart enough to sign this into law, and that many other states follow in its path.

      The abused party should not have to pay a dime of alimony to an ex. I don't care which way it goes, husband or wife.

      My father-in-law sits on his ass, doesn't pay any bills, including the mortgage. He gets $1500.00+ in SSI. My mother-in-law only gets a little over $400 SSI. He cheated on her, verbally abused her, and even threatened to kill her. If she asks for any alimony, she will lose her medicare and her food stamps...does that even make sense?

      August 27, 2012 at 10:15 pm | Report abuse |
      • Down with California

        How will asking for alimony wipe out her food stamps and welfare if she is denied it. I bet she has not worked in ages. If she wants to leave him and keep her government assistance I am sure she can and be a drain on society.

        August 27, 2012 at 11:19 pm | Report abuse |
        • DiAnne

          Did you even read the article? She was supporting him, you ignorant ass!

          August 28, 2012 at 7:01 am | Report abuse |
      • Tearlag

        If you are on SSI, you are eligible for food stamps and medicaid PERIOD.

        August 28, 2012 at 12:38 am | Report abuse |
        • mugzee4

          In California you get Medicaid but not food stamps.

          August 28, 2012 at 6:09 am | Report abuse |
    • Macstand

      As a long taken advantage of ex-husband who as never missed a payment, an event or a visitation and always asked for more I have to side with this woman. While we all know the woman almost always wins in the divorce court and the court of public opinion a line has to be drawn at rape and spouse in jail. Those men who post otherwise continue to feed the very image women complain about. So stop reinforcing that which you seem to fight so hard to change but ignorantly posterize

      August 27, 2012 at 10:33 pm | Report abuse |
      • sydney

        thank you for being the voice of reason and progress here!!

        August 27, 2012 at 10:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • SuzDuJour

      She only wanted your money because, clearly, you can't give her anything else.

      August 27, 2012 at 11:31 pm | Report abuse |
  25. 22X Richer

    And the lawyers rejoiced. Amen.

    It is time to eliminate alimony altogether. Why should one side pay the other? And please don't tell me it is biased against women because it is almost ALWAYS the guy who gets screwed [sic] by the courts.

    August 27, 2012 at 9:37 pm | Report abuse |
  26. Q1

    All the heated discussion on this topic. yet nothing is done about a system that crosses all classes, all races, all genders, with 80% in favor of women. Twenty years of mens right group fighting the domestic legal system and women still have the upper hand. Should she pay support? Of course. he was the stay at home dad. Men are abused by their wives everyday. Look up what constitutes domestic violence and women violate DV laws way more than men. The man goes to work and comes home to an empty house because the woman has had enough of boredom and will be rewarded for her years of work. If the woman cheats and leaves the marriage, she is still rewarded. until fairness is put in place in the domestic legal system (bring back adultery as a crime, for starters) then maybe I would agree that she should not pay alimony. Until then, welcome to being a man. This is equality.

    August 27, 2012 at 9:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • DDM

      No, she should NOT pay support. After all, he won't be watching the kids – he will be in jail. She will have to pay childcare for someone else to watch the kids.

      August 27, 2012 at 9:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • btdt

      Exactly Q1. And to CNN, these discussions are heated and going completely off topic because there is a divorce epidemic – half of all marriages end in divorce. So that means half of the folks commenting around here have probably been in a lousy divorce and have seen first hand all the shenanigans or worse. My point is this. We need to be talking about this and looking at the system. Because right now the system is unfair, unjust and broken. And sadly it is pitting men against women. And no one is winning.

      August 27, 2012 at 10:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • sydney

      This argument might hold water if we were on an equal playing ground to begin with. But we are not. Women STILL earn less money than men for the same work, so there is no equal footing here. Fix that problem, put us all on a level playing field, and perhaps you can start making arguments like that.

      August 27, 2012 at 10:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Down with California

      Thank you for saying what needed to be said

      August 27, 2012 at 11:33 pm | Report abuse |
  27. Debbie-Canadian

    To My American Neighbors – Good God! What is wrong with you people...Do you or do you not understand abuse! Do you not understand the concept of rape? I don't care if you are a man or a woman – How absolutely disgusting that an American can have an abusive partner, have evidence of that abuse, free yourself from that union, and then...because he only raped and abused you 20% of the tjme, he still deserves alimony....Oh. by the way, rape is rape, a felony...regardless of the relationship........Hey Buddy...go ahead, beat and rape your wives....you still get paid!!!! Don't kill them...they are worth more to you alive...so that both you and the system and the American society get rape them more!!

    August 27, 2012 at 8:58 pm | Report abuse |
  28. Joelle

    I came across this the other day and I want to share it with you guys out there ... hehe ...

    A Fool Thinks Himself to be Wise .... But a Wise Man Knows Himself to be a Fool

    William Shakespeare

    August 27, 2012 at 8:53 pm | Report abuse |
  29. Fair and Balanced

    Glazed – You are more dangerous than I thought. Do you hear voices too? Remember, admitting you have a problem is not a sign of weakness, it is the first indicator that you can benefit from care. We are not going to judge you. Calm down, seek help.

    August 27, 2012 at 8:40 pm | Report abuse |
  30. rh

    The article is written in a biased manner. It says: "When Shawn Harris was convicted of forced oral copulation, the judge ordered Crystal to pay her husband, her convicted attacker, spousal support; $1,000 per month and to pay his legal fees." as if there was a direct connection.

    I guess if a person is drunk once or flips out once, they lose everything? Would a woman lose everything? And recording the episode? That sounds kind of weird.

    August 27, 2012 at 8:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • kandy321

      I'm sure she told him "Baby, let's get kinky tonight, and you pretend to rape me". And the idi0t stay at home loser dad fell for it.

      August 27, 2012 at 9:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nicole

      She taped it because she was trying to catch him abusing her on tape so she would have evidence. She was afraid he would kill her. Her whole story is on the show "I survived" He abused her physically in front of her kids and sexually more than once. The day it was taped he raped and forced her to perform oral sex, and that wasn't the only time, and besides that he almost killed her that day. I am disgusted by the people saying that she should have to pay him alimony.

      August 27, 2012 at 9:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • MoodyMoody

      I am happy that the California legislature is closing this loophole. Mr. Harris does not deserve alimony. Being forced to pay alimony to a rapist as bad as being forced to carry a child of rape to term. Ms. Harris recorded the second attack to prove it happened. Drunkenness doesn't excuse assault or rape, and I don't know from this article whether alcohol or drugs were involved. Rape is rape.

      August 27, 2012 at 10:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • ekwinne


      What do you not understand about the words rape or systematic abuse? He beat his wife, raped her, and you want to pretend that he did it once and shouldn't be judged? I have a problem on so many levels with your statement, but the one that sticks out to me is that he has been convicted of a crime and WILL WALK AWAY from jail and get a "second chance". This doesn't mean that he should get to continually be supported by his own victim. That is a failure of the justice system and as such must be rectified.

      August 28, 2012 at 9:38 am | Report abuse |
  31. Joe

    I know a guy who's going through a divorce and his ex-wife is claiming that he s3xu@11y abused his kids in order to get full custody and more child support. There is nothing that lawyers won't stoop too.

    August 27, 2012 at 8:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • DC1973

      You know that odds are she's not "claiming" anything that didn't actually happen, right? Statistically speaking? Most people who claim they've been abused are not actually making it up.

      Whether or not people like you believe them is a different matter, which is why most of them never say anything.

      August 27, 2012 at 10:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • EEper

      If she makes a claim that can't be proved it will backfire on her.

      August 28, 2012 at 2:43 pm | Report abuse |
  32. Nada

    Women can be pretty awful to men too, but you still have to pay them.

    August 27, 2012 at 8:24 pm | Report abuse |
  33. Cliff

    The thing is, if the man cheats, that one act does not invalidate all of the previous years he was a good husband. If the wife cheats, that does not invalidate all of the previous years she was a good wife. What this husband did was wrong, no question. No means no even if the other person is your spouse. However, his actions do no invalidate all of the years he was a stay at home dad, forgoing gainful employment, etc. He is due the alimony, unfortunately. To make a law that states otherwise is inconsistent with the standard of decency demonstrated in a maturing society.

    August 27, 2012 at 8:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • shinden58

      Sorry Cliff you are wrong. He forfitted his right to alimony when he started to be abusive. If the guy had half a brain he would have stopped his actions before he got abusive. What a schmuck. The guy remove himself from the gene pool and do humanity a favor.

      August 27, 2012 at 8:29 pm | Report abuse |
      • John

        Shinden58, I think you are lying. Cliff shows compassion and I doubt that under similar circumstances, a wife could not become just as physically or emotionally abusive as any man, or worse. Just look through the webpornsite networks and you'll see normal women behaving as badly or worse than men ever did, (and filming themselves – whoa!) and many of them are wearing wedding rings and crucifixes!
        Besides, women can conceal their innate anger and personal agressiveness behind a longstanding societal tradition that portrays then and imagines them to be the "weaker" sex. (Probably invented by ancient chivalrous traditions involving never-marriedsingle males, who never experienced a divorce enacted by the wife, by the way). Try having a baby. You'll understand that women are in many ways more pain-tolerant, physically as well as emotionally, when it comes to normal male-female relationships! No kidding!

        August 27, 2012 at 8:56 pm | Report abuse |
        • noname


          I agree with your statements.

          " Just look through the webpornsite networks and you'll see normal women behaving as badly or worse than men ever did, (and filming themselves – whoa!) and many of them are wearing wedding rings and crucifixes!"

          There is a book called "50 Shades of Grey" which is the sexual bondage of women. CNN even did a story about it due to the popularity with women. I have a female co-worker who told me she was upset that her husband would not force sex "rape" on her, it has always been her fantasy.

          As a guy, women I love you all and want you to be safe, but what the hell are we supposed to do?

          August 27, 2012 at 9:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • John

      I agree with Cliff. Aside from the threats to "kill" his wife, he is entitled to money from her work for sacrificing his own potentially profitable working time in favor of raising and caring for his healthy children. If his wife cheated or implied that he was not "good enough" in one way or another – and if the bill is signed by Governor Brown – who is NOT married – legislative appeals are in order.

      August 27, 2012 at 8:32 pm | Report abuse |
      • dumbwoman

        Perhaps if she had simply decided that he was no longer fun or she didn't love him, she should have to pay. But considering that her decision to leave him finally came after long term abuse and eventual and repeated rape, I would say he dug his own grave.
        On a side note, to those of you that say there should be no alimony, period, you are a bona fide idiot. If a husband and a wife agree that one works while the other stays home and cares for the home and the children, it is unfair (to put it mildly), that they be expected to start from scratch, possibly later in life and with little to no experience, if their marriage ends. Especially in a case where it was not their choice, but their spouses.

        August 29, 2012 at 4:26 pm | Report abuse |
  34. victor

    Just to clarify some confusion as to why this could happen in California. The conviction for the domestic violence is a criminal action. The husband loses certain rights. Family court is a civil matter with completely different rules. The legislature has made it a fairly standard process. When it comes to alimony, you are required to financially support your ex-spouse to keep them at standard of living comparable as to when you were married. The logic behind it is that you were able to devote so much time to work because your spouse took care of the home, as such they gave up the opportunity to work or make a living on their own. You are financially compensating them for that sacrifice.

    In the story here, the legislation has said in certain circumstances a spouse that made more money than the ex, would not be required to support that spouse if they were convicted of certain crimes. Personally, I think it is a stupid fix to a larger endemic problem, but it is what the legislation has voted for.

    August 27, 2012 at 8:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • cb

      From what I've experienced and also observed, the bottom line is that if there is one spouse in a marriage who is financially responsible and has a work ethic, that they are the ones who are punished financially in a divorce. I had a husband who quit his job (just didn't like it enough) and was in and out of work depending on his mood. All the while (20 yrs) I worked 50hrs/week paying the mortgage, and also doing the lion's share of housework. Why should property be split evenly when it is obvious that both didn't EARN it equally?? There SHOULD be some compensation for spouses that stay home and raise kids, but it shouldn't be a lifelong gravy train if the couple gets divorced. The bottom line is that when you marry someone, you better be darn sure that they have some kind of work ethic and ability to support themselves if needed.

      August 27, 2012 at 8:31 pm | Report abuse |
      • John

        cb – I hardly think you could effectively do 50+ hours a week and then admit to doing a "lion's share" of the housework. If what you did was pay bills, and your spouse did all of the home maintenance and was required to do so under existing HOA laws – no kidding! (or pay unaffordable subcontractors) then you are in a sort of denial when it comes to what you consider a "gravy train" and are blind and insensitive to what your spouse has to endure emotionally while you are at work during those long hours with all of those "other people". When did you sleep, by the way?

        August 27, 2012 at 8:37 pm | Report abuse |
        • Melinda

          So John, you are very skeptical that CB was working 50+ hours per week and coming home to do the lions share of household chores as compared to her nonworking hubby...... It happens! I put up with the same thing she did for many years. My (now) ex-hubby was very lazy, watched TV all day and got drunk at least every other day (needed a day in between to sober up). He ignored most home maintenance or got a friend over to fix something that could not be ignored. I put up with it for more years than I should have because I took my marriage vows seriously, while he put in little effort and assumed I would never have the guts to divorce him. After divorce when I told a friend of his that I have to pay him alimony, his friend's reaction was "Oh my god, he is being rewarded for being lazy!" Classic.

          August 27, 2012 at 10:19 pm | Report abuse |
        • Tammy

          Hello! John, where have you been? Moms who work out of the home put in five or six day work weeks and then often come home and spend quality time with the kids, prepare dinner, get the laundry done, the vacuuming, etc. Sleep isn't a major priority and the 8 hours we're supposed to get is just a distant dream. Duh...many of us run on empty – like maybe four or five hours of sleep per night if we're lucky – that's why it's best to think twice before getting married...the marriage itself is a full-time job. If you're lucky, you have your weekends off, but in my experience lots of moms in the US don't. Haven't you read up on any of the numerous studies on this?????! A good night's sleep is something you can think of getting again on a regular basis once the kids are off to college.

          August 28, 2012 at 4:03 am | Report abuse |
        • jnr1005

          Seriously? I am a single mother of two children, 28 years old and I have worked anywhere from 40-72 hours a week...yes, I said 72 hours a week when I worked on a disaster with FEMA. And I do all my upkeep on the property, all the cooking, laundry, and housework. I spend every evening running around the house cleaning up and providing for my family. Most nights I get to sleep from 11PM to 4AM when I start the day all over again in this crazy rat race of Washington DC. So for you to say a person can not work 50 hours a week and do the "lions share" of the work is completely wrong. I have been doing this for 5 years now and have dumped a few decent guys along the way because their idea of a great relationship was to work 40 hours a week and come home and sit on their butt while I mow the lawn, cook, and clean. If I am an industrious worker I shouldn't have to nor will I support some lazy bum who can't help out. And if your defending those lazy people, you must be one yourself that is hoping for spousal support later on. People in this day and age just expect things to be handed to them instead of working hard themselves.

          August 28, 2012 at 8:55 am | Report abuse |
        • dumbwoman

          Assuming by the name, John, that you are a man, then it's no wonder you hardly think that's possible. You obviously aren't privy to the shocking number of men these days that are willing to sit unemployed, not seeking employment and also doing no housework etc (because that's womans work) while their wives work to support them, take care of the home, and in the case of a former friend of mine, also do their school work. Her husband finally got a job at Taco Bell, but after his 30 hour week, he's too tired to do anything around the house. She works 40+ and still does all the housework, cares for their child, and does his school work. It is women's fault basically because we put up with the behavior and therefore men continue to do it.

          August 29, 2012 at 4:31 pm | Report abuse |
      • John

        cb – not to mention the suffering children must go through after a divorce. A working parent who suddenly has to take care of her own kids after a divorce when the children (under 18) were notably being raised by the non-working domestic homemaking Dad have produced known credible negative medical histories and factual research data from parents, and children, pointing in the directions of predictably, the "breadwinner" wife becoming a failed parent, resulting in depressed and lonely, suicidal and even dangerously anti-social children after only a few months. No kidding!
        Sometimes the children are taken away from both parents and then assigned to public foster care. A tragic waste of a marriage, and time for a divorce not well spent, I think.

        August 27, 2012 at 8:45 pm | Report abuse |
        • ekwinne


          Are you really trying to say that the woman should stay with the husband when he raped her, because an abusive "tight-knit family" is better off for the kids than one in which a victimized mother lives alone with her children? There is also "substantiated" claims that there is a negative impact on children who are EXPOSED to abuse, even more so than your BS science articles claiming otherwise. This is common sense. She has to work, pay for the husband, and possibly find childcare if the kids are not old enough, and all of this seems okay to you? This should work the other way too- if you lay a hand on your spouse, repeatedly rape or abuse them, man OR woman, you should not be entitled to ANYTHING from your victim. You are twisted beyond belief.

          August 28, 2012 at 9:55 am | Report abuse |
  35. Joel

    The new law sounds good in theory, but it will give women an incentive to falsely charge their spouses with abuse. That's exactly why the no-fault divorce laws are that way: so that people don't have an incentive to make up, or exaggerate, charges against their spouses, and turn divorce cases into "Oh yeah, well she did . . . " It's a flawed system. But then, so is the system whereby the worse you paint the other person, the more $ you get (or the less you have to pay). This new law is a step backwards toward the old system. Will women make up charges for money? Oh yeah, big time. There have been many men who have been convicted of rape or child molestation and spent years in prison, only to be exonerated and let out of prison years later when DNA proved them innocent, or the children recanted and confessed that mom convinced them to lie because she had a vendetta against Dad.

    August 27, 2012 at 8:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • EEper

      They won't be able to falsely accuse their ex due to the fact that the law only relates to cases in which there is a felony conviction.

      August 28, 2012 at 2:47 pm | Report abuse |
  36. Jimj

    Hey all you ladies out there...here's how you get alimony for life: At least one year before you leave your husband go to a shrink, pour out the tears and convince him that you're "depressed" (trust me...this won't be hard). Get him to prescribe you some medications. Quit your job and tell your husband you're just too depressed to work and you're suicidal. Once the divorce happens the Judge will be too spineless to ever stop your alimony because he'll be afraid you'll kill yourself and he doesn't want that on your conscience. Then you're set for life baby!

    August 27, 2012 at 7:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • CirqueDuTech

      You are all missing the point ........ The point is simple, know who you are getting married to. Sign a simple legal and binding contract much like a prenup stating your concerns and the remedies if they were to occur. If you and your intended are are really mature and in love then doing this little action is a no brainer. As to the lady in the Article.. we know the second attack was caught on tape... My question to her and one i would suggest should go at the point of questioning her parenting skills, was why did she remain after the first attack and keep her kids in this unsafe environment. California has probably the strictest domestic violence laws in the country. She could have left, filed for a protection order and so on...sounds like she did a quick divorce with a really bad lawyer. THe next question is have is why di she marry a guy who did not have a job? ANOTHER BIG FACTOR HERE IS THAT WE DID NOT LIVE THEIR LIVES SO GUESS WHAT PEOPLE...... IT IS NONE OF OUR DAMN BUSINESS.....

      August 27, 2012 at 8:12 pm | Report abuse |
  37. Keith

    The alimony system in California is simply pathetic and grossly mis-applied. I left my wife years ago due to her chronic lying in our marriage, shoplifting, refusal to find a job and we had no children. Of course she was awarded $3200/month in alimony (which equates to virtually 40% of my GROSS paycheck each month). I subsequently remarried and now support a family of four on my income. I have two children with my new wife, one of which is handicapped and requies special needs. The California courts recently told me that my expenses related to my new family "don't count" and she still gets her same alimony...for life...with no expectation to ever get a job. Pathetic.

    August 27, 2012 at 7:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joel

      Yes, it's stories like that that are part of the reason I'll never get married again. I got married once for a short while to a woman who quit her job immediately before we got married, saying she was going to get a better job as soon as we got married (yeah, right!). She lied to me about some other important things as well, I later found out. I divorced her quickly. Women are sneaky. Getting my heart creamed a few times was bad enough, but I'm not stupid enough to let them cream my wallet. Congratulations, women (as a group). You taught me that dating is a liar's game. Now I play the game too.

      August 27, 2012 at 7:58 pm | Report abuse |
      • Ann

        There are a few honest and reliable woman out there as well and I hope you find her one day! One of the toughest things I am facing living in this country is that I can either pay 3,000 (New York city) for a nanny to care for my child or leave my job and fall behind in my carrer so that I can stay at home. After speaking to my husband we decided that I leave my leave my job. The intention is for my to return back to the workforce later in life but unfortunately the employment laws in this country does not save the position in my old company for me!

        August 27, 2012 at 8:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • eyeRollz

      Keith, I agree with part of your statement – with no children from your union, there should be a time limit on the alimony. If she had no skills or education prior to the marriage, give her a year or so to get some skills/education then cut her off. A former spouse should not be able to live off their ex for the rest of their life. Where's her incentive to get remarried? She'll just live with a guy so they can keep getting the extra money and that's not fair. p.s. I am a woman.

      August 27, 2012 at 8:00 pm | Report abuse |
      • Joel

        eyeRollz: Guys do the same thing. A good friend (female) of mine is going through that now. The bum sat on the couch smoking dope for the 12 years of their marriage, and now wants half her earnings plus alimony. What a loser.

        August 27, 2012 at 8:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Stannous Floride

      Hey Keith, I'd move to China before I'd send that slacker another nickel!

      August 27, 2012 at 8:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ann

      I am so sorry to hear about your situation. I am a firm believer that every person should be able to stand on their own feed after a divorce. I can understand that alimony be paid for a certain amount of time, 3 or max 6months to get the other person to find a new job after a separation. I am a woman myself and I find it disgraceful that anyone male or female can live on other peoples money. It's shameful and embarrassing!

      August 27, 2012 at 8:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • SoCal Stephen

      Keith, You CAN fight that – find a good attorney (that doesn't always equate to most expensive). Fight her and appeal that ruling. Do NOT accept it. Do NOT roll over and take that ANYMORE. Invest in a good attorney and get this handled so you can breath, and you and your new family can move on. Make it your mission to NOT TAKE IT ANYMORE. Best of luck to you.

      August 27, 2012 at 8:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ginny

      Keith, I was divorced in CA after being married for less then 10 years. According to CA law, a couple married less then 10 years normally does not qualify for alimony. I also did not qualify for any claim to my husbands retirement, etc. I did not request any of those things, I just wanted out of the marriage. If a child is born during the marriage, then child support is awarded but not alimony. In some cases (small percentage) alimony may be awarded for a short period of time in order for the non-working spouse to gain job skills but that should be it. You need to check with a better divorce lawyer is your situation is as you have said because something is very wrong in your case.

      August 27, 2012 at 8:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • btdt

      Keith your kind of situation literally takes your breath away. That, similar to this woman's plight, should be a bill in front of the old governor to end all alimony. It is unjust. In fact your situation hurts others because they go into divorce thinking they'll get a big payout for life like your ex. Its a rude awakening when they get far from it.

      August 27, 2012 at 9:12 pm | Report abuse |
  38. Down with California

    Sorry weirdo that's your fantasy

    August 27, 2012 at 7:31 pm | Report abuse |
  39. Gryla

    It is good to hear that women who do not give sex to their husbands and have to have this behavior physically 'corrected' will not have to pay alimony to their ex-wives after the inevitable divorce.

    For too long our justice system has neglected men that have had to suffer wife coldness and then going to bed with sore knuckles..


    August 27, 2012 at 7:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kris

      You make no sense! It is good to hear that women who do not give sex to their husbands and have to have this behavior physically 'corrected' will not have to pay alimony to their ex-wives after the inevitable divorce. Your bat shit crazy!

      August 27, 2012 at 7:32 pm | Report abuse |
      • Gryla

        Huh? Why am I crazy?

        I did not write this law, i merely support it.

        August 27, 2012 at 7:39 pm | Report abuse |
  40. Jack Magnus

    My ex-wife mentally abused me for years and I have to pay her $2200/mo. Any POW will tell you tht mentail torture is worse than physical torture. If the roles were reversed he would be forced to pay so she said pay and suck it up. Equal opportunity baby!

    August 27, 2012 at 7:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kris

      You're an idiot! While any kind of abuse is terrible, how can you compare your ex-wife verbally abusing you to some pig sticking his private in a females mouth forcefully?

      August 27, 2012 at 7:30 pm | Report abuse |
      • Gryla

        So you call a guy who is brave enough to come here and talk about his abuse an "idiot?"

        My god you are a heartless person! Anyone brave enough to talk about such things should be shown compassion and you actually heap more abuse upon him!

        You are what is wrong with the world!

        August 27, 2012 at 7:47 pm | Report abuse |
      • Jason Zinn

        "Mental"/"emotional" abuse can be just as hurtful as physical abuse- in any form. Women have evolved a (successful) survival strategy to counteract the male dominance in physical strength. Namely, non-physical combat (i.e. mental, emotional, etc)
        This can turn easily turn into "abuse" &, since there is no jail time for this, can continue on for years until (sometimes) a suffering male simply "explodes".
        Mental anguish is a long established legal construct and, as such, should be included in the new law to shield both genders. I wonder how same-sex couples will regard this new law? Does it discriminate against homosexual men in favor of lesbian women?
        No wonder California is sliding into bankruptcy and oblivion,

        August 27, 2012 at 8:40 pm | Report abuse |
        • Down with California

          I agree with you 100% everyone says the woman is the victim a man is stronger he can't be the victim of abuse wake up women put men through abuse physical and mental every day. In today's world it's ok and woman can do no wrong to a man in a relationship according to most people. If you aske me anyone who says that is a liberal a homo or some retard who has no idea how the real world works

          August 27, 2012 at 11:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • DiAnne

      All that says about you is that you are an idiot.

      August 28, 2012 at 7:09 am | Report abuse |
  41. Down with California

    What this really means is once people know about this law all they have to do is claim abuse to avoid paying spousal support. Ever since OJ got away with murder all it takes is a convincing story and maybe some self inflicted wounds to get a DV conviction against your partner. Still I don't see many husbands who were hit by frying pans getting liberated from spousal support. Way to go California you move ever closer to being a place worse than nazi Germany.

    August 27, 2012 at 7:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • James

      Wow.. talk about being soft on crime... do those people outside of CA allow criminals full benefit of citizens that obey the law?

      August 27, 2012 at 7:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • NSL

      You're a moron. This new law if signed prevents a spouse from being awarded alimony and attorney's fees, only if convicted of violent sexual assault. Your statement is utterly absurd.

      August 27, 2012 at 8:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • DiAnne

      Is your brain fully formed, because you are the most obviously intellectually stunted moron on the planet.

      August 28, 2012 at 7:12 am | Report abuse |
  42. Scott

    Honestly, as horrible as this sounds, alimony laws are in place to protect a former spouse, usually women, who were housewives or made significantly less income than their spouse from destitution. So any law, even in this case, that negates the responsibility of a spouse to pay alimony is a terrible idea. I don't know the text of a law, but I can imagine a scenario where a stay-at-home mom gets arrested for domestic battery for hitting her husband with a broom (this is a very realistic scenario). This could happen a single time in a 20 year marriage, and the husband could potentially use this law to negate his responsibility to pay alimony. Terrible, terrible idea, even if they parade the worst possible scenario (like the woman in the article) before the public, because I assure you actual application of the law will involve a thousand times more cases as I described than in cases like that which appears in this article.

    August 27, 2012 at 7:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • noname

      @Scott, You should read the article before you post hypothetical comments, felony conviction.

      "but I can imagine a scenario where a stay-at-home mom gets arrested for domestic battery for hitting her husband with a broom (this is a very realistic scenario)."

      This would be aggravated assault which is a felony, use of a weapon with the potential to cause great bodily harm. But that Ok "he" had it coming right? My ex-wife use to knee me in the groin for no reason, I really don't know why or what I did, I guess she thought it was funny.

      August 27, 2012 at 8:56 pm | Report abuse |
  43. Pestilence

    Women do this to men all the time; and the law encourages it. In most states; upon birth; the only legal parent is the woman; when/if she isn't married. She hides/conceals the pregnancy, conceals the child, denies father/child establishment and then comes back for retroactive child support 10 years after the fact. This is the SAME as RAPE; emotionally, which is all about "control". She exerts power and control over him by denying him any rights to the child; exerts additional control when suing him for child support; then the MAN must pay HER financially every month until the child is 18; plus retroactive child support or any monies given to her by the State, etc. How would YOU like to get raped like this and then pay the OFFENDER hundreds of thousands of dollars, stretched out over a period of 18 years; so you could never heal from this...

    August 27, 2012 at 7:15 pm | Report abuse |
  44. EEper

    Having experienced marital rape and abuse, I can say that the whole thing when it is happening to you is hard for even you to believe, especially if you are a professional woman. When you have young kids it is very difficult to leave. Also, as reflected in this story, which few people really understand, is the fact that the law pretty much ignores spousal abuse and rape in custody and alimony determinations. Often abusers are very controlling. Nothing is worse for this type of person than losing control. So, they abuse their ex-spouse further with years of litigation followed by years of fighting with the ex and making shared custody very difficult. I am in an impossible situation myself with my ex. I am glad that I am no longer living with him, but we have to make joint decisions for the kids and he has them 50-50 time in part because the court doesn't care about what you do to spouse and also due to the fact that I did not have a recording of being raped. Every minor decision is a nightmare. His parents are angry and blame me for the divorce – he has lied about what happened. So, I am subject to anger from them and they have trashed me all over town. I did not deserve this. No human being does. But this is what a spouse that is leaving this nightmarish scenario faces. Additionally, the court will look favorably on an abuser if he has a tight family network even if it is totally dysfunctional like my ex. He and the kids live in their angry household half their lives. They will live there indefinately since no one is beating them. There is something very wrong with family law when there are no provisions for abusive persons. This is a step in the right direction. It still would not have helped me since I had no evidence of the rape. My attorney advised me not to press charges or go forward since it would be a he said she said.

    August 27, 2012 at 7:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Camdens_Log82

      Now there you go. Are you saying "non-professional" women cannot comprehend a "legitimate rape?"

      August 27, 2012 at 7:17 pm | Report abuse |
      • EEper

        No one can comprehend it. There is a myth out there that this only happens to poor uneducated women. Women who are seen by many as lacking power. People often have a hard time believing when this happens to them because it doesnt fit with their view of themselves or how others see them. That is all I meant.

        August 27, 2012 at 7:21 pm | Report abuse |
        • lanfear

          don't justify your comment to the hater. It's clear they missed your point altogether.

          August 27, 2012 at 7:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • btdt

      I'm with your lawyer on this one. He said she said is exactly right in your situation. And sorry but there are two sides to every story and we don't get to hear your ex's.

      August 27, 2012 at 10:32 pm | Report abuse |
  45. Gretchen

    Finally, Republicans and Democrats coming together to do the right thing.

    August 27, 2012 at 7:09 pm | Report abuse |
  46. liz

    Maybe the 31 states which allow a rapist to get visitation with the child conceived from a rape will take heed and change that law.

    August 27, 2012 at 7:06 pm | Report abuse |
  47. Jeanie

    This is revolting! That judge should lose his job and be totally disgusted with himself.

    August 27, 2012 at 7:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • EEper

      The judge is just following the law as it is written. The judge would lose their job if they ruled otherwise. This is why this new legislatino was required. I pray it is put in place in all states and US territories.

      August 27, 2012 at 7:16 pm | Report abuse |
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