The Thinking 

Man Jailed for Failure to Pay Alimony

December 13, 2012


A NEW JERSEY man is in jail for failing to make alimony payments that exceed his income, and he has lost his job as a result of his imprisonment, according to the Hunterdon County Democrat. John Waldorf was ordered to pay $107,000 a year to his former spouse. His average income has been about $90,000 in recent years, according to the newspaper.

Waldorf’s case is being used by opponents of lifetime alimony to call for reform. They claim that lifetime alimony is no longer necessary in New Jersey because most women can and should work. While Waldorf’s alimony award is obviously excessive, and no man should be required to support a wife who left him (the circumstances of Waldorf’s case are unclear), the abolition of lifetime alimony would create injustices too. Notice the intense derision in the comments section of the newspaper article of the idea that any woman would be financially dependent.

Our family courts are machines that don’t just harm families, they pulverize them, benefiting financially from family dissolution and often stripping individuals (primarily men) of their assets and children when they have committed no crimes or egregious acts and don’t even want their marriages to end. Without public disapproval of divorce and ostracism of those who divorce, their power is extensive. There are no forces adequate to constraining them.


—- Comments —–

Terry Morris writes:

This is becoming a huge problem in this country. And leave it to the State to imprison the guy at the taxpayer’s expense. The net loss to the taxpayer will amount to quite a lot.

I have a friend who was laid off several months ago. While he didn’t do himself any favors by lying around for four or five months wallowing in self-pity (I offered him a job that he refused right after he was laid off), I understand how difficult it is for someone to change course in mid-stream. Ultimately, after he had exhausted all other options, and simultaneously got himself in deep financial trouble, he took me up on my previous offer and I worked him for several months while he continued searching for another job in his preferred line of work. While this was helpful to him in providing for his family in the interim, he has never been able to catch up on his child support payments from a previous marriage. And now the State is after him, threatening to revoke his driver’s license (his CDL – he is a truck driver by trade) and ultimately put him in jail.

Personally I’d rather give him a job and take on the responsibility of employing another person as to pay for his imprisonment. But that’s just me.

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