Saturday, July 26, 2014

Once Paid, Alimony Is No Longer His Money

Dear Tazi:

When I met my ex-wife, “Tammy”, she was in graduate school for Social Work; knowing that she would never be rich – even after she finished school – I suggested we get married right away, while she was still young and readily able to have children. It was a May-December romance (well, sort of; I am 30 years older than she) and I wanted an heir to carry on my name. After five years of marriage and no children, I divorced Tammy because it was obvious she was not going to give me what I needed; as it turns out, she is infertile. I felt lied to because I felt that this was something she should have known before we got married, but the court felt differently and awarded Tammy a divorce (not an annulment) and several years of alimony.

Since the divorce I have made my alimony payments on time and in full each week, but Tammy is not spending them. Her clothes come from secondhand stores and thrift shops; she lives in a comfortable apartment, but with a roommate to split the costs; and drives the same car she had when we were married – which is now five years old! Our old friends see her out and about and mention to me how far she has fallen financially since our divorce and suggest that I assist her, since Social Work does not pay anywhere near my income bracket. I simply smile and tell them that I pay plenty in alimony; that Tammy will do as Tammy wishes with it.

I never meant in any way to imply that Tammy had a drinking problem or a gambling problem, but this is how some people took it. I discovered this when Tammy showed up on my doorstep one morning demanding to know why I was spreading ugly rumors about her. Since we were confronting each other, I demanded to know what she was spending my alimony on if not to care for herself. When Tammy explained that she was banking it because I “will not always be here” I went through the roof! She is using my money to save for her future in case I die and can no longer pay alimony!

Tazi, I pay alimony so my ex-wife can properly represent my name to society (she did not go back to her maiden name after the divorce). I do not think it is right that my money will be supporting her – and possibly a new husband – after I have passed. This is money that I could be investing as a part of the estate that I will eventually go to my daughters and any future sons I might have. I presented this argument to my attorney, but he told me that it would not stand up in court – if anything, Tammy’s alimony might be adjusted for inflation and that I should accept things as they are.

Tazi, Tammy is a big fan of your column so I know that she is reading this letter. Will you please advise her to do what is morally right? Either spend the money on a decent and proper lifestyle or return it to me!

Not Dead Yet

Dear Not Dead Yet:

I did not realize that it was possible for a heart of stone to beat, and yet you are living proof of it! I base this opinion on the fact that you:

1) Married your ex-wife for her youth which, in your mind, made her “readily able” to have children, your sole purpose for marrying her

2) Assumed that because of her chosen career field she would “never be rich”, as if money is everything in life

3) Divorced your wife after discovering she suffers from infertility

4) Assumed that she knew about – or should have known about – her infertility before you wed

You offer no sympathy for your ex-wife, who must have been heart-broken over the idea of never being a Mom and then having to go through a divorce because she was unable to provide you with an heir; you make thinly veiled statements that lead others to believe that she has a drinking problem, gambling problem, or worse; and then you attempt to take away her financial security because she presented you with your own mortality! Wow, you are an absolute prince!

You should continue to pay Tammy her alimony, if only for the fact that you once loved this woman enough to ask her to marry you and bear you a son, if not because it is court ordered of you. You should also apologize to Tammy for your demanding attitude. Once the money is paid it is hers to do with as she wishes. I think Tammy is right smart to be investing the money for emergencies; retirement; or whatever while living within her means, not your means. She is correct in saying that you will not be around forever and is wise to plan ahead. If you would like to leave a larger estate to your daughters I suggest that you invest in a “whole life” life insurance policy, which will guarantee a set inheritance; once you have a son (if you ever do) you can do the same to provide for him.

Perfunctory snuggles to you, Paws Up to Tammy (“”) (“”),

Ask Tazi! is ghostwritten by a human with a Bachelors of Arts in Communications. Tazi-Kat is not really a talking feline.


  1. Great advice. Also, I think Tammy would benefit from some counseling. Being infertile and suffering from a divorce from it can be very emotionally damaging. She is probably suffering so much that she is unable to functionally care for herself and feels useless. I wish her the best of luck.

    P.S. I love your Weird Al video.

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