Man Ordered to Pay Ex-Wife Alimony, Despite Domestic Partnership

Man Ordered to Pay Ex-Wife Alimony, Despite Domestic Partnership

Pay up, buddy.

From The San Francisco Gate

A judge ordered an Orange County man to continue paying $1,250 a month in alimony to his former wife — even though she's in a registered domestic partnership with another woman.

State marriage laws say that alimony ends when a former spouse remarries. So Ron Garber thought he was off the hook for the payments when he learned his ex-wife, Melinda Kirkwood, registered her new relationship under the state's domestic partnership law.

But an Orange County judge decided that a registered partnership is cohabitation, not marriage, and that Garber must keep writing checks to his ex-spouse.

The case, which Garber said he plans to appeal, highlights gaps between the legal status of domestic partners and married couples, an issue the California Supreme Court is considering as it ponders whether to legalize same-sex marriage in the state.

Tango’s Take We felt bad for Garber. Real bad, in fact. Until we read that Garber knew that his ex-wife took her new lady’s last name before he agreed to pay the alimony. Did he think that there was some quid pro quo? Was he thinking that his dollars were going toward getting a little ménage? His ex must not be that kind of lesbian.

Some kidding aside. Sure, it’s ‘not fair’ that his ex-wife is not able to actually get married in the state of California. But she can change her last name and she can get similar benefits as a married couple and she can even adopt (or be inseminated… paging David Crosby). But is it fair to stick exactly to the letter of the law? We’re pretty sure that this case will have a major impact on California’s same-sex marriage bill campaign. We wonder how the Governator is going to weigh in on this one?

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