Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Using the "I'm Gay" Excuse to Get Out of Divorce

OK, I've heard it too many times and I would like to pose a theory to all the aspiring, junior, deputy, official and otherwise economists out there.

Last night, heard the ole;

"I have a friend who just found out her husband is gay and they're getting a divorce."

Now, I am not disputing that there are men out there who are gay who settled down, had kids and realized he was not being truthful to himself, couldn't keep up the charade, thus compelling a divorce. But it seems to my little eye that this excuse is being used a lot more. Not because there are more gay men who are getting married, but because I think more men are realizing this is the ultimate way out of a divorce without losing half your assets.

If you are a straight guy and your marriage is on the rocks and you cite irreconcilable differences, then you are guaranteed to lose half your net worth.

However, if you claim to be gay, whether you are or not, the women tend to be more forgiving, if not, supportive. Alas, it seems to me to be the ultimate way to get out of a marriage without losing everything you've worked for.





Hydrick said...

What happens after the divorce when the man shacks up with another girl? It seems that would raise issues of perjury at that point. If the ex-wife caught him, and then that could be even bigger costs.

If the marriage is that miserable, it might be cheaper to hire a PI until you have enough evidence to convince a judge of infidelity, and then go that route.

CMY said...

If it is true, once they catch wind of this they're going to demand proof.


It's still brilliant however.

Anonymous said...

But "Gay" does not exist...

CBMTTek said...

I tried that on my ex-wife, but she wanted to watch.

So, I had to admit I was a lesbian instead.

Anonymous said...

Cappie, don't you know why divorces are so expensive? Because they are worth it!

Anonymous said...

(You were being serious when you left that fairly open-ended invitation to comment, right?)

Given some of the divorces I've seen, rebarbarian's joke about divorce being expensive because it's worth is sometimes pretty true.

Regarding "I'm gay" as a divorce excuse -- I'm not really sure how that would work, unless there was a bias towards homosexuals in the local courts. Why would a jilted wife be less angry about "Honey, I'm leaving you to be with John" than "Honey, I'm leaving you to be with Jane"? And, assuming the wife is still angry and looking to inflict pain at the divorce proceedings, does saying "I finally realized I'm gay" somehow mean the ex-husband will be able to claim lower income or more expenses when it's time for the judge to decide who has to pay who how much in the divorce settlement?

Or, asking both facetiously and seriously, is there such a large population of bleeding-hearts in Minneapolis that all someone has to do is declare "omg, omg!!! I'm gay!!! I are now a persecuted minority!!!! You feels sorry for me, right???" and everyone will go "awwww, poor little guy, he's gay!! It's okay, sad little gay dude. We won't be mean to you!"??

Regarding your bigger question about how to avoid being completely violated during a divorce -- it's something I've considered for quite a while, as has my brother. We come from a farm, and while farm kids being wined and dined by someone looking to marry into a farm isn't an everyday occurrence, it's also not unheard of. (And a farm is a very public form of wealth -- a person can look up who owns what land and ask around about how well-off that business seems to be a lot easier than they can delve into someone's savings or IRA accounts).

So I do understand and share your concerns. Additionally, all three of us -- me, my brother, and my sister -- have engineering degrees of one type or another, which pay decently. Even without the family business, each of us could get hosed in a divorce (my sister is happily married to a really nice guy, for which my brother and I are very glad).

Anyway, after having considered this for years, the best I've come up with is a 2-pronged approach:
1) Get a pre-nup. No, it's not a cure-all or magic shield. Yes, if she gets a talented and unethical lawyer, she can probably find a way around it. BUT it's a good litmus test -- if things get serious and you start talking about the possibility of marriage and mention a pre-nuptial agreement, and she freaks out, goes into a rage, or goes into denial, thennnnnn mayybbeee this is someone who won't be very rational about marriage in general. And if she gets all sneaky and disingenuous and starts playing word games like she's a lawyer or lobbyist, then this again is a good sign she is not the one. And finally, if things do still go to hell, maybe the pre-nup will do you some good after all.
2) For God's sake, set your priorities and shop for what you want to wind up with!!! I'm not meaning to pick on you specifically (and you seem to have a fairly level head about all this) but I see a lot of guys who won't notice any girl that isn't the equivalent of a high-octane high-price high-profile high-speed high-volume fancy car, and then they are shocked when said girlfriend has all the high-maintenance high-ongoing-costs low-reliability problems that come with women who are the equivalent of fancy sports cars. If a guy want someone who can handle money intelligently, that probably isn't the woman who is always wearing the newest designer outfits and latest hairstyle, and looks like she spends 6 hours a day at the gym. If a guy wants someone who will be faithful and that he can trust without having to watch her like a hawk every minute of the day, then that's probably not the girl who got hammered drunk and jumped in bed with him the first night they met. And if a guy wants someone who's a decent cook, then that's probably not the one who's rail thin, has 2% body fat, and spends every night out on the town. I see a lot of guys chase after the high-maintenance high-cost girls and then wonder later how they wound up with someone who was so flipping high-maintenance and high-cost.