Friday, 6 February 2009

Lee: Ker-ching!

A couple of years ago Ray Parlour got divorced and the courts found that his wife had a claim on his future earnings, I find that immoral. She was given money based on the ‘lifestyle that she was accustomed to’. That’s not how it should be. And it goes both ways. An ex-girlfriend of mine had a few bob and was married to a guy and he turned her over. He had debt when they got married. The debt went in the pot, so she had to pay his debt as part of the deal.

I think this is one of the biggest reasons for people not getting married. Because they know when they get married the burden is on the person with the money - be that the man or the woman. As much as people say they will never take your money, when push comes to shove, down the track they always do.

If a woman decides a guy has a few bob, she can’t just live off what he’s got and then ask for half. In my books, she’s had a good run and should walk away with what she came with. If you gave up a career for children, again, it’s your choice. I think the father is totally responsible for the kids and he should always pay for the kids, whether he is there or not.

There are plenty of women out there who have a career, have had kids and have carried on with their career. So I don’t buy women getting half when they stay at home.  I’ve had a situation with a girl who was getting divorced and she’d been knocked about by the guy and she thought that was justification for her getting money out of him. Really someone should have taken a hammer to him for knocking her around. But she shouldn’t treat him like a cash register, so every time he hits her it’s ‘Kerching’. She should have left the bastard and not just stayed thinking she was going to get more money every time he hit her. Become a boxer if you want that. I found the whole thing bizarre.

Because of the way the law works I could never see myself getting married. I got turned over by an ex-girlfriend who managed to screw me for shitloads of money. It wasn’t even a marriage and I found out about the law the hard way. The law doesn’t care about morals, it just has a set of black and white rules. The way it plays out isn’t healthy for marriage at all. I think it kills the potential. Now I look sideways at every woman I meet – now I know the law.

If a man buys a flat entirely himself and puts their girlfriend on the deeds, then she gets half, even if she didn’t pay a penny. The end. That’s it plain and simple. In that situation I would deal honourably with someone. If I was with a really rich woman and she bought the flat, I would walk away. After all I’ve been living there rent free.  It’s unfair that someone goes into a marriage with nothing, and then comes out with half. Knowing the law, I just think, Marriage, fuck that!

you can see Lee this Saturday at the Fymfyg Bar


Anonymous said...

My sentiments exactly

True Lateral said...

What a load of twaddle. You've been burnt, sure, but your inarticulate rant aside, it doesn't have to be like that. There isn't a single strong argument in what you've written that would convince anyone who did not already feel the same way.

If buying a house by yourself, make sure it is in your name only. By all means allow your partner to live there, but charge them rent. Or, make sure they don't live there for a few weeks a year, so that you don't tip over into common law marriage territory.

The problem here is that people rush into things and don't keep their finances separate from their emotions. If they can't be bothered doing that, they are entitling the other person to whatever the law says they can have. If you don't like it, don't conduct things that way.

As for the comments about women who don't work - if she stays at home to support his job, looking after the kids, the house, feeding him, etc, then damn sure she has helped him to earn that money, and deserves a slice when it goes tits-up.

If you've got money, protect it. Don't whinge about it when the love of your life turns into the vindictive ex - and CERTAINLY don't whine that YOU would do the honourable thing. Don't even allow it to be a question of honour. It should all be cut-and-dried. Saves money on lawyers, too.

Danonymous Dan said...

mmm I kind of Agree with both sides here. Although True Lateral, you must be a relatively hard nosed individual to tell a partner that 'you can't live here for a month this year because I don't want to give rise to you taking the house if it goes wrong.' Sorry but conducting your relationship to guard against the worst possible scenario is no way to live. I don't know a single girl who'd have a relationship where the guy planned each decision based on how monetarily exposed it made him.

Fact is, in a debt driven economy couples are likely to meet and enter relationship with a debt albatross already around their necks, then accrue a further flock of debt birdies as they move forward taking a house etc. Its something the law has been slow to respond to but that isn't surprising. It is also something that I would say seriously effects a relationships' long term viability in this country.

As for 'deserving a slice' well that depends on various factors. Why did the relationship fail? If its infidelity on her part then why the fuck should he pay for it? Likewise, if she is at home blissfully unaware of his seed-sowing, then he should pay. But its not as cut and dried and merely deserving cash for cooking his dinner.

Also, not a great move to suggest a top flight comedian is inarticulate.

Katie said...

I discovered in my divorce that the odds are for sure on the 'female' half. My lawyer made me sign a statement so I wouldn't sue him for adverse advice in later years. (I wouldn't follow his rules).

He wanted me to:

Take half my husbands business. No because it was his family business, not mine!

Be paid alimonly (seperate from the childrens) because I had given up work to bring up our children. No because we made that decision, I'm not penalising him now for my decision to stay at home with our children!

Get his pension. No, why would I want his money in 20 years time, it's his pension not mine!

That aside, it's up to individuals isn't it. He took the savings, I took the house (and mortgage). We're very proud that we came out a marriage with our dignity and common sense with money matters. I'm aware it's not always the case though.

Lily Lane said...

I'm confused; why on earth would it not be a great move for True Lateral to suggest a "top flight" comedian is inarticulate? What would you suggest the consequences are going to be? A spotlight does not make a person untouchable.
I agree with True Lateral; it was inarticulate, and struggling through to the end felt as though someone was running their fingers down a blackboard beside me.

Sarah said...

I do think suggesting that somebody who makes a living out of public speaking is inarticulate is a fairly stupid thing say. The copy had errors, but those could well be down to a number things such as time, dyslexia, the wrong draft being published by mistake.

But really calling him inarticulate is just a cheap method of trying to devalue a fairly held opinion.

M said...

"I do think suggesting that somebody who makes a living making decisions for this country is bad at it is a fairly stupid thing to say"

See how that logic goes belly-up? Working with something was never a guarantee that the person in question would be good at it. I also find the "loldyslexia" excuse tiresome. Most people I know who have dyslexia works TWICE as hard as regular folks to get their spelling right. When it gets down to it, if he can't articulate well, if he can't spell it is DOUBLY worse BECAUSE he is a professional. He should know better.

That being said. For god's sake you paranoids out there. If you're so bloody worried, get a prenup.

True Lateral said...

He can hold his opinions, that's fine. But to convince others, there needs to be some actual reasoning, and there isn't a good thread of reasoning running through the post. That is why I described it as a rant, it seems more emotive and based on personal experience than fairly thought through. I also didn't say he was inarticulate, I said the rant was inarticulate. I still maintain it was.

As for how people conduct their relationships, yes it would be hard-nosed to make someone move out for one month a year. Sensible, but hard. Wouldn't work for me, either. However, formalising your position with each other in writing would not be a bad idea.

Anna said...

The world is full of people who think the same about marriage, and therefore won't bother, and that's fair enough. But I still believe in marriage. I think it's something not to be entered into lightly, and I'd hope that I'm a good enough judge of character to end up with a mature and fair person like Katie!

I suspect the common law thing is unfair though, since nothing has actually been agreed on. It's unfair to assume that one partner has rights to another's money when it hasn't even been discussed.

Anonymous said...

In terms of bad grammar the first line of the second paragraph just deosn't make sense...

In terms of getting married, your whole post assumes a divorce at the end of it. Kinda the wrong way to look at it imo!

Anonymous said...

And I can't type!

Lost girl said...

There's nothing wrong with being prepared for the worst case is imperfect. Personally I think a pre-nuptial agreement is a good way. At the end of the day, if things do turn out for the worst at least everybody knows where they stand.

Milana said...

Firstly, common law marriage is not recognised in England and Wales, so you don't have to kick your partner out for a month a year, you just need to not put their name on the deeds - not too difficult really. If you are not married then you are not entitled to maintenance, pensions, houses, or anything like that. If you have children and you keep custody, you can expect some maintenance for their upkeep from the other parent, whether that is the mother or the father.

Now onto the point about women, children and work. You are correct that many women have children and work full time and so have their own money and their own pension. However, how many of those women wanted to do that and felt that it was the best they could do for their family and their children? Some no doubt, but many more will feel that financial pressures forced them to work full time and that it was not the best thing to do for their kids and guess what, many of their husbands agree with them!

When you have children, most parents want to do the very best for their kids and, if you can afford it, that may well mean one parent working part-time so that the kids aren't pushed from pillar to post throughout their childhood. The person who does this will probably find their career severely handicapped when they are ready to go back full time. Parents know this, if they make the decison to do it, they do so together and therefore, if the relationship later fails, any divorce settlement should take this into consideration.

Something else to mull over is how much does two parents working all the hours god sends while trying to run a house and be proper parents, mixed with the guilt at inevitably failure to juggle all these balls effectively, actually contribute to relationships breaking down?

misspiggy said...

sorry, this is long and I have a horrible feeling I might have double posted it, but...
..most of the references in Lee's article are to women taking men's money. Is Lee really talking about the financial risks of marriage, or is he just getting some quite unpleasant views about women off his chest?
I'm a girl and I’m supporting my partner financially. I'm keen for us to get married. I know that this means I will be handing him half my financial resources for life. That is the point of marriage - it's a property transaction as much as anything else and always has been.

In the past women automatically had to hand over all the money and assets they brought into marriage to their husband, whether or not it lasted. If a marriage breaks up now, the assets have to be shared between the partners. This might benefit the weaker financial partner in cash terms, because they are considered as contributing equally to the ‘unit’ that is the marriage. So yes, marriage does enable someone to go in with 'nothing' in money terms, and come out with half. That's not unfair. Of course your partner might betray you at a later date, but you have to make sure you are making the best judgement possible and take that risk into account. I see it as a good thing, to love and trust someone to the extent that you want to give them what you have.
I think it’s insulting and really rather nasty to imply, as Lee does, that the weaker financial partner is always a woman and that women go into marriage seeking financial gain.

s'hen said...

There is a definite aura in this piece of tarring all women with the same brush, and there is a suggestion that only men are capable of being 'honourable'. I personally take umbrage against that, because I am a woman who did not take her ex-husband for a ride financially. He got ALL the household goods and we split our savings down the middle. He got the dog, I got the cats. I took my camera, he took both the vehicles.
I agree that there are many cases of despicable behaviour financially by one partner against another, but that it involves poor behaviour from both men and women, and you never hear about the separations that go well, do you?
Chip on shoulder, Lee? Much.

Anonymous said...

I agree. In a divorce, the odds favor women, and unless the women are conscientious about cash(like finding water in the Sahara) the man gets the wrong end of the stick. From personal experience, I can add that they do try to get what booty they can, although all may not be downright nasty about it. It is weird, because mostly it is the man who supports the marriage financially, and at the end of it he has to pay for it too - like the divorce itself isn't bad enough. By the way, I am new to your blog and love it.

Anonymous said...

Men historically pay more because until fairly recently it was only the woman who stayed home.

But consider another example, what if both partners meet when they are poor and someone takes a back seat to support the career of the other? Its hard to say, especially when a great deal of time has passed, say 20+ years later that the man has been "taken for a ride". If it was a man or a woman it is impossible to quantify the emotional support but it is possible to quantify the costs of cleaning, cooking and child rearing services which would be quite expensive if they were purchased instead of borne by the house bound spouse.

This topic really depends on the individuals involved. Whether or not the decision not to work was a joint decision or foisted upon one partner. A fair representation is unlikely to come from persons going through a divorce because by that time either party is hurt and angry. It's best not to generalize.

Vici said...

This blog promises, and has generally delivered, that it will be conducted "without all the bullshit, bravado and misinformation."

I can't help but feel that the newer authors aren't quite singing from that hymnsheet.

Anonymous said...

What a nasty, bitter and fairly openly sexist entry. I like Todger Talk, but Lee has consistently been writing unpleasant things. Seriously, Mr Sex, Sam, please kick this guy out.

Paul said...

There's a lot of negativity towards this post from a lot of people.

Personally I think it's a fair statment of Lee's opinion, and in the most part I agree. The idea that someone should get future earnings from their ex spouse to "keep them in the liestyle they are accustomed to" seems ludicrous. Surely the divorce should mean an end to that lifestyle. (I think it was Chris Rock who joked that does if the guy was accustomed to sex 3 times a week does that still happen?).

I think for the most part the hurt and bitterness that are often part of divorce are the deciding factors in what people try to take in divorce (once the children are accounted for), and the world would be much better if the actions of Katie above were more common. Well done girl, you should be proud of yourself!

Kriss said...

Until recently women were expected to give up their career (for 'pin money' as it was often referred to then) when they had a family. It comes down to the fact that work in the house and childrearing is considered of much less value than work outside the home.

Because of this women like my mum, who did work while married but who sacrificed her career and a couple of very good jobs for my dad's career, were left in relative poverty when they divorced. You spend 20 years demanding your tea on the table when you get home from work? These are the consequences.

After growing up with that, I can honestly say I would never, ever sacrifice my job for a man who would then take ME and my work for a ride should we decide to have kids with a stay at home mum.

Tim said...

So you got treated badly once, and now you're going to go attack all women as money-grabbing bitches just out to manipulate you?

Go cry some more, and then grow up.

butterflywings said...

Yeah, jeez, agree with all those annoyed by this vile sexist piece.
I mean, why not just say all women are gold-diggers?
And yeah, if either partner has stayed at home to raise kids and look after the home, they *have* helped the other partner's career, and deserve compensation for the work they did at home and the sacrifice to their career they made.

Men have traditionally had the advantage here- who wouldn't do a great job when they come home to G&T, dinner on the table, kids washed, their laundry done. Then sit on their ass the whole evening watching TV or reading the paper. No cleaning to worry about. And go to bed. Wake up and put on washed and ironed clothes.
Yeah, OK not all men expect this...I'm exaggerating somewhat. But men *do* benefit from women's unpaid domestic work. Being blind to that is male privelege.

That said, I wouldn't take an ex's money in that situation, but then I don't plan to be a stay at home mother.