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95-Year-old man forced to pay more alimony than he makes

Divorce is hard enough when you do it in your 30s or 40s, but for retired farmer Glenn Binder, 95, his split with his 96-year-old wife Laura is something even worse. And the order to pay alimony for her may just end up bankrupting him.

The Binders were married for 32 years and both have grown children. They signed a prenuptial agreement protecting all assets they walked into the marriage with, including Glenn’s farm, which is valued at $560,000. Even so, the court insisted he could pay more than his monthly income. It’s crazy.

Laura Binder did not work outside the home, but she did help with her husband’s business, which obviously entitles her to something. Sadly, in 2012, she moved into a nursing home that costs $6,200 in monthly expenses. Someone has to pay.

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So it’s Glenn.

I am not a lawyer or a judge, so it’s hard to comment on the fairness (or unfairness) of this particular case. At first glance, it seems horribly unfair, though. And anyone who has spent any time in family court knows how wrong and twisted these judgements can be. The entire Men’s Right Activism movement might seem deluded and women hating, but many of the people who jump on that bandwagon are people who feel they have been burdened by unfair child support payments or alimony they can’t afford.

It’s a sad situation to divorce at 95, but let’s assume they did so because they are truly unhappy. Then it’s a sign of hope for their future, even if that future isn’t long. Do they really want to burden a 95-year-old man with poverty?

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There are no easy solutions and I don’t pretend to know what might work better. Even so, my heart goes out to all involved in the case. Alimony is not always simple and sometimes it’s very hard to know who deserves what. But leaving one person in poverty seems so very wrong. Payments have to make sense.

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