95-Year-Old Who Divorced Last Year Forced to Pay More Alimony Than He Makes

Glenn Binder is probably having second thoughts about divorcing his wife. The 95-year-old split from his 96-year-old wife Laura Binder last year, and is having some sticker shock from the amount of alimony he's been ordered to pay -- especially since it's more than he gets in income each month.

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The Nebraska Supreme Court ruled that a lower court's ruling on alimony payments will be upheld, after Glenn appealed the amount he was ordered to pay. He will have to pay Laura $3,302.60 a month, even though his income is less than $2,900.

The court based their decision on the fact that he still owns more than 200 acres of farmland, worth about $560,000. Binder claims that he owned the land prior to marrying his wife in 1982, and they signed a prenuptial agreement to keep their premarital assets separate.

Throughout their 32-year marriage (a second for both of them), they maintained separate checking accounts, and each paid half of their joint expenses. Both had children with their prior spouses.

Mrs. Binder was confined to a nursing home in December 2012, after being in a wheelchair for two years. She spent all of her life savings in 10 months, and Mr. Binder helped pay for her care to the tune of $3,200 a month. He says that he's paid over $30,000 for her care, and has had to borrow from his daughter and son-in-law to make ends meet.

Laura has her own income of just under $3,000 from her Social Security, long-term insurance care, and a small pension from her first husband. But the cost of her care is $6,200 a month, a deficit that the court would like Glenn to cover by selling his land.

State Supreme Court Judge William Connolly ruled that the land should not be considered irrelevant when deciding the amount of alimony to pay, even if it was a premarital asset.

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This is such a sad situation, and I'm sure we don't have the whole story. For instance, did Glenn divorce his wife because he didn't want to continue to pay for her care, or because they were genuinely dissatisfied with each other? Plus where are their kids, and why aren't they helping more? Why doesn't he want to sell the land or take a loan out against it -- is it family property?

Will this set a precedent for other poor chaps? It seems pretty shady to go against a premarital agreement to settle on alimony payments, but hey, I'm no legal scholar.

Whatever happens in this case, divorce sucks any way you cut it. Hopefully Mrs. Binder can get the care she needs, and her ex-husband won't have to become destitute to provide it.

Do you think this man should have to pay more in alimony than he earns in a month?

 

Image via © Norbert Schaefer/Corbis

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