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Outrageous: Woman Must Pay Alimony to Ex-Husband Who Sexually Assaulted Her

| by Reason Foundation

By Seth McKelvey

A San Diego judge ordered Crystal Harris to pay $1,000 a month in spousal support to her ex-husband -- just as soon as he finishes up his six year prison sentence for sexually assaulting her. As 10News reports, "The entire assault was caught on tape and what it captured was enough to convict Shawn Harris of a felony -- forced oral copulation."

So why is a victim being forced to pay her attacker? According to Judge Gregory Pollock, it's because Crystal Harris brought home six figures worth of bacon while Shawn Harris was unemployed.

"I can't look at a 12-year marriage where one side is making $400 a month, the other side is making over $11,000 and say no spousal support," Pollock said in court. "That would be an abuse of discretion."

The legal system currently only disqualifies perpetrators of attempted murder from spousal support entitlement. Crystal Harris and the local District Attorney are hoping to change the law so it will also exclude offenders of all violent felonies, including rape.

While it certainly makes sense to adopt such a change, it only cures a single symptom of a much larger problem. The Huffington Post recently pointed out the absurdities of an alimony system based upon irrelevant measures of "means and needs" rather than any reasonable aspiration for fairness or justice. 

The notion of getting government out of the marriage business has been gaining traction lately. Perhaps it should get out of the divorce business as well.

Reason on marriage.

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