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Woman ordered to pay alimony to ex-husband who raped her

Ohio residents may have heard about a woman who was recently forced to pay alimony to her ex-husband who raped her. The woman, who earns a six-figure salary, had been supporting her unemployed husband for years. She reported his crime against her -- marital rape -- and he was found guilty by a jury. He is currently serving a six-year sentence in state prison.

Despite his conviction, the woman was still ordered to pay spousal support. The judge ordered her to pay $1000 a month instead of the $3000 a month suggested by state guidelines. She is also required to pay his legal fees.

It has been reported that the judge's decision is grounded in California's divorce and family law, which is meant to be a simple "no fault" process. A computer program tells the parties the general guidelines concerning support payments. The husband's salary and the wife's salary are entered, and this number, along with the amount of hours each has with the children, are accounted for to calculate a spousal support figure.

The figure the program produces does not account for the recipient's criminal history. He or she is entitled to spousal support as long as the formula is in their favor, regardless of whether they are a convicted rapist or any other kind of violent felon. California laws state that unless an ex-spouse is convicted of attempted murder, he or she is eligible to receive alimony.

Ohio residents may think this situation is bizarre, but divorce laws differ from state to state. While the woman is advocating for a change in the law, the case underscores the importance of knowing one's rights and responsibilities when confronting divorce issues.

Source: My Fox LA, "Judge Orders Rape Victim to Pay Her Attacker," Robin Sax, Nov. 22, 2011

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