Sunday, September 4, 2011

“It’s Awful To Compel One Man To Help Support The Wife Of Another.” – The Alimony Racket in 1901


FULL TEXT: “I can see no reason why, if a woman marries again, her second husband should not support her and her first husband be relieved from paying alimony.”

Justice Gildersleeve, of the Supreme Court, so expressed himself yesterday in the case of Bolossy Kiralfy [actor], he of the spectacular drama. The Justice’s sentiment will find an echo in the hearts hundreds of ex-husbands in this city who are compelled to pay alimony to other men’s wives.

Mr. Kiralfy had asked the Court to abolish or reduce the $135 a month alimony which he had been ordered to pay his former wife, Elise, who, after obtaining a divorce from him, married William Lowitz, a professor of music.

Mr. Kiralfy said that his former wife had married a man of abundant means with a handsome house in Washington Square, while he (Kiralfy) had met will reverses and was no longer in a position to pay $133 a month.

Lawyer Julius Lehman argued the case for Mr. Kiralfy.

Then Justice Gidersleeve expressed himself as above quoted, but added that as there was a minor child of Mr. and Mrs. Kiralfy now living with her mother she should be provided for.

“I know several actors whose wives, after divorcing them, have married other men, and they are still paying them alimony.” said Mr. Lehman. “It’s awful to compel one man to help support the wife of another. No wonder some of the members of the Alimony Club live in New Jersey to escape it.”

David May, in behalf of Mrs. Kiralfy-Lowitz, contended that there was no legal reason for the reduction of alimony in the case of Mr. Kiralfy, since he was able to pay it.

Justice Glldersleeve said he would hand down an opinion later.

[“Let Alimony Stop If Husband Remarries – Justice Gildersleeve Gladdens the Hearts of Divorced Husbands,” The World (New York, N. Y.), Nov. 23, 1901, p. 14]

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For more revelations of this suppressed history, see The Alimony Racket: Checklist of Posts

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