Hello, everyone. I know, I know….it’s been quite some time since you’ve heard from me. Well I’m back and I hope to never leave you hanging like that again. But hey, life happens so we’ll see. Anyway, Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa, Happy New Year and Happy <insert any other holiday(s) I failed to mention here>! Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s get down to business.
As I’m certain you’ve heard by now, everyone’s favorite NBA player, Mr. Kobe Bryant, has gotten a divorce. And before it gets driven too far into the ground (assuming it hasn’t already), I needed to weigh in on the matter.
It’s all over the internet that Vanessa Bryant received $75 million in their divorce settlement, which was estimated to be approximately half of Kobe’s net worth. Some reports assert he’s worth somewhere north of $300 million; the only people who truly know how much he’s worth are his attorneys and financial advisors. For the sake of argument and this blog, we’re going to operate under the assumption he was worth $150 million and was required to allocate half of that to support his ex-wife and children. Based on the title of this blog, or if you know me personally, you should already know I disagree with that notion.
I can’t imagine how Vanessa, or any other divorcee for that matter, deserves half of what “they” supposedly earned throughout the marriage. My rationale is very simple, though. I’m not going to argue how she never participated in a practice or workout, never hit a game winning shot, nor was she ever MVP of the League. All the intricacies to how he made a living are fairly irrelevant in my opinion. Here’s my gripe: if the justification for alimony is to allow “the victim” to maintain their standard of living, who’s to say she couldn’t do that if she was awarded, let’s say $40 million, or even $20 million? You name one necessity she wouldn’t have or be able to do with either of those amounts that she could only do/have by raping reaping half of his money. This whole standard of needing half of what was earned while together to maintain some superfluous lifestyle is a crock of…you know what.
I’ve always believed marriages are more so business agreements than anything else and these celebrity divorces involving exorbitant alimony settlements support my theory. You ever notice how love, happiness and all that other mushy s*** people vow to live up to suddenly goes out the window when it’s time to collect what she’s “owed”? And while we’re on the subject of owing, let’s talk about all the money she would gross in the unlikely event she went on Basketball Wives. But I guarantee no one would say she owes Kobe for that, despite the fact she only has this opportunity as a direct result of their relationship. Oh, and we’re not even going to address how she was advised to wait until the 10 year mark in their marriage to substantiate her claim that “Kobe cheated too much”, as if there was a limit to how many free passes he received. Her timing seems awfully convenient.
These divorces aren’t about adequate financial support and stability; they’re about greed. Here’s a non-traditional example:
Let’s take the scene from Why Did I Get Married Too? where Gavin & Patricia divorced and he wanted her book earnings. You don’t have to remind me; I know it was poorly written. At any rate, I went to see this movie in theaters and as with any TP movie, you have your typical ignoramuses in there screaming at the screen. I remember watching that scene and hearing some chatter about how he doesn’t deserve any portion of what she earned from her writings. But why not? Because he had a job and wasn’t a homemaker? So what? Or was it because he never contributed to her works? Personally, I think he was being greedy and didn’t need nor deserve that money, but how can one argue Vanessa Bryant deserves half and Gavin doesn’t? There needs to be consistency across the board.
Here’s how I think these matters should have been handled: since Kobe was undoubtedly the breadwinner here, he should have been able to make the initial settlement offer, rather than granting Vanessa the chance to draw first blood from his bank account. Do you think he is really going to stop supporting her and his kids? Of course not, hence why he should be able to make an offer as to how much he’s willing to give up. I get that the alimony is supposed to ensure she, and more importantly, the children are well taken care of, but why can’t he be given the opportunity to do that on his own over the next so many years? It should be treated like a parolee on probation; not necessarily having to check in with someone weekly, but having some arbitrator monitor what he provides for them. And if he doesn’t live up to a preset standard of caregiving and financial support, then revisit the matter later. I’d bet good money that if all these men were given the opportunity to continue support their families post-divorce own their own accord, they would. No one ever speculates on the oppressor’s remorse for the detriment brought to the marriage; why is the sole focus placed on how “damaged” the wife was? Some people do have consciences and therefore should be given the opportunity to show and prove
But at the end of the day, I don’t feel bad for Kobe or any other celebrity/public figure who was forced to shell out an outrageous sum of money in alimony. Those individuals will be just fine and never want for anything again. The moral of the story is: keep it in your pants. If you know you have the propensity to cheat, don’t get married. It’s that simple.
Don’t agree with me? Would you prefer to read an opposing view on the matter? Here’s a good one from a friend of mine: www.awordorthree.com/2012/01/vanessa-deserves-half-yeah-i-said-it.html