Mr. Judith Moore

Robert Moore married Judith in 1971 and had a daughter. But they were divorced in 1996. The divorce order allowed for $750 monthly alimony but:

"... subject to review in the event Wife cohabits with a male not related by marriage."

man_womanAnd thus, their private law was struck.

Well, then Judith had a sex change, had become a "male" and had a girlfriend. Who knew?!

So Robert asked the Montgomery County Domestic Relations Court of Ohio to cancel spousal support arguing that their had been a significant change in circumstances.

Nope, said the court. Spousal support must continue to flow to Ms. .... err Mr. Judith Moore.

Spousal support went to the person, not the then-female or later male:

"Judith's alleged sex change, without more, provides no basis for the court to revisit ... spousal-support...."

Mr. Weather'By Dot Com Chanel Fourcast Sheppard

Marlene Sheppard had four sons from four different fathers. To the youngest, she gave the legal and formal name of Weather'By Dot Com Chanel Fourcast Sheppard.

Paternity testing identified the local weatherman at the Arkansas NBC station. The weatherman, Robert Speir began to pay child support and seek visitation rights, which Sheppard promptly interfered with.birth certificate

Soon, child protection was investigating Ms Sheppard's home. The investigator:

"... did a home visit with Sheppard. She described the home as chaotic and sometimes dangerous to the younger children in the home.... While she was talking to Sheppard, (her six year old son) was rather unruly and tried to bite Sheppard. She said at one point, while her back was turned, (the child) tried to throw a lamp shade at her."

Needles to say, the investigator was not impressed. Further, Sheppard did not have a place of her own but, instead, lived with her mother. Then the court heard that Ms Sheppard:

"... worked for Kentucky Fried Chicken earning six dollars an hour. She admitted that she does not hold a job very long and said that it was true that during the past five to seven years she has worked at the Elks Lodge, Allen Canning Company, Matthew Management, Waffle Hut, CiCi's, Pizza Inn, McDonald's, Hampton Inn, Day's Inn, Shoney's, Fazzoli's, Hardy's Galore, Denny's, and KPOM TV. She also admitted that she has been arrested eighteen times. She testified that each arrest was for check forgery. Sheppard said that in 1994, she served twelve months in community punishment for forgery and theft of property."

Under the circumstances, Speir asked the court for custody of Weather'By Dot Com Chanel Fourcast, and a name change for the poor kid, to Samuel Charles Speir.

At trial, the judge asked the mother pointedly if she had named her son Weather'By Dot Com Chanel Fourcast Sheppard to spite the father?

"What (is) his life going to be like when he enters the first grade and has to fill out all the paperwork where you fill out — this little kid fills out his last name and his first name and his middle name?"

Marlene Sheppard avoided the question. Instead, she suggested that the references to the weatherman at Channel 4 (Mr. Speir's job)was pure coincidence: she meant Weatherby as in the school principal in Archie comics and as for Chanel, she said meant Shanel, like the perfume! It was a typo?!

Fourcast? That was just a reference to Weatherby'By being her fourth son.

Not bad but no dice.

What's-her-name lost custody of her son who was promptly renamed Samuel Charles Speir.

Girl, What Were You Thinking?!

On October 8, 2004, all rose in the United States Court of Appeal, the honorables justices Boudin, Torruella and Saris presiding. Gail Norton had engaged in an affair since 1974 with a man she soon knew to be married, the wealthy but now dead Mr. Russell Hoyt. Hoyt had been promiding Gail for years that he would divorce his wife and marry her.

Gail Norton was an elementary school teacher in Bristol, Rhode Island but Hoyt gave her a high-flying lifestyle:

"Norton ...  traveled around the world with (Hoyt), and he provided her with sundry material benefits and comforts. He paid the rent on homes they shared in Vermont and Rhode Island, purchased and maintained her automobiles, allowed her the use of his luxury yachts and presented her with lavish gifts. Hoyt ensured Norton's financial security throughout the relationship, and she became accustomed to this manner of living over the years."

The teacher also told the court that her boyfriend had, on numerous occasions, promised that if anything happened to him, that she, Gail Norton would be provided for. Also, that she had quit her teaching job to be available to him and that she:

"... gave up the opportunity to marry and have children at a younger age by remaining with Hoyt."

Hoyt broke up in 1998 but "supported Norton financially for two years following the break-up, providing her with more than $80,000".

Still, in 2001, the girlfriend threw the book at her ex. Someone spent some time in the law library as the claim sought relief for promissory estoppel, intentional infliction of emotional distress, the tort of outrage, fraud and breach of promise to marry. They were all summarily dismissed so Gail appealed. Then, Hoyt died so his executor had to pick up the defence of the appeal.

Thus, the hearing on October 8, 2004. Justice Torruella was tasked with writing the opinion for the court. First of all, he noted that any alleged agreement to divorce his wife would be void anyway, because of public policy. Plus, what did "take care of you" mean?

But in the end, Justice Torruella managed to put into words what most observors would be thinking:

"Norton discovered very early in her relationship with Hoyt that he had not been honest with her about his marital status. Then, for twenty-three long years he continually failed to make good on his promise to divorce his wife and marry her. Throughout that time, he repeatedly broke his promises. The record shows that Hoyt continued to engage in family events and, at least at times, to live in his marital home with his wife and children. Therefore, to the extent that Norton did rely on Hoyt's promises to marry her and take care of her for life, this reliance was unreasonable....

"Unfortunately for Norton, who waited 23 years for an adulterer to finally leave his wife for good so that they could get married and live happily ever after, her happy ending never came to pass."

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