18 USC § 1589 - Forced laborCurrent through Pub. L. 113-36. (See Public Laws for the current Congress.)
(a) Whoever knowingly provides or obtains the labor or services of a person by any one of, or by any combination of, the following means
(1) by means of force, threats of force, physical restraint, or threats of physical restraint to that person or another person;
(2) by means of serious harm or threats of serious harm to that person or another person;
(3) by means of the abuse or threatened abuse of law or legal process; or
(4) by means of any scheme, plan, or pattern intended to cause the person to believe that, if that person did not perform such labor or services, that person or another person would suffer serious harm or physical restraint,
shall be punished as provided under subsection (d).
(b) Whoever knowingly benefits, financially or by receiving anything of value, from participation in a venture which has engaged in the providing or obtaining of labor or services by any of the means described in subsection (a), knowing or in reckless disregard of the fact that the venture has engaged in the providing or obtaining of labor or services by any of such means, shall be punished as provided in subsection (d).
(c) In this section:
(1) The term “abuse or threatened abuse of law or legal process” means the use or threatened use of a law or legal process, whether administrative, civil, or criminal, in any manner or for any purpose for which the law was not designed, in order to exert pressure on another person to cause that person to take some action or refrain from taking some action.
(2) The term “serious harm” means any harm, whether physical or nonphysical, including psychological, financial, or reputational harm, that is sufficiently serious, under all the surrounding circumstances, to compel a reasonable person of the same background and in the same circumstances to perform or to continue performing labor or services in order to avoid incurring that harm.
(d) Whoever violates this section shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than 20 years, or both. If death results from a violation of this section, or if the violation includes kidnaping, an attempt to kidnap, aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to kill, the defendant shall be fined under this title, imprisoned for any term of years or life, or both.
News Flash - Paying Alimony Is Not The Equivalent Of Slavery ...
7 Oct 2013 - United States - Family and Matrimonial - News Flash - Paying Alimony Is Not The Equivalent Of Slavery - Fox Rothschild LLP - The Appellate ...
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United States: News Flash - Paying Alimony Is Not The Equivalent Of SlaveryLast Updated: October 7 2013
Article by Eric S. Solotoff
Fox Rothschild LLP
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Did the title to this post get your attention? Did you think it was a joke? Maybe a Friday Funny? It wasn't. The Appellate Division today held that paying alimony and child support was not akin to slavery. Wait, I am really not kidding.
In the case of Tobasco v. Tobasco, an unreported (non-precedential) opinion released today, the ex-husband asserted that, "... the order in question deprives him of liberty, property and the pursuit of happiness, and renders him an "involuntary slave" to his former spouse." Now normally, especially where the Court found that his arguments "... are without sufficient merit to warrant discussion in a written opinion ....", you would not expect the Appellate Division to take such "creative" arguments on. In this case, however, they did and stated:
We need only briefly observe that continuing alimony and child support obligations do not violate the constitutional prohibitions on slavery, as plaintiff asserts. That a dissolution of a marriage often carries consequences for the parties into the future – and, at times, for
the duration of the obligor's life – does not render unconstitutional a court's enforcement of those obligations.
If you have been on the edge of your seats waiting for an important proclamation such as this, well there you have it.
On a more serious note, what often plagues divorce cases is one or both parties unwillingness to accept their obligations under the law. Don't get me wrong, there are many legitimate, bona fide, good faith disputes that need to be resolved, through negotiation, mediation, arbitration or litigation or some combination of all of the above. On the other hand, it is very costly and time consuming, both financially and emotionally, to fight just to fight, where there is likely only one way the issue gets resolved.