Wednesday, March 28, 2007
CLEARWATER, Fla. — Lawrence Roach agreed to pay alimony to the woman he divorced, not the man she became after a sex change, his lawyers argued in an effort to end the payments.
But the ex-wife's attorneys argued Tuesday that the operation doesn't alter the agreement.
Less than a week after commissioners in nearby Largo drew national attention by firing the city manager after he announced he was a transsexual, lawyers for Roach and his ex-wife grappled in another transsexual rights case that delves into relatively uncharted legal territory.
Only a 2004 Ohio case has addressed whether or not a transsexual can still collect alimony after a sex change, those involved say.
"There is not a lot out there to help us," Circuit Judge Jack R. St. Arnold said.
Roach and his wife, Julia, divorced in 2004 after 18 years of marriage. The 48-year-old utility worker agreed to pay her $1,250 a month in alimony. Since then, Julia Roach, 55, had a sex change and legally changed her name to Julio Roberto Silverwolf.
"It's illegal for a man to marry a man and it should likewise be illegal for a man to pay alimony to a man," said John McGuire, one of Roach's attorneys. "When she changed to man, I believe she terminated that alimony." More.....