Mr. Pfohl was a lucky guy. He
was an unemployed toy salesman who married an heiress worth over $4M.
Unfortunately, after nine years and two kids, she kicked him out and filed
The Trial Court awarded Mr.
Pfohl a lump sum payment as well as $5k a month in rehabilitative
alimony for 18 months.
The idea of rehabilitative
alimony is that it gives the spouse
time to get back on their feet and get a job, but it is not intended to
be long-term support.
Both Mr. and Mrs. Pfohl
Mr. Pfohl argued that the
lump sum wasn't enough and that he should receive permanent alimony.
Traditionally, under the
common-law, alimony continued until
the spouse remarried or died.
Back in the day, women
couldn't work and were generally completely dependent on their husbands
Mrs. Pfohl argued that he
shouldn't get anything at all because under the common-law wives could
not be required to pay alimony to
The Appellate Court affirmed.
The Appellate Court found
that under the modern Statutes, the Court is to come to the most
equitable solution, taking into account the needs and means of the
In this case, Mrs. Pfohl
was the provider, so she is required to support her ex-husband.
Mr. Pfohl isn't helpless,
and in modern-day America he can get a job and support himself,
therefore only temporary (aka rehabilitative) alimony is warranted. He just deserves enough cash to get back on his
Plus, Mr. Pfohl was free
to come back to court and ask more money once the 18 months runs out.
The Court also awarded Mr.
Pfohl a $30k lump sum payment and attorney fees.
When this case was being heard
there was a lot of publicity because until this time, it was unheard of
that a husband would get alimony
from a wife.