Losing a job often means a spouse can’t afford to pay a divorce settlement. When Steven became Susan Stanton at age 48 after a sex-change operation, the Largo Florida City Commission fired Steven/Susan from his/her job as city manager — a job that paid $157,000.
The grounds: after 20 years on the job, and just when he decided to become a woman, they lost trust in him/her, and felt he/she was no longer leadership material.
That left Donna Stanton, the wife of the new Susan Stanton, in a quandary when they tried to figure out equitable distribution.
According to a story in “The Tampa Tribune” by reporter Stephen Thompson, and court documents, Steven/Susan Stanton amicably mediated his divorce from his wife of 18 years. The wife, Donna, would get $4,756 in alimony and an additional $799 a month in child support for their 15 year old son. Their marriage lasted 17 years.
Because Steven/Susan no longer has a job, he/she offered Donna Stanton a lump sum of $50,000 from his/her retirement account to cover the roughly first ten months of alimony.
That would make him current through December.
But — and here's the kicker — according to the settlement, if Steven/Susan doesn't get a job by then, even though he/now/she has applied for 100 city manager jobs, Donna Stanton is entitled to more from the retirement account.
One good thing: sex change and broken marriages make for great movies, or at least they did in 2003, when Tom Wilkinson starred with Jessica Lange in the highly-regarded television drama “Normal,” about a man who wants to become a woman after 25 years of marriage and two children.
The Stantons have recognized that Hollywood may soon knock at Steven/Susan’s door. As part of the deal, Donna Stanton will receive 50 percent of any money her ex-husband receives from movies or books about their lives. CNN is already doing a documentary.
The pair also agreed to reduce Steven/Susan Stanton's share in the couple's home in Clearwater, Florida, where Donna and their son live, by an amount equivalent to the loans Donna Stanton took out to become an echocardiogram technician.
Oh, and the grounds for divorce? Florida is a “no fault” state, and the process is said to have been friendly, although difficult. According to the St. Petersburg Times, the son joked, on knowing the story, “So is it going to take two hours for you to get ready now too, Dad — once you’re her?”