For almost 20 years I’ve seen many of my family court clients gets slammed for unbiblical sexual behavior. Initially it was the obvious–adultery. But in recent years I’ve seen some clients punished for sexual banter with others. A few family court judges have found the mere fact that my client masturbates to be relevant on custody or alimony issues. Just last week I heard from an attorney in Columbia, South Carolina whose client had been hammered with an impoverishing temporary alimony obligation because he frequented strip clubs.
So it is with a mixture of shock, sadness and glee that I note an article in the March 5, 2013 ABA journal in which a New Mexico family court judge was pushed into resigning for sending instant messages through the court computers that apparently demonstrated interest in having sexual relations with a court employee who was also–wait for it–his wife. Perhaps the New Mexico Supreme Court was concerned with his “excessive” number of IM’s, or were bothered with IM’s that commented on pending cases, disparaged other judges, or referred to parties in a domestic violence case as “chigando,” or acting crazy. But they also seemed upset that he engaged in “communications of a sexual nature” with his wife during working hours, “including intimations that he had or would be having sexual relations with her during the workday and/or on court premises.”
For both professional and personal reasons I find marriage advice an invaluable reading topic. Much of the advice on keeping marital sex “hot” involves breaking out of routine, and workplace sex certainly has its excitements. As my wife commented, “that’s why offices have closets.” If this New Mexico judge was attempting to sweet talk his wife to an “in chambers” tryst, I suggest we applaud rather than condemn.
But given my twenty year history of seeing family court judges sometimes destroy people’s lives because they didn’t approve of another’s sexual behavior, this example of the bluenoses “eating their own” packs an ironic wallop.