Why It Pays For Pilots To Get Divorced

As if there weren’t enough reasons to get divorced already, several crafty Continental Airline pilots have found yet another golden one – big money! Evidently, a loophole in a law that says divorced pilots can receive their retirement funds before they retire. So, nine genius pilots—seven men and two women—got their sidekick spouses to sign divorce papers. They concealed these so-called divorces from friends, and then got remarried after they were each paid lump sums to the tune of up to $900,000. Insert evil laugh here.

Continental is taking these suckers straight to court, calling these divorces “subterfuges or sham transactions.” Eight of the pilots have been fired or quit, and one was re-hired after promising to pay back the money. Too bad he never got around to it—he’s in for a crash-landing right back in federal court. [yahoonews.com]I’m picturing some really confused children in the mix. “Susie and Bobby, mommy and daddy are only pretending not to like each other for the money…understand?” One couple, Jay and Carol Ellis of League City, Texas, are claiming that there was nothing phony about their divorce and that their subsequent remarriage was legit. Yeah, we’re totally buying that.

Continental knew something was up when they began receiving “a significant number” of requests for lump-sum pension payouts to ex-spouses of pilots beginning in late 2005 and continuing through 2007. This was extra fishy, because payouts usually happen annually, not in lump sums. After some investigation the airline learned that the couples were getting remarried after they banked the money.

So would you ever try a scheme like these pilots did?

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