Navajo Nation Denies Payment of Back Alimony and Child Support

Ruby Watson attempted to ensure full payment of her ex-husband’s child support and alimony debt of $500,000 even in the event of his death by having him take out a life insurance policy. Separated since 1988 and divorced since 2001 from Eddie Paul Watson, Ruby did not have her wish granted.

The Watsons’ case had been present in the Navajo Nation court system for so long a time that the Navajo Nation Supreme Court, not the Tuba City District Court, made the final decision on December 14, 2009.

Ruby had waited 13 years (the time between their separation and their divorce) to make an effort to have the court-ruled child support and alimony payments enforced. This delay was considered to be negligence on Ruby’s part, and payment of Eddie’s debt is not going to be enforced.

In addition, Eddie’s alimony payments, which in 1988 had been $800 a month, were reduced to $200 a month, affirming a Tuba City Family Court decision in 2007.

The Supreme Court addressed the situation, saying, “The request to secure a life insurance policy is a bilagáana way of making arrangement for payment of indebtedness,” and that it is not known to the “Diné way of life.” This request, the court said, is as if hoping for the death of another person.

Please click here to view The Navajo Times article, “‘Foreign’ to Diné way of life” for further details.


  1. Anonymous says:

    It about time a man wins his case. Thanks goodness. I hope we (men) all win in the long run, those that still pay child support.

  2. Anonymous says:

    This was obviously a decision by a man who is probably in default of child support payments also. The Navajo Nation has gone to pots… what happened to "looking out for our children – our future" that's just proving to be a politicians lip service. It's disgusting. Get over the "death wish defense" what a bunch of bullxxxx. Sorry, it's a pitiful excuse. What happend to the "great Navajo Nation" ???

    So disgusted, I may just have to disenroll myself as "Navajo"…

  3. Anonymous says:

    It's no wonder our Native MEN do not bother paying their child support!! Luckily Native WOMEN are STRONG & PROUD women!! Nothing like the government knocking you down.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Is it the "DINE" way of life not to support you children?

  5. Anonymous says:

    Welcome to "Bilagaana's" way of life! I don't remember there being a "Supreme Court", let alone a "Family Court" in the "Dine way of life". I'm pertty certain those courts are attributed to the Bilagaana's way of life! Funny how the Navajo Nation Supreme Court finds it fitting to justify their decisions whenever it suits them… Bilaagnas one moment, Navajos the next! I once saw a bumper sticker that read, "Trust the Government? Ask an Indian!" If you ask me, that goes both ways! And Government was not clearly defined, white or otherwise! If the Navajo Nation was due a precentage of that backpay, I'm sure they would be quick to change their decision! Enough said!

  6. Anonymous says:

    I am not of the Navajo nation but of the Cherokee nation, but I have to say this: When is it ever acceptable to not take care of your children? When my grand parents and parents were growing up, family was always first. Seems to me the dead-beat men out there are letting the "white man's" values corrupt our homes. Whites have had a long history of impregnating women and leaving them with the child. Seems like our men are doing the same….Such a sad state the Native Nation is in.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Well, It all go back to taking advantage of others, where, who ever is in the position of power makes the desision for all, or some one that is knowledgeable, or maybe someone that sees both sides of the coin, everyone benefits the law makers and the the people that are involve and society gets improved. Everyone has given up in preserving there culture. Everyone around the world has taken the easy route. If the Nabeho's were building a world base on their culture and everyone is in agreement without outside interferance than you wouldn't be pointing fingers else where. It's a weakness of all human that corrupted the world………

  8. Anonymous says:

    Ruby is a STRONG woman and mother to have gone without financial support for so long, and I ADMIRE her. I do feel that she should be entitled to some compesation. We do not know the whole case behind this, she might not have had the support, knowledge and direction to persue this early in the separation. I am a responsible man and father to my family, and to me this guy is NOT MAN ENOUGH to take responsiblity for what he has done to his former wife and children. He needs to MAN-UP and take some resposibility, if the courts can not do it for him, then he needs to step up on a personal basis. And our Navajo Nation Court system needs to cleanup their act,and serve justice honorably!!!.

    A responsible, and proud REZMAN.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Some of you chumps may not pay child support.., but I do! I am a man who has raised my child since he was 2 years old to this day without his mom. Not to brag or hear a woman tell me "so what women do it all of the time", but for the Child!!

  10. Anonymous says:

    One more gross injustice of the law and another setback for women and children.

  11. ward says:

    Waiting 14 years to apply is neglect”

  12. Firebug says:

    It is brutally unfair as well as sexist towards men, that a mother can decide she does not want a child, and abort the child or place it after being born at a fire station, deserting the child with no consequences. She will never be required to pay child support. A man does not have that option. He cannot even stop the child from being aborted. It takes two people to have sex. Both should be treated equally under the law, instead of forcing men to act as a welfare system for women

  13. It’s difficult to find knowledgeable people on this subject, however, you seem like you know what you’re talking about! Thanks

  14. Just Me says:

    @ firebugs. Only a male would this about another issue. The case is about ensuring that the basic needs of children that already exist, are met. Sad that it even had to come to that, don’t you think!? Fine, turn down the alimony case. She knew who she married. She made a choice. However, what kind if system would deny a mother a means of supporting her children?! The system is already flawed on the reservation. It does NOTHING to ensure that Navajo children are taken care of by there DEAD BEAT FATHERS! You don’t want a child, wear a condom, but once the child is here, support it!!!

  15. Carol Schneider says:

    I am not a Native, but fell as much in love with what I believed to be the Dine way, as i did with my husband. I soon dicovered that both are a farce. My husband, Jason A. John is approximately 50,000 past due on his child support payments. When I contacted the Child support office I asked point blank if I would ever see a dime due to their pressing the ussue, and was told no. We have three children. I may not be DINE, but they are. My father would have disowned any of his children for this behavior, but his parents condone it and like wise reject our children. As does the rest of his family. I used to admire your way of life, your family togetherness, but now know that it is a lie. I find it shamefull that native men run to the rez the moment the have to pay chiod support.


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