My ex-wife and I signed a marital settlement agreement which I thought was very generous on my part. By the way, she demanded the divorce not me. She got 75% of our assets, I got 100% the debt, and agreed to pay her what I thought was a lot of money of $700 per month in alimony.
There is even a paragraph in the agreement that states that any modification to the agreement is unenforceable unless agreed to in writing by both parties. I would not agree to her request for an increase just 3 years later, so you can imagine my shock when she sues me for an increase in alimony. I fought the increase for over a year, incurring thousands of dollars in attorney fees, getting behind on other bills, and virtually having to live from paycheck to paycheck. Then to my dismay, shock, and disbelief in March 2004,Judge XXXX of the Florida Family Court felt sorry for my ex, ignored the facts of my financial situation, the agreement we signed, and awarded her a 71.4% increase in alimony and also ordered me to pay her attorney almost $7,000.
As a result, I will now have to sell my home, move into a small apartment, and try to get a few more years from the one auto I have which already has 96,000 miles. I will have to continue to work the very stressful job I have until I die, I certainly can't afford any savings or investment for retirement.
And what does the ex do you might ask? Nothing, she does absolutely nothing and has an income many families who work would envy! Some friends suggested I appeal the judgment but I have no resources to pay even more attorney fees.
I ask myself, how could this happen? The only answer I can come up with that makes any sense is that the State of Florida Family Court Laws are simply unjust and must be changed. Add to these unjust laws the greed of the divorce lawyers who feed on the heartache, misery, and financial ruin of those who must employ them, and top it all off with the stupidity and arrogance of Judges like XXXX and you have a answer to the financial ruin of many in Florida.
You think I am bitter? Not really, after all I married the woman, then gave her the divorce and settlement she wanted. What I am is defeated, depressed, and frustrated. I have little, probably never will now, yet I have to continue paying a large piece of my income to the woman who did not want to stay married, and there is nothing I can do about it!!
You have what I consider an almost impossible task. An admirable and very necessary goal, but you will have some very strong opposition - the divorce attorneys. They have too much money and make too much money with the current laws to let the change you want to get enacted without a bitter fight. I for one wish you could get the law changed today but can only hope you get it changed before I die. As I now tell my friends, if you are getting a divorce the first thing you have to do is GET OUT OF FLORIDA!