Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Victim #3 - A Military Man Exploited

Thanks for spearheading the charge to change the alimony laws in Florida. What a chore! And so desperately needed.

I am a 70 year-old retired submarine officer. I retired in 1976 after 24 years of faithful service to my Country. I married (after many years alone) in 1990. The woman is 20 years younger than I. We first lived in XXXX and then in XXXX. In 2000 I had had all the fun I could stand and left for Texas. The divorce was final on 4/15/02. Needless to say, my biggest mistake was not filing in Texas. I unfortunately allowed her to file in XXXX (where her parents live).

The divorce process seemed to take forever because she claimed that I had "offshore accounts" where I was "hiding my money." Would that it were so. Anyway, she and her attorney, a real snake, kept requesting records of these so-called offshore accounts. I could not produce something that did not exist. That did not deter Judge XXXX (another real piece of work!) from hauling me into court on a contempt charge and ordered me to produce the records. Nothing I said would deter him - he had a large deputy stand on either side of me and threaten to throw me in jail if I did not comply.

I had brought 4 notebooks of records (bank records, etc) to court with me. I said that her attorney had not yet looked at any of them. The judge said that we had the rest of the evening to get the issue resolved. Her attorney had a "marital agreement" prepared that he said, if I signed it, the contempt order and the discussion of the offshore accounts would go away. At her attorney's office (it was now about 5 p.m) he refused to look at any of my records. He said "just sign the agreement." When I tried to question some of the outrageous aspects he would say: "Well, I guess I'll have to call the judge and have him send over the deputies." I signed at the point of a gun. Literally.

Since April 2002, I have had my Navy retirement garnished for 60% ($1,530) and, since January 2003 had my wages from a consulting job garnished for an additional $2,000. A total of $3,530 per month. She remarried on 2 March 2003. She had her new husband/boyfriend quitclaim his house to her in November 2002 - before they were married. In January 2005 I lost my job (the company mothballed the power plant). I am now looking for a new position but age has reared its ugly head in the hiring process. I am very good at what I do (turnaround companies - particularly in the energy industry) but nonetheless, this is going to take time.

In the meantime, I have had to file bankruptcy. There is a new contempt order to which I must respond on 9 March 2005. The woman is relentless. This time it is over the fact that I have not provided sufficient medical care. The gent she married (who lives across the street from her parents) is retired from the Air Force and has the same TriCare benefits that I have. She is eligible for them. This insanity is going to destroy me. She threatened on three occasions, on the phone, to kill me. The last time she said: "I already have a foot in Texas. I am going to come to Texas and put a bullet between your eyes!" I believe her. After we were married I found out that her first husband had died 'while working under his car' in a 'suicide' - just three weeks after they separated and were going to get a divorce. She was upset that the XXXX County medical examiner and coroner ruled his death a suicide and she could not collect double indemnity on the insurance since it was not ruled an accident. I found all this out waaay too late. I have a strong belief that she either killed him or had him killed. Her former brother-in-law (who lives in Geneva) has long thought so, too.

I will fax you a copy of the Final Decree and the Marital Agreement in the morning. Thanks for taking the time to read all this - it is even worse than I have described to you. If you think one of your attorney friends would like to take a look at this, please pass it on. The latest judge in line to give me a hard time is Judge XXXX. I understand he is another piece of work.