Dear Governor Crist,
I am writing you today to ask you and the Florida Legislature to consider reforming the alimony statute FL 61.08.
Mr. Crist, I have been a XXXX in Jacksonville for 17 years. I have also owned a XXXX business since 1998 and work on my days off. I work approximately 120 hours per week.
I came to the difficult decision to dissolve my 27 year marriage on Sept. 9, 2003, after discovering my wife's third affair during the marriage. This is not what I had in mind when I took my marriage vows. Nor, did I realize how long and costly a divorce in our great state can be. I also did not realize just how involved the State of Florida would become in my PRIVATE decision to end my marriage.
I am now under a court prescribed income deduction order that takes most of my take home pay from the XXXX. I have served proudly to protect the citizens of Jacksonville, and now because I made A PRIVATE DECISION to try to end a marriage of mis-trust and try to start over, the state has ordered me to pay an adulteress ex-wife for the rest of my LIFE and has in effect ordered me to continue to work over 120 hours per week just so I can live. The statute has given the judiciary VERY BROAD DISCRETION when ruling on alimony. It is a VIOLATION of the Separation of Powers Act.
I never imagined I would be sitting here writing to the Governor of Florida. I have never been a very political person. But, I also never imagined I would be taking the risks that a XXXX takes everyday so I could pay State ordered PEONAGE to an adulteress ex-wife. I never imagined I would have to work 3 jobs for the rest of my life just to support myself. This statute is nothing but a form of state sponsored slavery, when, I have to pay her for the REST OF MY LIFE under the threat of imprisonment if I do not pay.
I will be 50 years old on April 17th. I cannot continue to work like I do and expect to be able to enjoy some type of "retirement". I also do not have the financial resources to continue to pay attorney's fees to keep returning to court for modifications. This is the MADNESS this statute creates. There is never any CLOSURE of the marriage dissolution.
All this statute does is create a "welfare" for the recipient. It gives her NO INCENTIVE to become a productive member of society. My ex-wife will receive $26,400.00 per year from my court prescribed income deduction order for permanent alimony. She does not have to lift one finger to earn any of that money. Quite a nice retirement income for her, but I have to continue to work to pay her.
This statute is base on law that is much older that you or I. It is based on laws that were in effect when women had no rights, nor opportunities that they enjoy today. It was based on laws when men owned their women. We both know that is not true today. My ex-wife has an AA degree, is in excellent health, and is more than capable of earning a good salary. My only child is of majority age.
So, Mr. Crist, I ask you if you were in my shoes and have walked the walk I have what would you do? Would you have stayed in the marriage and risked having this happen again? Or would you "take your chances" in the courts and see how you come out.
There are many in our great state sir, and their voices are beginning to be heard by members of the legislature. This law is archaic. It needs to be changed to reflect the way society is today. There are women in our state that have become "victims" of this statute by either being forced to pay their ex-husbands or have become the 2nd wife of the husband that is forced to pay alimony for the rest of their lives. The numbers of people affected by this archaic law are growing everyday. The judiciary is out of control.
I implore you, Governor Crist, to abolish this archaic law.