I am writing to you because Governor Bush suggested that it would be a good idea to let everyone in the legislature know what is going on.
After my recent correspondence with Mr. Bush, outlining some of the injustices to the common men/women of Florida who are required to pay "lifetime" alimony; I am hoping that it is NOT as everyone says it is----"a legal scam" etc, and just that somehow, someway things got out of balance and that the good people in the legislature will look long and hard at what is happening in the "real world". The judges and courts are really just following the laws that are in place---soooo in reality, it isn't ALL their fault...however---something needs to be done about the laws and real quick!!!
I am NOT a wealthy entrepreneur or upscale executive. Just a commoner---an estimator that works for a Masonry Contractor making about $60,000 per year. Out of this annual salary which nets me about $3500 per month, I pay $2500 in Child Support ( 2 children/$1500) and Permanent alimony ($1000 per month) to my former spouse, leaving me to exist on $1000 per month for myself. In case anyone has looked around lately, this is not enough to even get me a studio apt. to live in, let alone food or medical expenses--
I have been living in limbo with friends for 5 years---in their guest room. This isn't temporary and I am NOT a young man---48 years old, so chances are my salary isn't going to increase---it would be more likely to decrease. Do you know what happens then?....this is really baaaddd.....because the court "requires" that I stay at this salary level for the rest of my life in order to pay my former spouse what is "due" to her. Now what is fair about this, I'm not sure? ...and what is going to happen to me when I retire and collect Social Security...if I have to pay $1000 per month---then what???...I will possibly have $20 per month to live on???
My former spouse, on the other hand, has decided that since she gets $1000 per month after taxes for the rest of her life, she really doesn't have much incentive to return to the workforce in any capacity and works at jobs that are cash, so they don't have to be reported and can't e tracked. So she can just sit back and collect money and really has no initiative while I work 80 hours per weeks to support her. Are we "divorced"??...I thought so---but why then, am I paying HER for as long as I live?? Something is "grossly" wrong and I am hoping that you ALL can get things under control a bit.
Please take a close look at Texas Alimony law. There is a 3-year cap. There is a fixed maximum amount. That makes sense. Sometimes, I understand that there is a need for certain individuals whether/men or women to rehabilitate in order to reenter the workforce. That is understandable and I support some assistance for a short period of time. I---however, have already been paying for 5 years with no possible end in sight. Read on--- below for the nightmare on Child Support.
I am NOT alone....there are many, many MEN and WOMEN---yessss there are women too--- just like me here in Florida who are required to pay someone FOREVER!!! If I was your son/daughter, I know that you would possibly look at this differently...paying someone they were "formerly" married too---for the rest of their lives. So please give this some consideration.
This is NOT child support---this is ALIMONY---PERMANENT ALIMONY should not be a permanent vacation ticket for either party of a dissolved marriage. NO ONE should be required to do anything "forever"---after all, we are not even guaranteed jobs "forever", so how can we be required to pay someone else from our non-guaranteed salary?
Now---if there wasn't enough salt in the wound, when my daughter reached the age of majority, I called the Courthouse, sent proof of her age and asked that Child Support for her be stopped. That was over two years ago. I was told that the way the dissolution was structured, I would have to reapproach the courts to "modify" the amount of Child Support I was paying. Now ---call me "simple"....but here we go---$1500 divided by 2 = $750....hey if you even want to add $100 or something into it---OK?...but what I have to pay to go back to court?
I tried to save attorney fees and file ProSe...if you have ever tried to do this---"good luck"...my former wife's attorney pulled some---something...whatever???---it got dismissed. I tried again to negotiate with the help of a Father's resource group and have them negotiate with the former wife. To NO avail---she refused to accept a reduction and wants to get the same amount for one child that she got for two.
$400 later and no more luck, I tried to file again Pro Se, borrowed money to retain an attorney $3500---through stalling of my former wife's attorney and her refusal to submit financials, the $3500 is almost gone and we haven't even gotten to mediation. If you keep in mind---this is ALL to stop Child Support for a Child that is NOW 20 years old, has been gainfully employed working two jobs since she was 18 with my former spouse collecting the child support money.
I need someone---someplace to crack down on these "deadbeat spouses"....forget about the deadbeat dads---it's not just one gender that is abusing the system ---ok???!!
Please take this seriously and take a good hard look at what is going on within the system!!