I don't know what state you're from, but I'm in Florida. With $10,000 a month permanent alimony to someone who has lived a wonderful lifestyle without the efforts of earning a cent. I couldn't be more on your side. I think she, like many others, planned their work and worked their plan. Their reward is a lifetime without financial worry without work. Every person married who is producing an income is at risk.
Once your marriage has lasted 15 - 17 years, the non-income producing spouse enters the "Golden Opportunity" phase. They can, at any time and with no reason, divorce their income producing spouse and the laws and "Divorce Industry Attorneys" will make sure they are provided for. Not just long enough to get an education, a career, employment, or become self-sufficient, but for the rest of their lives.
If you are an income-producing spouse, someone needs to shake you up. This is real. There need be no reason for the divorce. You don't have to cheat, abuse, or use drugs. You can be faithful, loving, good to your kids, pets, work around the house, help with the chores, go to church, attend and enjoy family events, support your spouse in their hobbies, and be the best spouse you know how to be. It doesn't matter. If you're making money and your spouse isn't, they will be entitled to a lifetime of you supporting them if they want.
The power lies in their hands and the current laws. They can divorce you with no reason, force you to pay them lifetime permanent alimony, begin life with another partner (without getting married), and you're left wondering what just happened. You have just become a slave of the state.
This is becoming a new retirement plan. If a person marries an income-producer at age 25, they can stay married until their early to mid 40's, then receive a lifetime retirement, permanent alimony settlement. They may have never supported you, your education, your tireless efforts at your business, or the late nights and weekends you spent making your business successful. In fact, they may have encouraged you to spend more time in your business. The more successful you are, the more they can collect in their "retirement plan." Think this isn't happening routinely? It is!
Maybe the marriage started off with the right intentions. You both did love each other. But as time went on, your lives seemed to take different paths. You fell into a routine. It wasn't what you truly wanted in your marriage, but it was okay. Then your spouse started talking with friends and realized the "Golden Opportunity." One phone call to a "Divorce Industry Attorney" and your life is changed forever. You now become financially responsible for your new ex-spouse for the rest of their life.
What did you do wrong? You worked. You had a job. You were employed. You produced an income. You provided for your family. You even loved your family. You did everything you thought was right.
According to our laws, you did everything wrong! You shouldn't have shown initiative or commitment. You shouldn't have put in the overtime or made the extra effort. By doing this, you demonstrated that you "could" do it, therefore you "must" do it to support your spouse who "wouldn't" or "didn't want to" do it. The laws are on their side. The "Divorce Industry Attorneys" are on their side. And you're left, chained to your job, with few alternatives.
What are your choices?
1. Pay until you die.
2. Pay until your ex-spouse dies.
3. Try to get a modification of alimony. That takes thousands and thousands of dollars, with very little chance of significant modification.
4. Move to another country and try to hide.
5. Commit Suicide.
6. Try to change the laws.
Personally, the only acceptable choice for me is #6. Change the laws.
If you're married and produce an income, this should scare the life out of you. You're not just a spouse, you're a target. Your spouse might not seem like the kind of person to do this to you. That's what I thought. That's what thousands and thousands of hard working spouses thought. All it takes is the right conversation with the wrong person, and your spouse could end up living a pretty darn nice lifestyle, enjoying new people, places, hobbies, and lifestyle, and you'll be paying for everything.
Think it won't happen to you? You're wrong! You truly don't know!! The one disagreement you may have with your spouse may be the one to make them pick up a phone and call a "Divorce Industry Attorney." These attorneys will explain to them just how lucky they are. You will have to pay for your own attorney, your spouses attorney, all of the property appraisals, any court costs, plus permanent, lifetime alimony, and there's nothing you can do to stop it. You're screwed!
I hope this shakes you up. It should. With over 50% of first marriages and 60% of second marriages ending in divorce, the chances are pretty good you'll be facing the reality of our out-dated, biased, unfair alimony laws at some time. Maybe you'll start hiding money in a separate account now. They'll find it. The better response is to get involved in changing these laws that encourage people to take from the hard-working spouses and give to the lazy ones. It doesn't matter of you're a man or a woman. If you're producing the majority income in your marriage, you're the target.
How do you get involved. First, go to http://www.alimonyreform.org, get educated and then join and become active in their group. Then contact your newspapers, radio, tv, magazines, or any other media that can get the message out that you and other working spouses are in danger. Social Media like Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, or YouTube are also great avenues for getting the word out.
Contact your state Senators and Representatives and educate them to the injustice of the current laws. They are receiving tons of support from the "Divorce Industry Attorneys" to keep things as they are. It's an uphill battle, but states like Texas have changed their laws. It's possible, and it's gaining momentum, but it takes people like you to join the battle to save what you've earned.
If you want to go through the rest of your life sleeping with one eye open, hoping that this will never happen to you, then do nothing. But your stomach will be churning. Now you know the reality of alimony. You know that you can do everything right, but end up paying for the rest of your life.
Get pro-active. You're pro-active in your job. Now get pro-active to help save what you've been working so hard for. Otherwise, you will have put in those long hours, sleepless nights, missed weekends and vacations only to give it all away. Changing the laws will be your insurance policy to help you keep what you've worked so hard for. And isn't that fair?
Yes, we need to help our ex-spouse get on their feet. We need to help them get an education, get employment and become a productive member of our society. But we don't need to support them in the lifestyle they have become accustomed to for the rest of their life. It should only take 2-3 years for someone to become self-sufficient, if they want to. If there is no incentive, they will always need your money.
So what are you going to do? Toss this aside, hoping it will never happen to you? Let someone else change the laws? Sit quietly, hoping your spouse doesn't know of her "Golden Opportunity," yet? (It's only a matter of time before your spouse learns this retirement strategy.) Or get madder than hell, and want to join the movement to change these outdated, destructive laws?
I hope you can get as passionate about saving what you've earned as you did in earning it. Now, it's your turn to take action! http://www.alimonyreform.org Click here for an education!
Please pass this on to as many people as you possibly can. Put it on FaceBook, Twitter, mail it to all your contacts, get the word out. It's YOUR FUTURE!