Sunday, January 31, 2010

Victim #144: Attorney is Victim of the Family Law Injustice System

I am a licensed attorney in Virginia and Washington D.C. where I represented property owners in eminent domain cases.  I currently have a case, my own case, pending in Tennessee that I would like to speak with you about.  This case represents everything wrong with our legal system and the outrageous use of alimony.  I have always been aware of government abuse—and fought this abuse in my own practice—but I never knew how corrupt and morally bankrupt our family courts are.

When my wife became pregnant I gave up my legal practice in Virginia, where I had a nice salary and a comfortable living, so that I could relocate to Tennessee and work at a small family business that our family has had for years.  The new job gave me time for family and the ability to truly be a father (not just a wallet) to my daughter.  However, unbeknownst to me, my wife had been planning to leave me and to move our daughter to Pennsylvania where her family lives.  She planned well.  I will spare you the details for now, but the facts are something of which movies are made.

Anyway, with regard to alimony, my wife is a licensed attorney and former prosecutor.  Her credentials are impeccable.  She graduated second in her law school class, was on law review and participated in moot court, and obtained a federal clerkship with the United States District Court.  Aside from her clerkship and her work as a prosecutor, she also held positions with 2 of Virginia’s largest law firms.  She clearly has at least equal earning capacity to me—but likely much greater given her resume.  My wife worked 5 of the 6 years we were married.  She refused to work the year after our daughter was born, despite my repeated requests for her to get a job.  I later learned that she was working—she was working with several attorneys to plan her case to leave me.  She planned her case in an effort to somehow obtain primary custody of our daughter, which would give her a good chance at moving our daughter to Pennsylvania.  My wife executed her plan and left for good in Dec. 2006.

Anyway, despite her credentials, earning capacity, and obvious ability to work, she has refused to get a full-time job since leaving me.  She is living with family members where she has no rent, utilities, etc.  Nevertheless, the court has awarded her alimony—substantial alimony.  I am paying 100% of all marital debts and expenses, plus child support and alimony—all to a woman that left me.  Who wouldn’t get married and leave if they could achieve such an arrangement—no bills, full custody of any children, and a substantial monthly paycheck, all without having to work.  That arrangement is a windfall for one and slavery for the other.  This case illuminates all that is wrong with our court system and the alimony fraud that courts continue to perpetrate.

I have just scratched the tip of the iceberg about the outrageous facts of my case.  Just to give you a glimpse, the judge originally assigned to the case got in trouble and had to resign from the bench.  My wife’s lawyer has committed outright fraud on the court, and my wife perjured herself.  Yet, I cannot get the courts to do anything.  The case has gone on for almost 16 months (despite local court rules stating that all divorce cases “shall” be completed in 12 months), and no trial is set.  I have reached the point where my salary (which is a decent salary) can no longer pay the bills (not even considering my personal expenses since my wife left) and the child support and alimony ordered by the court.  If they can do this to me—someone who is familiar with the legal system, has fought, and has presented the appropriate evidence—what can they do to an unsuspecting layman? 

Finally, I should note that I am not holding back any bad facts about myself.  I am a fit and loving parent.  My wife raised false allegations of domestic abuse (she claimed that 1 time during our 6 yr. marriage I threw a Christmas present that hit her in the leg and left a bruise), but the charges were dismissed and expunged.  She initiated 4 legal proceedings against me in 2 states and 3 different courts.  I was able to get all 4 legal proceedings dismissed.  I am now left mired in a divorce that is destroying our daughter and has ruined our finances.

I have been a faculty member for the American Bar Association, have successfully litigated a case in the state Supreme Court, and have experience fighting government abuse.  Unfortunately, I was never aware of the outrageous abuses of the family courts until I was exposed to it myself.  I never wanted to be a divorce lawyer (I’ll withhold my opinion about most divorce lawyers) because I believe in preserving family, not destroying it.  I am also a strong advocate for limited government, and family courts are a prime example of the tyranny that exists when government exceeds its bounds.  Thank you for all your efforts in fighting this unjust system.