Monday, June 30, 2008

Victim #25: Ex Dashes Career To Collect Alimony Welfare

I personally know of a women who remarried, about 10 years ago with 2 minor children, the youngest now being 18. This woman, who is very smart and held a high paying job in finance in NYC when she first got married over 20 years ago, would not take a job of equal talent in Florida, since she would lose the cash cow from her first husband for support (alimony and child support). She has continued to take jobs as a part time substitute preschool teacher, which in Florida, requires nothing more than a pulse and a high school diploma or equivalent.

Had the government NOT interfered and entitled her, she would have been held responsible for providing for her 2 minor children and could have built equity in her financial career. In addition, the father of those children could have had a normal relationship with his children. He left the country to avoid jail. He is back now, since his ex-wife decided not to press charges against him, but the children do NOT know him as their natural father -- just the jerk that was married to their mom.

In this day and age, there is only 1 solution, abolish permanent alimony.


Thursday, June 26, 2008

Victim #24: Third Wife Speaks Out About Alimony Injustice

Before I married my husband Alimony was no big thing to me . This is my 3rd marriage I was married long enough to both of my ex-husband's to receive alimony but it was never an option for me for my mom taught me self reliance and how to be responsible for myself.

After I married my husband I have realized how bad the courts have disabled people with permanent Alimony, and how the courts have made my husband and my family a slave to his ex-wife. We are enslaved by her for we can't even buy a home because he pays to much in Alimony , but yet he makes too much money to get any kind of assistance from the state but yet if she applies, she get's it.

It started out my husband and his ex-wife after 4 years of marriage, she had been and continued to be abusive to him. She thinking along the lines of if I have a baby it will save my marriage. She stopped taking her birth control without consulting with her husband, took it upon herself to plan this pregnancy with not taking into to consideration of his feelings. Well it worked for 9 years and even after the child was born, she didn't change. He stayed because he didn't want to fail at be being a good husband and father.

But the Judge did order permanent Alimony. I feel that enslavement of the permanent Alimony has disabled her seeking employment because, it has been made to easy for her to sit at home and do nothing. She continues to take him back to court atleast once a year for more money to improve her life which disables us to persue Life, Liberty and pursuit of happiness. How unjustifiable does the Justice system have to be before they want to change, how many of them are paying permanent Alimony? How far are they willing to go before they want to catch up to the times of here and now?


Victim #23: Judge Ignores Marital Agreement - Grants Alimony Increase

My ex-wife and I signed a marital settlement agreement which I thought was very generous on my part. By the way, she demanded the divorce not me. She got 75% of our assets, I got 100% the debt, and agreed to pay her what I thought was a lot of money of $700 per month in alimony.

There is even a paragraph in the agreement that states that any modification to the agreement is unenforceable unless agreed to in writing by both parties. I would not agree to her request for an increase just 3 years later, so you can imagine my shock when she sues me for an increase in alimony. I fought the increase for over a year, incurring thousands of dollars in attorney fees, getting behind on other bills, and virtually having to live from paycheck to paycheck. Then to my dismay, shock, and disbelief in March 2004,Judge XXXX of the Florida Family Court felt sorry for my ex, ignored the facts of my financial situation, the agreement we signed, and awarded her a 71.4% increase in alimony and also ordered me to pay her attorney almost $7,000.

As a result, I will now have to sell my home, move into a small apartment, and try to get a few more years from the one auto I have which already has 96,000 miles. I will have to continue to work the very stressful job I have until I die, I certainly can't afford any savings or investment for retirement.

And what does the ex do you might ask? Nothing, she does absolutely nothing and has an income many families who work would envy! Some friends suggested I appeal the judgment but I have no resources to pay even more attorney fees.

I ask myself, how could this happen? The only answer I can come up with that makes any sense is that the State of Florida Family Court Laws are simply unjust and must be changed. Add to these unjust laws the greed of the divorce lawyers who feed on the heartache, misery, and financial ruin of those who must employ them, and top it all off with the stupidity and arrogance of Judges like XXXX and you have a answer to the financial ruin of many in Florida.

You think I am bitter? Not really, after all I married the woman, then gave her the divorce and settlement she wanted. What I am is defeated, depressed, and frustrated. I have little, probably never will now, yet I have to continue paying a large piece of my income to the woman who did not want to stay married, and there is nothing I can do about it!!

You have what I consider an almost impossible task. An admirable and very necessary goal, but you will have some very strong opposition - the divorce attorneys. They have too much money and make too much money with the current laws to let the change you want to get enacted without a bitter fight. I for one wish you could get the law changed today but can only hope you get it changed before I die. As I now tell my friends, if you are getting a divorce the first thing you have to do is GET OUT OF FLORIDA!


Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Victim #22 - 60% Of Social Secutiry Garnished To Pay For Lifetime Alimony

The XXXX district in and for XXXX county of Florida has a judgment against me for past alimony. My divorce was granted in 1986. The petitioner (my ex wife) went on to live with another man, thinking she was remarried I stopped paying alimony. Now she has left this individual and claiming past due alimony against me.

The arrears have amounted to $371,000.00, plus $1,850.00 per month for lifetime alimony. This is an over kill, considering that I was married to her for only twelve years and no children together. I raised her daughter that she had from a previous marriage. She made no contribution to our marriage, but the court ruled that her life style should not change. Therefore, lifetime alimony was granted.

On April 29, 2002, I was taken into custody and delivered to the XXXX County Jail and incarcerated for a period of 30 days on a contempt charge. I was not able to pay the $3,700.00 purge. As a result I was put into debtor's prison.

A garnishment has been placed on my Social Security. 60% of my social Security has been relinquished to my ex wife. She is now getting 100% of her Security and 60% of mine. My only income is $344.20 from my monthly Social Security.

I'm going on 70 years of age, it will be hard to get back to work, and my income would be subjected to garnishment by the courts to make up the $1,850.00 lifetime alimony.

What can I do to get out of this mess?


Tuesday, June 24, 2008

A Reason To Abolish Alimony

If you will notice the message at the top of the page under the blog title, you will see the following text.

"I believe that the facts of the case emphasize the need for re-examination of the entire concept of alimony and the continuing viability of that concept in contemporary society. Put another way, the question facing the Court is whether a judicially imposed system of involuntary servitude is to be continued wherein one human being is placed in bondage to another for what is effectively the remainder of his natural life." Idaho Supreme Court Justice Shepard in Olsen v. Olsen, 98 Idaho 10 (1976)

You will find it interesting to read the whole case and in particular Idaho Supreme Court Justice Shepard's dissent starting on page 3 where he goes into quite a discourse on the matter of alimony. This case ruling goes back to 1976 and is even more cogent today. And still the courts refuse to acknowledge it.

[Read the case here...]


Monday, June 23, 2008

Victim #21: Court Ignores Inability To Pay Alimony

I recently filed a motion with the local family court system, here in XXXX, for modification of Alimony. When the court date came and we went into the "Court Officers" chambers, she asked me to state my case. I plead that I could no longer pay the same amount of alimony that was originally required to pay because I had lost my job due to downsizing and that my new job was paying less money. Furthermore I was not able to pay my bills. I was trying to recover from a few months of unemployment.

The court officer read the final divorce decree and dismissed the case. The reason was stated that the decree states that the alimony was permanent periodic and the only reason for dismissal was remarriage of the spouse or death. When I asked how she could not consider my financial status, she replied that "there was no financial affidavit on file from the original divorce filings. On top of that I did not contest the original figure of alimony. It was also her opinion that my income now and back then are close to the same. Even though there is about $7 - 8,000.00 difference.

Well, a couple of issues exist here:
1. I was not allowed to contest the alimony amount in the original divorce proceedings. I was told that the alimony would be between this amount and this amount and that was that. I negotiated down as low as possible between the 2 defined amounts but the ex-wife was the one who had the authority to accept or decline the final amount.

2. My ex-wife's sister used to be the secretary for the Judge for this case. She happens to be another judge's secretary now. But still has access to that judge.

What I want to know is, If they did not have a financial statement for the original divorce proceedings, then how was there a determination made to the amount of alimony I would have to pay? Can I use that statement from the court officer about "no financial record" from the original divorce proceedings, as a defense? Can I use the defense that the court was in grievous error upon their original decision based on improper determination of income? Can I also use a defense that the court is prejudice based upon the relation between the ex-wife and the court?

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Victim #20 - No Court Sympathy For The Sick

My case has been in the courts since 1989. I have diabetes, menere's disease, bells palsy, blood in my stool, vertigo and high blood pressure.

I have reached the point where I am now being forced to pay $185 a month in arrears even though my ex-wife makes over 50k a year and my twin sons are 21, drive brand new cars and my oldest son is 24 and drives a brand new car. My Sons live in a $200,000 home with pool and spa my ex bought, while I live in one room in My Mother's home.

I need specific case law that allows the court to remove the arrears payments based on the fact my health and the prescriptions and doctors visits eat up 100% of my 10k yearly salary. Can you help me with specific case law, simply that provides for cases where for medical reasons a Judge has granted the lifting of arrears payments due to a former husband's health condition?

It is a simple request. I am representing myself in this matter. I cannot afford an atty. She is provided one free by the state.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Victim #19 - Stripped Of All Assets - Faces Contempt Of Court

Just like the guy selling Ginzu Knives on television says: "But wait, there's more!" Part of the problem was that in the midst of all this, I had no representation. Couldn't afford it.

When I married my ex, I had a net worth of $1.1 M - what she didn't go through, my now-45 year-old son, a stock broker and certified financial planner with XXXX took care of.

He had been managing my portfolio for years - very successfully. God knows what happened, but he began selling off my stock without my knowledge. Total loss of $250K. He had had power of attorney for years to do that and had always been most ethical and scrupulous.

He also got his wife's grandma's trust for $600K and one of XXXX corporate clients for $2M. He's now under indictment by the feds for mail fraud (Tampa).

The reason I mention this is because I had given my son direction to send money for the mortgage on the house in Coral Springs to my ex. I was on an overseas contract at the time and the divorce proceedings were just starting.

The net result was that when I thought I would have the funds to meet the requirements of the "agreement" - but when I went to the cupboard, the cupboard was bare. I have been working to pay her and keep my house ever since.

Now, four days before Christmas, my international employer decided to mothball the power plant for which I was the warranty and quality manager. I am now looking for work - not an easy task since, although folks say they don't look at age - they most certainly do.

So, again, I have been served with contempt papers and an order to have the income deduction order from the Navy continued until God knows when. The court date in 9 March in XXXX. I have no intention of putting myself in the same room with someone who has threatened my life. Besides, I can't afford the travel costs.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Victim #18 - Agrees With Victim #17

Everything you said is right on. In addition, in my case, 4K/month lifetime, it will keep her from every marrying again. All that from an 18 year marriage with no kids!!! Like I told my attorney, no one can work in corporate america for only 18 years and retire with a 4K/month pension, yet this is what my ex got.

The trial courts are not the answer and in my opinion not even the upper courts because if you have the assets, the system is made for the attorneys to litigate back in forth until all your assets are sucked dry.

Your perspective that it is a "limited divorce" is a great way to put it. You are only divorced in that you do not live together, but you are still married in that you still support her.

Never in my life could I ever imagine that a system like this existed in this country. Most of my friends that are not divorced actually think I am lying or exagerating when I tell them how it really is.

I for one, will never ever get married again and I advise any guy that is thinking about marriage not to do it.

Victim # 17 - Marriage Is Too Risky


The ONLY solution I have come to when it comes to divorce/alimony is to NOT EVER PLAY THE GAME - i.e Marriage. My experience comes from my case in the XXXX SUPREME COURT, and in the end my ex was awarded PERMANENT ALIMONY.

My experiences in the Circuit Court of XXXX, the Special Appeals Court of XXXX and the Supreme Court of XXXX is that its useless to try to get a hearing in what is fair for the 2 spouses involved. You see... there is a 3rd party in the matter....and whether you realized or not, its the STATE.

If YOU READ BETWEEN THE LINES (and you have to to understand whats really going on here) is that ALIMONY is ALL ABOUT INSURANCE THAT THE STATE will NOT HAVE TO PAY FOR THE WOMAN when she is older and more vulnerable.

BEFORE $1 of Medicaid or Medicare is paid for her support (in case that she can't afford herself) YOU (the ex) will be held responsible before the taxpayers (the State) are on the hook.

Alimony in my opinion is really a Limited Divorce.... You, the traditional bread-winner, although you may be awarded a divorce..... its just a limited Divorce.... You are still financially responsible.

I think that a lot of others are starting to realize that Divorce costs and the potential for Alimony are just too high of a cost to play this game Marriage....

I see a similarity in swimming pool high-dives.. .. You just don't see them anymore... And its because the potential legal risks/costs are just too high....

and the same with Marriage...

Victim #16 - Second Wife's Simmering Anger

I hear you! In fact, just this weekend when I felt like strangling my wonderful husband, he said sheepishly "in sickness and in health, good times and bad, right?"

And I felt like a schmuck, but the simmering anger is so hard to tap down sometimes...I don't mind working hard, earning a living, even doing the emotional work of blending families and finding a connection with his girls.

The hard part is the unfairness...the inequality...the feeling of having so much in the hands of a crazy woman.

It has taken me 3 years to accept that she has poisoned our town and I simply have to focus on all the good people and ignore the rest...hard when my kids are involved and on the receiving end of the gossip....

I simply can not seem to wrap my head around someone who puts so much time and energy into continuing to maintain a connection (albeit a negative one ) to a man she kicked to the curb. That she spends so much time trying to destroy him at all levels: our relationship, his relationship with his children, his reputation, his church, friends, teams, schools, neighbors, etc. etc......and then she expects him to care for her financially for the rest of her life!!

Grrrrr.....she claims to be some sort of feminist....and yet she STILL needs a man to care for her? Makes no sense....

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Victim #15 - Divorce Lawyer Suffers Alimony Injustice

I am thrilled to have found a group that is actively working to change the archaic XX alimony law. Here's my story in a nutshell:

I am a second wife and a divorce attorney. I practice law with my husband. My husband was divorced from his first wife in 2000 and was saddled with an overwhelming alimony order despite giving her all of the marital assets besides 1/2 of his 401(k).

Over a year ago my husband filed for modification so that his alimony would accurately reflect his current income. Never, would I have, as a divorce attorney, predicted the outcome!

During the course of litigation we were forced to reveal all of our business information (not surprising or even wrong), but I was also forced to turn over all of my personal financial documents and subjected to a hours long deposition.

The point of the deposition was not only to discover my financial situation but also an effort to prove that I was not an equal partner in our law practice! The litigation proceeded through to an "informal trial".

Despite the fact that the judge found that I am a partner at the firm and that we have a 5 year old child to support, she proceeded to base my husband's new alimony obligation on our ENTIRE income. The net result of course is that 30% of my income must go to support a woman with no disability and a college degree!

The only other way to support this result is to believe that despite the fact I am a working partner at our firm, I earn no income. Both scenarios are insulting, demeaning and humilating.

I either have worked several years as an attorney and put myself through law school with outrageous loans to pay for a college-educated woman with no young children to stay at home and read the newspaper or I have accomplished all of this to work and earn no salary.

It is time for unjust results like this to end! Thank you for recognizing this need and for all your hard work for change.


Monday, June 16, 2008

Victim #14 - Woman Paying Alimony = Gender Neutral Injustice

I was married for 28 years to a man who left me on Mother's Day weekend 2005. He quit his job, abandoned his children, refused to work, and sat around for 2 years doing nothing but spending our hard earned assets from our marriage.

When our divorce case finally got to court he lied very convincingly and the Judge awarded him our two young daughters, child support and alimony for life. Prior to leaving he spit in my face and said "You'll work for the rest of your life to support me, bitch!"

Then the Judge who I looked to for justice gave him my daughters and my money and has left me in the position of paying him for life. Its like asking a rape victim to give the rapist free sex for life!!

This man is perfectly capable of working, he just decided he didn't want to do so. Since we have no fault laws why should there be anything for the government to get involved in except for domestic violence and child neglect?

I didn't marry this man to be a house husband and raise our children. I married him to be a partner for life and a provider. He wasn't but I didn't ask for alimony.

Marriage laws give the children the husband's name instead of the wife's. If he's not obligated to his family and I am, why don't I then get to rename the kids with my maiden name? Why did I have to petition the court to get my own name back? I just don't get it!!!!

Please help me do something about this. I have been victimized and the only way out of being a victim for me is to go on the offense and win this battle.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Victim #13 - Custodial Parent Buried Under Alimony Debt

Please help, I won sole custody of my four girls, due to my wifes abandoning and her alcoholism. I was ordered to give her 1/2 the house equity when I sell, 1/3 my retirement, maintain 100k in life insurance & pay her $500.00 a week, almost 25% of my income.

She works part time and was ordered to pay me $50.00 a week in child support. I get the tax breaks but the judge says I have to pay her until I die.

She is 44 years old with a college degree. The judge says nothing about her responsibility to get a real job . What makes matters worse is her parents and brothers are all millionaires and she has a trust which I'm unable to prove.

The judge has left me in a situation where I wont be able to help the kids with college , I'm struggling to make ends meet, I'm stuck with over 30K in debt and she walks away with $500 a week & almost $300k to start a new life. She was the deadbeat, she was the troublemaker and I feel totally screwed over.

My typical day starts at 5:30 a.m and stops at 9:30 pm putting the kids to bed after cooking, cleaning and helping with homework. She has only visited the kids once in the last 6 months, and she abandoned us for 10 months prior. Shes been locked up and treated 3 or 4 times and had me arrested as well as my sixteen year old on false charges.

I was lead to believe I would have to pay her something, but not lifetime payments. She refused to go back to work 7 years ago, she has been planning and scheming with her boyfriend.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Victim #12 - Alimony Destroys Attempt To Establish Second Family

I realize, by reading all of the emails, that there are many more men out there that are as bad or worse off than me. But I now need help to figure out what to do.

I made the ultimate mistake almost two years ago when I signed the divorce agreement during mediation. My attorney, the mediator, and her attorney told me that I could not afford to pay what I was offering and I didn't listen. The ex-wife still wanted to take me to court to get even more and her attorney told her that she would not and ended up quiting the case.

The problem is that while I was single living alone in XXXX Florida I could afford it with no extra money for anything. But then I remarried and had a baby. My current wife could not return to work and make enough to pay for child care which was 300/wk in WPB.

Then the one project that I completed for the company in XXXX ended up losing almost 1/2 million (not my fault) but I was being blamed anyway. I was going to lose my job there so I desperately interviewed at other construction companies within an hours drive. I couldn't get another job without a degree so I looked all over the US. I found and took a job in XXXX but the company was very unstable so I finally got a job in XXXX where the cost of living is lower to help offset the income difference.

My new in laws helped us get a 900sf cabin that I had to finish the inside and we moved in. Our mortgage payment is only 290/mth but this still does not fix the problem. We have two vehicles that we are over 7k upside down in each and cannot sell them or let them get repossessed. So I am stuck paying 1000k/mth in car payments.

I am 4 months behind all credit cards that I have used because I could not afford alimony over the past year and a half. I thought about bankruptcy but I don't think I could afford that. And even if I could, how could I get another car to continue to work.

We do not go out to eat, to see movies, or buy anything that isn't necessary and I just can't afford to live. If my ex-wife would not have killed my credit by not paying bills for four months while I sent her money for them, I probably would have been alright. This wasn't court ordered so the judge simply said that it was nice of me to send her the money for nothing.

I have tried so hard to pay her what I agreed to but I have finally run out of credit and income. Sorry to make this so long and boring but I have no where to turn for support and I really just do not know what to do. I just spent the last week surviving on 19 dollars and every piece of change that I could find laying around. I am tired of living like this.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Victim #11 - Disabled Victim Finds No Relief

XXXX and I have sent a petition in to the United Nations as we have no where else to turn on XXXX case. We have paid over $9,000 so far this year and over $10,000 last year and his total debt had grown to $73,292.76. January 06 he was at $74,148.66 total debt. Jan 06 back child support was $10,635.21. It is now $4511.03. Back spousal support in Jan 06 was $42,794.85. It is now $47,028.85. Interest is at $21,752.88.

DHR is claiming a computer software problem shut down the current spousal system in Nov 05 and they just figured it out in Aug 06, so they have adjusted it all.

They take between $1,100 and $1,200 per month, a 50% garnishment and add $1500 per month, there is no way to pay this debt. XXXX's doctor wants him classified as disabled. He has enough medical problems to do this. His ex wife would take half that for the rest of his life.

He currently works 6 days a week 12 hour shifts and climbs ladders straight up over 40 feet with a crippled arm that cannot make a fist nor grip any thing tightly. He has fallen into the chip trailers he loads twice now and luckily he landed inside the semi-trailer onto the wood chips rather than onto the ground.

The slightest touch on the crippled arm causes massive bruising and heavy bleeding. A very thin cut that wouldn't even bleed on you or me bleeds over 24 hours on him. If he should get a serious cut, he will bleed to death before any one could help him.

His judge refused to recognize his medical records but was very sympathetic to his ex's undiagnosed illness where no medical records were produced for her. This all occured in the non-alimony state of XXXX. Anyway I mailed our petition to the U.N. Tuesday.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Victim #10 - Firefighting Slave

I am a firefighter in the city of XXXX. I am a 17 year veteran. I also own a hardwood flooring company that I operate on my days off. I work approximately 120 hours per week.

I am writing to you today to ask you to consider the alimony reform bill you have received for review.

I became a "victim" of FL Statute 61.08 on Dec. 8 2005. After learning of my ex-wife's third affair, I made the difficult and also PRIVATE DECISION to divorce. I never knew what an education I was in for.

I am now being forced under the threat of imprisonment to pay an adultress ex-wife $2,200.00 per month for the rest of my life or until she re-marries. I am also force to maintain a $200,000 life insurance policy with her as beneficiary. She will also receive $951.00 per month of my pension benefits when I "retire".

Sir, this is INVOLUNTARY SERVITUDE, an invasion of my private life, and is unconstitutional. The family court system in Florida is totally out of control and this particular statute gives the judiciary very BROAD DISCRETION when awarding alimony. It is also a violation of the SEPARATION OF POWERS ACT.


Rep. Brutus, I am asking you to please STOP THIS MADNESS. There a many like me in our great state, men and WOMEN.

There are 2nd wives of husbands that are suffering along with their husband while he is a slave to his ex-wife. There are women that are paying to ex-husbands for the REST OF THEIR LIVES just because they made a PRIVATE DECISION to dissolve their marrage.

I ask for your consideration on introducing this bill.`

Monday, June 9, 2008

Victim #9 - Can You Find Any Gender-Bias In This Story?

Dear Alimony Payors:

15 years ago, my husbands wife filed for divorce. She had multiple affairs, drank and was 49 years old. She was 3 credits away from her degree at USF but had an affair with her mentor and he ditched her so she quit school.

My dear husband is a "rich country doctor" which is a total oxymoron. The judge recused himself from the case because he knew all the names on the witness list.

The case went before the "HONORABLE" XXXX XXXX in XXXX. He awarded her with a beach house, 300,000.00, 2/3rds of my husbands retirement 750,000.00 commercial land worth hundreds of thousands. and more plus 5000.00 per month lifetime alimony to cease only when she remarries"not" and when Richard or she dies. During the divorce she was told to stay away from the family home, she went in, took the antiques, the grand piano ect. The court fined her 100.00 and did not make her give anything back.

She had been living with XXXX during the divorce and after. 8 years ago we took the case back to court for downward modification.

We proved that she was commingling funds by finding XXXX retirement checks in her past checks, she was also supporting XXXX adult daughter who was well able to support herself. The judge ordered a downward modification of 1000.00 per month. She appealed.

We took it to the 5th Judicial Court of appeals. They told us that: she can use her monies for alcohol, children, other men because it is her alimony and she can use it any way she wishes. We had to return 12,000.00 that we had pulled out of her monthly alimony, pay all attorneys fees, 55,000.00. and suck it up. Nowhere in the appeals did they include me in the amount of monies he made the courts didn't look at the fact that there was another person in the mix, the made all assets his and none of them mine after 8 years, now 14 years of marriage. They should have cut half of his earnings out because of me.

My husband is 62 years old, doesn't know what the Hell he's going to do because he can't retire and pay alimony. She is eligible to get Social Security in 3 years to the tune of about 2,000.00 per month. She has invested wisely and at last search, she had made money grow to approx 1.5 million. In court she called it her nest egg, not her retirement. She just sold her Ocean Front Home for 750,000.00 and paid nothing for it. The lady is loaded. She got rid of the man and they are friends now.

It gets worse: XXXX XXXX is now on the 5th Judicial Circuit Court, Appellate Division. If we have to take it to appeals, he would have to overturn his own decision, which isn't likely to happen. We have paid 3/4 of a million dollars in alimony to date.

He could have retired. Not to mention the legal fees involved in all of it, and the money it will cost to take her back to court.

I have no problem at all with a 50/50 division of funds and assets, I think the wife or husband should get half. But ALIMONY ON TOP OF A LARGE ALMOST 2 MILLION SETTLEMENT. SHE COULD HAVE LIVED ON THE INVESTMENTS ALONE. NOW SHE SPENDS 8,000.00 A MONTH WITH HER NEST EGG/RETIREMENT AND 5000.00 A MONTH IN MY AND MY HUSBANDS SWEAT EQUITY.

I have had it, I watch my husband work very hard, Do surgeries on emergencies in the middle of the night and she can lay on the couch all day and watch television.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Victim #8 - Tale Of A Survivor

It is comforting to know I am not alone. My quick history is like most here. Married 18 years. No kids between us, I helped raise and finance her kids from a previous marriage to adulthood. Things started going downhill at year 10 but I felt it an obligation to stick around for the sake of the kids (they weren't even mine!!!). Little was I to know that this surpassed the milestone of permanent alimony.

Divorce was nasty, 2 years in the courtroom and went to trial. Having getting stuck paying her attorneys fee's was also a downfall. They just delayed all disclosure requests through court appearances knowing this would bankrupt me.

End result, she took half my pension, half my 401K, and she bought me out of half the house which she got to stay in. Above that, 40% of my gross pay went to permanent alimony. Ended up buying a house that is a fraction the size due to the fact that it was all I could afford. When you go to the bank and they find out that 40% of your gross pay goes to alimony, that already puts you at the extreme of what they look at in terms of debt to see what kind of loan they would give you.

I am a victim but also a survivor because this process almost killed me physically and mentally.

Victim #7 - Unjust Pay Garnishment By The State

Divorced 21 years ago. 10 years ago I pursued visitation with my child. 10 years ago, at the visitation hearing and as my ex told me if I ever pursued the notion to see our child she would interfere........I was hit with a $12,000.00 alimony arrearage! My state closed the child support/alimony case June of 2004 when our child graduated. Earlier this year, this state went directly to my employer with the original case as if I still owed child support and began deducting over $100.00 a week, no notice or court hearing. Yes, this was settled to the original amount of $100.00 a month for the alimony arrearage, until I was hit with over a $10,000.00 bill a week later with no notice or court hearing. This amount, unfounded. Once again, this was settled with a bland apology from the case worker. According to this agency, I still owed $3015.00 as of this month. Without warning or even a nudge, this state sent a 100% statutory net collection to my work because I get a bonus for the first time in four years. Unsure if this will affect my weekly pay.......if so, look for my family and I under a bridge in a card board box for Christmas.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Victim #6 - Significant Other's Concerns

My significant other (we will call him Bill) filed for a divorce in May of this year and has been waiting for a mediation date which is now set for September 6th in XXXX. He will probably be raked over the coals by his soon to be ex-spouse (we will call her Emily). They have been married 21 years and have an adult (20 year old) paraplegic child that lives with the wife (he moved out last October). The child is receiving social security that more than covers his expenses and has outside care or school 63 hours per week. Bill has been paying all her household expenses since he moved out.

Bill's attorney has not responded to most phone calls and e-mails (at one point for a 2 week period), and seems to possibly be going through some type of personal crisis. He has "misplaced" Bill's financial affidavit twice, and has not provided a copy of Emily's financial affidavit to Bill. I feel he is not going to serve Bill's best interests, and worry he will enter mediation not well represented. The attorney has reassured him that the worst case scenario will be around $2100 per month in rehabilative alimony, and not to worry.

My experience tells me he should worry, as Emily has not worked for the 21 years of marriage, and has been fired from her commission only real estate job (she has a Florida real estate license but decided she did not like working and her max income was $10,000 in 2003 or 2004), and she has been the primary caregiver of a physically and mentally challenged child for the last 20 years. His income was around $90,000 last year, $200,000 this year, and will likey be in excess of $300,000 next year and beyond.

I have read how "open ended" Florida law is regarding alimony and it seems to be up to the discretion of the judge. Emily has stated that she will take everything she can possibly get and that her goal is to financially destroy Bill. She is very smart and has endless time on her hands (we had to file an injunction against her because she illegally accessed MY email account by finding out my mother's maiden name and then accessing my password), so I am sure she has spent the last 9 months figuring out how to best serve her own needs in this divorce.

Bill, on the other hand, works so many hours that he has not had time to consider the enormity of the situation. I don't think he realizes that this is probably the most complex and important legal event in his life, and that his preparation is vital to the outcome. His attorney has not given him any information about even what to expect from the mediation.

I have stressed to Bill that he can always be more generous than the court dictates (it is his nature to always provide for her and their son), but he can never give any less. Reality could mean lifetime alimony that will be a substantial percentage of his income, and that she will reopen the case as his income increases to ask for more.

She is capable of being employed, and has more than 60 hours per week of free time. They also have the option of moving their son to a group home in XXXX that will provide 24/7 care for him at no expense to them. This would negatively impact her (she nets about $300 per month from Social Security) and she is opposed to considering that option.

Bill has their son for a 3 day weekend once per month and wants to convert to 2 weekends every month. She has been very unaccommodating and unreliable when they agree to meet him half way so he can take their son (she is in XXXX and he in in XXXX and they must swap vehicles since he is in a handicapped accessible van), and she has gone so far as to causing him to miss business flights by no-showing at their designated meeting time and place.

She has also been violent throughout the past year, and has done things such as making a bonfire in their back yard of his wardrobe, putting holes in walls and breaking doors, and on one occasion even beating him senseless (she is also very athletic and extremely mean). He has refused to file restraining orders or document her violence because he is worried she may be taken to jail and there would be no one to care for their son in that event.

His future and possibly mine will be affected by the outcome of this divorce, and I do want to see that he has proper counsel. At minimum, maybe you know some desperate sap who will capture the heart of Emily and turn her into a nice person!

Victim #5 - Alimony Taken From Vet's Disability Payments

I am a 57 year old male that was from the great state of Florida. I now live in XXXX State. I retired from the Army in 1986 with 23.8 years of military service. Then went to work for XXXX state corrections and was injured after 6 years of duty in 1996. I now receive disability from the military, SSI, and from the state.

I married a woman in 1994 that had 2 adult children. I myself have 2 adult children also. The point I am making is we had no children together. My wife has 6 grandchildren and I have 2.

We decided to get a divorce. Things have really gotten rotten since then. The first court we went though, I have been ordered to pay her $1500.00 dollars a month for spousal support. That's the term they use out here to say ALIMONY/BLOOD Money.

We where not married when I was in the Military. But yet, even though I receive a 100% disability they can still make me pay her. We are suppose to go to the next court in the near future. God help me, Because I will need it.

What we need is an organization like yours nation wide. Maybe then it could help.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Victim #4 - Second Wife Wants Husband Out Of Jail

Please advise if you can help. My husband has been jailed because he has arrears on his alimony payments (his child support has ceased - his son is now 18- and was always up to date). He pays what he can afford but is unable to pay the total monthly amount. We live in XXXX and although I understand legally he has been imprisoned on contempt charges (failure to comply with a court order) in reality he has been imprisoned because he does not make enough money to comply with the order. I thought slavery and debtors prison had been abolished.

Yes I am a 2nd wife. No, there are no assets to take into consideration. Judge XXXX awarded his ex wife his pension, their joint account....yes, he signed the divorce papers. The pre trial went on for about 5 years where she received EVERYTHING and Judge XXXX dismissed any evidence to show she was working, etc....Understand, this divorce never went to trial, even after 5 years. My husband was "advised " to sign the agreement as Judge XXXX was getting upset with him and if he didn't sign, things could get ugly.

I suggested as a joke that maybe my parents should refinance their home to pay for my husbands release from jail. His attorney (scumbag) thought that might be a good idea. He told me the court didn't care that might husband didn't have the money to secure his release from jail. They just want him to come up with the money from any source he can. Hopefully someone can help.

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.

Alimony Victim #2 - A Second Wife's Indignation

My husband was sentenced to permanent alimony in 1998 (he couldn't afford an attorney when he went for his divorce, his ex-wife got hers pro-bono and the court then charged my husband her fees). The alimony payment is $700.00 per month for the rest of her life PLUS we have to pay for full medical insurance coverage for her - permanently.

My husband lost his job and has been out of work - actively seeking a job for more than 3 years since his unemployment ran out. Last year he received notice of a hearing on contempt for non-payment of alimony. Venue is across the state (of Florida) and he couldn't get transportation (our 2nd car was repossesed). He had an attorney (borrowed money from family for that) and the attorney requested that we be allowed to appear by telephone. Her request was denied. My husband missed the hearing, and his attorney refused to travel without a large payment, so he was found IN CONTEMPT and a warrant was issued for his arrest.

After ducking and hiding in our own home for months, he turned himself in to XXXX County to see if he could prove to a judge his inability to pay. Our finances were a mess - it should have been a no-brainer.

When he turned himself in, he was immediately hand cuffed behind his back. When asked when we could appear before the judge, there was no answer. They subsequently told my husband he "might" see a judge in a couple of weeks!! He only went to turn himself in because we thought the law said you MUST have the right to appear before a judge within 48 hours of being jailed; you know, due process, and all that? Well, we were laughed at. Due process? Apparently only in CRIMINAL cases. This was a CIVIL case. And what about "an attorney will be provided for you if you cannot afford one?" Again, only in CRIMINAL cases. In fact, we had been told by an attorney that if he robbed a bank to steal the money and then turned himself in, he'd stand a better chance of avoiding jail time!!!

I was told by the officers at the jail that if you're in on a civil matter and have no attorney to request a hearing, then there is no time frame on when you might see a judge. I was shocked, and appalled. Because we were from out of town and my husband from jail can only make collect calls - AND cell phones don't (under any circumstances!) accept collect calls - we had no communication. In desperation, I again borrowed money (from my aging parents on social security who were there for moral support) and got an attorney. The attorney was able to procure a hearing for us the next day.

At the hearing, I explained to the judge that I bought our home months before we got married with funds from my previous marriage, and the house was in my name only. Although I had some equity built up, we couldn't get a home equity loan because of our poor credit. Our "purge amount" was $10,000.00 -- it might just as well have been a million. We were behind in all of our bills, our credit was destroyed, and we were hanging onto our house by a thread (with funds from my $15.00 an hour job only.) We were armed with proof of all of this - late fees, cut off notices, reposession papers for our car, etc., etc.

After hearing about our financial situation, the judged banged his gavel and sentenced my husband to 180 days (6 months!) in jail for contempt until he came up with $10,000.00 cash, at which time he would STILL owe the back due amount and still be required to keep paying the $700 plus medical every month. A big guard grabbed my handcuffed and SHACKLED husband - who was in a state of shock, and dragged him away. He looked at me with disbelief. This couldn't be happening!

I cried uncontrollably during the long 4-hour drive home. My parents were heartbroken for us. When I got home, I spoke to my husband for the first time since this ordeal began a week earlier. He said he was desperate, pleading for me to find a way to get him out. He couldn't even tell me the horrors that he was experiencing in jail. There was only one thing I could do - sell our family home. I called everyone I knew to borrow money, promising to sell my house and pay them back. My children sat in stunned silence. Thank God for friends and family who pulled together for us - about 25 of them came up with the $10,000.00 that we needed for the purge. Our house went on the market that week, and sold thereafter.

We now have to pay a monthly rent that is MUCH higher than the mortgage on our modest home, and we're lucky that this landlord did not check our credit or we'd be out on the street. We cannot qualify to buy a home because of our ruined credit. We can't file for bankruptcy to erase our past bills because the attorneys said the courts would go after the people who lent us money that we paid back. I just got my real estate license. If we don't start making
money soon, we're sunk.

Here's the real kicker ~ Do you remember the story of the girl XXXX XXXX who was kidnapped and murdered in XXXX this summer? A terrible tragedy. The guy who did it had a rap sheet two arms long. Apparently, just days before he'd been released from jail. Everyone wanted to know why a judge would let him go free to kill this poor young girl. The judge - one XXXX XXXX who had transferred into criminal court from family court - responded "I could not hold him for not having the ability to pay his court fees - - that would be the equivalent of DEBTORS' PRISON - which we do not
have in this country." We can't confine a murderer? I guess not.

Judge XXXX XXXX -- the SAME judge who issued the contempt order to jail my innocent husband for his inability to pay $700.00 per month for the rest of his life to his ex-wife who refuses to go out and work. My law-abiding, good citizen, accountant husband whose biggest crime was that he stayed in a bad marriage long enough for his kids to be grown, to have a decent chance at life. The judge's response? If it was that bad, you would have left a long time ago. And his adult kids? They don't even speak to him - haven't in six long years. His ex-wife fed them a diet of pure hatred for their
father, and it stuck.

This story is unbelievable but true.

So, I ask, whatever happened to equal rights? Aren't we all equally capable of earning a living, whether man or woman? Once the kids aren't involved, why should one support the other? We need to be able to move forward, to get on with our lives and our futures. Personally I think divorce is reprehensible. But when it is unavoidable, when two people just will not work together, one must be able to pursue happiness, and without a financial ball and chain around one's neck.

I was a divorced woman with children - - I got no alimony. I don't even get child support. Why? Because I went before the judge and told him "we're both capable of working, I don't want any money. We'll both take good care of these children." As long as my ex-husband participates in the boys lives and provides for them when they stay with him, what more should I be asking for? We share custody, every other week. It requires that we live near each
other, that we agree on major decisions in their lives, and that we discuss and agree upon any possible relocation. It's a small price to pay to keep the children emotionally well. We all have free choice, and we should choose to be decent, respectable adults who put the children's needs first. They didn't choose this mess, we did. They have no one to look out for them except us, the parents. We should act accordingly. Adult spouses, on the other hand, whether wives or husbands, should be able to take care of themselves.

PS. I was a full time college student but had to drop to ½ time (and lose my full scholarship) while I pursue making some money selling real estate. My major in school is pre-law. If I ever get the chance to get through law school and pass the bar, I'm going to spend the rest of my days fighting against the ridiculous and inhumane practice of putting people in jail because they can't afford court ordered payments.

Alimony Victim #1 - A Second Wife Wannabee

I've been on several web sites lately reviewing the documentation about Alimony Reform. I have been divorced in the past and basically got the shaft because of all the threats to take my assets. I am in the military and have been since 17 years old. Recently, I met a man who is going through a divorce, that I would like to marry, but am concerned about the current laws for alimony. We are both Christian people who are trying to do things the right way but seem to be getting nowhere.

My friend has been married for 23 years to a woman who is a bit mentally un-stable and has admitted that in several of the legal paperwork. I could go into detail on how she set up my friend for failure and get him to pay but I'll spare the details. He just went to court the other day and was told he may have to pay $600.00 a week to his soon-to-be ex-wife for life.

She was the one that filed for divorce and left him with a $2200.00 house payment and a 19 yr old son who is in college. She has not been contributing because she claims she can't work and manipulated the system to collect disability. It is so sad. Because I have been in the military for so long, I have a good retirement. I also own my house and have land in XXX. I'm from XXXX and I feel that the system has a way of raping people.

If we decide to get married, according to law, she can come after my assets. I am so torn, love the man and don't know what I can do to help. I am in the process of writing to the representatives and congressmen asking them to support the Bill that is being proposed. Do you have any other guidance that you could provide to help us while we are in this process? Anything will help us at this point so we don't make mistakes for our future and to help change the current system.