Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Victim #130: Broke in Georgia

EX wife is taking me to court today for contempt. I have my own direct sales business. I am the only employee. If I don't make the money from my own personal sales then there is no money. This business has no assets.

I have been doing this business for 23 years. The business is failing, I had one sale in month of August. My income was about $450.00. The judge had ordered me to pay a little over $5,000.00 per month. Back when he ordered that, I even struggle to pay it then.

Now that sales are down I don't have the ability to pay she is taking me to court for several counts of contempt. In addition to that I have a girlfriend now and she is mad about that, she feels that I am hiding sales, but im not, sales are slow. So, her atty. wants to bring my girl friend in as a defendant. I believe this is just a ploy to avoid the final divorce.

Now that my discovery is over they can't do anymore discovery on me. So, if they bring her in as defendant they get another six months for discovery. That means the temporary order would be in effect for six to twelve months longer.

I just so sick of all this. She tells my friends that she is going to have me locked up to teach me lesson. The truth of the matter is I am losing both of my cars all my credit cards. I am unable to pay. I am behind on her car,house, and alimony payments. I don't have the money to pay her. My atty. said that if he doesn't get any money he's going to have quit.

I wonder if I moved from Georgia to another state could she do anything about it, what would happen to me. Is there anyone with any suggestions. Thank you, your broke friend.


Monday, July 27, 2009

Victim #129: This Victim Fights Back

In 2004 when I started this venture, I too was of the opinion that representing myself in court was foolish. Having gone through a trial with an attorney (I wasn't to happy with the results), an appeal with an appellate attorney (Again, I was not thrilled with the results) and spending mega dollars on both (every dime I had), having taken time off from work to attend hearings of attorneys whom are suppose to be the best in this field (my research/opinion) I came to the conclusion that not only could I do this, but I could probably do it better that the attorneys I had, at least I could satisfy myself.

I first realized that this was not brain surgery and since I could not afford another dollar to attorneys and I could not be in a battle without giving an effort to fight back, I took up my own legal pursuit and started an education process. It has been a challenge, which I have been rewarded.

Having won four contempt issues and NOT paid an attorney; having appealed an Order Upon Remand which is pending a decision from the 2nd DCA, I realize that old Abe may have been right in his day, but not today and not in Family Court in Florida. I can only applaud those that can afford an attorney and I can only wonder that if an attorney is retained, how come the attorney is not earning that money and fighting with every breath to win, ie..doing research...

In addition, a strategy that I did learn and has worked for me is that I present case law to the trial judge in my opening as evidence (they must follow precedent cases). I give a packet of the cases to the judge, to the opposing counsel and to the court reporter (preserving an appeal). I highlight my points (they MUST follow cases on point) and then move forward.

For each issue I am arguing, there I find a case on point and argue to the best of my ability. Thus far, the opposing counsel has not been able to produce any cases (evidence) at the hearing to refute my arguments and did not have case law with him to fully support his position.

I am on my 3rd judge and all have hated how I do this...All have commented that they don't agree, but it was the law and they had to follow...in short, my point is that this process has worked for me... By no means is this legal advise, but my story as to how I am fighting...

[Note: The Pro Se Self-Help Guidebooks on Alimony, Contempt, and appeals are excellent how-to and reference books that will facilitate defending yourself in family law court.]


National Organization of Women Supports Alimony Reform

For those of you who think that alimony reform is just a men's issue brought on by a bunch of whining, alimony paying spouses, please be aware that the National Organization of Women [NOW] "Statement of Purpose" endorsed the cause for alimony reform as far back as 1966. In it, they stated:

"We, men and women who hereby constitute ourselves as the National Organization for Women, believe that the time has come for a new movement toward true equality for all women in America, and toward a fully equal partnership of the sexes, as part of the world-wide revolution of human rights now taking place within and beyond our national borders.....

.....WE REJECT the current assumptions that a man must carry the sole burden of supporting himself, his wife, and family, and that a woman is automatically entitled to lifelong support by a man upon her marriage, or that marriage, home and family are primarily woman's world and responsibility -- hers, to dominate -- his to support. We believe that a true partnership between the sexes demands a different concept of marriage, an equitable sharing of the responsibilities of home and children and of the economic burdens of their support. We believe that proper recognition should be given to the economic and social value of homemaking and child-care. To these ends, we will seek to open a reexamination of laws and mores governing marriage and divorce, for we believe that the current state of `half-equity" between the sexes discriminates against both men and women, and is the cause of much unnecessary hostility between the sexes."

As you can see, even though NOW agrees with the position that lifetime alimony is unwarranted, the judges, lawyers and the rest of the legal industry are determined to degrade women by granting awards of alimony that make the statement that women are unable to care for themselves. These rulings are declaring that women are not the equal of men. The principles that NOW has fought for over 50 years are ignored by the courts, and by NOW itself.

You have to ask yourself why, with this statement of purpose displayed so boldly on the NOW site, they aren't fighting with more zeal to demand that lifetime alimony be abolished as they did in seeking equality in the first place. Could it be that as long as women are allowed to collect alimony welfare through some sort of imagined "entitlement" for being married that they are justified in violating their advocacy of equality.

Maybe they should change their statement of purpose from that of "seeking true equality for all women......exercising all the privileges and responsibilities thereof in truly equal partnership with men" to a more realistic one that includes the comment from George Orwell where he pointed out that: "all people are created equal, only some people are created more equal than others."

To compound things, when you look at the realities of the situation in the light of a profit motive for the legal industry, adversarial divorces are simply a way of transferring the bulk of the family assets to the legal industry in the form of exorbitant fees, costs and a myriad of other court mandated requirements such as mediation, counseling, expert testimony, etc. in order to obtain a divorce.

Is this justice or just a way to fund a multi-billion dollar industry that builds it's success on the destruction of spouses and families in the name of equity and under color of law?

Where will it all end?? Project the statistics and the answer will be self-evident. The end effect of this apparent hypocrisy is the contribution to the destruction of the institution of marriage and families in this country [Read about the Marriage Strike]. Added to that is the creation of a spousal class of alimony welfare recipients who are no longer useful and self-sufficient members of society.


Monday, July 20, 2009

You Can Run, But You Can't Hide: New Police Radar

Not only are you a slave to the system, but now, one of your avenues of escape has just become more difficult to use.

Just when you thought it was safe and you could run and hide from the police who are looking for you to enforce your delinquent support payments, be aware that they now have a new tool in their arsenal to locate you.

New Police Radar


Sunday, July 19, 2009

Till Death Do Us Pay

The poster child for progressive marriage laws, Massachusetts is also a singularly nightmarish place to get a divorce—especially for the better-off spouse. Now a brewing reform movement is pushing to rewrite the state's outdated alimony rules, led by one very fed-up ex-husband....

.....Despite these dire straits—Hitner relies on his second wife, Jeanie, to pay most of the household expenses plus the part of the monthly alimony bill he can't cover—he isn't optimistic that Judge Kaplan will be moved. Four years ago, he'd sought a modification from this same judge. "I told her, 'I really need help here, because I'm running out of credit cards to borrow on to pay this alimony,'" says Hitner. "The judge's response was, like, 'Lemme know when you run out of credit cards and I'll put you in jail.'"

He ended up filing for bankruptcy in December 2006. A separate court battle with Joan (who declined to be interviewed for this article) over stock in his company has dragged on for 10 years. Hitner estimates that he's spent, at minimum, $200,000 in legal costs just to get where he is today. Which is to say, exactly where he was in 1999.

[Read more...]

Video interview

Note: Steve Hitner is part of the Massachusetts Chapter of the Alliance for Freedom From Alimony, Inc. www.alimonyreform.org


Saturday, July 18, 2009

Victime # 128: Screwed in North Carolina

I have been divorced from the X since 2000, I was entered into bondage by paying $750 per month permanent alimony - she had also used the I am in poor health issues card. I currently now live in North Carolina since 2005 and have been re-married.

Since 2002 the X has been cohabiting with her boy-friend. During 2002 while I still lived in Florida - the X had her a new man ,new home, better health, new job, new car a whole new life while still getting $750 a month from me. In late 2002 I had decided to take her back to court to reduce or eliminate permanent alimony, so I retained another attorney and started the whole process over again, once the X got served and knew she was going back to court all of the sudden her health issues came back, she quit her job, let her car go back but yet she is still cohabiting with her so called as I see it her common law husband.

Before I moved to NC and still had not been in court for my final hearing there were new laws were put into law on cohabiting that now the Florida judges had to take into consideration before awarding alimony, I thought I would finally be free from this because she has been living with her man for years.

On April 2006 when I had finally had my day in court, her attorney brought before the judge that the X and her cohabitant had not been in a relationship for the past year and that her boy friend was out of the kindness of his heart letting her live there. Well needless to say the judge said there was no evidence of cohabitation and evidence of them sharing the same common mailing address, I got screwed again big time. I still have to pay $750 a month and her and her man are still cohabiting in Florida, now she has her father living with them in a three bedroom home where 1 room is an office – 1 room is her fathers and the last room is theirs but they have not been in a relationship – SURE sharing the same bed and nothing happening and judge says they are not cohabiting. Where is the justice for men?

Now is 2008 since I now live in North Carolina, I got some advise from a local attorney that if I would stop paying her the alimony she would have to retain and come to North Carolina and take me to court which would be costly, and there was nothing a Florida court could do here in North Carolina so I decided to stop paying it – well after 3 months and several nasty phone calls on my voice mail – she had her attorney serve me a summons to appear in court on May 21 on several issues of course not paying her, not paying her in a timely manner, deducting monies from her alimony which are all lies, since this.

I retained advise of another local attorney who told me that Florida could take this civil case and turn it into a criminal case and have it registered in North Carolina and then the sheriffs department could arrest me and throw me in jail for thirty days, so I have got my payments back up to where they should be, but I they will still be having an hearing on May 21 now she is wanting the Florida court to do an income deduction order through the court depository out of my check in North Carolina.

I do not have a Florida attorney, after $13k I flushed down the toilet from the last battle, I cannot afford one and or the expense to get to Florida for this hearing, but I fear if I do not show up her attorney and the judge and her will have a field day on my behalf and I will once again get screwed.

This is just a small portion of my hell and I know many others have the same or even worse. If anyone has anything to share with me on what I can do, I am very much open an appreciate any and all who shares. Thanks.


Friday, July 17, 2009

Victim #127: Ex-Spouse Knows How to Work the System to Her Advantage

I'm the wife of a man whose first wife had sex with anyone who would have her and when he finally had evidence and confronted her, she decided to openly "date" other men.

When he told her to leave the house, she had the police waiting for him the next day when he returned to work - of course, she claimed that he physically abused her. The housekeeper told the police this wasn't true and they left. However, this witch has played victim ever since. Since she is a social worker (but barely works part-time), she knows how to push every button with the courts and continues to wreak havoc in our lives. She brainwashed their child and has rallied everyone she can to believe that my husband is an abuser.

She is after money and control of the kid and having people feel sorry for her and she runs up outrageous legal fees and then cries to the court and they make my husband pay! Oh, and by the way, we know that a friend of hers who died of AIDS left her a large sum of money which she has apparently hidden. She also has the house and we are renting!

She gets child support and has been getting alimony for 7 years! Any attorney we go to wants $10,000 up front to even review the case. Meanwhile, we keep getting stuck for her attorney bills because we do have some cash and didn't hide it.

She even has an attorney for the 12 year old kid and we have to pay for that! The court appointed therapist tells my husband that she guilty of parental alienation and yet he won't tell the court about it because it will "interfere with therapy"! It seems that the court system is wired to keep making the guy pay no matter what!

What can we do?! I hope you will publish your articles everywhere you can. You really tell it like it is—succinctly and to the point.


Victim # 126: A European's Perspective on American Family Law Courts

I now have a better picture how this court system works. I was very naive and took the US justice system the same way like it is in Europe.

In Europe the Judge`s bench is on the same level like litigants. Here the Judge`s bench is located higher and it tells you that he/she is above you. It is a very small detail but tells you a lot. In Europe attorneys are independent and not afraid to confront judges because the Judge has no power to issue a Motion to Contempt against them and have no power over them either. In Europe you can talk directly to the judge or both of you, your attorney and you, here you can`t because your attorney has only that right.

Finally. Alimony and divorce in this country is a pure business while in Europe (excluding England) it is not. No depositions are allowed in Europe. In fact these depos and mediations over here are just another BS in order to make more money to the attorneys. Some 75% of all worlds lawyers live in the States (US population is only 5% of the world population).


Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Victim #125: Alimony is a Disencentive for Promoting Self-Sufficiency

Losing the job is, again, only a VERY temporary answer that just highlights the inequities of the laws. Where the courts will force me to regain employment at a comparative rate of pay with the threat of PERMANENT incarceration, they do not force the ex to work at all. They in fact provide incentive for her not to work.

My ex was a licensed real estate agent, an experienced admin assistant with a lot of accounting experience and also a 15yr history of being a caregiver for 3 local well-to-do families that have consistently paid her 12k a year. She could easily clear 50k+ a year had she any desire to be a productive individual with a trace of pride.

The idea here is to end/amend these socially retarded laws that are ruining lives across the country. Laws that are merely in place to funnel cash from hard working people and transfer it to the legal profession all in the name of "fairness".

How can we get some publicity for our cause? Somewhere there is an answer. If enough people want it, it will happen. I am not a highly intelligent individual but I would be happy to follow anyone who can lead this movement and do whatever I can to help.


Monday, July 13, 2009

Victim #124: Fourteen Years in Jail on Family Law Contempt Charges

If you weren't aware, due process of law does not apply in family law cases.

In due process for criminal cases you get the following:
1. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed for you.
2. You are presumed innocent until proven guilty.
3. You are entitled to a trial by jury.
4. You are given a sentence with a definite time period of incarceration.

In family law, you get the following if you are held in contempt [such as when you are unable to pay your alimony and the court thinks you can.]
1. If you cannot afford an attorney, you are out of luck. Not only that, but the court will asses you with the fees and costs incurred by your ex-spouse.
2. You have the burden of proving that you were unable to pay your ex-spouse.
3. You are not entitled to a trial by jury.
4. The courts will assign you a purge amount that you have to pay in order to be kept out of jail. If you are unable to pay, and can't prove it to the courts satisfaction, you will be kept in jail until you cough up the purge amount as the court considers that you have the "keys to your cell" and can get out whenever you decide to pay the extortion amount.

Apparently, the courts consider the inability to pay alimony as a more serious crime than murder, rape, robbery, etc. for which your constitutional rights are able to be suspended.


Saturday, July 11, 2009

PHILADELPHIA -- H. Beatty Chadwick, imprisoned in Delaware County for the last 14 years, was in the jail library yesterday giving legal advice to female inmates when a prison official walked up and gave him the news.

He was a free man.

Minutes earlier a Delaware County Common Pleas judge issued an order granting Mr. Chadwick's petition for freedom, thus ending his incarceration for contempt of court -- a U.S. record for the charge.

"We want you out of here right away," Mr. Chadwick, 73, said the official told him.

In 1995 -- the year "Apollo 13" was a box-office hit, O.J. Simpson was acquitted of murder and 169 people were killed in the bombing of an Oklahoma federal building -- Mr. Chadwick was a corporate lawyer who grew up in Bryn Mawr and became embroiled in a nasty divorce. In April that year, he was arrested by two sheriff's deputies at his dentist's dowtown Philadelphia office and landed in jail.

A Delaware County judge issued an order to jail Mr. Chadwick for failing to deposit $2.5 million in a court-controlled account that would be used to pay alimony to his ex-wife, Barbara "Bobbie" Applegate.

Mr. Chadwick contended he no longer had the money, saying he lost it in a bad overseas investment. The judge believed he hid the money after divorce proceedings were started. Court-ordered investigations after he was jailed turned up no money.

The couple were married for 15 years. Mr. Chadwick called their marriage happy; she said he was stubborn and controlled her every move.

Efforts to reach Ms. Applegate's attorney, Albert Momjian, yesterday were unsuccessful.

In yesterday's ruling, Judge Joseph P. Cronin said Mr. Chadwick had the ability to comply with the 1995 court order to make the bank deposit and willfully refused to do so. But, after 14 years, Judge Cronin said, the contempt order had lost its coercive effect and instead had become punitive.

At the prison yesterday, when Mr. Chadwick's attorney, Michael J. Malloy, arrived to pick him up, about 50 people -- prison staff, correction officers and inmates -- were gathered inside and out to see him off.

"It was pretty remarkable scene," said Mr. Malloy. He added people were crying, shaking hands and hugging Mr. Chadwick. When he walked out into the brilliant, blue sky day, Mr. Malloy said everyone applauded.

The two packed 14 years of clothes, books, magazines -- including Bon Appetit -- and boxes of legal filings into the backseat and trunk of Mr. Malloy's Honda Accord, and then they drove off.

"I really missed being free and being able to have interactions with other people," said Mr. Chadwick, who was dressed in a dapper green suit and maroon tie for the occasion. "Jail is really a very artificial society."

Later in Mr. Malloy's office, Mr. Chadwick talked about his legal battles, the judicial system, his life in prison and his future.

He said he held no anger about the imprisonment or toward his ex-wife, to whom he has not spoken in more than a decade.

"The dark moments always came when I had a turndown from some court," said Mr. Chadwick, who had repeatedly sought release over the years. He said he kept his spirits up helping others with their legal issues.

For more than six years, Mr. Malloy worked pro bono on the case.

"I always thought if I could take this to a jury, he would have been home in a week," said Mr. Malloy.

When Mr. Chadwick's son, William, 41, walked into the office, the two embraced.

"It was so tough to keep up hopes at these hearings," said William Chadwick.

"We were concentrating so much on getting him out, we haven't thought what we'd do immediately afterward."

Beatty Chadwick will stay at his son's house in King of Prussia until he can set up his own apartment. He has no firm plans beyond that.

"I have to get out and make a living," said Mr. Chadwick, who has no income other than Social Security.

He is considering possibly teaching, trying to see what he can do in a corporate advisory role, and he will try to get his law license reinstated.

"I'm really thinking about what I'm going to do with the rest of my life," Mr. Chadwick said.

He would like to use his "skills and talent and time" to benefit others.

As Mr. Chadwick walked outside to transfer his belongings into his son's Prius, a man driving a car along Veteran's Square in Media honked, cheered and gave the thumbs-up sign, all while hanging out the car window.

"Good job, buddy," said the former fellow inmate, who declined to give his name. "You deserve to be out." [Read the article]


Victim #123: Courts Garnishing 65% of Social Security Income

The Florida courts can garnish up to 65% of ones Social Security. Regardless of this being your only income. My wife is receiving her first husbands SS and 65% of mine. Only married 12 years and no children together.

I raised her daughter from age 3. Life time alimony since 1986, $1,800.00 per month. Ran out of money so they elected to Garnish my SS. No other source of income. I'm now 74 and living on $399.10 per month. My EX is living on 1,750.00 per month. What a difference a gender makes.

By the way, I had a friend of mine in the Children & Families Department do a research on garnishment. Her is what she came up with:

The courts also play a part in this exhibition of prejudice. The fact that there is NO case in the state of Florida that identifies a WOMEN having her Social Security check garnished by the court to pay for life time alimony to her ex-hsband just screams with bias, prejudice and discrimination. This truly is gender bias and unfair treatment to me. I can support alimony for rehabilitation but not the right to lifetime alimony.

Florida courts reward laziness and call if lifetime alimony.


Friday, July 3, 2009

Nursing Home Solution for Alimony Slaves

I was watching a documentary about the prison systems in the United States and the major problem they are having with aging prisoners. With the amount of prisoners being in the few millions across the country, more and more of them are getting up there in years and requiring nursing home type assistance. As a result, many prisons across the country are modernizing their prisons to accommodate these elderly care.

All that being said, since we are lifetime alimony payers under threat of prison time if we don't pay, I just realized we have one heck of an advantage over the general public. A few years ago I found out how expensive it was for nursing home care for my dad who eventually passed away. The least expensive one was 3500/month, something obviously I could not afford. My mom and I almost died ourselves giving my dad 24 hour care before he passed away.

So I now have my nursing home retirement plan in place. If I never get out of paying permanent alimony and when I can no longer take care of myself, all you have to do is stop paying, tell the judge you are not going to pay, you are in contempt of court and you are thrown in jail. They will need to place you in one of those prisons for elderly prisoners. Imagine, the tables are now turned and because of the states antiquated alimony laws, the final joke is on them since you control the "key" of release based on you paying alimony.

Justice in the end, my friends is finally served. The ex gets nothing and the state eventually takes care of you at their cost.......what a country!!!!


Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Victim #122: Alimony Torture in Alabama

I returned from court today on my motion to amend, vacate, or new trial empty handed. My atty did a nice job presenting the "inequitable" distribution of assets-(I got all the debt and $400,000 marital tax debt)-she got the only asset, the house.

I did get $125,000 equitable "interest" but never get the money unless she sells the house- why should she??? I will be paying for it PERMANENTLY!!!!

The unfairness of$ 3,000.00 a month Permanent alimony for a 7 year marriage, no children was also brought up by my atty. The Judge stated that she would not change anything, that I was capable of getting back to work and making money, that $3,000.00 a month would not cripple me.

She states that my ex wife came into the marriage with $400,000 dollars-which my ex had when we married, and spent every penny living a lifestyle out of control,clothes, cars-Mercedes for her by the way, $50k on her mothers house, private school for her girls- all documented. Isn't it part of the law if you marry someone and spend your money, it isn't a separate estate??? How can the Judge ignore the facts?

My ex has a job making $50,000 a year and a teachers retirement,( she has a masters degree and a counseling degree) and will get her deceased 1st husbands Social Security-for a total of over $100,000 a year income. Go figure! I suppose the Judge believes my ex should get the money she spent back from me.

My atty says he can not understand the Judges decision, except for the fact she does not like me. Of course we must appeal. It is so incredibly difficult to function with injustice and think about being connected to someone so vindictive for a lifetime.

I'm in Alabama, does anyone know of anyone having to appeal or alimony torture in Alabama? How do you go on and have an American dream of "Freedom" and pursuit of happiness?? I must fight for Justice!


Victim #121: Domestic Violence Traps

The night that I finally left the house when I was married and my ex was absolutely bonkers she threatened to call 911. I asked her why would she ever do that (I was so fricking naive). She said she was going to report that I hit her. I replied that I have never laid a hand on her in my life and that they will think she is nuts. She replied back that she would actually make sure she bruised herself before the police got there. I knew then that it was finally time for me to get a divorce but it goes to show to what extreme some crazy spouses will go to.

She never did call but rest assured if she had and they would have found self inflicted wounds on her, I would have been arrested and had a record for the rest of my life. That is why when I hear about Domestic Violence from a girlfriend or wife with a professional athlete, I now don't believe any of them although some may be true. I just remember back to that night and what happened with me and how easy it is for a guy to be set up.