Sunday, October 25, 2009

Victim #140: Some People are Never Satisfied

.... All of us has our own horror story, and I guess it's all relative. Personally, I turned over $425K in assets, plus half of my retirement to the Ex at the time of the divorce, and have paid her initially $3,500/mo. for the first 5-1/2 years, reduced to $3,200/mo. as per by our mediated settlement for the next five+ years. Her alimony was exactly twice what I later found out was the maximum of any of my working contemporaries.

Now that I just retired, she it petitioning the court to have the alimony "RAISED", at the same time as the failure of my former employers pension fund, and subsequent takeover by the federal government. I'll be lucky to get 25 cents on the dollar of what I expected my retirement pension to be. Yeah, she describes me as "Cheap".

.... Anyway...I think there's a Yiddish term for her actions, but it escapes my memory right now. Mine won't even work part-time even though she has a teaching degree and 2-1/2 years worth of nurses training.
.... I don't know how my upcoming Modification of Alimony hearing wll come out, but it doesn't look good.


Victim #139: An ATM for His Attorney

I was divorced in 1/04 and filed for a mod of both support and permanent alimony in 3/05. Sadly, my friend and atty died and in 9/05 interviewed an atty who quoted a $3,000 rate for this modification.

I paid $3,000 and 14 months later the case was lost. I have now been billed for $7,900. The $3000 was never reflected in my bill although I submitted, in writing this "oversight" on 2 or 3 occasions. I also questioned my bill as I was billed each and every month from $60 to $800 (BTW the $800 bill was before Christmas when there was NO activity on the case moving forward). To add insult to injury, I lost the mod and currently in the appeal process. (more money)

I feel that I have scammed and wonder what options and am trying to get a game plan to proceed. Besides the BBB, I was going to the Florida Bar. I called them a year ago, and they want the name of the atty and I think they are in the same club and don't trust them. Any ideas on how to approach this atty?

I don't believe I intend to pay based on based on poor performance and feel that I have just been the attys' ATM.


Saturday, October 24, 2009

Are You a Slave??

Can you be a slave and not know it?

If you really think that you are a free person, watch this video and find out.


Thursday, October 22, 2009

Victim #138: A Veteran's Lament

After 14 years of marriage, and two children who were at that time, less than one year and four, I was divorced. Between alimony and child support, I got stung with an overweight price tag of $30,000 per year. Because I am not in the legal profession, I trusted the advice that I was paying for from my attorney.

At the time, I owned a new business that was less than a year old, located in Tennessee where I later moved and still reside. My adoring attorney recommended that I make the alimony non-modifiable in case my business turned into the next version of Microsoft. The problem was that it was a corporation owned by myself, and one partner. Each of us had two board members. His were his Dad and Brother, while mine were my ex-Father and Brother in-law.

Needless to say, soon after the divorce, my members resigned and I was voted off the board and lost my company. I did receive severance, which I reinvested into another company that, lo and behold, failed one year later leaving me broke and almost indigent.

In a moment, I will discuss jail. Lets follow the progression. I will also mention credit, later. In addition to the $30,000 per year, she got the house, car and furniture. I got to keep my guitar and an antique bottle collection, which I later sold to eat.

She allowed the house payment to fall behind and received a notice of foreclosure. That's when one of my ex-best friends, with whom she had been having a little fling with (and not her first, but that's another story for another time), came to the rescue and purchased the house.

Since she had nowhere else to live, it only made since for her to move in with him so he could turn around and sell the house that he just purchased for a unbelievable bargain, realizing a handsome profit that I never saw one penney of. After all, on his annual salary of $300,000 per year, he had a big enough place. Hey, bring the kids too!

Did it affect my Florida alimony? No, remember, it's non-modifiable. About a year later the happy couple tied the knot. My alimony stayed the same. I should also make note of how my ex-wife has never worked again since the divorce even though she is ten years younger than me and has some highly marketable skills. She claimed she couldn't work anymore because of the kids. No problem, I'll take them. Yeah, right!

Back to my second business failing. I remarried about two years after the divorce. It's just my wife and I. Fortunately I found gainful employment the day prior to our getting evicted, after my second business failed. But, of course the child support and alimony fell behind, even though I sent a few dollars now and then as I could. My wife and I budgeted $20 per week for food.

Long story short, I got summoned to court in Florida, where I was promptly handcuffed by order of the judge who has lunch frequently with my ex-wife's attorney. This takes place in that kind of town. She could afford a very expensive attorney, I couldn't. Even if I could afford a great one, nobody in this Florida town wants to go up against her attorney.

Guess who got locked up. Yep, you got it. I'm told that later that night, my ex and her spouse went to the country club where they are members, for a steak dinner and a glass of fine wine. Ever try jail food?

My sister bailed me out the following day and I left Florida without saying goodbye to the kids, tail between my legs. I work now and I work hard. Most days, I average 15 to 17 hours. I make $70,000 and continue to give her $30,000 of it to add to her household income leaving them the unfortunate task of learning to live on $333,000 a year.

Oh yeah, until the divorce was final, I would send her most of my income to pay the bills that she didn't pay. Guess who has no credit. Now it gets bleak.

Knowing that there was no a way out for me, and the fact that my daughter was so young when the divorce took place, my ex asked me if her husband could adopt her. At first I was furious and said no but then thought about my daughter. Just starting school it would be easier for her if she shared a common last name. It would be easier for Doctors notes, passports and etc. She called the guy Dad anyway and listened to bad things being said about her real Dad around her house.

Then my ex offered me something. If I agreed to this, she would discontinue receiving alimony and I would only pay child support for one child. She told me that I could see my daughter anytime I wanted. So, it was done. No criticism please.

I doubt you could understand the pain that I still face every day of my life. But it was a chance to finally provide the life for my wife that she deserves. This all had to be done in sequence because an adoption cannot be done because of money. In actually, this adoption wasn't about money, but it was an offer that I couldn't refuse, I accepted the offer and she drafted it.

After the adoption, she failed to follow through and I can't even get in touch with her now. The last thing I heard, her attorney asked the question of her, "Why would you want to do that"?

My wife and I continue to struggle in our 600 sq. ft. home in a major city where life is by no means cheap. The sad thing is, it shouldn't be this way. What she receives from me is play money for their many trips. Of course I can't modify my payment to her, even upon death! Figure that one out.

In addition to being broke, its humiliating to go through life being embarrassed and knowing you are getting laughed at by the people taking advantage of you. You know, the happy family that lives in the big house and drive new cars. I'm ashamed to invite friends to my house and I pay an enormous amount each month for my car because of my credit rating.

I continue to "bust my tail" to fund their luxuries. I'm surprised I can even spell the word luxry (See there I have a hard time with it)

As a loyal American and 14-year military veteran, I have the right to say that alimony laws are ridiculously unjust. So here I am, no way out, and not enough money for a powerful attorney even if there were a way out. Guess it's back to the VA Clinic for some more paxel and Valium. I've been on them for quite some time now. My next step in join my fellow exiles that have had to leave the USA in order to have any kind of a respectable life.

Please do not suggest that I contact the Congressman for that district of Florida. My ex’s husband is a contributor to his campaign and I believe that his firm does that Congressman’s taxes. I suppose my next question should be addressed to congress.

Does anyone in the country that I defended for 14 years care about this injustice. As I see it now, the answer is no. Do you? Probably not if you haven’t filled the shoes of countless divorced men who have either left the country, changed their identity or continue to suffer without warrant.

Perhaps someday I will find someone in a government position who cares more about justice and humanity than their political career and attaining votes. This judgment can be overturned, but it will take Congress to do so. Till then I remain a prisoner of a court system that has no morals.


Want to Win the Florida Lottery?

All you have to do is quit your job, if you have one, then file for divorce!! Florida Alimony laws grant PERMANENT LIFETIME ALIMONY.

You can hook your former spouse into paying for your health insurance, keep you as beneficiary on his life insurance, and still get at least 50% of the acquired family assets. This doesn't even take into account any child support that will be addition to the alimony. Upon his retirement you can even get his social security. You can have your payments taken directly out of his paychecks so you never have to worry about the check coming late or not at all. Even if he gets remarried your payments come first so any more children will just have to get over it.

If you want the BONUS PLAY, move in with someone!! You never have to remarry, but get "friends with benefits".

Why send our girls to college? All they need to do is find some guy who makes lots of money and they are set for LIFE. No need to continue the fight for equal rights…these laws make equal rights IRRELEVANT.


Victim #137: Distress in Kansas

I have been ordered to pay $1000 per month in alimony. It has been over a year since the original ruling and I recently went back to court on a material change of circumstance.

Three months after the trial, the ex willfully signed a lien for her attorney to get all of the monthly payments I make for alimony. Custody went from shared to her having custody and my child support went up about $800 per month. She claimed she needed 6 years of alimony to get a bachelor's degree in dental hygiene. She was awarded 5 years of alimony.

At the recent trial, we proved she has not attended one single college course and in fact has made no attempt to get her GED. She is not getting alimony for it's intended purpose, her attorney gets all of it. She still owes him around $16,000. So for the next 16 months he will still get it. He is threatening to file a contempt order because my last payment for support was due October 25th. My paycheck was short so they couldn't garnish the full amount of alimony.

All her child support got paid and over $500 for alimony was paid as well for October. She owes me money in the property settlement which was also part of this recent trial. When everything owed on both sides is balanced out, she still owes me around $36 if I leave what has been paid to date alone. Yet because her attorney has a guaranteed paycheck, he files motions for "his" alimony when I'm only 6 days late on only part of the alimony.

My attorney wanted to fight to reduce or eliminate the alimony based on the change of circumstance. I had a detective for 2 weeks that confirmed she had moved close to her boyfriend, that her boyfriend stayed the night at her duplex every night, that they had Bar B Q's together and that the house he stayed in was owned by his retired parents that live out of state. She also put him down on the kids school enrollment forms as their emergency contact. In court, she admitted he had bought groceries for her and when my attorney called her boyfriend, he admitted the same and said marriage is in the future.

My attorney didn't feel we had enough for cohabitation so she went for change of circumstance based on the other changes since trial. The judge ruled that he didn't see enough of a change to change the alimony. He even made a comment that my current wife (who was not present at trial) should quit going to college to support the fact that I have to pay alimony.

My wife was accepted into the dental hygiene program that my ex claimed she needed alimony for so she could go through this program, ironically. My wife has a year and half left of school and will start out making $27 per hour and this judge has the audacity to say that!

After trial, I found a Virginia case in the appellate court. A women had a relationship with another women and the ex husband was trying to prove cohabitation. The trial judge ruled that because it was same sex, it didn't apply basically. The appeals court overruled the trial courts decision and due to the facts that the girlfriend of his ex was listed as an emergency contact for her and her kids, they lived on separate streets but spent at least 5 nights per week together, did NOT own any property together or shared bank accounts, but obviously had a relationship like marriage as defined by the cohabitation clause. They were the same sex and he got his alimony dropped! Same story with my ex only she is doing all this with a man. I don't know what weight another states ruling has on Kansas though.

I too think that alimony is involuntary servitude. I'm not sure why this hasn't been addressed in the supreme court. They are the ones who handle constitutional rights, from what I understand. I see procreating as being responsible for supporting children that have no means of supporting themselves. But even that has a limit on it when they are 18 years old or out of high school. She is a grown able bodied women who has worked as a dental assistant for 13 years and makes $15 per hour. All my alimony payments are doing is giving her attorney reason to keep increasing her bill so he gets paid longer and this also increases my attorney bill!

I am hoping I can get some advise on what I can do from here. I'm frustrated and can't afford this.


Thursday, October 1, 2009

Victim #136: America's Debtor Prisons for Men

Friday 25 September 2009
by Wendy McElroy

I received the following email from a heartbroken and understandably enraged wife whose husband languishes in America's version of a debtor's prison. No one knows how many people -- almost all of them men -- are being held indefinitely on contempt of civil court charges for which they do not have the due process protections offered to those accused of a criminal offense -- no right to a trial, an attorney, an due process.

Most of these imprisonments are for non-compliance with court ordered child support or alimony. It does not matter if the man is unable to comply due to poverty -- e.g. from losing his job; he can be imprisoned anyway until he "pays up." For an analysis of the plight of these prisoners who languish in jail without ever being arrested, tried or accorded Constitutional rights, please see my article "The Return of Debtor's Prison."

The email reads, My husband is in debtor’s prison, and he is not alone. The court has him in custody until he pays a $15,000 cash bond. We have no money or property. Unless we get help, he could be there for the remainder of his life.

While imprisonment for debt was eliminated in this country in the 19th century, it has re-emerged under a new name: contempt of court. A defendant is deemed “in contempt” if they do not pay a court ordered debt, regardless of their ability to pay. The punishment: they are stripped of their liberty and sit in jail, at the taxpayer’s expense, until and unless money is found to purchase their release.