Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Victim #165: Media Attention Needed

I think one of the most important things for us to stress if we get some media attention is the fact that this is not just a problem for "rich" people.  I think there is a misconception by most people that alimony is only paid to rich women by their rich ex-husbands.  NOT TRUE!  My boyfriend's salary is in the mid 60's (BEFORE taxes) and he pays $25K per year in alimony - plus child support (which is, of course, A LOT LESS than what he pays in alimony). 

I also think we should reiterate the fact that our financial obligations end when our kids are 18 or out of high school, but alimony is given to GROWN adults who should be able to take of themselves!!

Finally, even though the legislators in Florida passed the "cohabitation" clause, it is almost impossible to meet the standards/criteria set to prove that a supportive relationship exists with another person, and the judges are not enforcing it even after positive proof is presented!  (Judge Gary Farmer wrote an excellent dissent on this subject - See Linstroth v. Dorgan, Fourth District Court of Appeal)

I could go on and on - this whole subject just infuriates me more and more every day.  I see the anguish on my boyfriend's face every time we discuss our future. 

Because of his financial obligation to his EX-wife, we will never be able to buy a home together (he had to file bankruptcy because of his alimony obligation).  And, get this - the judge ordered his ex to put their home up for sale, but to continue to make the house payment until such time that the home sold.  That was last October.  She has not put the home on the market and she has not made a house payment since October 2008.  She still lives in the house and it hasn't been foreclosed on because of the backlog of foreclosures in Florida right now!!!!

So, she is getting all this alimony for her supposed "living expenses", but she has only been paying for utilities for the past year. We can't take her to court for contempt on this because even though she agreed in writing to keep their child under her insurance plan at work - which is cheaper and better insurance - the judge still ordered him to pay for health insurance for the minor child - this on top of alimony and child support! 

He feels that if he pushes her on the house payment issue, she will say that he isn't paying for the health insurance, which he was ordered to do and the judge would not grant a rehearing re: the insurance issue!!!

He even has to make HER car payment even though she now brings home twice as much money each month as he does!  I have never witnessed something so unfair.  I feel for everyone who has to live with this burden.