Saturday, July 14, 2018

California MoveOn.org Alimony Reform Petition

If you live in California, take a look at this MoveOn.org alimony reform petition. I doubt it will pass but the more people who sign it the better chance we have to move society in a more just and fair direction. The petition states:
Remove unlimited jurisdiction by the California Family Law courts over long term Marriages with no children. One spouse should not be eternally responsible for the other once a divorce is final. End family law jurisdiction at 5 years, no matter the length of the marriage.
Some of the comments are quite poignant:
Twinkle Tuttle from Harbor City, CA
Jul 3, 2018
"I cannot seek a divorce from my unemployed abusive husband as I can't afford alimony and 2 residences."
kevinze2@yahoo.com from CHULA VISTA, CA
Jun 28, 2018
"There should absolutely never be a thing called "permanent alimony". Half the time of any marriage no matter how long it was is more than enough time for the other spouse to become self supporting. In my very strong opinion should NEVER be over 5 years alimony. Every individual should be able to fend for themselves after 5 years maximum alimony. Permanent alimony is absurd and unjust. How can the other party ever move on with their lives?? Another spouse should not be able to take advantage of the system more than 5 years max and really it should be at 15-20 years and not 10. Think about it...California is the "only" state with such a ridiculous long term wrath and abomination of one party."
Although I will point out that it is not true that California is the only state with such a ridiculously long term for alimony. Minnesota is every bit as bad. 
Neal Hoskins from Imperial beach, CA
Jun 28, 2018
"If you get divorced why should anyone pay the other forever"
Zlatin Dimitrov from Livermore, CA
Dec 22, 2017
"If in a country where you can let go of your kids when they turn 18 years old and not be obligated to support them financially, why would you need to support an grown up adult person."

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Online Reviews of Law Firms and Lawyers

It has always been really hard to write online reviews of lawyers and law firms. Angie's List does not allow them for fear of being sued. Many other sites have similar policies. Even those that do not, will often remove a negative review when requested by a lawyer or law firm for the same reason. I have had my review of Nelly Wince at Avvo removed. Which really make you question whether Avvo has any legitimacy at all.  (rather like the Lawyers Professional Responsibility Board)

Lawyers claim that an bad review can ruin their business so they need protection. Why that would be true for lawyers but not plumbers, electricians or anyone else is beyond me.

But there is hope. In California, the court has ruled that Yelp can’t be ordered to remove negative posts concerning a law firm. This is small but encouraging step.

Sunday, June 24, 2018

The Arbitrary Nature of Alimony

One of the biggest sources of injustice in family court is the arbitrary nature of alimony awards. In Minnesota, child support is completely predictable. Alimony is completely unpredictable.

I was talking to a friend of mine last week. Her husband left her for another woman. She was a stay at home mom at the time. She received no alimony and only $250/month in child support despite her having primary custody of the children. After the divorce she went out and got as an administrative assistant job. Her ex-husband retired early.

I pay well over $3000/month in permanent (as in until I die) alimony. For many years I also paid a large amount of child support. This despite the fact that Spring left me, the custody evaluator ruled she was not the primary parent, a volitional assessment that found she could make just as much money as me, and joint custody post-divorce. (but in reality I had primary custody)  In addition, I paid well over $100,000 in legal fees due to her strategy of using litigation as a weapon. Spring has never in her entire life used a single cent of her income for the kids. Indeed she forced me to transfer much of the kids college fund to her. Which she promptly spend on herself. And, of course she committed perjury and her lawyer, Nelly Wince, committed obvious and serious fraud, as I have documented on this site.

So back to my friend. You might think she is bitter. Not at all. She said she has never been happier. Working hard and raising her kids has given her a self-respect and level of integrity she never had before. Contrast that with Spring who barely even sees her kids and is living off ill-gotten gains from her criminal actions. And every day alimony continues she adds to her crimes.


Sunday, June 17, 2018

Cultural Sexism

In the United States, far more women graduate from college than men. ObGyn doctors are overwhelmingly (85+%) women. In addition, more women than men are enrolled in medical school Astonishingly 80% of students in veterinary schools are women.  They also dominate law schools and graduate programs in general.

However there are still large gender gaps, especially in STEM areas. And strangely the gap is larger in more affluent countries than poorer ones.

Much of the reason I believe is cultural sexism. Two recent experiences have supported this.

I have a work colleague whose husband is an Obgyn doctor. On a recent business trip we were having dinner when I mentioned that I had heard on the radio that there are so few men going into ObGyn that schools were starting to give men affirmative action preferences to enter the area.  She quickly said he husband was an ObGyn surgeon and this area was still mostly men. Although she did not say it directly she implied that it was a very difficult area so it was more male dominated.

My other experience was in talking to a couple of young women who are just finishing up their Physical Therapy degrees. One said that her classes were almost all women with just a few guys and contrasted that to college physics where the gender ratio was reversed.  Oddly, to me anyway, she did not think that was wrong but rather stated that men like hard sciences more than women. I told her that may be true in the United States but it is very much a cultural thing. She acted kind of surprised.  (To me honest, it made me feel good to get her to question her assumption)

I know really smart women who are think of themselves as feminists yet still think that hard sciences are a male thing. Which is kind of insane as not that long ago people thought the same way about doctors and lawyers. Yet now the majority of graduating students in both those areas are female.

Go back a few more decades and they said the same about higher education in gender. And even today there are some cultures that think that way about any education for women.

The STEM discrepancy has no biological basis. It is entirely explained by cultural sexism.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

More From Emma Johnson

I must say I really do like Emma Johnson. I recently posted an article from her on why alimony is wrong and now she has written another article on two major problem in society:

  1. Dads who do not live with their kids are barely involved. (Just 22% of dads who live apart from their children see them more than once weekly, per Pew.)
  2. That pay gap will. not. close.

And she offers a solution or at least something that can greatly improve the situation:

START ALL CUSTODY NEGOTIATIONS AT A DEFAULT 50-50 VISITATION AND CUSTODY, WITH NO CHILD SUPPORT OR ALIMONY

The current system, according to Johnson, is antiquated and based upon two primary false assumptions:

  1. Women are incapable of supporting themselves.
  2. Fathers are inferior parents.

Personally, my case is even more egregious as there is little doubt that I am the better parent and I  have been far more involved in my kids lives than their mother. 

Everyone, men women and children, would be better off if they followed Emma Johnson's advice.

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Bill George On Dealing With Severe Trials

Bill George is a former CEO of Medtronic and now a full professor at Harvard. He often has some pretty interesting observations. In What Prince Harry’s Grief Over the Loss of Princess Diana Can Teach Every Leader he discusses how to handle severe trials in life.

Now I have never been a big follower of the British royal family but aspects of the recently married Prince Harry's life are enlightening. As most people know, his mother Princess Diana died tragically when he was just a child. In reaction, Harry buried the pain by joining the military, where he served with some distinction, and heavy partying. Eventually, on the advice of his older bother Prince William, he sought counseling and dealt with he pain of his mothers's loss directly. Since then he has refocused his life to one of charity and service to others. He has become extremely popular and his recent marriage to American Megan Marple has endeared him even more with the public.

George also discusses  Pedro Algorta, one of  survivors of the airplane crash in the Andes Mountains documented in Alive, the popular book by Piers Paul Read and movie of the same name. 

Algota, like all the other survivors, had resorted to cannibalism to stay alive. Suppressing the event, he went on to a highly successful life as a businessman. Eventually however, he did come around to addressing his experience and wrote a book, Into the Mountains: The Extraordinary True Story of Survival in the Andes and Its Aftermath, about the event.

Algota says there are three ways to deal with his severe trials:

  1. Be the victim by living your life looking backward, with anger and blame about what happened to you.
  2. Live your life as if nothing happened, while the memories and pain remain buried inside you.
  3. Use the event to transform your wound into a pearl.
The last one is the the one he recommends. 


Given what happened to me, Spring's perjury, Nelly Wince's blatant fraud and the obvious whitewashing of it by the Lawyers Professional Responsibility Board, the county attorney's office stating that their are no laws against a lawyer lying in court. Judge Mearly's  subversion of the law and many other criminal and unethical acts by various people, I can relate to Algota's three ways. Indeed, I have done them all. 

I have often felt like a victim, especially so because I am still being victimized every day. The twisting knife in my soul has become the background to my life. 

I have also avoided the issue. I have tried not to think about it. I have suppressed the events.  I have focused on education, work, my kids, my relationship with the girl I have been with for many years now. 

I have also addressed the issue and tried to use it to change society for the better. That is why this site exists. Yet, substantive change has eluded me. I am still being forced by the government to reward crimes by others. People are still being victimized every day. People are still dying every day. I must do more. 

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Emma Johnson On Why Alimony Is Wrong

Emma Johnson has a thoughtful and convincingly argued article on why alimony is outdated and misogynistic.

In almost all cases, alimony only makes sense if you believe women are incapable of taking care of themselves and must be provided for by a man.

In my case, Spring lived off me during the marriage choosing to work part-time. There was no agreement that she be a stay at home wife. Significantly I was, at a minimum, and as verified by he court appointed custody evaluator, an equal parent to the children. In reality, I was and have been always far more involved with their lives than she was. I was the primary parent. She was also at the time of her divorcing me, able to make just as much money as me according to the vocational evaluator. Yet she not only received half of the marital assets despite not not contributing to them at all but permanent alimony until my death.

And, of course, she committed perjury and there is unquestionable evidence that her lawyer, Nelly Wince lied in court and committed massive fraud. Just to add insult to injury,  I have had to pay well over $100,00 in legal fees. So far.

Alimony is misogynistic, pure and simple.