Sunday, February 28, 2016

Permanent Alimony May Finally End In Florida

Florida is getting close to ending permanent alimony. Alimony reform has been in front of the Florida legislature for several years now and if finally looks like it is going to pass.
For West Palm Beach obstetrician/gynecologist Natalie Sohn, change can't come soon enough.
"I'm a lifetime alimony payer after only 14 years of marriage," she said. "There is no way I can pay for my ex-husband, my three kids in college, and put a little away for myself for retirement."

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Politically Correct Discrimination

Sometimes even the most well intentionrd people just do not understand when they are being prejudiced. Think of a white grandmother making awkward comments to her granddaughter about her black boyfriend. Or the black father telling his son that he shouldn't move into a neighborhood because it is a bit “queer”.

Recently I was walking through a store with a female friend of mine when I picked up a product and noticed that it was marked “woman owned” next to the manufacturer's name. I pointed this out to her stating that if it said “male owned” people would be in an uproar. She didn't take that well. We passed a belt display that said “men's belts” and she said, “see, same thing.” Only it is not. With “men's belts” people aren't trying to get you to buy a certain product because of the gender of the people who own the company that manufacturers it. If it is okay to label a product a woman owned, then why isn't it okay to label a product as “male owned,” or “white owned,” or “straight owned?” Should a car manufacturer state that its cars are “male engineered?”

Walmart actually has a special program to label produced manufactured by woman owned businesses. They even state the products are better because they are manufactured by woman owned businesses.
"The anecdotal evidence is that these products tend to be more innovative, more in tune with what women customers want."

One of the manufactures mentioned makes waste baskets. If you really believe that women manufacture waste baskets better than men then you just as sexist as a man who believes than men make better scientists than women.

I think it is important to always reverse the gender/sexual orientation or change the race whenever you see those terms used to understand whether a statement is prejudiced. If you are okay with a wast basket being labeled “woman owned” then you should not mind if a desk manufacturer is labeled, “male owned.” We want to reduce/eliminate discrimination not just change the target of discrimination.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Children's Rights Florida Support alimony Reform

Children's Rights Florida is supporting the pending alimony reform legislation in Florida.
Florida Alimony Reform legislation will finally bring structure and order to our broken and outdated permanent alimony and family court laws.
For the first time ever in our state, the parties to a divorce will have formal guidelines (much like how Child Support is efficiently handled in Florida) that will outline the amount and duration of alimony awards. There will also be protection for our children to keep them from becoming “money chips” that predatory litigating divorce attorneys use for their own financial gain. 
Our proposal also provides for significant judicial discretion to allow our Judges to address those unique situations that require an “outside the norm” solution.
The Florida reform bill is quite modest and reasonable. Sadly, but predictably, is opposed by those who have a vested financial interest in extracting as much money as possible for themselves regardless of the injustice or damage to the innocent, including children.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Michael Boulette on Minnesota Alimony Reform

Michael Boulette has a good summary of current efforts to reform Minnesota alimony laws on is his Family-In-Law blog posting: “Alimony Reform” Comes To Minnesota (Maybe)

Currently, the most promising reform in Minnesota is to treat cohabitation the same a re-marriage, which in Minnesota would end alimony. Indeed HF 1333 proposes to do just that. However, as Boulette points out, "cohabitation" can be tricky to define.

Although I totally support HF 1333, it is a band-aid not a solution. The real issue is that alimony itself needs to be reformed. Today alimony is all too often a reward for bad behavior or even blatant criminal activity such as in my case.

There is simply no way any alimony was justified let alone permanent alimony in my case. To review:

  • My ex-wife divorced me. 
  • At the time of the marriage I was 30 years old; she turned 30 a few months later. The marriage lasted less than than 20 years.
  • Prior to her filing for divorce, we had been to three marriage counselors, two of which we met with extensively. Both of these were vetted by her and in fact one was a friend of her family. She walked out on all three because they were questioning her actions especially her drinking. 
  • The Court appointed custody evaluator determined she was not the primary caregiver to the children.
  • An employment evaluation determined she could make just as much money as me.
  • Joint custody of the children was awarded post-marriage. (although in reality they were with me more)
  • There was strong evidence my ex-wife committed perjury. I asked the Court several times to talk to the children in order to refute allegations she was making but the Court refused.
  • There is absolute evidence her lawyer lied and committed fraud in court. You do not have to take my word on this - Look at the evidence
  • Virtually all marital assets came from my income. Her income was used solely for her benefit. 
  • My ex-wife has never used a single dime of her income to benefit the children during the marriage or after. 

Despite this, I lost a huge amount of assets in the divorce (including many pre-marriage assets) had to pay over $100,000 in legal costs (including many of her costs), was required to pay child support, and am required to pay a massive amount of permanent spousal support until the day I die. I will never be able to retire nor remarry as that would require my new wife to pay support to my ex-wife should I become disabled. 

What happened to me and my children is a tragedy. It is simply wrong. The laws need to change. 

Monday, February 15, 2016

Real Sexism is a site with a wealth of information, most often with sources, which challenge perceptions of women being the sole victims of sexism.

A few tidbits:

  • Men are 97% of combat fatalities.
  • Men pay 97% of Alimony
  • Men make 94% of work suicides.
  • Men make up 93% of work fatalities.
  • Men make up 81% of all war deaths.
  • Men lose custody in 84% of divorces.
  • 80% of all suicides are men.
  • 77% of homicide victims are men.
  • 89% of men will be the victim of at least one violent crime.
  • Men are over twice as victimised by strangers as women.
  • Men are 165% more likely to be convicted than women.
  • Men get 63% longer sentences than women for the same crime.
  • Court bias against men is at least 6 times bigger than racial bias.
  • Males are discriminated against in school and University.
  • Boys face vastly more corporal punishment than girls.
  • 60-80% of the homeless are men.
  • Women's Cancers receive 15 times more funding than men's
  • At least 10% of fathers are victims of paternity fraud.
  • One third of all fathers in the USA have lost custody of children, most are expected to pay for this.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Divorce in America: Who Wants Out and Why?

The Austin Institute has some relevant and fascinating information on Divorce in America: Who Wants Out and Why?

Women are far more likely to desire and file for divorce. Why? They often cite physical or emotional abuse. But sadly that is all too often just a tactic to garner more money that has nothing to do with reality.
Physical violence is an alarmingly common reason listed by women seeking divorce—at 21 percent—a figure nearly three times higher than that reported by men. Yet when currently-married couples are asked about physical abuse, nearly identical shares of men and women (10% and 11%, respectively) say that they have experienced some form of physical abuse at least once in their current marriage. About one in every 200 currently-married men and women report numerous instances of physical violence, while 5 percent of women and 4 percent of men report that their current spouse has been physically violent with them more than once. 
It is tragic when men abuse women, But it is also tragic when woman abuse men. And false accusations of abuse are, if not just as bad, right up there.

There was never even a hint of physical or emotional abuse by me during my relationship and marriage to Spring. She, on the other hand lied so frequently it seemed like an addition, stole money regularly and was violent enough to permanently shift my septum when she hit me in the face one day. Her moral compass, barely functioning during our marriage, was totally tossed overboard during the divorce.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Divorce Costs Everyone

You may think that unethical and criminal actions surrounding divorce just affects the parties involved. It doesn't - it hurts everyone. Why?

  • As I have emphasized on, family courts are literally a cesspool of unethical and criminal activity. People who commit crimes in one area, especially if they get away with it, are more likely to commit crimes in other areas. And those who witness such crimes learn that crime does indeed pay, and pay well. 
  • The massive cost to taxpayers who not only pay for many of the court costs but have to make up for the reduced taxes paid to the government when one person is awarded the right to live off another's labor rather than becoming a productive tax-paying member of society. 
  • The damage to children who learn first hand that doing the right thing and maintaining your integrity can cause you to spend the rest of your life working for the benefit of someone who has no such scruples. 
  • Increased violence agaisnt others and themselves by the victims, including children. 
One of the most direct ways that divorce costs taxpayers is through increased social security costs because divorced people can both claim full spousal benefits whereas married people can only claim one. This is so lucrative that many financial planners advise clients to get divorced as a strategy to maximize their social security benefits. CNN Money says:
"Divorced people can get something married people can't, namely two free full spousal benefits rather than just one," according to "Get What's Yours."

Monday, February 1, 2016

Cohabitation Is Often Hard to Define

I completely support Minnesota HF 1333 which would end alimony payments in Minnesota upon the cohabitation of the recipient rather than only remarriage as current law stipulates but the bill is just a small step on the path to full reform.

New Jersey, which did pass a law that ends alimony upon cohabitation, is already struggling with defining cohabitation. When can ex-husband cut off alimony to former wife who has boyfriend? Currently in Minnesota, and previously in New Jersey, the recipient is incentified to not get married. Ending alimony upon cohabitation incentifies recipients to either not cohabitate or hide the fact that they are. This is still better than before because hiding cohabitation is a bigger hassle than just not marrying as you need to maintain separate mailing addresses and accounts.

Real alimony reform will end permanent alimony in all but the most unusual circumstances and make any awards of alimony reasonable, limited and fair.