Thursday, February 27, 2020

The Cost of Raising a Child

How much it costs to raise a child is directly, or at least should be directly, related to how much child support should be paid.

A study from the University of California (pay-walled unfortunately) from a few years back discusses just how difficult it is to determine what the cost truly is.

Personally I am in favor of child support even in cases where it is unfair to the payer as long as it benefits the children. Unfortunately, often child support money is taken by the parent receiving it and does not benefit the child or children.

In my case, I would estimate that 80-90% of the child support I paid did not benefit the children. Custody was joint but they were spending the majority of time with me. I was paying for all their health costs and providing them with an allowance.

An illustrative example is that when Spring on just a couple occasions paid for flowers that one of the boys would give his date for a dance (normally I paid all such expenses) she tried to make me pay for them. She simply could not tolerate that such an expense could come out of all the child support and alimony that she was receiving.

And of course in her whole life she never used a dime of her earned income to benefit the children.

It makes me sick just thinking about it.

Sunday, February 16, 2020

Family Court Corruption

I ran across Family Court Corruption — Lawyer and Judge Whistleblowers, a great article on Medium by Steven Louis Krasner, which discusses why corruption in the courtroom is so tolerated.
Hurdles to address areas of professional misconduct are many times insurmountable — due to many of the entities designed to investigate having been proven to be ineffective and shielded by a cumbersome process that filters out legitimate cases of wrongdoing.
Ultimately this creates a system where abuses of power and authority prosper at the expense of parents and children while sustaining an industry where profits appear to come before people.
As I have mentioned many times, the American Bar Association’s model rules for professional conduct, which most states have enacted, are extremely well written. They are just not followed much. It is rather like countries that have a great constitution and well written laws but are ruled by a dictator.

Corruption is in fact a type of crime where the criminals maintain a facade of being law abiding and ethical. Legal corruption is perhaps the most pernicious form of corruption because it subverts the very mechanism created to enforce the law and ensure justice. 

Saturday, February 8, 2020

Alimony Reform In Florida (Yet Again)

In the seemingly annual effort to enact alimony reform in Florida, once of the few states like Minnesota that allow for permanent alimony,  Florida Rep. Alex Andrade, who is sponsoring the 2020 reform bill, makes a compelling case for reform.
Lifetime alimony has created a culture of dependency; one ex-spouse can rely on another for monthly support until death. In 2020, our laws should focus on encouraging long-term self-sufficiency. 
Divorce is hard enough already. Contentious and expensive alimony battles only make matters worse, especially for children. 
The time is right to modernize Florida’s alimony laws and make the system fairer for families.
The idea that a person can leave a marriage and the other person is required by law o pay a massive amount of money to the them for the rest of the payers life is simply bizarre. Especially, as in my case, when the person receiving alimony was not the primary parent, a vocational evaluation determined they could make just as much money as the person paying, and they never contributed anything to marital assets, yet took more than half of them. To add insult to injury the person receiving alimony committed clear criminal actions.

It is simply wrong.