Thursday, July 29, 2021

Old Comments Still Stand

I was looking through some old comments on an MPR article from 8 years ago regarding lifetime alimony and ran into several that are quite poignant. Here are a few:

Jeffrey Dobkin • 

Not only is it time to scrap lifetime alimony, the whole so called "Family" court system in New Jersey needs an overhaul. A complete overhaul.

And frankly, so do the matrimonial lawyers. My brother who divorced his abusive wife in NJ, paid his lawyer over $300,000. He now pays over $5,000 each month in lifetime alimony. He works three jobs to do this.

Here's what happens: First, the lawyers look at your assets to see what is being split up. Whoa, did someone just let the fox into the hen house? Now the lawyers know how much they can bill you. Yes, really.

Then, the lawyers bring your case before a judge or arbitrator, and your lawyer brings up a fictional point: "Oh, he dropped his salary over the last few years..." Now both sides argue this fictional point back and forth — bringing up new motions, bringing up added motions as each side adds to their bill, getting ever farther from staying on point - resolution - which by the way is never re-addressed till you - the client - starts to run out of money. I watched my brother pay over $30,000 in one month in attorney fees. I can only surmise they had the whole firm: an entire bank of lawyers, working on his case on non-existent, non-matters.

ElvinaBergmannKallett • 

I strongly urge all to support alimony reform to abolish permanent alimony. At the conclusion of a divorce both parties should walk away in an equitable manner. Prior to the marriage they were individuals with separate lives, during marriage they merged, and upon divorce they should be allowed to return to their separate lives. One should not leave the marriage permanently tethered to the other.

One should not reap the benefits of a free lifetime of alimony, while the other spends a lifetime wearing a financial yoke. By providing permanent alimony, Florida’s law today does just that. The current law rewards one spouse at the expense of the other. It took two people to make the marriage, and two people to make the divorce. In Florida, a no-fault divorce state, the permanent alimony provision certainly runs counter to the fairness and equality that is the spirit of the law, punishing the person forced to make lifetime alimony payments. It’s not fair. It’s not right. It needs to change!

Naturally there are comments taking the other side but virtually all of them assume the wife sacrificed her career to take care of the children. In my case that absolutely was not the situation and the court even agreed so. 

Lifetime alimony is ridiculous and misogynistic in virtually all cases. Women should not be treated like children who are incapable of responsible behavior. 

Spring was rewarded with lifetime alimony by the court despite the fact that she was not the primary parent during the marriage (according to the court appointed custody evaluator), could earn as much money as me (according to the vocational evaluator) and clearly committed fraud numerous times during the proceedings. Family court is a court where crime and unethical behavior is rewarded. 

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