Saturday, November 17, 2007

The Four Stages Of Paying Alimony

The more corrupt the state, the more numerous the laws. - Tacitus


This following article from the Fathers-4-Justice gives an excellent perspective on the basic stages that a spouse paying alimony goes through when encountering the family law injustice system.

While the article is basically oriented towards child support, we have found that if you substitute the word “alimony” for those of “child support” it would pretty much parallel the stages encountered by a spouse burdened with alimony payments.

Here is the article:

“Often the first call from a father to one of our Fathers-4-Justice members begins as a two hour call as hopeless fathers explain the details of their story. Dads often just need someone to listen to them before they absolutely explode. As I listen to the stories a very similar pattern seems to emerge. I have noticed that most of the dads that are being kicked around by the family court machine have very similar personalities. I have noticed that these dads are usually very easy going; they are typically the "rule followers" of our society. These fathers tend to comply with the rules that society has laid out for them without question.

As fathers progress through the custody process they usually pass through four distinct phases. Even though the names, dates and facts of the cases are all different, the process is almost always the same.

Phase 1- The Devastated Dad

Initially, fathers are blindsided with an order of the court limiting their time with their children. They are often ordered out of their homes, their assets and paychecks are seized, and they are forced to find or borrow thousands of dollars to fund an attorney. Fathers in this stage are constantly asking themselves what they did wrong, how can "they" (the courts) do this? In many cases mothers have used the WMD of custody litigation - false allegations of abuse. Fathers are visited by social workers, Guardians ad Lit em, and ordered to counseling. This extremely cruel tactic is followed by court personnel and/or psychologists coaching the children to ensure that they, too, report that they hate their father. The result is a depressed, devastated dad who wears the effects of his battle on his sleeve.

Phase 2 - Hyper Compliance

As custody litigation progresses and psychological experts are further engaged, fathers move into a mode of hyper-compliance. They attend every counseling session and every minor court hearing with high hopes - only to hear that a decision on their case has been

delayed. Fathers assume that if they just do everything that they are asked to do that this whole ordeal will be over and they can see their kids again. They sign up for parenting classes, counseling sessions, and attend mediations often without being asked. Fathers volunteer for polygraphs, take drug tests, and comply with every conceivable program the system has to offer. Every father believes that if they just follow the rules, the truth will come out. It doesn't! Over time dads realize that no matter how many times they ask, no matter what they do, the "experts" can never put their finger on exactly what he must do to so he can see his kids again. They always end every statement to the court, no matter how unreasonable, with "in the best interest of the children".

Phase 3 - Legal Eagle

Eventually fathers get fed up with the slow moving custody machine. They start to Google everything from parenting rights that are guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution, to the latest research on false allegations. Acronyms such as PAS, FOC, GAL, SAID Syndrome, and FERPA become part of their every day conversation. They collect evidence, photocopy documents, and start recording every conversation anxiously awaiting their day to present these facts in court. They spend hours researching information on other cases that seem similar to theirs and forwarding case law to their attorney only to be told to "stop playing lawyer". They can't understand why their own attorney allows so many continuances of their case. They can't figure out why filing

a motion for contempt because visitation was denied (again) would make HIM look bad. Many dads spend their life savings, children's college funds, retirement funds and go into tens of thousands of dollars of debt during this phase certain that if they can just get their story in front of a judge, the truth would come out.

This is the phase where the social workers, judges, and magistrates threaten that if "the two parents can't agree, they'll be forced to put the kids in foster care!" The lawyers all talk about how costly a trial would be and pressure all parties to settle. For the few

fathers that get their case to trial, they quickly find that the "evidence" they collected, the documents they've copied and the audio they've recorded can't be presented in court. They learn that "experts" that have never met them, and social workers who don't even have children, can make recommendations about the future of their children. Fathers learn that perjury in family court is never prosecuted.

Phase 4 - Combat

Eventually the money runs out, the lawyers come and go, and the pressure to give in grows. Some fathers just quit. They take the offer, they "agree" to minimal visitation, to a support order that is unreasonable, and every other restriction the "experts" throw at them, simply because they cannot afford (financially, emotionally, and psychologically) to fight any longer. These dad's balls have literally been busted.

Other dads decide to fight – with or without an attorney. These fathers decide to continue litigation pro se. They contact every father's group on the web and sign up for every Yahoo group on the subject. These fathers, once united, can have a major impact onthe "system". The hope of every judge, magistrate, counselor, social worker and attorney that profits from the custody industry is that the fathers that opt for combat won't organize. They have learned that they can squash each individual father like a lone ant on the pavement. What they fear is an informed, organized, determined army moving toward one goal like a swarm of fire ants. That would be unstoppable.

Sadly, too many fathers spend so much time in phases 1-3 that their children grow up in the background and they miss out.”



Of the hundreds of spouses who have joined the Alliance For Freedom From Alimony, Inc., the majority of members belonging to our group have come to us at stage one and have progressed to stage four. We have seen the transformation and it follows the pattern indicated above.

Unfortunately, it appears that the advances of these groups are having little effect in bringing about a change that will cure the country of the cancerous growth of the family law injustice system that is administered by the self-serving legal profession intent on filling their pockets at the expense of the American family members. Why should they? It is a multi-billion dollar cash cow that they find extremely lucrative.

How can you expect to change a system that is in itself a self-policing and self-perpetuation entity?

The lawyers in the legislature make the ever-increasing number of rules that feed a growing legal profession’s appetite with laws that create adversarial relationships requiring lawyers to handle them. These adversarial proceedings are then taken to a court, administered by a lawyer-turned-judge to rule in such a way as to retain jurisdiction on the adversarial parties thus insuring a tentacle-enfolding stranglehold on the parties for the rest of their lives. This process is a self-serving way to provide job security for the legal profession.

Should any of the parties find fault with the judges or lawyers tending to their case, a complaint can then be filed with the local bar association. What kind of relief can they find here? Well what do you think you can expect when a group of lawyers who regulate all the attorneys and judges are called upon to find fault with one of their own??

Personally, I have experienced where when one of my lawyers took several thousands of dollars retainer, totally bungle the representation of my case, walked away from his office and left town before finishing my case along with other misdeeds. For this the bar association only gave him a private reprimand and nothing more.

Many similar stories of lawyer incompetence and taking of money without any return of services are rampant among the parties to adversarial proceedings. Yet no relief is in sight for the aggrieved parties and the injustices will just continue pouring money into lawyer’s coffers.

Where will it all end? See the next installment of this blog for the answer.

* Troubling thoughts in midst of marriage crisis. :-(

* Encouraging Signs From The Commission on Judicial Conduct (MORE ...
* Federal judge harassed woman for years, friends of victim say
* TX - How far did this federal judge go?

Disciplinary Actions in the Database of Sources

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