Saturday, May 24, 2008

A Source Of Revenue For The States

Government does not have a revenue problem; government has a spending problem. Government does not have a revenue problem; government has a priority problem. It is time that we begin to fine tune our focus and decide what the priority of government ought to be. --Marsha Blackburn


The following is a letter sent to Florida’s Governor Charlie Christ and all the state legislators pertaining to a study that shows the cost to the state resulting in part from the inequitable alimony laws as we have delineated in earlier posts.

Upon reading the study and agreeing with its premises, you will find that this letter could serve as a template for a similar letter that you could utilize in your state to send to your legislators and news media.

Text of Letter:

Dear Governor Christ:

In order for Florida to obtain increased revenues to cover current budget shortfalls, please consider a way to do so by taking advantage of the savings to be realized in the following manner.

1. Presently, it is estimated that the current cost to Florida taxpayers resulting from divorce and unwed childbearing is $1.953 billion dollars per year at a minimum. This information is according to a 2008 studyThe Taxpayer Cost of Divorce and Unwed Childbearing by Georgia State University economist Ben Scafidi mentioned in an April 15, 2008 MSNBC news articleStudy: Divorce, Unwed Parenting Costs Billions.”

2. The Florida Statutes 61.08 governing the dissolution of marriage alimony laws in Florida is one of the leading causes of the increase in the number of people who comprise a major part of the statistics leading to the above figures.

a. The combination of no-fault divorces and the wide discretion allowed judges by F.S. 61.08 provides tremendous financial incentives for one spouse to leave the other and be guaranteed a lifetime of support by placing the other in what a Idaho Supreme Court Justice Shephard in his dissent has defined as involuntary servitude [Olsen v. Olsen, 98 Idaho 10 (1976)]

b. The adversarial nature of dissolutions resulting from these statutes, which allow unlimited discretion of the judges and inconsistent alimony awards, gives rise to battles between the spouses that do little other than to drain the resources and assets of the parties and redistribute them to the legal industry.

c. Parties who are subject to a lifetime of alimony are frequently driven into the lowest income brackets and are unable to provide adequate funds to ex-spouses and/or for child support thus necessitating the recipients to rely on public welfare.

d. Parties who are recipients of lifetime alimony welfare have little or no incentive to become self-supporting and useful members of society. This is a poor role model for the children they raise.

3. As it stands, F.S. 61.08 is violative of the Florida Constitution’s “right to privacy” and the “separation of powers” between the legislature and the judiciary. [A memo of law supporting this claim can be provided upon your request.]

4. Resulting from these inequitable alimony laws is a phenomenon commonly referred to as a Marriage Strike.

a. A marriage strike occurs when prospective spouses find that the outlook of marriage with its 50% divorce rate and concurrent possibility of financial suicide imposed by the F.S. 61.08 laws acts as a deterrent to getting married. Also, it occurs when a spouse-recipient of lifetime alimony finds that to get re-married, that they would lose the alimony welfare payments should they do so. As a result, co-habitation ensues and with it oftentimes comes children from this union. This statement is supported in the above study.

b. The Marriage Strike is a well-known and well-documented phenomenon that is leading to the increased destruction of the institution of marriage, as we have known it. Click here and here for details.

What can you do to alleviate this problem and do your part to capture the savings for the State of Florida?

The biggest step you could take would be to have a bill introduced to revise F.S. 61.08 to implement a Texas-style alimony law that limits post-dissolution support to a 3 year maximum with pre-qualification to be used for rehabilitation.

The removal of the impediments to marriage and incentives to divorce will go a long way to solving the financial problems Florida is facing as a result of the Divorce and Unwed Childbearing burden. This is an easily solvable problem that legislators up to now have ignored.

It appears that without your intervention, Floridians will pay the price of supporting the legal industry by sacrificing the services provided by the revenue shortfall. Your action in preventing this shortfall can be realized by the savings that can be had in reforming F.S. 61.08.

Your help in solving this problem that faces Floridians will be greatly appreciated by your constituents.

Cordially Yours,


* The Mens' Marriage Strike – from the Winds of Change.Net


* ABC News: Millions in Marital Assets at Heart of Jail Term


* Judge Who Tried to Hide Assets for Disbarred Husband Gets 3-Yr ...


* Police and Prosecutorial Misconduct

* Heather Mills Ex-Boyfriends Scramble To Hide Assets | The Ronson ...

* A Lesbian Explains What’s Wrong With the California Gay Marriage Ruling Be sure to click on the links in her article to get her views on marriage and the divorce/alimony laws.

Be sure to visit these sites: and

Participate in our Forum discussion group:

Join the Alliance For Freedom From Alimony, Inc. to support the fight to abolish alimony.