Monday, August 11, 2008

Where is the "Need" Established in Alimony?

First, ask yourself, why does the court have to establish a "Need" by your spouse in order to award them alimony?

Consider this: When you went to get your marriage license, did the state demand that you produce a financial affidavit and proof of being able to support your spouse during the course of your marriage before you were issued a license? Why wasn't it important to them then when you wanted to get married?

When you get divorced, the state then looks to your ability to pay and your to your spouse's NEEDS at that time. Again the question arises: "Why would they be interested in determining any need now?" What is the difference between entering or exiting marriage as far as the state is concerned? If you are any reasonable type of individual, you would reply NONE.

However, if you consider the fact that if the state, lawyers and the rest of the legal industry can interject themselves into a facet of your life with any degree of legality, then they stand to make a tidy sum of money from both parties and thereby create a transfer of wealth from your family to theirs. Neat isn't it. Just follow the money trail to find the culprits.

What your ex contributed to the marriage, and thereby allowed the asset base of the family to grow in proportion to the efforts of both of you, is a matter that is addressed in the final dissolution. At that time, the court divides up the marital estate in an equitable distribution or splitting up of community property.

Some spouses request compensation for lost opportunities while married. If you really look at the reality, that spouse is requesting to be compensated for making a bad decision in entering the marriage contract for a business that has gone bad. And that's what a marriage is....a contract. The same as any other contract you would enter in the business world.

When one spouse enters the marriage contract, they do so knowing they will be giving up future opportunities because they feel the benefits they will derive [with their efforts contributed to the marriage] from this union will outweigh the possibility of any lost opportunities. That is a choice they determined of their own free will and not as a result of coercion. They knew it going in.

If the marriage goes bad or if the spouse determines that there are enough financial incentives to terminate the marriage, then there will be a splitting of the marital estate and the spouse will be able to extract their share [and maybe a part of their spouse's share] as a reward for exiting the marriage.

If you will notice in most conversation about someone not getting their alimony and being shortchanged by some "deadbeat dad," they will never mention anything about what they got in the divorce settlement that compensated them for their part in the marriage.

They concentrate on what they feel is an entitlement to a lifetime of alimony welfare payments to compensate them for what they think they somehow lost. In what business that you know of that terminates operation, does one of the partners agree to not only split the business assets but in addition support the other partner for the rest of their life????

In my opinion, there is a large element of greed associated with some spouses wanting of lifetime alimony welfare as if they somehow are entitled to it for the "sacrifice" they made in marrying someone. They not only want the share of what represents their contribution of their efforts to the marriage, they now want a lifetime of support to follow so they can live a life of ease without any responsibility to maintain themselves as useful and productive members of society.

Where else can someone have their cake and eat it too? Divorce is one way they can do that. Hence you have a great financial incentive for them to initiate divorce actions.

So where does this need come from? In the case of Hillier v. Iglesias, 901 So.2d 947 (Fla.App. 4 Dist. 2005), the courts have ruled as follows:
In Florida the purpose for permanent, periodic alimony is to provide a
former spouse with the necessities of life. As the court explained in Canakaris
v. Canakaris, 382 So.2d 1197, 1201-02 (Fla. 1980)

“Permanent periodic alimony is used to provide the needs and
the necessities of life to a former spouse as they have been
established by the marriage of the parties. The two primary
elements to be considered when determining permanent periodic
alimony are the needs of one spouse for the funds and the ability
of the other spouse to provide the necessary funds. The criteria to
be used in establishing this need include the parties’ earning
ability, age, health, education, the duration of the marriage, the
standard of living enjoyed during its course, and the value of the
parties’ estates."
However, you need to read the FARMER, C.J., concurring specially portion of the ruling starting on page 3 in which NEED is more accurately framed. [Read the whole case cite....]

After receiving their share of the marital estate for their efforts and contributions to the marriage, how are they now in jeopardy of not being able to get the necessities of life or live at bare subsistence levels? They are not entitled to have someone else be obligated to subsidize their extravagances and lack of frugality.

Feminists like to quickly rebut any effort of a man who complains about the burdens of alimony with the saying....."Be a Man."

To me, being a man implies accepting responsibility for oneself, making ones way in the world and being a useful and productive member of society. Then I can only say to those women who demand equality for both sexes and yet who demand alimony welfare...."Be a Man!!!"

Find out how assets can be hidden or how you can find them: A Spouse's Guide To Hiding Assets.