Monday, July 27, 2009

National Organization of Women Supports Alimony Reform

For those of you who think that alimony reform is just a men's issue brought on by a bunch of whining, alimony paying spouses, please be aware that the National Organization of Women [NOW] "Statement of Purpose" endorsed the cause for alimony reform as far back as 1966. In it, they stated:

"We, men and women who hereby constitute ourselves as the National Organization for Women, believe that the time has come for a new movement toward true equality for all women in America, and toward a fully equal partnership of the sexes, as part of the world-wide revolution of human rights now taking place within and beyond our national borders.....

.....WE REJECT the current assumptions that a man must carry the sole burden of supporting himself, his wife, and family, and that a woman is automatically entitled to lifelong support by a man upon her marriage, or that marriage, home and family are primarily woman's world and responsibility -- hers, to dominate -- his to support. We believe that a true partnership between the sexes demands a different concept of marriage, an equitable sharing of the responsibilities of home and children and of the economic burdens of their support. We believe that proper recognition should be given to the economic and social value of homemaking and child-care. To these ends, we will seek to open a reexamination of laws and mores governing marriage and divorce, for we believe that the current state of `half-equity" between the sexes discriminates against both men and women, and is the cause of much unnecessary hostility between the sexes."

As you can see, even though NOW agrees with the position that lifetime alimony is unwarranted, the judges, lawyers and the rest of the legal industry are determined to degrade women by granting awards of alimony that make the statement that women are unable to care for themselves. These rulings are declaring that women are not the equal of men. The principles that NOW has fought for over 50 years are ignored by the courts, and by NOW itself.

You have to ask yourself why, with this statement of purpose displayed so boldly on the NOW site, they aren't fighting with more zeal to demand that lifetime alimony be abolished as they did in seeking equality in the first place. Could it be that as long as women are allowed to collect alimony welfare through some sort of imagined "entitlement" for being married that they are justified in violating their advocacy of equality.

Maybe they should change their statement of purpose from that of "seeking true equality for all women......exercising all the privileges and responsibilities thereof in truly equal partnership with men" to a more realistic one that includes the comment from George Orwell's 1984 where it stated that: "some people are created more equal than others."

To compound things, when you look at the realities of the situation in the light of a profit motive for the legal industry, adversarial divorces are simply a way of transferring the bulk of the family assets to the legal industry in the form of exorbitant fees, costs and a myriad of other court mandated requirements such as mediation, counseling, expert testimony, etc. in order to obtain a divorce.

Is this justice or just a way to fund a multi-billion dollar industry that builds it's success on the destruction of spouses and families in the name of equity and under color of law?

Where will it all end?? Project the statistics and the answer will be self-evident. The end effect of this apparent hypocrisy is the contribution to the destruction of the institution of marriage and families in this country [Read about the Marriage Strike]. Added to that is the creation of a spousal class of alimony welfare recipients who are no longer useful and self-sufficient members of society.


Monday, July 20, 2009

Family Law Reform Necessity Recognized by Ohio

The fact that "lifetime" alimony does not work and is an injustice wreaked upon spouses and families to the detriment of society has also been recognized and reported by the State of Ohio.

In October of 1997, a thesis was submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Judicial Studies in Trial Court Judge Major by Judge Leslie Herndon Spillane titled "Spousal Support: The Other Ohio Lottery."

Then in January of 1999, an Ohio Task Force on Family Law and Children consisting of twenty-four individuals from nine different disciplines were selected by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the State of Ohio, Governors Voinovich and Taft, the Ohio Association of Domestic Relations Judges, the Ohio Association of Juvenile and Family Judges, the Ohio State Bar Association, the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President of the Senate to research the state of family law in Ohio and make recommendations for enhancements to processes that will put children first, ensure that families have choices during the divorce and dissolution process, minimize conflict, and emphasize problem solving.

Of particular significance are the comments at the end of the study:

"We have relinquished to the Child Support Advisory Council all matters relating to financial child support, but several of these issues deserve our attention. For example, as noted by Ohio Appellate Court Judge Gwinn (1999), at the upper levels of income, child support awards clearly represent thinly disguised alimony in that amounts awarded are far in excess of what is required for reasonable child support, and no accountability for the expenditure of funds is required. Issues of exorbitant or extended spousal support and unreasonably high child support payments are predicated on the assumption that a spouse (almost always the wife) or a child is entitled to be kept in the style to which they have become accustomed. This deep pockets orientation provides a windfall for the recipient with no obligation to provide anything in return.

Child support obligations are determined according to tables that are seriously flawed in their underlying loose-estimate assumptions, and based on averages that obscure different costs of child rearing according to age of the child or location of residence. Moreover, it is difficult for recipients of court-ordered awards to respond to the donor with gratitude, or respect on the part of children, when they have accepted the notion that these monies are their entitlement. The frequently found alienation of children from their non-resident fathers is exacerbated by this condition, in that this support continues regardless of behavioral compliance with parental rules, child's work ethic, or reciprocity of caring in the father-child relationship. From a child development point of view, more money is not correlated with better child adjustment.

In the case of spousal support, there is a prevailing assumption that a due bill is owed by the breadwinner at the culmination of marriage, regardless of who initiated the divorce, the cause of the divorce, or the degree to which the parties provided benefits to each other during the marriage. Only good providers are penalized in these cases, since those without the means to pay have little or no continuing financial obligation to ex-spouses, and only minimal and often insufficient support payments to children. Our group has also avoided discussion of spousal support even though the Ohio Bar Association is currently addressing that issue in committee. At the very least, I believe we should have examined the existing problems independently and offered our perspectives to the legislature. The major purpose underlying our appointments to this Task Force was to broaden the legislative advisory group. There are profound problems in spousal support and it is debatable whether the only voices heard by the legislature should be those of Ohio attorneys.

We had neither the time nor the collective willingness to resolve most of these problems, but I had hoped we could give guidance to the legislature on some of the more blatant injustices that have gone on for so long that they are perceived as legitimate. From an optimistic posture, if we could have agreed on some of the financial issues that impede cooperative parenting, our proposed legislation might have incorporated language that had the potential to remedy longstanding grievances at the root of bitter post-divorce relationships.

My third conclusion is that we gave no attention to the issue of prenuptial contracts. Yet, judicial respect for the decision-making authority of marital aspirants would seem to be a core requirement for resolution of financial and child rearing matters in the event of divorce. Rather than basing decisions on the adversarial and often irrational conditions prevailing at the time of divorce, fairer adjudication of both financial and child rearing matters could be accomplished by honoring agreements made at the onset of the marriage when commitments are defined cooperatively and with due regard for the rights of the other party. Attempts to undermine prior contractual agreements through legal manipulations should be deterred by judicial policy that protects the integrity of these agreements and implements them as intended. It is likely to believe that couples may increase their propensity to marry if they were provided assurances at the outset that their contractual obligations, mutually agreed upon, would be the foundation for problem resolution if needed in the future."

[Read the full report...]


Cohabiting Spouses Can Be Liable For Alimony Received By Them During The Cohabitation Period

For all you cohabiting spouses who are still collecting alimony and reading this post, it is time to realize that the tide is turning and that your misadventures might cost you a tidy sum in the near future.

Until now the courts in Florida have been very lenient in declaring that miscreants who were cohabiting were in a supportive relationship. This past leniency has permitted them to flaunt their association and get away with it. But now the courts are tightening up their decisions as to what constitutes a supportive relationship and in the below case, requiring the alimony recipient to repay their ill gotten gains.

Do you still want to gamble and stand to face a situation like that depicted in the below article???

Palm Beach County judge's ex-wife ordered to repay $151,000 in alimony.

WEST PALM BEACH — Palm Beach Circuit Court Judge David French not only won his long-running battle to get out of paying his ex-wife alimony. A judge also ordered her to repay him $151,000.

In a decision this month, Broward Circuit Judge Arthur M. Birken ruled that French should not be required to pay his ex-wife $3,400-a-month alimony because she has been living with another man for nearly 20 years. [Read more...]


Sunday, July 19, 2009

Till Death Do Us Pay

The poster child for progressive marriage laws, Massachusetts is also a singularly nightmarish place to get a divorce—especially for the better-off spouse. Now a brewing reform movement is pushing to rewrite the state's outdated alimony rules, led by one very fed-up ex-husband....

.....Despite these dire straits—Hitner relies on his second wife, Jeanie, to pay most of the household expenses plus the part of the monthly alimony bill he can't cover—he isn't optimistic that Judge Kaplan will be moved. Four years ago, he'd sought a modification from this same judge. "I told her, 'I really need help here, because I'm running out of credit cards to borrow on to pay this alimony,'" says Hitner. "The judge's response was, like, 'Lemme know when you run out of credit cards and I'll put you in jail.'"

He ended up filing for bankruptcy in December 2006. A separate court battle with Joan (who declined to be interviewed for this article) over stock in his company has dragged on for 10 years. Hitner estimates that he's spent, at minimum, $200,000 in legal costs just to get where he is today. Which is to say, exactly where he was in 1999.

[Read more...]

Video interview on Fox News

Note: Steve Hitner is part of the Massachusetts Chapter of the Alliance for Freedom From Alimony, Inc.


Do You Have a Grievance Against the Judge in Your Case?

Do you feel that the judge in your case was biased against you, ruled unfairly, ignored the law, treated you with hostility, etc.? Do you think that you have a chance to appeal to a higher authority to seek relief?


One of the several things you will discover in your battle against judicial or legal wrongdoing, is that it can be almost impossible to find a lawyer who will help you file lawsuits and complaints against judges, or against other lawyers.

One reason for this is because the judges generally control the Bar in your state, which means they have total instant control over whether a lawyer is even allowed to continue working as a lawyer.
[Read more...]

Check out the other FAQ's in this blog.

Going after a judge can be an exercise in futility. If you have to appeal to a higher court or even the do so in the federal courts, your ability to do so, even if you do this on your own [Pro Se] is a monumental task wrought with traps and pitfalls created by those you are going after and control the system.

It is a daunting task to try to follow the laws and procedures necessary to appeal to higher courts and they are extremely resistant to your efforts. Even if you were able to master the requirements of filing a case, the odds of you winning are extremely small.

The closest analogy comes to mind is that of a barnyard rooster arguing with the foxes over their right to guard the henhouse. GOOD LUCK!!!


Monday, July 13, 2009

Fourteen Years in Jail on Alimony Contempt Charges

If you weren't aware, due process of law does not apply in family law cases.

In due process for criminal cases you get the following:
1. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed for you.
2. You are presumed innocent until proven guilty.
3. You are entitled to a trial by jury.
4. You are given a sentence with a definite time period of incarceration.

In family law, you get the following if you are held in contempt [such as when you are unable to pay your alimony and the court thinks you can.]
1. If you cannot afford an attorney, you are out of luck. Not only that, but the court will asses you with the fees and costs incurred by your ex-spouse.
2. You have the burden of proving that you were unable to pay your ex-spouse.
3. You are not entitled to a trial by jury.
4. The courts will assign you a purge amount that you have to pay in order to be kept out of jail. If you are unable to pay, and can't prove it to the courts satisfaction, you will be kept in jail until you cough up the purge amount as the court considers that you have the "keys to your cell" and can get out whenever you decide to pay the extortion amount.

Apparently, the courts consider the inability to pay alimony as a more serious crime than murder, rape, robbery, etc. for which your constitutional rights are able to be suspended.


Saturday, July 11, 2009

PHILADELPHIA -- H. Beatty Chadwick, imprisoned in Delaware County for the last 14 years, was in the jail library yesterday giving legal advice to female inmates when a prison official walked up and gave him the news.

He was a free man.

Minutes earlier a Delaware County Common Pleas judge issued an order granting Mr. Chadwick's petition for freedom, thus ending his incarceration for contempt of court -- a U.S. record for the charge.

"We want you out of here right away," Mr. Chadwick, 73, said the official told him.

In 1995 -- the year "Apollo 13" was a box-office hit, O.J. Simpson was acquitted of murder and 169 people were killed in the bombing of an Oklahoma federal building -- Mr. Chadwick was a corporate lawyer who grew up in Bryn Mawr and became embroiled in a nasty divorce. In April that year, he was arrested by two sheriff's deputies at his dentist's dowtown Philadelphia office and landed in jail.

A Delaware County judge issued an order to jail Mr. Chadwick for failing to deposit $2.5 million in a court-controlled account that would be used to pay alimony to his ex-wife, Barbara "Bobbie" Applegate.

Mr. Chadwick contended he no longer had the money, saying he lost it in a bad overseas investment. The judge believed he hid the money after divorce proceedings were started. Court-ordered investigations after he was jailed turned up no money.

The couple were married for 15 years. Mr. Chadwick called their marriage happy; she said he was stubborn and controlled her every move.

Efforts to reach Ms. Applegate's attorney, Albert Momjian, yesterday were unsuccessful.

In yesterday's ruling, Judge Joseph P. Cronin said Mr. Chadwick had the ability to comply with the 1995 court order to make the bank deposit and willfully refused to do so. But, after 14 years, Judge Cronin said, the contempt order had lost its coercive effect and instead had become punitive.

At the prison yesterday, when Mr. Chadwick's attorney, Michael J. Malloy, arrived to pick him up, about 50 people -- prison staff, correction officers and inmates -- were gathered inside and out to see him off.

"It was pretty remarkable scene," said Mr. Malloy. He added people were crying, shaking hands and hugging Mr. Chadwick. When he walked out into the brilliant, blue sky day, Mr. Malloy said everyone applauded.

The two packed 14 years of clothes, books, magazines -- including Bon Appetit -- and boxes of legal filings into the backseat and trunk of Mr. Malloy's Honda Accord, and then they drove off.

"I really missed being free and being able to have interactions with other people," said Mr. Chadwick, who was dressed in a dapper green suit and maroon tie for the occasion. "Jail is really a very artificial society."

Later in Mr. Malloy's office, Mr. Chadwick talked about his legal battles, the judicial system, his life in prison and his future.

He said he held no anger about the imprisonment or toward his ex-wife, to whom he has not spoken in more than a decade.

"The dark moments always came when I had a turndown from some court," said Mr. Chadwick, who had repeatedly sought release over the years. He said he kept his spirits up helping others with their legal issues.

For more than six years, Mr. Malloy worked pro bono on the case.

"I always thought if I could take this to a jury, he would have been home in a week," said Mr. Malloy.

When Mr. Chadwick's son, William, 41, walked into the office, the two embraced.

"It was so tough to keep up hopes at these hearings," said William Chadwick.

"We were concentrating so much on getting him out, we haven't thought what we'd do immediately afterward."

Beatty Chadwick will stay at his son's house in King of Prussia until he can set up his own apartment. He has no firm plans beyond that.

"I have to get out and make a living," said Mr. Chadwick, who has no income other than Social Security.

He is considering possibly teaching, trying to see what he can do in a corporate advisory role, and he will try to get his law license reinstated.

"I'm really thinking about what I'm going to do with the rest of my life," Mr. Chadwick said.

He would like to use his "skills and talent and time" to benefit others.

As Mr. Chadwick walked outside to transfer his belongings into his son's Prius, a man driving a car along Veteran's Square in Media honked, cheered and gave the thumbs-up sign, all while hanging out the car window.

"Good job, buddy," said the former fellow inmate, who declined to give his name. "You deserve to be out." [Read the article]


Why You Can't Get Help With Court Injustices

Did you ever want a lawyer to take up your defense in what you thought was an unjust way you were treated in court? Then read this article and check out some of the other FAQ's in this blog article:

FAQ on US Judicial and Legal Corruption :

It's true that there are lots of bogus, malicious, and perverted lawsuits filed in America, for all sorts of trivial and dishonest reasons. And it's true that some of these lawsuits even win money, where somebody gets a big pile of money for some silly complaint.

But that doesn't mean you will be able to get legal help to fight a crooked lawyer or judge, even though you have massive proof of misconduct and felony crime by the lawyers and the judges.

The legal profession likes the media to tell all those general lawsuit stories. They like the way these stories create terror among people and small businesses, and help induce people to pay more money for lawyers. [Read More.....]