Friday, January 27, 2012


Comments better than article.

Till Death Do Us Pay
By Kris Frieswick
July 2009

Such is the unique hell that is Massachusetts alimony law—a particularly ironic hell, given our pioneering, progressive reputation when it comes to marriage. Completely separate from child support—about which state law is surprisingly lucid—alimony is intended to provide for the financial needs of the lesser-earning, or "dependent," spouse after a divorce. "Need," according to Massachusetts case law, is whatever is required to keep up, to the extent possible, the standard of living the parties enjoyed before divorce. (Although it's a gender-neutral law, most alimony recipients in Massachusetts are female.)
Today many states have statutorily defined the purpose of alimony—for instance, as a temporary arrangement allowing the dependent spouse to get on his or her feet financially; as compensation for money invested in a marriage (like paying for a spouse's medical school); or as punishment in an at-fault divorce. In Massachusetts, by contrast, the statute mandates that alimony exist, but neither the courts nor the legislature has formally explained why. As such, the rules on who gets alimony, how much, and for how long are murky at best.

Because the statute is so vaguely worded, award decisions are habitually based on case law, the growing mountain of which is a hydra of rulings that point in so many directions that almost any decision can be defended or overturned on appeal, depending on how smart your lawyer is and which precedent he selects to argue your case. "There's no predictability about what a judge will do," says David H. Lee, a family law attorney and cochair of the Boston Bar Association's alimony task force, "and no predictability about whether an appellate court is going to be consistent with what was said months or years earlier. It's a real struggle." He adds, "A lot of people are looking for logical explanations. But when you look at alimony [in Massachusetts], you have to check logic at the door."

When an alimony case comes up before a judge, the focus is almost exclusively on the wealthier ex-spouse's ability to shell out, and hardly ever on the recipient's ability to fund his or her own needs. If the court believes a payor is intentionally underemployed in an attempt to lower alimony obligations, it will base the award on previous earnings history. In modification hearings, judges frequently count a second spouse's income as part of "total household income" and then use that figure in determining whether the payor has enough income to keep paying alimony (a backhanded way of tapping into a second spouse's income). But unlike in most states—and every other state in New England—here judges historically do not assume any income for the recipient, even if he or she is able to work but chooses not to. (In fact, Massachusetts' alimony system doesn't even conform with state rules for other areas of family law. In child support cases, recent reforms explicitly encourage the judge to impute potential income to a recipient if the judge believes the recipient is shirking higher-paying work.) Finally, when determining a payor's ability to meet alimony obligations after retirement, judges can count the income from retirement accounts, including those already divided in half during the original divorce proceedings. This last precedent confuses even the judges who must abide by it. "The courts have said up until now that it's not a double dip," says Edward M. Ginsburg, a retired judge who heard alimony cases for 25 years in the Middlesex Probate and Family Court. "But it is a double dip."

For all this, what really sticks in the craw of would-be reformers is that alimony in Massachusetts is so often a burden without end. While permanent alimony is frequently awarded nationwide for unions that lasted more than 20 years, judges in other New England states can set alimony duration, even for the longest marriages. New Hampshire, for example, tapers alimony over time to encourage a recipient to support him- or herself (judges there also take into account the recipient's income in setting the payment level). Alimony in the Granite State is by definition transitional, says Margaret Kerouac, chair of the family law section of the New Hampshire Bar Association. "There is case law that specifically says it is not a lifelong profit-sharing plan," she says. Not so in Massachusetts: The only way judges here will set a cutoff for alimony is if it is tied to a specific event, like the recipient's remarriage, death, or new inheritance. And since judges cannot predict what a recipient's financial circumstances will be at a point in the future, most simply award indefinite alimony and leave it to the payor to seek modification. The vast majority of judges who do want to set a duration get overturned on appeal, so few ever try.

"Massachusetts is unusual," says Gaetano "Guy" Ferro, a family lawyer in Connecticut and past president of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. "They're not consistent with the laws as I understand them anyplace else." He laughs. "I think I'm going to tell my female clients to move there."

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User Comments:
Kudos on reporting Massachusetts' dirty little secret!
Posted by Bruce | Jun. 30, 2009 at 2:10 PM
The family court has financially wiped out many families including my own. I had to fire all my employees, went out of business and filed for bankruptcy. The Massachusetts family court is abusive and destructive.
Till Death Do Us Pay
Posted by Anonymous | Jun. 30, 2009 at 2:18 PM
Excellent article on the state's antiquated laws on alimony. It is absurd to divide retirement accounts at the time of divorce and then demand that the alimony payer continue to pay alimony out of his (usually "his") half of the accounts when he retires. This is truly "double dipping."
End this madness!!!!
Posted by Anonymous | Jun. 30, 2009 at 2:25 PM
I am thrilled that this archaic and unfair practice is being exposed. I am truly thankful for Steve and his work. If I'm lucky, I may be able to retire some day. My ex-wife was a school principal and Fulbright scholar when we separated and subsequently divorced. I too am a school administrator. Last I heard my ex had stopped working and spent the year in Hawaii hanging out with friends living off of my hard-earned money. I paid for her grad school and cared for our children while she was away on her Fulbright. Despite that, the judge ruled my ex had contributed more than I had in raising our children. I despise Massachusetts and wish I had never set foot in this Puritan Hell of a state.
It's Time for the Alimony Law to Change!
Posted by Bob | Jun. 30, 2009 at 2:26 PM
Alimony laws in Mass. are absurd. There should be a limit to the number of years alimony should apply. I will be forced to cancel my retirement because of Mass. laws. After working 40+ years a person should be able to retire at the standard retirement age without the burden of alimony.
The Easiest Solution Is
Posted by Robert | Jun. 30, 2009 at 2:38 PM
The courts, lawyers, and legislators are never going to admit that they are running a scam based on fabricated entitlements. Everyone is free to conduct themselves as they see fit in their marriage and the state does not intrude. It's a matter of constitutional privacy.If the support of an ex-spouse is so important to the state, why don't they pass a law that says everybody who is married has to have their own individual financial resources to ensure their future? Stupid idea? So is alimony. Let every man young and old take note. DO NOT SIGN YOUR NAME TO A MARRIAGE LICENSE. Problem solved.
child support just another scam
Posted by Nancy | Jun. 30, 2009 at 2:55 PM
Alimony and child support work the same. There is no accountablility. My husband pays over half his net pay to his ex. His ex never traveled before the divorce but she has taken 3-4 vacations each year once child support started including a Bermuda cruise. The money is not used on the children. My husband was "assigned" an income by the judge, who never took into consideration that my husband married (a widow and stay at home mom) who was supporting 3 kids on her own. My husband's wage assignment was determined by my assets with my first husband. How's that for a scam? A widow has to pay for an adulterous woman and her luxurious lifestyle! The judges, lawyers and women who use the system to abuse honest hard working men and their new wives don't want the system to change. They are all a bunch of immoral thieves.
Sen. Cynthia Creem Needs to Go
Posted by Anonymous | Jun. 30, 2009 at 2:58 PM
Why is a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee ALSO a divorce lawyer? This woman has vowed to kill efforts to reform alimony laws - because she will make less money. Let's vote her out of office and end this revolting corruption. She represents Newton.
MA alimony laws hurts families
Posted by Anonymous | Jun. 30, 2009 at 3:01 PM
Thank you, Steve Hittner for working so diligently on making this change happen. I am a second wife of a man who is forced to pay an obscene amount of money to an ex-spouse who no longer works and spends all of her time traveling when not residing in her 5-story Beacon Hill townhouse. To make alimony,my husband works non-stop, he is rarely home to spend time with our 5-month old daughter and the stress he is under is unimaginable. Sadly, he takes multiple medications to manage the stress he is under, and I see the physical toll this is taking on him each and every day. He has told me that he constantly thinks about how hard he has worked over his lifetime and how little he has to show for it. We have no idea how to plan for our future because the harder he works and more successful he is (and the less she works and the less successful she is) the more she is entitled to. We have no idea how we will save for our daughter's education or how we will ever retire. He is a wonderful, hard wo
Alimony law in Mass is no law at all.
Posted by Pants | Jun. 30, 2009 at 3:26 PM
Alimony law in Mass are no laws at all. Just a bunch of misplaced practices that are brutally unfair. I was married for 10 years (I moved out in year 8 and presently live in TX). Based on the current 'rules' in Mass I will pay for 40 years after only a 10 year marriage (40 is my remaining life expectancy). I will pay out $2.76 million over those 40 years (assuming I do not go bankrupt which is very possible at the present time). My x says she will never work. She just laughs at the prospect of working. She too drives a BMW and has a college degree. Thank God there is now a judge from the Mass law establishment who is subject to this same brutality. Perhaps with his special status he can get some justice and, at the same time, secure some rational reform of this terrible system. Massachusetts used to be a nice place to live. Not anymore.
A "second wife's" perspective
Posted by Kay | Jun. 30, 2009 at 3:35 PM
In 2005 I married a man who had divorced his wife the year prior and was sentenced to lifetime alimony; she had become "injured" at work just one week prior to the alimony hearing so her judgment was based on her having no income. Both of their children were adults. What is most frustrating about our situation is that I waived my right to alimony during my own divorce nine years ago despite the fact that I had two young children; I have never believed that an adult should be dependent upon another adult to support them after divorce. Yet now my income can be used to support my husband's non-working ex-wife's alimony? Incredibly unfair, unjust, and in my opinion unconstitutional. My husband would have gladly paid for training, education, or rehabilitative alimony for his ex-wife but she has refused to seek work and in fact turned down jobs that she was offered through his extensive business contacts. Senator Creem may be assuming that all women are treated like Carmella Soprano dur
The Massachusetts Lie
Posted by Jean | Jun. 30, 2009 at 3:50 PM
Thanks for exposing this "Massachusetts Lie". There is no such thing as Divorce here. You are tied financially to an ex forever. I am a 2nd Wife who has had to work 2 jobs to help my husband pay his ex-wife who refuses to support herself. This long-term Alimony is Marital Welfare and it is destroying lives and families. I hope that every legislator on Beacon Hill will read this article and act immediately to fix this system - It is BROKEN...
lifetime alimony is unfair
Posted by Anonymous | Jun. 30, 2009 at 4:12 PM
It's really ironic that they made new laws to stop people from abusing welfare in Massachusetts. They now have a program that helps people go out and learn skills and get to work in a certain amount of time and then they cut off benefits...yet it's ok for husbands to pay alimony to lazy ex wives who absolutely have the ability to work but choose not to so they can live off of their cash cow forever and the courts let them get away with it. Many have live in boyfriends who reap the benefits of that check paid by their girlfriends ex husband. Imagine being married 22 years...having your wife decide that Keno is great fun to the tune of spending her own children's college fund that you've put together and charging up credit card debt that you work three jobs to pay off because she refuses to work...yet has plenty of time and energy for her extrimarital affair. You go to court and she gets granted lifetime alimony so she has plenty of cash to gamble for the rest of your life and money t
lifetime alimony is unfair (cont)
Posted by Anonymous | Jun. 30, 2009 at 4:18 PM
and money to vacation in Rome while you still pay all the bills for the kids who you have custody of and not only your residence but hers too! Nice state we live in. Thank you all for coming together and trying to make some changes. This has just been so unfair to so many hard working people.
Lifetime alimony - there is another option
Posted by Anonymous | Jun. 30, 2009 at 5:06 PM
I have paid for 14 years and see no end in sight. I carry two households (my present home with disabled spouse) and the full household expenses of my ex-wife and her lifestyle of travel and boyfriends. For 6 years I have lived close to bankruptcy, working two jobs and saving zero, and constantly on the edge of losing my mind over it. I have seriously contemplated suicide and, if Massachusetts cannot fix this soon I am prepared for it. I cannot see the value in continuing when there is no quality of life and no possibility of ever retiring. Ending things on a planned schedule assures life insurance is paid to my current spouse without threat of my ex getting it. My currrent wife will get some measure of security and we will be rid of the Massachusetts terror of choosing alimony payments over prescription drugs needed late in life.
I'm just wondering.....
Posted by Kathy | Jun. 30, 2009 at 5:08 PM
Judges, and in fact the Mass laws, are so concerned with an alimony recipient maintaining the lifestyle he or she had when married. I just want to know why a alimony payer isn't entitled to the same. When a woman is a home maker, isn't part of her "job" as home maker maintaining the home? So my husband and I pay his ex permanent alimony and get nothing at all in return. Why is she not required to do her job if we are paying her a salary? When is it our turn to maintain the lifestyle his ex has maintained using our money? The closer we get to retirement age, the more nervous we become. Will we be forced to give her half of the retirement fund we worked so hard to put away for our "golden" years? Permanent alimony is unfair on all levels. It needs to end!
Before it is too late
Posted by Anonymous | Jun. 30, 2009 at 6:01 PM
I am a second wife, and I can attest that my husband (who pays a ridiculous amount of alimony to his ex-wife) had contemplated suicide many times. He is saddened that he cannot support his new family in the way he would like to and feels that he is a total failure due to his inability to save a dime. I hope this law is changed before it is too late. For better or for worse, men attach a lot of importance to being a successful breadwinner for their families. When this is not possible due to alimony commitments, the psychological impact (let alone the economic realities) is totally devastating.
I TOO wish I hadn't waived my right to Alimony 5 years ago...
Posted by Anonymous | Jun. 30, 2009 at 6:10 PM
How is it that my ex-spouse of 14 years can get remarried, live off his full-time working 2nd wife & basically not work and get a 70% reduction in his child support (since he widdled down his income) AFTER he and I negotiated a 50/50 parenting schedule for our 4 dependent children 5 years ago BUT my fiance has to pay $12,000 a month in Alimony to a woman who is an educated healthcare provider that has chosen NOT to work. Interestingly enough, it was Judge Keamy who has refused his requests for a Modification (a reduction, not eliminate) 2 times...glad to hear that Rudolph Pierce will have his day in front of the Appellate Court and Judge Keamy will be exposed. If child support can be reduced for economic hardship, why don't the same principles apply to Alimony, especially during these times of economic and financial hardship that all of us are experiencing, except the ex-spouse who can continue to receive $144,000 a year for Jazzercise, reading, watching TV & catching up with friends
More Hell to Come
Posted by Anonymous | Jun. 30, 2009 at 7:04 PM
I fully anticipate the Massachusetts senate to kill the upcoming alimony bill - the greedy lawyers, man-hating feminists and aged judges with 1950's mentalities will work hard to make this happen as not to upset the status quo. Judges like Stahlin appear to have no idea that women and men are equal breadwinners in families and if they decide part ways and both are highly qualified professionals they should man-up and woman-up and care for themselves. Both of my children are fully grown and emancipated (one married and the other is 25 and in grad school), my ex has a PhD and had a 95K job until Judge Stahlin awarded her my money. She, at 52, has now quit working and lives the life I had hoped upon retirement (which will come never for me). Thanks to Stahlin!
Thanks for getting the word out
Posted by Christine | Jun. 30, 2009 at 7:42 PM
This article was very informative. People need to speak out against such antiquated laws and practices in Massachusetts. Don't be silent. Contact your senators and representatives, tell them you want to see change. The 1950's are long gone. In most cases both spouses work, both have the capacity to support themselves.
What an Eye Opener
Posted by Anonymous | Jun. 30, 2009 at 8:29 PM
I am speachless! As a woman in the planning stags to marry a man who was divorced in MA - I now have to stop and think if I want to get myself into such a bizarre system. I also don't understand how it is not a conflict of interest to have a Cynthia Creem as a family law attorney able to even give an opinion on a bill that would limit here income. Where is the common sense in all this?
Posted by Anonymous | Jun. 30, 2009 at 9:40 PM
I am also a male who was granted a dealth sentence, "Lifetime Alimony". I should have left this state when I was handed that sentence....If the laws aren't changed in Massachusetts can bet, I won't be in this country for much longer! BEWARE... Think Twice...Matrimony in this state could equal Alimony!
Thank you Steve HItner
Posted by Anonymous | Jul. 1, 2009 at 4:45 AM
..for your diligent work on this cruel and unfair system. And continuing to get the story out. I watch my husband struggle to survive while his ex, who chose to leave him for another man after several extra marital affairs. Kids in their late 20s at the time, she was still awarded enough alimony to never have to work. Marital assets were split and she's squandered it all. Now, we'd like to plan our retirement (or divorce depending on the financial outcome). Her boyfriends come and go and benefit from his alimony as well. She's capable of supporting herself. Due to the stress of this arrangement she'll out live my husband! Then she can live off of his pension and retirement funds that she was also awarded. In any other state, her alimony would have ended by now, and she would be supporting herself (or remarried so someone else can support her).
Sen. Cynthia Creem: Do Walk Away Wives Deserve Lifetime Alimony?
Posted by Anonymous | Jul. 1, 2009 at 5:23 AM
How can Sen. Cynthia Creem support lifetime alimony when a wife can walk out of her 30 year marriage, abandoning her husband and children. In "no-fault" divorce, there is nothing that the supportive, loving spouse can do to save the marriage. No-fault divorce is a unilateral ticket to exiting the marriage, forcing the loyal spouse to pay the "walk-away" wife one-half of his after tax income. My ex-wife does not work by her choice. She does not need to work after getting half of our life savings, two-thirds of my retirement savings, and alimony. Sen. Creem wants to maintain the financial system that encourages non-working spouses to bolt their marriages.
contact your reps in the State House
Posted by Anonymous | Jul. 1, 2009 at 6:33 AM
In addition to kvetching about this despicable place, everyone here must contact their senators and reps and pass on this article and insist on change NOW. AND tell your reps that Senator Cynthia Creem cannot be allowed to have her way on this matter simply because it benefits her financially. Sen. Creem and her greed will be exposed.
Why twice?
Posted by jay | Jul. 1, 2009 at 6:39 AM
I like the support of the 2nd wifes, but why did those dumbasses get married twice in the same state knowing the chance of another divorce? Dumbasses.
Posted by Anonymous | Jul. 1, 2009 at 7:27 AM
It's amazing that as a nation we are evolved enough to elect an president, yet still think women cannot work. Thank you Boston Magazine for exposing this horrendous truth.
Entitlement to alimony is ridiculous
Posted by Anonymous | Jul. 1, 2009 at 7:29 AM
The courts continue say that one class of individuals is entitled to maintain their "standard" of living at the expense of another human being's labor - this sounds like slavery to me. Why are these former spouses so special? If their husbands had gotten sick or died they would have to manage, etc. Life happens to most of us. Alimony is punitive, sexist, unjust and antiquated and it does not allow for the actual dissolution of these marriages. Alimony should only be provided for a set purpose (rehabilitative, etc.) and it should always be finite. The only exception is if the person is truly impaired and even then why not just award them 100% of the marital estate and stop the alimony.
Response to Jay's Comment
Posted by Kari | Jul. 1, 2009 at 8:55 AM
Some of us "dumbasses" didn't get married once or twice in Massachusetts, but made the horrendous mistake of moving here to take a job and unwittingly became a victim of the outdated Massachusetts courts presided over by overworked judges who never bother to find the true facts and bottom-feeder lawyers who take advantage of families in stress and turmoil. My judge, Stahlin, put absolute nonsense into the findings of fact. One of the most ludicrous being an alleged sexual affair with a woman who at the time stated in the findings was have a hysterectomy in Atlanta. I had no money left to appeal since I was paying the full cost of my daughter's college since my ex refused to contribute her court-ordered half.
Alimony Laws Need to be Updated
Posted by Deb | Jul. 1, 2009 at 9:28 AM
If I read this article correctly, there is no clear law in MA – what about equal treatment under the law? This legislation must pass, from what I read, recipients will have plenty of opportunity for education and training. Also, Cynthia Creem needs a reality check! The medium income in MA is $64,000 and alimony is handed out frequently even to the working class man cripling him financially for life and discouraging their ex's to even try to be self-sufficient. To state "But for their spouses, they wouldn't be where they are today," she says. "They brought up their children or helped with their businesses or entertained their associates." What makes her think that father’s didn’t participate in bringing up their childrern, that is insulting. For a family with a $64,000 income wouldn’t entertaining their associates amount to everyone bringing a ttheir share of potato salad to a cook-out, or a potluck supper? Of course she may have a different view because of the wealth she earn
the next step
Posted by Michael | Jul. 1, 2009 at 9:42 AM
If our legislation fails due to Sen. Creem's If our legislation fails due to Sen. Creem’s efforts we will take this matter to the voters as a ballot referendum. I assure you Sen. Creem’s next election will be very difficult. It will be my pleasure to do everything within the Law to see her next election effort fail. She should recuse herself from this matter. The other 72 Co-Sponsors should investigate a conflict of interest ASAP. My Ex-wife walk away from our family and marriage for someone she felt was better than I. Now he’s left her and I pay for Life. 2 of the three children were not mine, she had a previous marriage that didn’t last ours lasted long enough for her to get lifetime alimony. This is wrong.
Horror stories from MA
Posted by Anonymous | Jul. 1, 2009 at 9:46 AM
Mass Alimony Reform has compiled a set of horror stories - about 40 of them. A prominent divorce lawyer said he takes them "with a grain of salt." That is, he doesn't quite believe them. Read them on and send to your legislators.
A little math and equal treatment
Posted by Anonymous | Jul. 1, 2009 at 10:10 AM
Fascinating! Thank you Steve Walsh and the 72 other legislators for sponsoring this bill, atleast there is a little common sense on the Hill. Why is it that the State of MA doesn’t have a formula for alimonly? Why is it that the State of MA doesn’t think that an alimony recipient can obtain adequate education and training during the transition period, the reform bill calls for up to 12 years of transitional alimony – you can get an MD in 8 to 10 years. I agree if a divorcee is older, 55 + they need help, but can’t Beacon Hill and Cynthia Creem do a little math? Half the 401K and retirement accounts, usually the house, Social Security at 65, hmm, 55 + 12 brings the recipient up to 67. How many MA seniors have part time jobs to make end meet. Perhaps MA legislations and Ms Creem need to brush up on their history, the Declaration of Independence states that “all men are created equal” of course, the alimony recipient in MA is entitled to a much more equal treatment than the alimony
We Left Boston
Posted by | Jul. 1, 2009 at 11:26 AM
For 2 reasons: the winters and this horrifying mess. I am a second wife and I've had my fill. His ex filed for MORE money from us the month I started chemo for breast cancer. Why? She gave away money to a man on the internet who told her he was in "nigerian oil." Never met the guy, but gave him 20K. A few months later we were asked for help with her "financial difficulties," which also includes spending money like a drunken sailor.
Say it ain't so!
Posted by Anonymous | Jul. 1, 2009 at 12:15 PM
The current law is total nonsense. It's time this state brings the law into the 21st century.
Thank you Steve Hitner and Mass Alimony
Posted by Anonymous | Jul. 1, 2009 at 1:43 PM
Thank you for exposing the current law or should I say lack of law that continues strangle good people with this form of marital welfare. People must understand that we are talking about alimony NOT child-support. My walk-away bride decided that after 23 years she just didn't want to be married anymore. She needed to move on. Our children were adults on their own when she left me to live with another woman. She now cohabitates with and is in a gay relationship.They live together in a nice home in Maine. My divorce papers say that I must pay alimony until she either dies or re-marries. Even with gay marriages now being legal, what incentive does she have to marry knowing that her alimony would stop. She is well educated (which I helped to pay)but does not work. I have been paying alimony for 14 years now and don't know how I will be ever able to retire. I have been to three lawyers each one telling me that I don't have a leg to stand on. They say its all about the money. Not about what
Overhaul overdue - MA leads world on some issues, lags by decades on this one
Posted by Anonymous | Jul. 1, 2009 at 1:48 PM
It is ironic that MA law can be a beacon of light, pioneering issues such as gay marriage and universal healthcare, yet is stuck in the stone age on alimony. As opposed to guidelines that foster growth toward adult self sufficiency and mutual independence, MAs antiquated alimony laws encourage exactly the opposite. On one hand they remain rooted in antiquated notions of divorced women as fragile creatures incapable of and unexpected to work, and on the other hand the laws infantilize women as requiring perpetual handouts to survive. In fact, the only “exit ramp” to perpetual alimony specifically provided for by MA law (apart from death) is for the alimony recipient to remarry. This simultaneously demeans women as chattels while providing a powerful incentive to cheat the system under the ever popular double-dipping loophole of co-habitation. Laws around the country and around the world have progressively been updated to recognize the need for temporary alimony with a structured fo
Overhaul overdue - MA leads world on some issues, lags by decades on this one
Posted by Anonymous | Jul. 1, 2009 at 1:49 PM
… more … Replace the existing fuzzy web of punitive, counterproductive alimony laws with a specific and concise set that recognizes the capabilities and responsibilities of men and women in today’s society within a time-limited framework that both requires them and incents them to become functional, independent, self sufficient adults.
Where is the justice in these laws ?
Posted by Anonymous | Jul. 1, 2009 at 2:04 PM
It seems to me that divorce in Massachusetts has some how become a lucrative business where only lawyers and very savvy spouses stand to profit. If the original purpose of these laws was to protect the individuals involved than it has clearly strayed very far from that. Individuals who are fully capable of supporting themselves aren’t doing so at the expense of an ex-spouse that can hardly support his or herself. Who are these laws protecting? To add further insult to injury, the court is forcing 2nd wives to pay the alimony to their spouses ex. Why is there no provisions to protect theses women and their hard earned income? Are they any less entitled to standard of living that they are accustomed to simply because they choosing to pay for that living themselves? We need to stop punishing people for moving on with your lives and start helping all parties to do so constructively and fairly.
Cynthia Stone Creem
Posted by Peter | Jul. 1, 2009 at 2:11 PM
So let me get this straight. The legislator, Cynthia Stone Creem, who will have the final vote on this is herself a Divorce Lawyer? A divorce lawyer whose business relies on the gravy train of eternal alimony modifications/remodifications under the current system? Isn't that like putting Ahmedinajad in charge of the Iranian vote?
Laws for the Wrong Century
Posted by Kate | Jul. 1, 2009 at 2:54 PM
As an accomplished career-woman I am the primary breadwinner, "higher-earner" as the article calls it, in my marriage. My husband of 16 years is a good man and a brilliant musician however he makes less than a third of what I make. Under the current alimony laws, if he were to divorce me tomorrow, I would owe him lifetime alimony. He could theoretically spend every day of the next 45 years partying on the beach with women half his age, and I would be sentenced to continue working 60 hours weeks in the office, and send him alimony checks every month until the day I die. How does this law make any sense? How is it that the person who initiates the divorce is owed any alimony to start with? How is rewarding people who move to end their marriages serve any kind of public policy? How is this intended to strengthen existing marriages when the lesser-earning spouses are given such a cash-out incentive?
So much wrong with divorce court in MA
Posted by Todd | Jul. 1, 2009 at 3:19 PM
I'm glad to see these stories finally in print, particularly with names of judges! Kaplan is one of many who have established a reputation of demolishing businesses, careers, and retirements. If most divorces are "no-fault" actions, why is there always a big loser as a result? I sincerely hope the author of this story decides to write this as a series of what's wrong with our corrupt divorce system, and who is actually making money of other peoples misery!
I don't live in Massachusetts, Jay
Posted by Karen | Jul. 1, 2009 at 3:43 PM
Hey Jay--FYI, I have lived in Maine my entire life, no desire whatsoever to move to the Bay State (although I do like to visit). But since I married a man who had been divorced in Massachusetts and was sentenced to lifetime alimony, the alimony laws from Massachusetts also affect me, a lifetime Mainer. As to why I chose to get married again...we were in love and wanted to have a child. I wouldn't change things, but I would have encouraged my husband to invest more money in a better divorce attorney. I wonder how Senator Creem would like to pay a non-working ex-spouse 30K a year for the rest of her life, after she departed the marriage because her spouse was gay? It's not fun. I can't vote in Massachusetts, but I hope everyone who can will work hard to prevent her re-election.
Get the transcripts from court and publish them I dare you!
Posted by Michael | Jul. 1, 2009 at 4:11 PM
I will give the transcripts from my divorce to any media outlet that will publish it. I guarantee you will be shocked how many ways, times and threats I was told I would be jailed by the judge. Then told I advise you and your attorney to take this offer and threaded my attorney if he pursued a time limit any further he would regret it. You will truly be shocked this happens in America I promise you.
Impeach Creem
Posted by 617SadDads | Jul. 1, 2009 at 4:50 PM
Divorce for lawyers = big money Most legislator are Lawyers Creem is both, time for her to go Lets Impeach this peace of work
A view from a man
Posted by Mr. X | Jul. 1, 2009 at 5:10 PM
As a male wholeheartedly against marriage in this day and age, I must state I support Mizz. Cynthia Stone Creem. Alimony should not be eliminated or, otherwise, reformed. IN FACT, it is my dearest wish that alimony becomes even more ruinous to men. Why? Because sometimes the only way a mule can understand something is by whacking it in the head with a 2" x 4" piece of lumber. In other words, if there are men who cannot figure it out now that marriage in the West, in this day and age, is a VERY BAD decision then maybe if the penalties become so extreme they will get the hint.
The Honorable Cynthia Stone Creem (D- First Middlesex and Norfolk)
Posted by Anonymous | Jul. 1, 2009 at 6:14 PM
Creem is one of the biggest obstacles to family court reform and must go. Residents of Newton, Brookline and Wellesley - wake up and vote her out. Contact her office and tell her you are going to do just that: 617.722.1639
40 Years old $54,000.00 yr gross $700.00 month for life
Posted by Anonymous | Jul. 1, 2009 at 6:49 PM
need I say more!
Alimony = Civil Liberties Matter
Posted by Anonymous | Jul. 1, 2009 at 7:34 PM
Why all this pussyfooting around? Alimony has no place in the 21st century, and must go the way of slavery and indentured servitude. As the above commenter said, if the one of the soon to be ex spouses needs the money, or is disabled, simply give him/her 100% of the marital estate and get it done with! Any kind of lifetime arrangement where the State has to police people for the rest of their lifetimes via monthly payments via garnishments, contempt jailings, etc is nothing less than running a POLICE STATE. This is a civil liberties matter. Abolish Alimony!
Spencer Kagan
Posted by Anonymous | Jul. 1, 2009 at 9:04 PM
Kaplan is no prize but by far the worst offender in Middlesex Probate Court is "judge" spencer kagan. Not fit for the job.
Bullets are cheap.
Posted by Anonymous | Jul. 2, 2009 at 12:07 AM
Posted by blinderzoff | Jul. 2, 2009 at 1:42 AM
This isn't just a MA problem. What we call marriage isn't marriage anymore, it is what we used to call "going steady", i.e. you are together until you decide to break up. However, it is also a binding legal contract upon the male party to provide consideration to the female party without any consideration in return. Any such contract in any other context would be summarily dismissed as invalid.
Posted by pclemsc | Jul. 2, 2009 at 2:53 AM
A mere generation ago, Nazis slaughtered Jews by the millions. Now the descendents of those Jews are MA judges, who have become the Nazis persecuting men and fathers in MA. Der Schwestershaft Uber Alles!
Posted by pclemsc | Jul. 2, 2009 at 3:03 AM
What is alimony (and child support, for that matter) but a Communistic "TRANSFER OF WEALTH" scheme, taking money from men and giving it to women? Judges like Kaplan are a disgrace, but, unfortunately, the rule in MA, rather than the exception. AND, the fish rots from the head down. We need a Judicial Conduct Commission that works to protect the people, not the judges.
Here's Why
Posted by pclemsc | Jul. 2, 2009 at 3:19 AM
Alimony and child support reward the state and it's courts financially, thanks to federal incentive payments. MA got $55 MILLION in 2007, and the courts got $3.37 MILLION. All in excess of their legislatively allocated budget. Where does the money that the courts get, go? Some think, into a private retirement fund for the judges. So Kaplan and her ilk are trashing our constitution, ruining the lives of citizens, for thirty pieces of silver. GREEDY NAZIS, nothing more.
Lets take it to the people
Posted by Anonymous | Jul. 2, 2009 at 4:10 AM
We need to take this matter out of the lawyers and politicians hands and get it to the people to vote. Any married person that makes more money than there spouse is at risk of lifetime alimony in as little as 10 years. Your spouse could walk away from your marriage and live off you forever. Think about it. Single mothers have no chance of remarriage because the higher earning spouses don’t want to be forever indebted to the other.
How to retire in as little as 10 years
Posted by Anonymous | Jul. 2, 2009 at 4:56 AM
Go to a dating service and date only men or women that make more money than you. Make sure they are longing for the family life and the American dream. Marry them for 10 years or more. Have an open affair with someone else leave him and hire a average attorney. Bag that sucker for alimony and wahla instant retirement for life this will work every time.
The Courts are Very Broken
Posted by Anonymous | Jul. 2, 2009 at 5:41 AM
Alimony and Child Support are tools used by the Courts to ensure a constant stream of Federal Funds to the State under the Social Security Act of 1974, Title IV administered by the Dept. of Health and Human Services. What started out as a "good cause system" has turned into a money generating business and industry for the State. Judges act under the "best interest of the children" clause to extort money and assets from citizens. Family Courts are NOT about children, fairness, equality or justice .... they are ALL ABOUT MONEY. The Judges in these courts, all the way up through Chief Justice Paula Carey and Chief Justice Robert Mulligan are the real criminals destroying our families for profit. The Legislative branch of government needs to act to act immediately to curb the injustice and greed of the Courts.
Senator Cynthia Stone Creem
Posted by Anonymous | Jul. 2, 2009 at 8:07 AM
Let’s limit her term. This being the last one. She will always go back to ruining the families of Massachusetts.
Get out
Posted by Anonymous | Jul. 2, 2009 at 8:35 AM
No checks and balances. No separation of powers. The basics don't work in the Bay State. While the judiciary (which acts more like an out of control state agency than anything else) and legislature mutually gratify the other the governor sits idly be (maybe enjoying what he sees), shows NO LEADERSHIP and admittedly (based on what he has stated at recent governor council meetings) has no interested in addressing the problems with the courts. Massachusetts is hopeless. If you are a businessperson thinking of relocating why would you want to come here and subject your people (or yourself) to this? If you have the option to move out of Massachusetts why do you stay? Folks, if you are in a dysfunctional and abusive relationship (as those of us forced to deal with the Massachusetts probate and family courts are) - get out. The only thing we have going for us is the fact that Massachusetts is a small state and the border from most places in this God forsaken place is less than an hour awa
Gov Gone Wild
Posted by Anonymous | Jul. 2, 2009 at 8:37 AM
No checks and balances. No separation of powers. The basics don't work in the Bay State. While the judiciary (which acts more like an out of control state agency than anything else) and legislature mutually gratify the other the governor sits idly be (maybe enjoying what he sees), shows NO LEADERSHIP and admittedly (based on what he has stated at recent governor council meetings) has no interested in addressing the problems with the courts.
What about Lifetime Gay Alimony?
Posted by Anonymous | Jul. 2, 2009 at 9:25 AM
In another 5-6 years we are going to have the initial wave of gay marriages start reaching their 10+ year mark. Statistically, like in their hetero counterparts, some of these mid/long term marriages will also have divorces. Will these also qualify for the lifetime alimony gravy train? Will we have Peter Paying Paul for life? What will we call these: Gay for Pay?
moving out of state will not change the alimony
Posted by Anonymous | Jul. 2, 2009 at 12:05 PM
If I leave this state they will come after me anywhere in the US. once the alimony is in place you are screwed. And if you do move you must return here to get relief in the courts. If that wasn't the case I would have left this state long ago. if you wife has an affair on you pack your stuff and leave before the divorce papers and never return to the state don't file. the state must serve papers in MA to get alimony. the MA Sherif cannot server papers in another state.
My Words
Posted by Anonymous | Jul. 2, 2009 at 1:50 PM
As I read this article this close to the 4th of July I wonder. I fought for this country and still bare the scars from my service, for all the freedoms that we all enjoy, equal opportunity for all. Life was good. Had the wife the house the kids and the toys. One year all of them were gone and little did I know then my future was about to be stolen. Some nice talking guy moves on steals what he could and leaves. I’m left with bills house sell’s short bankruptcy. In 2005 I made $54,000.00 judge awarded $700.00 a month until I “DIE” or she remarries. She had previously been married and had two children already. What did I fight for?
Mass Marriage Rates Crashing
Posted by Anonymous | Jul. 2, 2009 at 2:31 PM
Look at the Mass marriage/divorce stats as reported by the Center for Disease Control (CDC): click here The Divorce rate is holding steady, but the Marriage rate is crashing fast. Can we blame men? Who the hell would want to get married with these laws?
Divorcee that has children with second wife not a change is circumstance.
Posted by Anonymous | Jul. 2, 2009 at 4:32 PM
Shame on you Legislators and judges that would allow a child to do without so an ex-wife can live the life style of the marriage she walked out on. Shame on a people that would allow the court to dictate when you can have a child. Children first right, Dam you for doing this!
Men who dont want to pay ????
Posted by Anonymous | Jul. 2, 2009 at 6:59 PM
If you think that being a wife,mother,grandmother and co-worker to an man who litterally walks around like he is the king, not only at work but at home should not pay alimony for treating his wife like crap most of their marriage and steal her money on top of it should not pay ?? Well guess what ??? He will and should !
World's Shortest Fairy Tale...
Posted by Anonymous | Jul. 2, 2009 at 9:55 PM
Once upon a time, a guy asked a girl 'Will you marry me?' The girl said, 'NO!' And the guy lived happily ever after and rode motorcycles and went fishing and hunting and played golf a lot and drank beer and scotch and had money in the bank and left the toilet seat up and farted whenever he wanted. The End
Reply to "Men who dont want to pay ????"
Posted by Anonymous | Jul. 3, 2009 at 4:44 AM
You sound very bitter because you chose to stay in a bad marriage. Alimony shound NOT be used as a form of punishment. After the marital home and assets are divided up you are free to live your life as you wish. Move on with your life and be self sufficient and don't allow yourself to be dependent on anyone but yourself. With alimony there is no such thing as a true divorce because you continue to be linked to that person. But as we all know its all about the money. Not what about what is right and just. Just look at all of the comments from this article and you can see the horror of it all. Move out and move on.
Men who dont want to pay ????
Posted by m | Jul. 3, 2009 at 6:04 AM
Not all men treat there wives like crap! Not all men walk around like King’s. He cannot force you to stay now can he? You stayed by choice. You today enjoy equal rights and want to dismiss the equal responsibility. Higher earning spouses should not be used as a ATM. Sorry for you misfortunate relationship but you do have the choice to not live like that. You cannot lump all men or women in the same situation. Life Time Alimony is wrong! I don’t say all women have affairs the their husband’s nor can you say all men treat there wives like crap! TAKE PERSONAL RESPOSIBILITY FOR YOUR SELF!
Call It What It Is - It's MARITAL WELFARE
Posted by Jean | Jul. 3, 2009 at 8:57 AM
If our legislators, like Sen Creem, truly feel that these people who refuse to support themselves should be taken care of for life, why not let them collect Government sponsored Welfare rather than break the backs of good people whose only mistake was to have a bad marriage and get divorced in Massachusetts unaware of the archaic and draconian Marital Welfare laws. Let these divorce lawyers litigate with the State as to how long and how much.
PRobate Courts
Posted by s | Jul. 3, 2009 at 12:02 PM
Kris, Excellent article bringing to light the injustices sufferend by men in Massachusetts. This is the Commonwealth's dirty little secret. It's not jsut alimony but also child support orders that are beyond a fathers ability to pay. If you're interested in a horrific story of injustice in the New Bedford Probate Court, I'm available. 49 year old father of four young adults forced into bankruptcy and forclosure. Complaint files over a year ago and still fighting this. Being court ordered to pay $723.00 a week to a married ex wife when my gross income is $900.00 a week and falling is a crime.
Yes, alimony is only part of the story
Posted by Anonymous | Jul. 3, 2009 at 12:34 PM
Take a look at how the 2009 child support (alimony in disguise since it goes beyond the child care costs) guidelines were developed for another case of how broken the Bay State is. This is a public policy matter but the guidelines task force consisted ALMOST ENTIRELY of family court judges, divorce lawyers along with *** for crying out loud *** the DOR child support commissioner. What the citizens of Massachusetts deserve is a principled approach to a serious topic. What the got instead is crass self dealing masquerading as an objective study which was then signed off by a Chief Justice of the Commonwealth. What a disgrace!
"...and entertained their associates". - ???
Posted by Anonymous | Jul. 3, 2009 at 3:48 PM
Senator Creem has a handy explanation for why ex-wives *deserve* to live off the ex-husbands that they themselves divorced until the end of time. "They brought up their children or helped with their businesses or entertained their associates". First of all, children who are brought up to adulthood is a gain for both ex-spouses, not just one. Keep in mind she was receiving full room and board, not to mention having her half of marital assets being accumulated during this time. How about his work/efforts during the marriage years, slaving away at a job? Doesn't he *deserve* something back for all those years slaving away at a JOB? No, she doesn't owe him anything in return? Second, what on earth does "supported his business and entertained his associates" mean? 95% of alimony payors are regular guys with regular JOBS These guys don't have businesses. They don't have "associates" to entertain. Does Senator Creem know what a JOB is? Her alimony-queen clients certainly don't. Thi
Corrupt Family Court System Exposed
Posted by Anonymous | Jul. 3, 2009 at 8:44 PM
Well, congratulations for this article. Alimony is a fraud and violation of the ban on involuntary servitude of the 13th amendment of the US Constitution. The corrupt judges, lawyers and entitlement queens will fight this tooth and nail. Bring 'em on!
What about the children???
Posted by Anonymous | Jul. 3, 2009 at 9:33 PM
I stayed in a marriage way to long because I did not want my kids to go through the trama of divorce. I did everything, the cooking, cleaning, laundry, caretaking of the children all while I worked my butt off full time. My divorce was in the best interest of the children and the children's safety which was clearly evident in the courts decision of awarding me sole custody and supervised visitation with their mother (whom had "5" 51A filings of abuse against her supported by DSS). However the judge also gave her lifetime alimony which after deducting the mininum child support orderd (because she works less than 20 hours per week) has put me in forclosure and in bankruptcy. I do not have the ways and means to maintain the care and wellbeing of my 4 children and yes I work 55 to 60 hours per week and she receives more than 50% of my salary (50% of my gross which is paid with from my net). I was laid off in 2008 and I filed for modification (my 6th failed attemt) and I was told if I didn'
What about the Children ???
Posted by Anonymous | Jul. 3, 2009 at 9:40 PM
If I didn't pay her I would be placed in jail. Damn you who sit back and do nothing while inocent children are being effected. You lawyers, judges and politicians who profit from this are the true criminals and you are the ones that belong in jail, have you no morals!
Sponges for life
Posted by Anonymous | Jul. 3, 2009 at 10:19 PM
And how exactly is it empowering to turn the ex into a dependent sponge ? How is this respectful to anyone - payor or payee ?
Like Fish Need a Bicycle
Posted by Anonymous | Jul. 3, 2009 at 11:06 PM
Alimony Recipients need Alimony Payors like a Fish Needs a Bicycle. Are women full-citizens capable taking care of themselves or are they chattel / child-people who need to have a man's wages garnished to fend for themselves. If the latter, I move that we revoke women's voting rights, until such a time that they prove themselves to be full-citizens. Until then, as long as ALIMONY stays on the books, such frail delicate child-persons should not be allowed to vote.
MA is Backward State
Posted by Joel | Jul. 4, 2009 at 5:58 AM
How ironic that a state which profeses equal rights and feminist causes, is so backwards when it comes to alimony support. When I got divorced a few years ago, my 36 year-old ex-wife received lifetime alimony equal to 120% of my takehome salary (I needed a second job to pay for her support along with my wife's income). My ex does not need to ever work again and refuses to utilize her skills as a registered nurse. MA is known as a progressive state yet reverts to 18th Century case law to handle alimony (treating women equivalent to chattel). We need alimony reform and this article, along with Steve Walsh's bill, makes that clear.
250 Years Ago
Posted by Anonymous | Jul. 4, 2009 at 7:19 AM
America sure has come a long way, hasn't it? 250 years ago this type of corruption by people in power would have been dealt with by the people with torches and pitchforks. They would have stormed these houses of demon worship called "family courts", stripped the judges and politicians of their power and sent them fleeing for their lives. Ok, Ok, I'm still allowed to dream aren't I? Or, has THAT freedom been taken away as well?
Protest NOW!
Posted by Anonymous | Jul. 4, 2009 at 7:58 AM
We need loud protest. I’m calling on all people in Massachusetts who could be or are currently exposed to Life Time alimony. Stop these out of touch legislators and judges from ruining the families of this state. You call us dead beat dad’s then force us to make a choice to give up our futures or raise our children to adulthood and be exposed to life time alimony. I’m frankly sick of dead beat legislators and judges whom lack the will to fix this problem! Get off your butts and get this done or move out the way and the voters will!
Posted by Anonymous | Jul. 4, 2009 at 9:33 AM
Hey ACLU maybe take a break from helping terrorist kill us and illegal immigrants from robbing us blind and look at this! I wrote a letter as is the procedure to ask for help from the ACLU. They returned with a letter that said “sounds like its unfair but the ACLU cannot help every cause! You should hire a lawyer and go back to Court! $54,000.00 a year and $700.00 a month alimony? Where is the left over money to pay a lawyer?
Chris Rock on Alimony ...
Posted by Anonymous | Jul. 4, 2009 at 3:41 PM
Chris Rock: "When it’s time to get a divorce, women got it made. You go to court, start talkin’ that sh?t. “I’m used to this, I’m used to that. I’m accustomed to this.” What the f&ck is accustomed? Whats that got to do with sh!t? You go to a restaurant, you accustomed to eatin’. You leave, you ain’t eatin’ no more. They don’t owe you a steak. What about what the man’s used to? It might not be money, but during the course of a relationship, a man grows accustomed to a few things. I would love to see a man go to court and say, “Your honor, check this out. I’m accustomed to f@ckin’ her four times a week. Now I feel I should be able to f@ck her at least twice a week. I mean she can have the alimony, but I want some p**** payments.”
Reply to "Men do not want to pay???
Posted by Katharine | Jul. 5, 2009 at 7:32 PM
I too was in an emotionally abusive marriage for 14 years and 4 children but I decided to leave and the BEST thing I could have done for my self-confidence, sense of self-worth and independence was to go back to work full-time and eventually become almost fiscally self-supporting - with the assistance of a bit of child support. No person, man or woman, should be financially dependent on anyone for their whole lives. Assistance is often necessary if disability & small children are involved, but trust me "living a new life well & happy" without the anger and being dependent on a loser is MUCH better. Resentment is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die!
Senator Creem Must Get the Message
Posted by Anonymous | Jul. 5, 2009 at 8:31 PM
It's almost Monday morning. The enemy of alimony reform, divorce lawyer and State Sen. Cynthia Creem, needs to hear from constituents (Wellesley, Newton, Brookline) on 1. voting on legislation in which she has a financial interest and 2. her 19th century notions of women's rights: 617.722.1639 If women are so fragile they are permanently dependent, they should not be allowed to vote. (I'm a divorced woman, never got alimony.) Believe it's okay for temporary bridge to independence.
Posted by Anonymous | Jul. 6, 2009 at 9:39 AM
Now let's discuss child support and parenting plans...I'm available...
Child support is completely different and another subject.
Posted by Anonymous | Jul. 6, 2009 at 9:49 AM
I feel for those in child support orders and no checks that the moneys are used for the child or children. this issue is completely different from support another able bodied adult.
Good, fair sense at last!
Posted by Kate | Jul. 6, 2009 at 9:52 AM
It is very refreshing to see somebody engaged in reform of divorce who neither hates women or wants to "fix" things by making them unfair in the opposite direction. Marriage is a partnership, but these legislators are confusing it with being permanent and life long - it isn't. You are not held to pay for your business partner, you should not be held to pay in perpetuity for your domestic partner. Anything more is moralizing and punishment.
if you want abusive spouses to pay the criminal court is needed
Posted by Anonymous | Jul. 6, 2009 at 9:56 AM
if you want abusive spouses to pay then the criminal courts need to be brought in. not Probate & Family court. where nothing has to be proven. Probate & family court should be for what it was intended. to protect families and children. most often there are two sides to the abuse story.
Why No-Fault-Alimony, when 67-75% of divorces are filed by one gender alone?
Posted by Anonymous | Jul. 6, 2009 at 10:28 AM
According to the CDC 67 to 75% of all divorces are initiated by the female spouse. According to the IRS, 96% of all alimony is paid by male ex-spouses. When this is the case, why do we have No-Fault-Alimony on the books? Why is the party that is overwhelmingly breaking the marriage getting paid to do so? I understand that these laws were put in place in the 19th/mid-20th centuries where the popularized image of divorce was that of the lecherous middle-aged male spouse, running off with his secretary. Nowadays, the tables seemed to have turned. With such an overwhelming majority of divorces filed by women (running off with dance instructors / poolboys nowithstanding), should we be reexaminaning the whole concept of No-Fault-Alimony?
The Good Men Project
Posted by Thomas | Jul. 6, 2009 at 12:20 PM
More than a decade ago I too got a raw deal in a divorce both in terms of custody and money in MA family court. I applaud this reporting but think there is another equally important and related issue that isn't anti-mother: the fact that so many men truly are trying to be the best dads, divorced or not, that they can while juggling work, relationship, and the myriad of pressures from the economic melt-down to foreign wars. Amidst it all the media consistently paints men as either Navy Seals or idiots, not the normal guys we all are. Tom Matlack
Good Men and Good Women should Stand Up and Change this CORRUPT system
Posted by David | Jul. 6, 2009 at 1:22 PM
I am amazed at the reaction to this article. All of us that have gone thru a divorce have been victimized by the corrupt and completely and truly ridiculous system. If the Good People in MA want to see healthy families, we have to create a healthy system that allows people to get divorced with integrity and responsibility. Instead of getting angry and frustrated, why don't we pick up the mantle here and now and say hell no, we won't take it anymore and we want a just and fair system in Probate Court just as our criminal system strives to do. Having found this article via the and being a fan, I think its the perfect venue to continue mobilizing for CHANGE. We may be a liberal state but we treat high income earners like criminals while the other party and the divorce attorneys laugh at the joke that the whole thing has become. It's truly sad. I say, THE GOOD MEN PROJECT should take the lead and all men and women should look at the Good Work that's already being done by t
Continued from before
Posted by David | Jul. 6, 2009 at 1:24 PM
the and the Good Men Foundation.
Thank Guys
Posted by Franklin | Jul. 6, 2009 at 3:54 PM
Yet another reason i'll never get married
Replace Sen. Cynthia Creem
Posted by Mike | Jul. 6, 2009 at 4:52 PM
This long-term Alimony is Marital Welfare. At some point people need to take responsbi,ity for their own lives.
I love a parade
Posted by Anonymous | Jul. 6, 2009 at 6:37 PM
Can someone please tell me when Sen Creem's next parade appearance will be ? It might be an opportunity to make our views known to her.
You don't need a parade to confront Creem.
Posted by Anonymous | Jul. 6, 2009 at 7:01 PM
You don't need to wait for a parade. Call her office. Send her an email. Call everyone you know who lives in Newton, Wellesley, Brookline and have THEM call her! ALSO, file a complaint in the State House- She is a divorce lawyer with direct financial interest in the law itself. She CANNOT also vote on it or vote to kill it! WRite to your legislators and have THEM contact her. Call anyone you know in the media about her and this conflict of interest.
Senator Creem's Entire Career is a conflict of interest
Posted by Anonymous | Jul. 6, 2009 at 8:07 PM
this is her bio from her law firm website. She is also chair or co-chair of the Judiciary Committe. WTF?? Reminds of Dick Cheney getting a pension from Haliburton while they got multi-billion $$ contrax. Her Bio: Ms. Creem is a member of both the Boston Bar Association and the Massachusetts Bar Association where she has served as the Chair of the Family Law Section since 1996. She is also a Women's Bar Association Fellow. In 2005, Ms. Creem was selected to be one of Boston Magazine's Super Lawyers in the area of Family Law. OF COURSE SHE DOESN"T WANT ALIMONY LAW TO CHANGE!! She's in charge of keeping it vague and costly.
File complaint against "super lawyer" Creem with State Ethics Commission
Posted by Anonymous | Jul. 6, 2009 at 8:47 PM
File your complaint here at the State Ethics Commission website: click here Nothing new here really and her alliances with the judiciary and the bar associations (they LOVE her) explain what is going on. This is business as usual for Cindy Creem and has been pointed out her entire career is a conflict of interest. Her constituents apparently are OK with this, think she is doing a good job and see no reason for change. From what I can tell she has run UNOPPOSED in 2008, 2006 and 2002. In 2004 she won with about 80% of the vote.
alimony in SC
Posted by Anonymous | Jul. 6, 2009 at 9:32 PM
I am currently a victim of periodic alimony in SC. I feel that permanent lifetime alimony is very unjust. I have been divorced from ex-wife for 9 years and separated for 11 yrs. I have paid her over $100,000 in alimony in the last 9 years. I recently retired from my job after 33 years of very hard labor, long hours, and declining health. I had no choice but to retire as my job became too hard for me to continue due to my health. My understanding was that when I retired my ex would get part of my retirement and the alimony would cease. My ex currently earns about $3,350 per month(now including pension+alimony). My income from MY portion of my retirement is now down to $2,445 per month. It is totally unjust that I should have to continue to pay alimony to someone who is grossing $900 more per month than me and that I should be enslaved to support an ex-spouse 10 years after our divorce! I cannot get closure because I am permanently yoked to my ex.

The Hardcore, Cold Truth

The fact is that if 50/50 joint physical custody were the rule rather than the exception in family court; then billable litigation would be significantly reduced, the child support services department would need to be downsized, the domestic violence industry would lose the customers that it gets with the incentive for mothers to make up false allegations as a court strategy, the state would lose Federal Title IV-D funding that it gets by turning every family break up into a welfare case, and radical feminist groups would lose the uneven playing field that they have worked so hard to obtain with their rhetoric that constitutional rights should not apply to men in family court because they are all violent, evil monsters.

-Kevin Thompson

Crony, as in CORRUPT

David Stockman on Crony Capitalism from on Vimeo.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Living a Nightmare

Child Support Reform Supporters share their stories:

I dated a girl for two weeks. She got pregnant. First she said she would have an abortion that I paid for. When I learned that she didn’t do it, she aid she spent the money. She then said she was giving it up for adoption. I filled out pages and pages of paperwork for the adoption agency. Then, months later, I was sued for Child Support - she lied again. It ruined my life. I have no job and no money anymore because of this. When I am lucky enough to get a job, they take 51% of my checks immediately, making it impossible to live. No DNA Test was done even though I requested it. She was with other men as well as me I later found out. I want this to be over before I kill myself.

I have been with Mike for four years, we have a three year old son together and between us 3 daughters. His ex-wife used the child support system to make his life a living hell. She calls every week if not every day, works under the table so they can’t track her money, uses the child support to go out and party with, she doesn’t even take care of her children, her sister and mother do. All she cares about is the money, she does not care about the kids and things became even worse three years ago when both her daughters said they wanted to come live with us….well I don’t blame them considering everyother week its a different man being brought around them. The child support system is corrupt, it screws men and women alike that have to pay….it takes the side of the parent with the children and does not consider that they may be abusing the system…..I could only hope that the whole thing is taken away. I know personally I have paid for my own daughter…she is 18 years old and I have never gotten a dime nor did I ask for one…screw that crap and screw him…she is mine and I did it on my own…I have the right to say she is what she is because of me.

Lets see I owe 50,000 dollars went through 5 years of depresion 4 years with out my driving license 4 years with out my occupational license all my recreational licences mean while my kids were spending more time with me then they were there mothers in the end i was forced to join them cause i sure as hell couldnt beat them.i went on tanf. cause that was the only way to get my license back so i could get my kids back and fourth cause by tyhis time i had custody of them ive never recieived a penny in support anyway i will be in debt for ever with this child support and soon they will take all my licences once again.thats just part of my story the story of destroying the man i was and now im this person that will never own or have anything but ia bill that will never get payed.if ever laws needed to be changed.maybe some 1 needs to take a closer look at the big picture and realize maybe its the mothers that should be paying as well for money they didnt realy need cause they should of stayed home where they were well taken care of.Its to easy for a woman to leave get set up in a house and have an all expences paid vacation.

I’ve been a slave to child support for over 30 yrs. now. Long story but the fact remains that slavery was not abolished with the Emancipation Proclomation.

I took care of my kids all their life while their mother, did what ever it is she was doing including stripping. My girlfriend took time out of work to help take care of my kids. ater seven years my ex decided to take the kids and immidiately reinstated child support she had filed while the kids were with me and my girlfriend. Now I OWE $30,000 plus in back child support and pay $600 per month on my $15 dollars an hour paycheck. i never went to court they just started taking money out of my check.
At one point after i realized she had filed for support while I had the kids and she was collecting public aid, I confranted her and she ended up signing an agreement with me that said I didn’t owe any child support and didn;t have to pay anymore, IT WAS SIGNED AND NOTORIZED . But now the child support claims it lost even though it shows I had a zero balance since the time we signed the agreement. SO now i have to pay for her and her husbands living expenses. Whatever happened to good old America?

Jess E Liles Jr, on December 6th, 2010 at 9:55 pm

I have been in the court system for over 4 years, and paid thousands to attorneys, this current system is broke and needs immediate reform! New Mexico is the worst state in the union as far as being corrupt goes, and will openly will tell you, that the system is broke, but its the best we got……Sorry. signing and praying!daniel Shenberger

daniel Shenberger, on December 15th, 2010 at 2:01 pm

My friend just had a hearing and has to pay child support to her ex. He makes 30.00 bucks and hour plus has a live in girlfriend who works. MY friend cant even make a car payment , plus many financial issues. These are laws that can not be black and white!
People suffer ,children always suffer.
House hold finacial studies need to be done on a case to case basis. Also taking someones license? Thats the dunbest thing I ever heard! Over the years I have heard so many stories!

i just can’t believe domestic relations anymore. i’ve been doing this 12 yrs now with no problems with paying or paying increases. but now, they are ready to increase it again. and to a point where i will be left with nothing to live off to make my own bills. i do not waste money now. and my kids are already sick of coming to my place because i cannot afford to do things with them like their mothers. it doesn’t matter to d r if you are a goodparent or a bum. i think they rather prefer you to be a bum. it’ seems like they like to ruin a parents relationship with their kid(s).

Terry Snyder, on December 28th, 2010 at 7:48 pm

As a working IT business professional and father, the child support award was so much that I had file for bankrupsy. The mother is on welfare and the county DA sued me and awarded the CP 25 percent of my net income. I asked for some custody and it was denied. I am now in arrears to the amount of $3000. They took my passport and told me that my next tax return would be confiscated. DCSS is rude, uncaring and don’t care if I survive or die. The CP want’s more money, the award was $1000.00 and uses it to buy tv’s, clothes for herself and a home. Meanwhile I sit in an appartment that I can barely afford. Something must change. The mediator was biased against me, even though the CP admitted to getting pregnant for financial gain.

Every child support case is different but when it comes to corruption CSE is one of a kind. I took on the CSE AGENCY in court without an attorney and won. they were ordered by the court to remove over$25,000.00 in arrears and interest. i had exposed their corruption and extortion, US Mail fraud, misapropriations of funds. i also had the child support reduced from over $1000.00 a month to just under $500.00 a month. it took just over four months of sudying the child support law and found the means to take them to court. funny thing the judge that handled the case soon resigned or retired from the bench, it maybe possible that the judge was tired of being on the wrong side? i just wished there was more good and honest judges like that one behind all Child Support Court benches. good luck don’t stop till they drop.

Here is my story. I am a mother living in michigan and paying child support of which I am capable of doing (thank the good Lord.) I have no issue paying support to my “children” but I know that more than half of these “child support” funds are going directly into my X’s pocket for his fishing, hunting, cigarettes, booze, etc. and all the while he claims he is “permanently disabled” by the state of michigan and is allowed to collect monies for SSI, food, medical and child support. He receives more than half of my income for support alone and yet doesn’t have to claim any of these monies on his income tax and receives a refund every year more than $2,000.00. Gee, isn’t that swell for not having to work but collect another hefty sum from the government. I guess he is “owed” this money by the state for his hunting and fishing trips (weekly by the way) even though he can’t “work”. I’d love to be able to afford a Private Investigator to snoop around his home just to see how “disabled” he really is. What a crock………… It’s time for reform and NOW! I can see why people commit suicide……

I have 43% custody of my son, but still pay FULL child support to Mommy (who has always worked full time, and has a decent career).

My parents divorced in ‘92′ when i was 12. My older brother lived w/ my father and my younger brother and I lived w/ our mother. In 1996 my father was arrested by friend of the court, three times in the same day. My mother dropped the case but FOC says my father still owes $90k. Over $60k is just in interest since ‘96′. The interest charges are double, almost triple the amount originally owed. My father has been disabled for 4 years now due to a work accident. Attorneys want to settle for little compensation because “You won’t settle because you owe friend of the court.” They make it nearly impossible to get any information other than amount owed. At least half of my fathers checks were taken while he was working, yet my mother never saw a dime. So now the state (MI) has taken thousands of $ from my father, which seems to have just disappeared. I’m 30 y.o. now, you would think there should be some way my brothers and I could get together and have the case dropped, since our mother is spiteful and unwilling to sign off on a case that was already dropped 15 years ago. Sounds to me like the state is enabling welfare fraud.
So glad I found this site. With enough signatures we may be able to get our elected officials to at least think about doing something helpful.

I am a severely disabled Armed Forces Veteran and just was deemed unemployable recently (due to my conditions worsening over time).. Ohio is attempting to assign, seize, attach, and levy my VA Compensation for service-connected disabilities, even though Federal law prohibits such actions (U.S. Code, Title 38 5301 / 1159 / 3.458; and Public Law 108 - 183, 702 / Public Law 95-30).. Why are they overriding the Federal government?!?!?!

I plan on filing for disability through social security - which they can legally take a portion (up to 50%) of that.. I have never denied to support my children, evaded the obligation, and have always tried to support them. I have worked consistently and hard all my life - until I became unemployable recently as a result of my service-connected disabilities worsening over a period of time.. Now, I am under no circumstances allowed to work.

The mother has had a free ride the whole time - without having to work. Meanwhile, I have sacrificed my life being in the military and have worked the whole time without any periods of being unemployed…

I’m a mother without my son due to those “accusations” described above. I’m so far in the hole, that I don’t plan on seeing the top of the hole anytime soon. I have a daughter that lives with my husband and I, and being low income, I can’t be accepted for food stamps, I can’t get a hunting or fishing license because if I can afford to go hunting or fishing, then I can afford to pay my support. Most jobs won’t hire me due to “bad credit” because of being behind in support. When I go in to court, I’m told that $40-$75.00 for “back support” isn’t doing the job, so they RAISE my support, job or not! Sumone needs to stand up to the system, and I’ll be there with you!!!

The system is corrupt. My husband pays every month for years on arreages for a grown child so it is all back child support now. The interest is twice what he actually owes and keeps on being added where it will never be paid off. Now we went to get his license renewed and found out it is suspended and that is his job since it is a commercial license. Chid Support Enforcement does nothing gives you the run around they could care less as long as they get money. They want more even though he has paid faithfully every month since the order went into effect just to get his license back. We can’t get a loan because they have it on his credit. Now he will lose a job if he can’t get his license reinstated this makes no sense when he has paid and paid and they take our tax returns. To top it off the mother collects this money and the child did not live with her and now is grown. I understand why people work under the table, drive with suspended licenses or disappear the system makes it too hard on you.

My fiance pays 65% of his income to two child support orders, and he still accrues arrears every month. He is left with less than $400 a month to live off of. The laws should not be set up so that a payor cannot even support himself. That is incredibly unjust and the system is obviously corrupt. His exes do not allow him to see his children, and he has even spent jail time for arrears. Child support reform is badly needed!

I have been involved with a fraud case of child support for many years. I have overpaid by thousands and still have all cancelled checks to prove it. My kids are 32 and 36 years old now with kids of their own. They are now trying to extort another $50,000 from me. When I proved in court I did not owe the opposing attorney had the transcripts destroyed where I could not effectively appeal. He then typed up an order and got the judge to sign it saying “the parties through their attorneys agree that the amount owed is $40,337′. There is no agreement signed by me or my attorney. The opposing judge just got the judge to sign it. (My children had already emancipated at the time.) This all happened in AR and I`ve lived in TN over 20 years. It has never been a Tennessee case but now they are trying to register it in TN and the attorney who committed the fraud is practicing law in TN on the case yet he is ONLY licensed in AR. This child support fraud needs stopped! These folks sent a fake warrant for my arrest from AR to TN in 2009 and the district attorneys had to get the arrest stopped because I`ve never been accused of a crime. It`s one fraud thing after another. These folks involved all need to spend a VERY long time in prison. ! I have perfect records from 30 years of all of my allegations.

I just made parol in augest 2011 for nonsupport. I have been looking into the reason Child Support Enforcement said I owe moore than I was aware of. I found that I was charged support for the years that I had coustody and also found out that during the same time I had coustody The child Suport Enforcement Office was charging me support under the same Docket # for the same son, under my sister’s name.To be charged support under the same docket # for two different women at the same time I had coustody is just plain illegal as far as I am concerned. The case with my sister’s name is 100% false. My public defender never inquired into the facts of the case, and from my understanding did one HELL of a job for the prosector. Any sugestions ? e-mail me at

Judges are abusing their powers. This little girls are having babies and if you get behind even one month, she is the one who decides to put him in jail. THAT IS POWER AND CONTROL TO A GIRL WHO SCHEMED AND CONNIVED IN A PREGNANCY PACT TO TRAP MY SON!

I Personally Know several people here in Florida that are being unfairly required to pay support even though they have their children more than the mothers not all but most of the women are out drinking every night partying and going on vacations while the father is with the children buying their clothing school supplies school lunches making sure their child gets to all doctors and dentist visits and child support enforcement threatens to suspend their license when in fact they are the sole providers for their children while the mother is out drinking and patying all night something has to change the only ones getting hurt is the children

WE NEED REFORM NOW. I sign this on behalf of a100% Service Connected Disabled Veteran who has been abused by the system.

I finally got mine payed down to zero last month after being 11,000 in arrears and since Missouri contacted Tennessee and made it a dual state case, Tennessee is refusing to (accept ?) that the child support is payed off in Missouri. Apparently they can contact each other to establish court ordered support and judgements including sticking me in jail once for 3 months but can’t contact each other to show the money has been payed off. I have spent 3 weeks arguing with child support offices and am about to contact a senator. I will contact the news and get it on television if that is also necessary..

Been to court several times to modify downward my child support which is only arrearages. I am re-married with other kids, one is disabled, just got laid off work, and yet they refused to modify my support for the back amount I owe. My son at issue is 20 and lives on his own. The whole system needs to be thrown out. In MN if you’re a Dad, you’re a criminal.

I see women who make having children a job and child support is their income. Its ridiculous! The proof that the child support is going to the children should be nationwide! I totally agree! I think the way CS is done it gives women a chance to trap men into getting the pregnant feeding them lies!

17 years later, I am going to regain custody of my son. He has been removed from his mother’s care 5 times in his life, and only ONCE, I was notified. My ex, has mothered 5 children, from 5 different men, and USES her children to support herself, and her habits. I am DISGUSTED, with this society, DISGUSTED, with this government, and I am not going to allow this any longer. Massachusetts, and South Carolina, be prepared for the nastiest fight you have ever seen. You hurt me, but more importantly,you hurt,MY SON. I have a NEW saying for you, “HELL HATH NO FURY, LIKE A FATHER..SCORNED!”

Another Child Support Horror Story

by suellen

In April 2008 my fiance filed for a decrease in child support. It was denied. Out of pure spite his x then filed for an increase in June. By the time it came to court in December and was increased (from the date of filing) it put him in Arrears over $7,000 because it had been based on his 2007 tax information.

The court had Lost his current pay stub that he had been told to bring in. He then filed an Objection because the court lost the pay stub, which was denied because "the pay stub could not be found in the file"! When he tried to Appeal as a poor person it was denied because his gross income was to high, although his net income was only 39% of his gross, because of the excess support he was already paying. He could not afford a lawyer, so had to file for another modification in February 2009.

He has been forced into excessive overtime to pay his own bills while waiting for the issue to come to court and was recently diagnosed with diabetes. He fell asleep while working the night shift in June and was fired for it (It had happend before in September and he had been spoken to, and as punishment he could no longer work Any Overtime, although he was still paying child support with overtime calculated in) He found another full time job on July 13 and his Modification finally came to court July 23. He had not yet received his paycheck from his new job and was told to bring it in when he was paid, which he did the follwing day and the court clerk stamped it "Received July 24, 2009 at 2:35" pm. He was told that he would receive a decision in two weeks. Eight weeks later he finally received the decision and the support was based on "A Projected Income for the job he was fired from"!!! (which paid $30,000 more a year) because the Order said AGAIN that he had not provided his current paystub!!! Although this time we had the copy stamped received because we already went through that the first time. Currently his weekly Gross income is $1,000. Between 2 child support obligations and taxes the total is $1,093. Of course child support can only take 65% of his check, so the amount they cannot take is being added on arrears. We filed an Objection and are now be able to pay our electric bill and buy toilet paper. :(
P.S.- I am writing to my congressman about lobbying to change the current child support laws.

Pity: Two Cases

Its hard to ever pity anyone. Even divorced dads - yeah, that's right, I said it. Men who get divorced have SOME hand in the dissolution of things, no matter how small; although sometimes its nothing more than failing to sooth a woman who should be on anti-depressants or else trying to love a woman who is truly mentally unstable.

But I will give you two other examples of people you should NEVER pity: both women.

Case #1

I was in a bar one night, a long time ago. I didn't feel like talking to any girls. It was a weeknight. I was alone. I was cruising finance stories and drinking a beer and watching a baseball game. There were a few guys in the bar - again, mostly to watch the game and be alone with their beer and/or buddies. There may have been girls in there; I'm not sure. But at one point two girls did enter. They weren't very attractive. One of them was cute, but not really my type - everyone has a type. I was sitting in-between two empty seats and one was sitting, the other standing. After 10 minutes I noticed and I grumbled... "Does your friend want to sit - I'll slide over" to the half-cute one, who was dressed like she was cruising for guys. She seemed a bit stunned and stuttered something back. I repeated what I said. She basically accepted after using 15 sentences to do so. I went back to watching the game and reading my articles on my smart phone. I couldn't care less about this girl. I was just being quasi-polite. As I'm watching the game I can feel the girl looking at me out of the corner of her eye and shifting her body so that its facing me. I frowned. She looked at her lap, chatted to her friend and tilted her head towards me - no, this was not my imagination. I was a little concerned I'd have to be rude if she tried to talk to me.

More guys came into the bar. Pairs. At some point a tall, relatively well dressed (business clothes), clean cut man walks down the bar and politely introduces himself and offers to buy both girls a drink. The girl I was just talking to refuses. The one that wasn't that cute and dressed up to meet men. That one. I wanted to tell her to shut-up and accept, the guy looked like a nice, well-earning gentlemen. I was in jeans and a designer t-shirt with longish hair I had not done much with that day. I had not shaved. I looked like the last guy you'd want to see your daughter with.

Case #2

My ex and I were in court yesterday as she filed a motion for the Department of Revenue to increase her child support. Her motion said that I make more money and can afford more support - as if simply making more money entitled her to more money - if I can't keep the money I make, why am I trying to make it? Are you listening to this gentlemen?!?!?! Simply working to make money for myself and trying to live a middle class existence in what is the 3rd or 4th most expensive city in the U.S. is enough to justify giving more of what I make to my ex-girlfriend of 10 years. Her salary is all but irrelevant as the "guidelines" call for me to pay 85% of what my son costs per week, which the D.O.R. claims is $444 (people couldn't afford kids if they cost $444/week each).

My ex graduated from college with a 3.8 GPA. She was in the honors program. She got a job temping the typical "admin assistant" after college and was promoted to Proposal Writer while also managing the girl who took her old job. Her old job her company turned into a full-time admin role instead of a temporary one because my ex did such a tremendous job in her role of administration support. After assuming her new job on a trial basis and doing it for 4 months, well, of course, she demanded a proper salary boost and received one up to 55k. Then she became furious. Why? Because she found an offer letter that was made to her old boss (whose job she just took) for $75k/year. Her boss told her she would need more experience and then her salary would likewise increase. What did she do? We split up and she quit her job. Then she took a job as a part-time Yoga instructor and was fired from that job for asking a few simple basic questions (it was the Dahn Yoga/Cult). Then she went to school for Message Therapy and became a Message Therapist.

She makes $25,000/year with no benefits. She claims she works 4 days a week, but her online profile claims she works Monday, Wednesday and every other Friday. She works part time every day and sometimes part time on Sat.. Even though my son is in school until 3, she only works afternoons. My son confirms the same. She's divorced from one man and has been co-habitating with some guy, 4 years her junior (and as dumb as a box of rocks). She receives alimony from her ex-husband, lives off her live-in man who is a manager at Whole Foods making $70k a year and shakes me down for "child support" in the amount of $16,800/year TAX-FREE. She lives in an $2k/month apartment in the middle of Cambridge, MA.

That brings her household income to $112,800 ($70k + $25k + $16.8k), but that doesn't include the alimony she receives. My household income is 1/3rd that amount after paying child support to her. If she has simply worked her old job and taken 2% raises every year she'd be making 60, 65k a year and living on $135k a year household income and wouldn't need one dime from me or anyone else. She simply chose to follow a different path.

She FIRMLY believes herself to be some kind of "victim."