I don’t know if you will remember me, but I’m the one who has paid over 100,000 for my divorce. I went to Court and my beliefs about the judge have been confirmed. I never had an edge in this case and no attorney in the world, no matter how much I paid, would have been able to do any better. I thought we presented an excellent case, but I walked away with the minimum and actually will receive less money per month under these orders than I did under the temporary orders. The judge, in effect, “punished” me for returning to work.
The judge had also earlier refused to hear evidence of adultery and this was not admissible in Court during trial.
A brief summary of trial results:
Post separation support/temporary child support were in the amounts of 3550 and 2750, respectively. Judge had determined my needs were 6300 per month using financial affidavits submitted to Court. During pending of litigation, I returned to work as a teacher and this added to my “income”. Keep in mind, the judge himself determined that my reasonable needs were 6300 a month before I returned to work.
During the marriage of 20 years and for the last 8 years of the marriage, “we” were saving 100,000 to 150,000 a year–more than we spent. The pattern of saving began early in the marriage, and it was admitted in Court that this amount was saved. I received 4700 a month from my ex-husband in order to pay the routine household expenses. So, as you can see, we were saving more than we spent and were living well below our means. In his final rulings, the judge used this 4700 as a basis for my “needs”—mine and my child’s and he completely ignored my financial affidavit. He allowed a savings component of 2500 using the minimum amount of savings documented, but because he reduced my “needs”, I am actually now in worse shape each month than I was before. It’s all too complicated to explain fully in this note, but you can see that he went from 6300 in needs to 4700 in needs. My income will be 7200 a month. Ex-husband’s take home pay is in excess of l9,000 and that is after he pays me the 3500 allowing him to save over 120,000 per year. I will not be able to save 30,000 a year as I cannot cover my expenses on 4700 a month. I am presently trying to sell my home(it was quitclaimed over to me back in November of 2004) because I live in an exclusive neighborhood and cannot afford the upkeep on the home.
He made the order effective August 1, 2005, for alimony and child support and that’s what I received this month. 2000 in alimony and 1500 for child support. Property division has not occurred as these orders have not been entered, so I am not receiving income from any of the property at this time.
Divisible property: I will not receive my share of rental income and limited partnership income received and retained by my former husband. Judge stated it would be “double dipping” to divide it again as it had already been distributed via post separation support and temporary child support. There is over 100,000 in divisible property from these sources, and even though we had exhibits that proved to the contrary that he had disposable income left, the judge will not divide this income. I did not know what percentage of this I was receiving as this income amounts to 5,000 per month, sometimes more. It stated in the post separation order that the amount paid to me was based on his income as a medical doctor from his practice and only used his monthly income from that source. So, did 2500 of my 6300 come from that? Who knows? Where is the logic behind that?
Children’s funds: These funds were set up originally for the purpose of funding the children’s education. He has been in control of these funds since the separation three years ago. He uses them at his discretion to pay for whatever he desires for the children out of these funds. The amounts are substantial and the funds are completely funded. Judge allowed him to retain control of these funds with a quarterly report to me. I don’t have a ready reserve of funds in which to spend for my children. What I spend on them, comes from my earnings. We asked that the funds be split 50/50 but didn’t get it.
Property distribution. Equal split 50/50 but I still received less of the retirement than he did. He received all the income producing property except I did get 1/2 of the lithotripsy. Over all, here is how it shakes out. I will have an annual income of 96,000 (working) receiving 1500 a month in child support. Alimony of 2000 a month for 10 years. I will have approximately 7,000 per month. He will have an annual income of over 400,000 a year and approximately 23,000 per month. After he pays me, he will have over 19,000 a month left. About 50,000 (if you include the litho) will come out of his pocket each year to “pay me”. On his affidavit, he stated he needed over 9,000 a month in expenses. Granted, he does have a 10 year mortgage at 2300 a month, but he still needs 6700 to meet his “reasonable needs”. So, he has at least 10,000 a month to save—120,000 a year.
I lost. I lost big time. I lost every single time I ever went into the Courtroom. I don’t understand this. My attorney states there are reversible errors and I have grounds for an appeal. I don’t know if I can afford an appeal. What would an appeal do to the orders? They would not go into effect, would they? Thanks for any musings you may have about this and I’m sorry this was so long. Thanks.