In 1995, my ex-wife was awarded alimony in the amount of $750 per month for an indefinite period of time. Although I was unemployed at the time, the amount was decided on “potential income” as a hospital chaplain which I had, after research, optimistically offered to the court as being +/- $35K per year. I have since been unable to secure employment in that field and took any employment that was offered to me just to make ends meet. I was informed that it would cost $3000 just to find out if I had the basis for an appeal. If I didn’t have $750, how was I to come up with $3K? My ex destroyed my credit by living way beyond our means, so I could not borrow that amount.
The case was filed in the county where I was residing at the time by her attorney who is known, locally, as “The Angel Of Death”. I assure you, he has lived up to that moniker. During the course of the past ten years, her attorney has, repeatedly, served subpoenas at my place of employment (knowing well my residential address), served subpoenas on prospective employers while I was still interviewing with them (needless to say, I was not hired),and harrassed, cajoled and insulted me during the trials.
My ex has since moved to her home county where her son is a prominent (and wealthy) real estate developer. He has provided for her a condo and car and, since the alimony payments are sent to him on her behalf, I assume he renders financial support as well. She is a breast cancer survivor (8 years now cancer free) and elderly (75), and continues to work as an interior designer although she has told the court differently.
I moved to another county in 2000 and am presently seeking certification as a teacher in the public school system. I have, three times now, moved for modification and moved for change of venue. All six motions have been denied. I have been before every judge in that district more than three times each and have never prevailed, regardless of whether I was represented by and out of town attorney or a local “Good Ol’ Boy”. Additionally, I have had to pay all of her attorneys fees which, now, are in the $15-20K range … and mounting. I can’t even pay my own attorneys due to this.
Over the past ten years, I have been in court numerous times for Contempt b/c I am unable to pay this amount. In 2004, I was incarcerated for 30 days (Dec 10 thru Jan 10) for willful contempt and it looks as though that will happen again in the near future. How can I have a chance to pay anything from behind bars? It makes no sense.
I have a very simple lifestyle … I work and go home. I don’t date, take vacations or visit my family. I can’t afford it. Now, at 52 years old, I find that I’ll NEVER be able to become financially solvent … student loans and alimony are not dischargeable in bankruptcy.
Every attorney with whom I have spoken has used the term, “Home-Cookin’” when referring to my case.
What are your thoughts?