January 29, 2011

"Lawyer Trades $1,100 Monthly Porsche Bill for $700-Per-Month BMW, But Loses Bid for Alimony Cut."

Oh, the sacrifices!

40 comments:

MadisonMan said...

My monthly car payment is $0. I pay no alimony.

I am not a lawyer.

Michael said...

The ex should never have to cut, right? I presume she had/has a lifestyle similar to he ex husbands? Poor woman should not have to suffer any setbacks because....why?

edutcher said...

We just don't appreciate you enough, Ann.

The things the legal profession must endure.

Roger von Oech said...

Off-topic:

I'm in the middle of a move, and going through old newspapers. I had saved the NYT issue of April 5, 2009 because it had a story on the "Gold Rush in iPhone Apps."

Right next to it was this great story on you and Meade:
"Blogging Their Way to the Altar"
http://nyti.ms/hiOcPL

What a great read. Apps come and go, but love is timeless!

dbp said...

$9,500 per month in alimony. This lawyer is essentially a slave.

Sixty Grit said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mary said...

That this guy paid to take this matter to the appellate court makes me proud to be part of this illustrious profession.

Skyler said...

What a barbaric and misogynist state he lives in that thinks women can only survive by being supported by their former husband.

More enlightened states do not have alimony.

The Crack Emcee said...

If he left his wife and kids, fuck him. I'd increase it just because he asked.

But, if she left him, what the fuck is he paying anything for? She wanted out - she's out - fuck forcing him to pay her a dime.

I think I'll go read the article now,...

aronamos said...

I wish the NYT would do an article about how many 300 pound lawyers there are now compared to in 1970.

David said...

My ex never had a porsche or a bmw. She was not a big spender, but she had in her mind the ultimate luxury--no job. Once I asked her what she would do if I died. She did not seem to have thought of that. Luckily for her, I lived.

Freeman Hunt said...

I agree with Crack. The article, however, gives no indication as to what triggered the divorce in the first place.

traditionalguy said...

Hard Times are everywhere it seems. But will this story encourage or discourage law school applicants? And can this guy find a cheap gas station? When I first was told how great a car a Mercedes S-500 was, I asked seriously what the gas mileage was. The laughing salesperson said if you can afford the car you really don't care what the gas costs. He had a point.

chuckR said...

Trading down from a 911 to some sort of dodgy BMW? Wouldn't want anyone that unaware of appearances as my lawyer. And by that I mean, he has made a strong statement that he isn't suffering financially, at least by the standards of a divorce court, or most of middle class America either. Whether he owes the ex anything is another matter; his strategy and tactics here are poor.
Five months worth of those Beemer payments buys him a decent Crown Vic or similar outright, with 100k miles on it that can go another 100k easily. Cop cars and taxis are Vics for a good reason.

Bender said...

Alimony just goes to show that there really is no such thing as "divorce."

Once a person takes that wedding pledge to be bound to the other person "til death do us part," then he is bound to support that other person for life.

That so-called divorce decree is really only a legal license to go have sex with and live with other people.

Freeman Hunt said...

He also has prostate cancer, so that's unfortunate. But he didn't argue that this was costing him money, which is odd.

mariner said...

Bender,
Once a person takes that wedding pledge to be bound to the other person "til death do us part," then he is bound to support that other person for life.


Once a MAN takes that pledge HE is bound; the WOMAN who takes that same pledge isn't bound to a g*d**m thing.

David said...

I read the opinion that Freeman Hunt linked. Is this guy screwed!!!! It's not clear whether he screwed himself, or was screwed by incompetence on the part of his lawyer, the hostile trial judge or a set of rules designed to screw the employed spouse. A combination, probably.

But he's screwed: law firm collapsed, his distributions from the firm had to be taken as borrowings, has prostate cancer which has spread and is probably over 60 years old.

Plus, poor fellow, he had to give up the Porsche for a BMW.

Here's my favorite line from the (hostile to him) opinion: Significantly, the fact that defendant must borrow money to
meet his alimony obligations and maintain his lifestyle does not
constitute a change in circumstances because the parties
borrowed to maintain their standard of living during the
marriage as well. Hughes v. Hughes, 311 N.J. Super. 15, 34-35
(App. Div. 1998).


Yikes!

Florida said...

"$9,500 per month in alimony. This lawyer is essentially a slave."

He's not "essentially" a slave.

He is "actually" a slave.

And here you thought you lived in an enlightened society. Where yoking one person to the benefit of another person had been outlawed?

You do not live in such a society.

You live in the kind of society where women enslave men.

Eric said...

He also has prostate cancer, so that's unfortunate. But he didn't argue that this was costing him money, which is odd.

I think getting cancer is free. If not, I'll opt out.

Freeman Hunt said...

A puzzle:

If you made over $300k, why would you have a car payment?

(Why would anyone have a car payment?)

Freeman Hunt said...

I think getting cancer is free. If not, I'll opt out.

Cost my Dad a small fortune in travel expenses to MD Anderson and elsewhere.

David said...

"If you made over $300k, why would you have a car payment?"

Good question. Remember, he didn't have the cash to pay a $400k property division. And their living expenses were $28-30k per month.

Basically, as a couple, they took everything he made, spent it, and then spent some more.

If he's telling the truth, they will be back in court when he fails to pay her what is ordered. The reason will probably be that the lenders will decline to lend him any more.

When I got divorced, it was pretty hard to overspend, since no one would loan me any money. Eventually I rebuilt my creditworthiness, but the lenders were probably taking the right approach.

Eric said...

Cost my Dad a small fortune in travel expenses to MD Anderson and elsewhere.

Depending on what else is going on, sometimes they don't treat prostate cancer. Typically it's a slow grower, and men get it at an age when they may have other, more immediately terminal problems.

Eric said...

Basically, as a couple, they took everything he made, spent it, and then spent some more.

So there would have been a reckoning at some point, divorce or no divorce. I'm curious to know why the court feels the ex should be spared the repercussions of all that borrowing.

Maybe he's the one that spent all the money?

EDH said...

Courts have the equitable power to fix alimony and child support payments. N.J.S.A. 2A:34-23. The goal is to ensure that both spouse and children may continue to live as they had prior to the divorce.

Why?

Going forward, doesn't the paying spouse lose all the benefits of marriage that supposedly justifies an award of alimony in the first place?

Why should the payee spouse not incur a decrease in living standard proportional to the payor's decrement in nonpecuniary support?

My read of the numbers:

Gross Income: $357,000
Tax: 143,000 (40%)
Disposable Income: 214,000 (60%)
Alimony: 114,000 (32%)
Left Over: 100,000 (28%)

The Crack Emcee said...

I've asked this before and never got a satisfactory answer from lawyers:

What is the legal basis for "no-fault" divorce? And how did we get here - was there a vote that this is how it would be done?

EDH,

Why?

Going forward, doesn't the paying spouse lose all the benefits of marriage that supposedly justifies an award of alimony in the first place?


Dude, trying to figure out "no-fault" divorce is a no-win situation - just like "no-fault" divorce!

Dust Bunny Queen said...

I have an acquaintance who went through a terribly nasty divorce about 20 years ago. He had to pay almost all of his earnings in alimony and child support. He was often left with just a few hundred dollars a month from his paycheck.

The problem was that the child support was not being spent on the children and instead went to his ex wife and her various boyfriends: drugs, drinking and gambling. Leaving his 3 children hungry and without clothing. His only alternative was to buy them food and clothing out of what was left of his meager salary because the Court refused to do anything about it.

As each child became old enough to petition the court, they did so and went to live with their father.

This horrible situation went on for 20 years and left him in a state of permanent bankruptcy. The State always favors the woman despite all evidence that she was a complete slut and horrible parent.

If he had it to do over again, and as we counseled him, he probably should just have killed the bitch and he would have been out of jail in probably 10 years and the kids would have gone to live with the grandparents (who had also unsuccessfully tried to get custody from their own worthless daughter). Everyone would have been better off.

Isn't the court system wonderful.

It is no wonder that men do not want to get married and have children.

Eric said...

What is the legal basis for "no-fault" divorce? And how did we get here - was there a vote that this is how it would be done?

No-fault divorce wasn't something imposed by the courts. Family law is a creature of state legislatures. Rather than asking lawyers, you should ask your fellow voters.

woof said...

Jan 1, 1970 - California becomes first state with no-fault divorce.

Oct 15, 2010 - New York is the last state to allow no-fault divorce.

The Crack Emcee said...

DBQ,

If he had it to do over again, and as we counseled him, he probably should just have killed the bitch,...

I had so many friends say they'd do it (and, if you knew my friends, it would've got done). I think about that, a lot, when I consider she went on to kill two other people:

Years of my freedom for their very lives.

I'll always carry a bit of guilt over that one, even if I didn't know where it would eventually lead - I could've stopped it - and all because I didn't stick by my neighborhood's values.

She deserved it, too.

The Crack Emcee said...

Jan 1, 1970 - California becomes first state with no-fault divorce.

Say no more - it's insane, wrong, and obviously a product of the Left coast.

Lyssa Lovely Redhead said...

Those of you on the anti-alimony train, what would you make of this scenario?

My husband put me through law school. He worked to pay the mortgage, grocery bills, utilities, etc. while I studied, and he's sacrificed to make it happen (avoiding spending that we otherwise would have been able to afford, passing up opportunities to advance in his career despite the fact that he had the ability.)
Additionally, he took out the majority of the student loans, because he has a longer credit history (mine doesn't have any problems, I just haven't borrowed very much).

He did this all on the assumption that we were investing in *our* future, not just mine, and that I would be the primary breadwinner and leave him able to care for our children.

Now, say I got out of school and landed a biglaw, big bucks job (that didn't happen, but it likely would have were it not for the damn crash). Then we got divorced.

Shouldn't he be entitled to something for that investment that he made, that I benefited from? It seems to me that he should.

Or, even worse, what if we had kids, he dropped out of the workforce completely, and then we split up?

Should he have to find a job (and presumably put the kids in daycare, which wasn't what either of us wanted) and try to rebuild his marketability, with the understanding that he would never be able to get up to the same level I would, while I take a look at all of the extra cash I have sitting around after I get rid of him and do whatever I want with it? Doesn't sound fair to me.

As long as we consider marriage a partnership where people work for common goals, and specialize their roles to help acheive them (and I think that we should), alimony would be necessary when one partner's role involves making less money in order to allow the other partner to make more.

- Lyssa

Lyssa Lovely Redhead said...

Note: On my above post, I'm not in any way saying that there aren't legitimate greivances against the family law system, many of which disfavor men quite horribly. Nor am I suggesting that there aren't a lot of women who take advantage in unconscionable ways. I'm just saying that there is a role for alimony in more cases than I think that you are giving credit to.

- Lyssa

Christy said...

Thus is the difference between having a nice income and real wealth.

Lawyer pal divorced, retired, sold his house, traded his Porsche, and put all his money into a sailboat in New Zealand. Within a year he tangled in some commercial fishing nets and sank. Now that's suffering.

EDH said...

Those of you on the anti-alimony train, what would you make of this scenario?

Not sure which commenter here was on the "anti-alimony train."

Instead, it's about the perverse incentives created and unjust outcomes that arise when the "goal [of alimony] is to ensure that both spouse [note, singular "spouse," not both spouses] and children may continue to live as they had prior to the divorce."

Under penalty of law, the state imposes upon the payor spouse a financial obligation that takes away the ability to make life-work choices after marriage, all for the singular purpose of providing the payee spouse with the financial benefits of marriage, but without any obligation that would similarly limit their available work-life choices.

It's not a critique of alimony per say, but a criticism of the objective used to determine the quantum.

The Crack Emcee said...

Lyssa Lovely Redhead,

We're not anti-alimony, we're anti-"no-fault". Call it anti-no-justice. Listen to yourself:

...I take a look at all of the extra cash I have sitting around after I get rid of him,...

That's the identifier:

Yep - if I was the judge, you'd pay up - and it would hurt like Hell. I'd throw in a few "How dare you?"s, too, making sure the point was clear:

You don't just "get rid" of people - and, especially, not those who love you.

Lyssa Lovely Redhead said...

Crack, it was a hypothetical. I have no desire whatsoever to "get rid of" my husband. Jeeze. (And I think that you're the only one who's turned this into anti-no-fault. Most people have been addressing alimony.)

aronamos said...

I just want to point out a flaw in EDH's chart: His tax burden would be much less because he would owe NO tax on the alimony payments; that is her income and she must pay tax on it.

I also think this guy is a tort attorney. Heh.

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