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Family Court as Outcomes Randomizer
Old 02-24-2007, 09:24 PM   #1
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Family Court as Outcomes Randomizer

I always assumed that "Family Court" was women's way of getting back at men for existing. But I got some info recently which shows that it can cut both ways.

My aunt died recently. Talking to her daughter I learned about her divorce, and the effects it had on her life. While working as a Candy Striper during WW2 she met a shell-shocked GI. Her parents (my grandparents) were quite well off for the times, and strongly opposed her proposed wedding. But in the way of US life, it was going to happen anyway, so they gave her a huge send-off that I still remember even though I was only 4 or 5 at the time.

They lived an upscale life, adopted 2 children, but eventually things wound down. It seems that DH had never been able to hold a decent job, and my grandparents kept things going by sending her money monthly. My Aunt was a stay at home Mom, her DH went off to work every day, but actually had no job- he went to the NYC public library, Aquaduct, the Metropolitan- whatever attracted him on a given day. He was truly an ER, without bothering to achieve the FI part.

Later the GPs died, and she got a nice inheritance- enough to finish the job with her kids, and take care of her ever after. The kids were eventually grown and left, and soon after DH filed for divorce.

Open and shut case, right?

Wrong! In spite of the fact that all their assets were hers by inheritance, a fifty-fifty split was mandated (not in a community property state). Furthermore, though she had never worked at a paid job in her life, she was required to pay him spousal support, to supplement his Army disability for a number of years. The judge apparently felt that his condition was such that he could not be expected to work.

My Aunt trained for and got a job as a high school librarian. Her daughter (my cousin) made a success of herself and helped Mom as she could. Aunt's son however was a drinker and doper, and abandoned his three children. So my Aunt earmarked a good hunk of her earnings to regularly send to her DIL, who was steadfastly taking care of the kids and working to earn as much as she could.

When my Aunt died, she was dead broke, living on small SS and some handouts from her daughter. Daughter paid her funeral costs. (My Dad and Uncle also helped her while they were alive.)

So who'd a thunk it?

Next story I clipped from a "Living on the Road" group. The protagonist Wendy is prolific contributor to this group, which I have been reading for some years. I am sure the situation occurred as she tells it. I remember her excitement and joy when she had found this man who seemed to love her, and made her feel so good about herself. Probably very painful and embarrassing for her to review today!

Sat Feb 24, 2007 8:23 am (PST)
"I wrote the following this week while in the Everglades. I have been in
southern Florida trying to keep warm while the rest of the country was in the
deep freeze. I was thinking about the last year or so and thinking about what to
do in the future. I originally posted it to an RV group because they were
joking about being "homeless". I am just trying to analyze my life as it is,
without the sugar coating. I keep going back and forth in my decisions about
staying in my RV or getting an apartment. Here's what I wrote in a
contemplative time out in alligator country....

I am a bit behind in reading journals as I am out boondocking with
infrequent internet access. I'm slowly sifting through my 2000+ saved emails ;-)

I am homeless AND houseless. Even though I half-timed in one sort of
camper or other for about 18 years, I am now full-timing in an RV. Partly by
choice, partly by necessity. My state of mind while thinking/talking about it
varies considerably.

At the moment I am at a free campground on the Loop Road in Big Cypress
National Preserve. I love it here. I have $16 to last the rest of this month, so
there aren't too many places in Florida that I can afford at the moment. Also,
as the rest of the country is in a deep freeze, I am comparatively better
off. I was camping up near Lakeland, FL, but I was sooooo cold!

I have myasthenia gravis and lupus, so get less than $600/month disability.
This month my service dog needed his annual check up and shots, so there went
$200. Every month there is something major like that. I do not think I am an
unproductive part of society because I am disabled and poor.

Trust me....I miss the days of working and making money. Now I just plain
can't do it. I spend the majority of my time resting....but not because I'm
lazy! When I first went on disability it was a huge blow to my ego. I was good
at what I did and enjoyed hard work and the satisfaction of a job well done. I
loved the praise, too :-)

I sold my farm in Vermont and got married to someone who turned out to be
not such a good guy. I started the marriage with $150,000 in my pocket. I had
bought the house we lived in, got new roofing and floors and painting, new
furniture and appliances, etc. There went over $100,000. I filed a domestic
violence injunction against him 4 months after we were married. The police
escorted him away. Less than 2 weeks later, the sheriff came back at midnight, told
me I could only take my clothes and toiletries and escorted ME away;-( The
hubby had taken the deed to the judge with only his name on it and I had to
go. It didn't matter that I had paid for everything. The judge also said
nothing was to be taken out of the house until the divorce was final. Sigh....

The hubby told the judge that I had a camper and could live in that. He
needed the house to continue working. All I had was a 1990 conversion van with a
bed, drawers and porta potty in it. Try staying in that for a few hours in the
Florida summer heat and humidity, let alone live in it with a cat and dog.
Heat makes my myasthenia much worse. I left the guy with $9 in my pocket and
was not even allowed to take pet food or food for me. I had about $20,000 in
storage food and food prep equipment in the house.

I stayed in a domestic abuse shelter for a month. My service dog was allowed
in, but my cat wasn't. Luckily my lawyer kept her for a month. I found a
furnished trailer to rent for $425/month and kept it for two months. With just
utilities added, let alone other things, I did not have enough monthly income
to stay. I gave up the rental and drove to Utah for a reunion. Once there, my
poor old van bit the dust. I sold it as parts for $100. My very nice aunt
loaned me $1,500 to buy this RV. If it wasn't for her I would be in deep doo doo.

So, I've lived in my RV since July. It sure helped to be in cooler Utah and
to have all those free/cheap sites to stay in out west. I had to come back to
Florida this fall to settle the legal stuff. We are still in the process of
negotiation. The guy is arguing he deserves everything and I should get
$10,000 back! Besides the house, he has $20,000 cash from me plus the possession of
a new 650 Bergman scooter and a used 21 ft sailboat I bought. I've heard
through others and out of his own mouth that some of my assets were disposed of
against the court's wishes. Last week I found out he quit paying my
court-ordered health insurances. I am sitting here at the moment in almost unbearable
pain from an infected tooth. I had been scheduled to have it removed by an
oral surgeon until I found out the insurance was dropped ;-(

I was getting IVIG every three weeks to make the MG better. It cost $18,000
each time. Now I can not get it because the insurance is gone. I am getting
weaker and sicker. I'm supposed to get $623/month in SSI, but only get $543
because of an "overpayment" for three months while I was in limbo. With that
huge income, I am eligible for $26/month in food stamps. Can you say difficult
to live on?

My next dilemma is to move to Section 8 housing or stay in the RV. I "won
the lottery" for Section 8 (only 300 available) but can only rent in Pasco
County, FL for the first year. After that, the voucher is portable anywhere in
the US. That means I need to find an apartment for $550/month or less and I will
only owe $112 of it. But...with utilities, food, etc., I will be right back
to having no money. Who knows when the divorce will be final and if I will
get the house back? Soooo....should I stay in my RV and pretend to be free or
move to an apartment so I can get heating and cooling and electric? The
Section 8 requires a one year lease. If I get the house back, I will owe the FULL
rent for a year. Oh...I forgot to say I need an oxygen concentrator set at 5
liters all night, plus a CPAP. I can run the CPAP off my deep cycle battery
when boondocking, but have to go without the o2. Going without feels awful, but
I try to make up for it a bit by running my Honda generator during generator
hours and taking a supplemental snooze then.

I don't have spare tires and my rig takes two sizes. If the thing falls
apart, I have no "extra" money to fix it. When I run out of money, I can boondock
here or farther north in Ocala National Forest for nothing. If I spend all
my money on rent and utilities, how can I afford to go anywhere? This is my
daily driver. I'm not even sure if I could find a place for rent that would
allow me to park it there.

What would you do if you were me? Live in the RV? Get an apartment? Shoot
yourself? I'd love to hear your opinions and solutions! Thank you :-)"

Wow!-

Ha



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Re: Family Court as Outcomes Randomizer
Old 02-24-2007, 10:11 PM   #2
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Re: Family Court as Outcomes Randomizer

I've always thought that marriage was a high-risk life randomizer. I never really understood why so many people bought into the idea of life-long monogamy until I got caught it happened to me.
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Re: Family Court as Outcomes Randomizer
Old 02-25-2007, 04:57 AM   #3
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Re: Family Court as Outcomes Randomizer

not to blame the woman for hooking up with a bad guy as i know you never really know anyone absolutely and pretty much anything can happen in life. but it does seem that while this woman tried to live a good life she also had a bit a bad luck. i'm not convinced that maybe some bad luck wasn't her own (un)doing.

i'm not a born again republican or some new ager who thinks we alone determine what happens to us in life. it seems to me that we make a lot of our luck but not all of it. in either case what is more important to me is not what our situation might be but how we then handle it.

i'm not sure i would handle her situation as gracefully as the rv lady, but also my defensive nature (when i'm not luxuriating in my lazy nature) might have kept me from ever getting into her situation in the first place.

while i can imagine someone getting into a house to steal. i have a lot of trouble imagining someone stealing a house. and if i did let someone steal my house, i certainly wouldn't be wondering if i should shoot myself. and if i did wonder about shooting myself, then rest assured that the accompanying thought would be taking the bastard with me. karma be damned; sometimes you have to make your own luck.
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Re: Family Court as Outcomes Randomizer
Old 02-25-2007, 05:35 AM   #4
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Re: Family Court as Outcomes Randomizer

I feel bad for the woman (Wendy?) who wrote that. On the flip side, she can obviously write pretty well. In this Internet era, anyone who can write that well should be able to work from home/RV, totally flexible hours, and make at least $10/hour. She could work an extra 20 hours a week and it sounds like the extra $200 would increase her quality of life.
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Re: Family Court as Outcomes Randomizer
Old 02-25-2007, 08:37 AM   #5
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Re: Family Court as Outcomes Randomizer

Lazy, I also don't see myself getting into that kind of situation, but I know people who do for any number of reasons and I really can't fault them.

My youngest sister first married an alcoholic, had two kids and divorced. She then married an abuser. He didn't work. They got a divorce while he was sitting in jail for abusing her children. That story is too sad and too painful to tell. I paid for a lawyer, he still got half of everything as it was a community property state. This is the price of no-fault divorce . Not long ago my niece, who is in AA, said she was working on forgiving him. I said I would never forgive him and I wished he was dead.

My sister is vulnerable to controlling men. She has problems that make her vulnerable.

I debated telling this story; does it demean my sister, which in no way do I want to do? Is it too much disclosure? Is it not enough? I see most posters on this board as people who love to solve problems and to suggest solutions and say if x or y was done than z wouldn't have occured. Well we are a bunch of smart lucky people with a lot of sense but we shouldn't assume too much when we hear stories of failure and loss.

As for Wendy earning money by writing or otherwise, I wouldn't assume that she could or couldn't. She has her disabilities plus the strain of what is going on in her life. Unless we are in her shoes we can't imagine how enervating that may be.



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Re: Family Court as Outcomes Randomizer
Old 02-25-2007, 09:08 AM   #6
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Re: Family Court as Outcomes Randomizer

[quote=Martha I see most posters on this board as people who love to solve problems and to suggest solutions and say if x or y was done than z wouldn't have occured. Well we are a bunch of smart lucky people with a lot of sense but we shouldn't assume too much when we hear stories of failure and loss.

[/quote]


Well Put !!!
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Re: Family Court as Outcomes Randomizer
Old 02-25-2007, 09:24 AM   #7
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Re: Family Court as Outcomes Randomizer

Sounds to my like both women did not do what they needed to do...

The first should have kept her property as separate (but, it does not say how long they were married).... OR, the GPs, KNOWING he was a loser should have put all thier assets in trust for the benefit of their daughter and grandkids...

And the second lady allowed this to happen... why did she not make sure her name was on the deed Why did she not keep any records on the spending (as it would be needed for tax purposes in the future anyhow).. Why did she not get a BETTER LAWYER She was just doing more 'poor me' living and not fighting for what was hers... her disabilities should have gotten her more help from the court IMO if she had fought more... I bet she just laid back and accepted her fate...

Martha, sorry to hear about your sister... some people have destructive behavior and CONTINUE to do the same thing over and over... (isn't that the definition of insane Doing the same thing again and again and expecting a different outcome?)... SHE is responsible for picking her two loser husbands and staying with them for as long as she did... and yes, there is something in these women that you wonder.... I have a friend (also the sister of my best friend) who continues to pick losers... her current BF is about 15 years younger than her... but steals from her, cheats on her and lies to her... does not keep a job, does drugs and is getting her involved etc... her parents will not let him come over for any family functions so she doesn't come... Why does she do this Because she NEEDS a man for love... (and once she told me they had sex 5 times in one day, so she liked that also...)...

Nobody will help her anymore... she has used up all her chips and is on her own from now on... sad...
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Re: Family Court as Outcomes Randomizer
Old 02-25-2007, 09:45 AM   #8
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Re: Family Court as Outcomes Randomizer

Quote:
Originally Posted by macdaddy
In this Internet era, anyone who can write that well should be able to work from home/RV, totally flexible hours, and make at least $10/hour.
Wow! Not meaning to doubt you (and not meaning to hijack the thread), but without any connections how does one find work like this that is completely online and reliable, with totally flexible hours at $10/hour?

A job like this could provide a great extra income for an early retiree.
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Re: Family Court as Outcomes Randomizer
Old 02-25-2007, 09:58 AM   #9
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Re: Family Court as Outcomes Randomizer

Some people have hairballs that make them want to validate themselves by fixing someone else.

Some people have hairballs that make them feel they dont deserve anything better.

Some people have hairballs that compel them to choose something they know wont work out so they cant be disappointed.

Some people just have bad luck.

Some people just let things happen to them.

Odd thing is that they can look at someone else in the same bad situation they're entering or involved in, and see the problem. Just not in themselves.
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Re: Family Court as Outcomes Randomizer
Old 02-25-2007, 10:47 AM   #10
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Re: Family Court as Outcomes Randomizer

my past has been one of picking the bad boyz. if not playing on the edge with drugs or booze they were sailing around (or rather into, the dopes,) hurricanes or seeing how many g-forces their little plane could put on them or scuba diving for so long that they'd sucked their tanks dry before heading back to the boat. my two very favorites, i buried. so apparently i'm neither all that bright nor that lucky.

now i will not even allow myself to be more than introduced to anyone if they are so much as smoking a cigarette. i'll be polite but that's it. my new motto: "if you are set on self-destruct, you'll have to get the time of day from someone else. you're not on my watch." i will no longer be putting time & effort & love into people who are simply bent on dying. for them, i'll just be handing out the phone number for hospice.

i don't find telling these stories at all demeaning. stories like ha's and martha's are instructive in living. we don't learn without discussion whether in public or internally. just because i found flaw in the rv lady doesn't mean i'm placing blame. just as i don't fault myself but rather, to protect myself, i keep aware of my own fetish for the foolish. i don't know if such long established patterns can be broken. for me, i'll likely wind up with another bad boy, only this time--aware of what drives me--maybe just one who's already cleaned up his act. and maybe martha's sister might find someone who can roll play a temporary part but who isn't actually destructive to her.

but of course if she remains unaware of her own fatal flaw then she will not only keep falling into bad patterns but she will let those patterns hurt her. instead of learning how to work within those patterns, they will only work against her.

both texas proud and macdaddy make good points and perhaps i was too obscure in trying to say the same thing: results often depend upon approach.
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Re: Family Court as Outcomes Randomizer
Old 02-25-2007, 11:10 AM   #11
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Re: Family Court as Outcomes Randomizer

Most of us here are very analyitcal and more than a little careful about surrendering any autonomy. Some have been executives and are quite good at influencing others to their way of thinking.

In purely finanacial matters I have made very few outright bad decisions. It's just a skill of mine. But I have made so many poor decisions in other areas I couldn't count them even if given all day to do it. But I try to learn. Like my best friend says, "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me."

Ha
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Re: Family Court as Outcomes Randomizer
Old 02-25-2007, 11:17 AM   #12
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Re: Family Court as Outcomes Randomizer

Quote:
Originally Posted by lazygood4nothinbum

but of course if she remains unaware of her own fatal flaw then she will not only keep falling into bad patterns but she will let those patterns hurt her. instead of learning how to work within those patterns, they will only work against her.
Very wise observation. But in my experience, with my own self and observing others, becoming self aware is an elusive ability, especially self aware enough to recognize how you are deluding yourself and being able to counteract that. Some who are quick to point out other's flaws are probably totally unaware of how they sabotage themselves.

People vary in their strength of character. It's difficult for some people to take a hard look at themselves because then they have to do something different, and that is very scary for some. Usually if the pain becomes severe enough, a person wakes up and takes action. I know I did.
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