Cynthia Creem faces Ethics Questions over Alimony Reform

Cynthia Creem

The public debate over two dueling alimony reform bills has called into question whether Sen. Cynthia Creem has a conflict of interest.

There are two bills currently up for discussion in the Legislature, s1616 and h1785. Both concern time limits for alimony payments.

Massachusetts’ current alimony law does not empower judges to cap the duration of an alimony award, enabling post-divorce settlements that can last a lifetime. The current law has drawn fire from alimony payors who say they’ve been forced for years to pay large percentages of their incomes, occasionally forcing them into bankruptcy.

A grass roots effort by citizens to modernize Massachusetts’ outdated alimony laws, headed by Massachusetts Alimony Reform, has been having success promoting H1785. This bill would bring Massachusetts in line with most states by setting alimony guidelines – similar to what we now have for child support. Among other things H1785 would cap all alimony payments at 12 years, would ensure an alimony payor the right to retire, and would protect 2nd wives from paying alimony to a payor’s first spouse.

One of main benefits of H1785 is that it would greatly reduce litigation. The current vague alimony statute leaves judges with wide discretion, meaning that alimony actions can be very expensive. There is a lot for lawyers to argue about. And the fact that alimony in Massachusetts is for life, means that families must relitigate alimony for the rest of their lives. Currently 30% of the caseload in family court is alimony actions.

Proponents of H1785 have made great progress, garnering much favorable media attention, and getting wide support in the legislature. H1785 has over 70 co-sponsors, and public hearings on H1785 in September were packed to overflowing.

The potential ending of this money machine for Massachusetts lawyers left them in a bit of a panic. Lucky for them, former legal lobbyist and practicing divorce lawyer Cynthia Creem is the chairwoman of the Judiciary Committee and has the ability to block H1785.

Creem sponsored S1616 on behalf of the Boston Bar Association. This bill would modify the current law by adding just the words “and duration.” It would leave a law without guidelines and preserve the lawyers sauce mill. At the public hearing on S1616, not one regular citizen testified in support – but representatives of the lawyer’s lobbies were there in force.

Attorney Tim Taylor

But now some are questioning whether Cynthia Stone Creem has a conflict of interest problem. You see, Creem is a prominent divorce lawyer at the firm of Stone, Stone & Creem – a firm that profits handsomely from the current broken alimony law.

“When someone proposes to add another subject — duration — to the alimony statute without any guidance or structure at all concerning it’s application … this would appear to stimulate more litigation, not put an end to it,” said Tim Taylor, a sole practitioner in Lincoln, who wrote House bill 1785.

The issue has been referred to the Senate’s Ethics Committee, but given the narrow wording of conflict of interest laws, there is little they can do about it.

“The conflict of interest law doesn’t apply here because the conflict is speculative,” said Pam Wilmot, executive director of Boston-based Common Cause Massachusetts, a nonprofit, nonpartisan citizens’ lobbying group that promotes accountable government.

“The impact is diffused and general in nature. It would need to be a more substantial and closer connection between the legislation and the individual involved,” Wilmot said.

So while her participation in blocking H1785 certainly looks self serving – it is unfortunately not yet illegal.

Steve Hitner

Sustained public pressure on Alimony Reform has forced the Judiciary committee to convene a task force to study alimony reform – but since the legislature has exempted itself from the Massachusetts Open Meeting law – the task force meetings are held behind closed doors. And the task force is composed mostly of lawyer’s lobbyists. Of the 9 members, 4 are representatives from the various lobbies ( Mass Bar, Boston Bar, Women’s Bar and the Academy of Matrimonial Attorneys ). Only one member of the task force, Steve Hitner, is an activist for H1785.

No one knows what kind of recommendation will come out of the task force. If a recommendation comes out of the task force without specific guidelines – it won’t be for the benefit of citizens who pay the lawyers or the state whose courts are flooded with alimony cases – but for the benefit of divorce lawyers.

And even if a recommendation comes out with guidelines – it’s still possible for Creem to torpedo it.

268 Comments

  • March 9, 2010 - 3:51 am | Permalink

    Lets get one thing straight regarding alimony (aka; Also generically known as the ruse of child support). The only persons of interest in this scam are politicians and attorneys. The public has on many occasions and polls expressed it’s concern in the over burgeoning public profiteering.

    The only constituency that has an interest in this are purely those who have a vested interest in the legal profession, with it’s own self interests. There is no separation of powers when we allow legal business interests to undermine those of the population it serves. Apparently the only population truly served is that of the legal profession.

    The good thing and we the citizens I hope sincerely someday soon will regain control of the senate. Instituting bill 101~1776, we shall do it right this time. First in order of citizens business we shall proceed to institute the alienation of attorneys from their wealth, power base and property, secondly of course is set them off back on their banana republic juristocracy boats.

    Creem needs to go period, her interest is only in securing the business monopoly of the ABA to the detriment of the public.

    • Joe Kutzko
      March 11, 2010 - 8:55 pm | Permalink

      Please support for alimony reform “House Bill 1785”

      We also need recognition that all children should have protected rights. I have a family of 4 since the time I was divorced, Sophie (age 11 months), Walter (3 years old), Bennylyn (18) and John (19).

      If you want to show respect to second families do something positive and support laws to protect all children in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. All should be equal even those adopted and born to second families.

      In my case the Judge said the education of my second family children is discretionary but mandatory for my first family children. The youngest child of my first family is now 24. This is not made up; I have it in writing and can prove that what I am saying is true.

      “House Bill 1785″ with limits to the duration alimony made clear and made beyond the discretion of the Judiciary, would greatly help protect the basic rights of all children and second families living in Massachusetts.

      I am also indicating my willingness to provide all details and to testify before the news, and any other organization that will hear our story.

      After 14 years of separation, 11 years of divorce, after remarrying for 11 years, after adopting 2 children and having 2 natural born children, the Judge ordered alimony increased from $300/wk to $750/week without any consideration to my second family and she tied the alimony paid to my current salary not the salary at the time of divorce. My hard work, overtime and personal sacrifice I thought was for the benefit of my second family.

      It is my strong belief that the laws pertaining alimony and protection of children of second families here in Massachusetts are badly broken, abusive and outdated criminalizing large segments of the population including second wives and children who mostly suffer quietly.

      Sincerely Joe, Arlene, John, Bennylyn, Walter and Sophie

      • Clark
        March 11, 2010 - 11:43 pm | Permalink

        This bill IS NOT about child support in any way, shape or form.

        It’s about alimony amount and duration.

        Any discussion about HB1785 should not include child support as child support is a separate, important, and distinctly different matter.

        Respectfully
        Clark

      • Andy
        March 12, 2010 - 4:56 am | Permalink

        Clark is right and also wrong – maybe he does not understand the subject.. Second family with kids has a burden of alimony to (as my kids say) “aunt they heve never seen” and never will …. money which coudl be usd to support the second marriage children go to support some lazy woman with lazy boyfriend who figured out the Mass alimony law and just drain the family with kids. Clark, do you knwo how many soccer balls or baseball bats, or icecreal or (you name it) those stupid alimony can buy for the second marriagekids? Don’t you get it? Or are you a divlrce lawyer???
        Thansk for reading.

    • Reform4Justice
      March 11, 2010 - 10:07 pm | Permalink

      Lifelong Alimony (which is NEVER for rehabilitative purposes) perpetuates “Lifelong Litigation” and penalizes the alimony payor to have to “pay” for the pursuit of constitutional liberty. Every American should have the right to retire and re-marry following divorce, even if that marriage took place in the “Unregulated Alimony” State of Massachusetts!

      Do we live in a State of Democracy or Socialism? Does a Court have the right to order ANY “free” citizen to a lifetime of indebted servitude?…When a “No-Fault” divorce is granted neither party should be penalized financially, merely because he/she is the higher wage-earning American!

      It is not MORALLY correct for Senator Creem to sit at the head of a task force regarding an issue of such obvious personal bias! As a highly paid Divorce Lawyer, in her “other job”…this is a bit akin to the “Wolf Gaurding the Sheep House!” Senator Creem should be forced to “step-down” immediately, or she should do so willingly in the name of decency, as well as democracy!

      Bill H-1785 is our only hope in affording freedom and justice to ALL tax-paying citizens of Massachusetts. This bill enjoys bi-partisan support as it endorses unilateral justice for all people, regardless of race, gender, age or party affiliation. The Massachusetts Courts should be concerned with upholding justice for ALL citizens of Massachusetts!

      Let us allow Bill H-1785 to be judiciously processed… without interference from Ms. Creem and her consorts. The lobbyists who do not favor this Bill represent the very sharks who eat off the bloodshed of lifelong litigation in our Family Courts.

  • March 9, 2010 - 3:51 am | Permalink

    Lets get one thing straight regarding alimony (aka; Also generically known as the ruse of child support). The only persons of interest in this scam are politicians and attorneys. The public has on many occasions and polls expressed it’s concern in the over burgeoning public profiteering.

    The only constituency that has an interest in this are purely those who have a vested interest in the legal profession, with it’s own self interests. There is no separation of powers when we allow legal business interests to undermine those of the population it serves. Apparently the only population truly served is that of the legal profession.

    The good thing and we the citizens I hope sincerely someday soon will regain control of the senate. Instituting bill 101~1776, we shall do it right this time. First in order of citizens business we shall proceed to institute the alienation of attorneys from their wealth, power base and property, secondly of course is set them off back on their banana republic juristocracy boats.

    Creem needs to go period, her interest is only in securing the business monopoly of the ABA to the detriment of the public.

    • Joe Kutzko
      March 11, 2010 - 8:55 pm | Permalink

      Please support for alimony reform “House Bill 1785”

      We also need recognition that all children should have protected rights. I have a family of 4 since the time I was divorced, Sophie (age 11 months), Walter (3 years old), Bennylyn (18) and John (19).

      If you want to show respect to second families do something positive and support laws to protect all children in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. All should be equal even those adopted and born to second families.

      In my case the Judge said the education of my second family children is discretionary but mandatory for my first family children. The youngest child of my first family is now 24. This is not made up; I have it in writing and can prove that what I am saying is true.

      “House Bill 1785″ with limits to the duration alimony made clear and made beyond the discretion of the Judiciary, would greatly help protect the basic rights of all children and second families living in Massachusetts.

      I am also indicating my willingness to provide all details and to testify before the news, and any other organization that will hear our story.

      After 14 years of separation, 11 years of divorce, after remarrying for 11 years, after adopting 2 children and having 2 natural born children, the Judge ordered alimony increased from $300/wk to $750/week without any consideration to my second family and she tied the alimony paid to my current salary not the salary at the time of divorce. My hard work, overtime and personal sacrifice I thought was for the benefit of my second family.

      It is my strong belief that the laws pertaining alimony and protection of children of second families here in Massachusetts are badly broken, abusive and outdated criminalizing large segments of the population including second wives and children who mostly suffer quietly.

      Sincerely Joe, Arlene, John, Bennylyn, Walter and Sophie

      • Clark
        March 11, 2010 - 11:43 pm | Permalink

        This bill IS NOT about child support in any way, shape or form.

        It’s about alimony amount and duration.

        Any discussion about HB1785 should not include child support as child support is a separate, important, and distinctly different matter.

        Respectfully
        Clark

      • Andy
        March 12, 2010 - 4:56 am | Permalink

        Clark is right and also wrong – maybe he does not understand the subject.. Second family with kids has a burden of alimony to (as my kids say) “aunt they heve never seen” and never will …. money which coudl be usd to support the second marriage children go to support some lazy woman with lazy boyfriend who figured out the Mass alimony law and just drain the family with kids. Clark, do you knwo how many soccer balls or baseball bats, or icecreal or (you name it) those stupid alimony can buy for the second marriagekids? Don’t you get it? Or are you a divlrce lawyer???
        Thansk for reading.

    • Reform4Justice
      March 11, 2010 - 10:07 pm | Permalink

      Lifelong Alimony (which is NEVER for rehabilitative purposes) perpetuates “Lifelong Litigation” and penalizes the alimony payor to have to “pay” for the pursuit of constitutional liberty. Every American should have the right to retire and re-marry following divorce, even if that marriage took place in the “Unregulated Alimony” State of Massachusetts!

      Do we live in a State of Democracy or Socialism? Does a Court have the right to order ANY “free” citizen to a lifetime of indebted servitude?…When a “No-Fault” divorce is granted neither party should be penalized financially, merely because he/she is the higher wage-earning American!

      It is not MORALLY correct for Senator Creem to sit at the head of a task force regarding an issue of such obvious personal bias! As a highly paid Divorce Lawyer, in her “other job”…this is a bit akin to the “Wolf Gaurding the Sheep House!” Senator Creem should be forced to “step-down” immediately, or she should do so willingly in the name of decency, as well as democracy!

      Bill H-1785 is our only hope in affording freedom and justice to ALL tax-paying citizens of Massachusetts. This bill enjoys bi-partisan support as it endorses unilateral justice for all people, regardless of race, gender, age or party affiliation. The Massachusetts Courts should be concerned with upholding justice for ALL citizens of Massachusetts!

      Let us allow Bill H-1785 to be judiciously processed… without interference from Ms. Creem and her consorts. The lobbyists who do not favor this Bill represent the very sharks who eat off the bloodshed of lifelong litigation in our Family Courts.

  • Beckyanoyo
    March 11, 2010 - 8:40 pm | Permalink

    I, as a woman, fully support HB1785. I believe in rehabilitive alimony, and I don’t see why someone would need more than 12 years of spousal support to further themselves educationally and/or in the job market. I favor a system where we are all on the same page as far as alimony guidelines. Judge discretion can vary considerably. Sen Creem’s bill adding the words, “and duration” doesn’t provide the clarity needed. People will still be subjected to months of court and thousands in legal fees under these ambiguous “guidelines.” HB 1785 is well written, well thought out, still protects womden, and will make court modifications easier/clearer for all involved.

    • doc hollidey
      March 11, 2010 - 8:55 pm | Permalink

      Great article! I wish more women would speak up. It can also happen to them if they have supported their husbands in the past. We are just providing money to the alimony mill for these crooked attorneys and courts.

  • Amazed
    March 11, 2010 - 8:40 pm | Permalink

    It appears that we need reform of the conflict of interest law in Massachusetts, as well as reform of the laws governing alimony.

    • GB
      March 12, 2010 - 2:51 pm | Permalink

      Alimony, so wrong and a terrible injustice to so many. I made
      the decision to divorce my wife 4 plus years ago. We went through
      the entire process to make it work without success. Our children
      were all adults, she runs a successful business and does well income
      wise. Assets were split evenly, I left everything behind to start fresh.
      On the final judgement day, thanks to the wonderful state of MA and
      it’s 100 year old laws. My weekly alimony judgement forced me to
      drain my saving and file bankruptcy to keep my successful x-wifes bank
      book to keep growing. For those who are considering divorce here in
      MA, think about it first. Seperate, move to a state where the laws
      are FAIR. Meet the residence requirements, then proceed with the process
      of getting on with life. It is time for change MASS law makers.

  • DB
    March 11, 2010 - 8:40 pm | Permalink

    More people who aren’t involved even should be aware of and supporting this change in laws. There but by the grace of God go I. You never know when you also can be screwed by someone whom you thought had morals when you married them.

  • Beckyanoyo
    March 11, 2010 - 8:40 pm | Permalink

    I, as a woman, fully support HB1785. I believe in rehabilitive alimony, and I don’t see why someone would need more than 12 years of spousal support to further themselves educationally and/or in the job market. I favor a system where we are all on the same page as far as alimony guidelines. Judge discretion can vary considerably. Sen Creem’s bill adding the words, “and duration” doesn’t provide the clarity needed. People will still be subjected to months of court and thousands in legal fees under these ambiguous “guidelines.” HB 1785 is well written, well thought out, still protects womden, and will make court modifications easier/clearer for all involved.

    • doc hollidey
      March 11, 2010 - 8:55 pm | Permalink

      Great article! I wish more women would speak up. It can also happen to them if they have supported their husbands in the past. We are just providing money to the alimony mill for these crooked attorneys and courts.

  • Amazed
    March 11, 2010 - 8:40 pm | Permalink

    It appears that we need reform of the conflict of interest law in Massachusetts, as well as reform of the laws governing alimony.

    • GB
      March 12, 2010 - 2:51 pm | Permalink

      Alimony, so wrong and a terrible injustice to so many. I made
      the decision to divorce my wife 4 plus years ago. We went through
      the entire process to make it work without success. Our children
      were all adults, she runs a successful business and does well income
      wise. Assets were split evenly, I left everything behind to start fresh.
      On the final judgement day, thanks to the wonderful state of MA and
      it’s 100 year old laws. My weekly alimony judgement forced me to
      drain my saving and file bankruptcy to keep my successful x-wifes bank
      book to keep growing. For those who are considering divorce here in
      MA, think about it first. Seperate, move to a state where the laws
      are FAIR. Meet the residence requirements, then proceed with the process
      of getting on with life. It is time for change MASS law makers.

  • DB
    March 11, 2010 - 8:40 pm | Permalink

    More people who aren’t involved even should be aware of and supporting this change in laws. There but by the grace of God go I. You never know when you also can be screwed by someone whom you thought had morals when you married them.

  • doc hollidey
    March 11, 2010 - 8:44 pm | Permalink

    This is nothing but a scam to keep attorneys with a book full of business at the expense of the alimony payer. No one should have to be indebted to someone else for the rest of their lives. It is like taking out a credit card and once you take it out you can never be relieved of making payments to the credit card company. No matter how much you pay, it is never enough. No person should be made an indentured servant to another person. These alimony laws should have a limit of no more than half the length of the marriage. Preferrably, the alimony would end after five to ten years. Than is more than enough time for the ex to get a job and become self supportive. These attorneys that meet behind closed doors are just trying to protect their fraudulent little gold mine. No wonder people have rotten opinions of attorneys.

  • doc hollidey
    March 11, 2010 - 8:44 pm | Permalink

    This is nothing but a scam to keep attorneys with a book full of business at the expense of the alimony payer. No one should have to be indebted to someone else for the rest of their lives. It is like taking out a credit card and once you take it out you can never be relieved of making payments to the credit card company. No matter how much you pay, it is never enough. No person should be made an indentured servant to another person. These alimony laws should have a limit of no more than half the length of the marriage. Preferrably, the alimony would end after five to ten years. Than is more than enough time for the ex to get a job and become self supportive. These attorneys that meet behind closed doors are just trying to protect their fraudulent little gold mine. No wonder people have rotten opinions of attorneys.

  • Hart123
    March 11, 2010 - 8:46 pm | Permalink

    What a great piece – it’s about time that attention be paid to what is really transpiring in the statehouse as related to alimony reform. Current Massachusetts alimony laws are obscenely unfair, blatantly discriminatory, and rooted in a bizarre extremist mentality that alimony is a lifetime benefit. The various Bar Associations support of Senate Bill 1616 and opposition to MEANINGFUL alimony reform as embodied in House Bill 1785 is a shameful and frankly disgusting attempt by lawyers to preserve their economic status at the expense of the public interest. Why is it that HB 1785 has more than 70 legislative co-sponsors (in contrast to one for SB 1616) and cannot make it out of the Judiciary Committee for a vote? The answer lies quite simply with the incredibly forceful opposition by the well organized and financed divorce lawyers. Similar to prior battles that pitted the public interest against the shockingly exorbitant compensation of the legal profession (for example, the public interest versus the bar when it came to auto insurance reform) shows that lawyers will stop at nothing to protect their golden egg. Any change in the alimony status quo that would move toward some semblance of sanity and predictability means less conflict between ex-spouses and less lucrative fees for the ethically challenged divorce lawyers. I heartily agree that it is nothing short of a criminal conflict-of-interest that a well healed divorce lawyer (Sen. Cynthia Creem and sponsor of SB 1616) sits as chair of the legislative Judiciary Committee and, by virtue of her public office, is empowered to successfully block any and all attempts at truly meaningful alimony reform. Until Sen. Creem and her divorce lawyer cronies are appropriately held accountable for their role in the corrupt culture that permeates our state senate whereby the public interest is subservient to that of special interests (i.e., the lawyers), much needed alimony reform will never happen in Massachusetts.

    • doc hollidey
      March 11, 2010 - 8:57 pm | Permalink

      If Cynthia Creem is a Senator, there is one way to get rid of her. Vote her out of office!!!!

  • Hart123
    March 11, 2010 - 8:46 pm | Permalink

    What a great piece – it’s about time that attention be paid to what is really transpiring in the statehouse as related to alimony reform. Current Massachusetts alimony laws are obscenely unfair, blatantly discriminatory, and rooted in a bizarre extremist mentality that alimony is a lifetime benefit. The various Bar Associations support of Senate Bill 1616 and opposition to MEANINGFUL alimony reform as embodied in House Bill 1785 is a shameful and frankly disgusting attempt by lawyers to preserve their economic status at the expense of the public interest. Why is it that HB 1785 has more than 70 legislative co-sponsors (in contrast to one for SB 1616) and cannot make it out of the Judiciary Committee for a vote? The answer lies quite simply with the incredibly forceful opposition by the well organized and financed divorce lawyers. Similar to prior battles that pitted the public interest against the shockingly exorbitant compensation of the legal profession (for example, the public interest versus the bar when it came to auto insurance reform) shows that lawyers will stop at nothing to protect their golden egg. Any change in the alimony status quo that would move toward some semblance of sanity and predictability means less conflict between ex-spouses and less lucrative fees for the ethically challenged divorce lawyers. I heartily agree that it is nothing short of a criminal conflict-of-interest that a well healed divorce lawyer (Sen. Cynthia Creem and sponsor of SB 1616) sits as chair of the legislative Judiciary Committee and, by virtue of her public office, is empowered to successfully block any and all attempts at truly meaningful alimony reform. Until Sen. Creem and her divorce lawyer cronies are appropriately held accountable for their role in the corrupt culture that permeates our state senate whereby the public interest is subservient to that of special interests (i.e., the lawyers), much needed alimony reform will never happen in Massachusetts.

    • doc hollidey
      March 11, 2010 - 8:57 pm | Permalink

      If Cynthia Creem is a Senator, there is one way to get rid of her. Vote her out of office!!!!

  • FredC
    March 11, 2010 - 8:48 pm | Permalink

    Massachusetts Family Law is written by lawyers for the benefit of lawyers and to the detriment of families. When the written law is left deliberately vague and unlimited judicial discretion leads to a wide range of inconsistent outcomes, hiring a lawyer is essential to navigate through the system. But with clear and precise law – House Bill 1785 – everybody knows the rules and what to expect. Judicial discretion is limited to a narrower band of exceptions. More money stays in the pockets of divorcing couples – not in the hands of their lawyers.

    But Cynthia Stone Creem is the proverbial fox guarding the chicken coop. As a divorce attorney, count on her to attempt to preserve today’s vague and lucrative system. She’ll hide behind phrases like “every case is unique and different” and “we have to give the judges who actually hear the cases the tools to make good decisions.” But the reality is that it’s all about money – the lawyers’ money. Let’s let her know that we “get the joke” and will not tolerate her charade.

  • FredC
    March 11, 2010 - 8:48 pm | Permalink

    Massachusetts Family Law is written by lawyers for the benefit of lawyers and to the detriment of families. When the written law is left deliberately vague and unlimited judicial discretion leads to a wide range of inconsistent outcomes, hiring a lawyer is essential to navigate through the system. But with clear and precise law – House Bill 1785 – everybody knows the rules and what to expect. Judicial discretion is limited to a narrower band of exceptions. More money stays in the pockets of divorcing couples – not in the hands of their lawyers.

    But Cynthia Stone Creem is the proverbial fox guarding the chicken coop. As a divorce attorney, count on her to attempt to preserve today’s vague and lucrative system. She’ll hide behind phrases like “every case is unique and different” and “we have to give the judges who actually hear the cases the tools to make good decisions.” But the reality is that it’s all about money – the lawyers’ money. Let’s let her know that we “get the joke” and will not tolerate her charade.

  • Karen
    March 11, 2010 - 8:48 pm | Permalink

    I attended the hearing in September and was disgusted to observe Senator Creem’s disinterest (she was busy chatting with the legislator beside her, or texting on her cellphone) during most of the testimonies from the constituents who were speaking in support of HB 1785. No doubt, the dozens of folks there to testify who stayed until after 9pm were serious and committed to Alimony Reform and if we don’t make it pass this time around, we’ll just keep going and getting more and more press in the meantime. If you live in Senator Creem’s district, VOTE HER OUT or run against her!

  • Karen
    March 11, 2010 - 8:48 pm | Permalink

    I attended the hearing in September and was disgusted to observe Senator Creem’s disinterest (she was busy chatting with the legislator beside her, or texting on her cellphone) during most of the testimonies from the constituents who were speaking in support of HB 1785. No doubt, the dozens of folks there to testify who stayed until after 9pm were serious and committed to Alimony Reform and if we don’t make it pass this time around, we’ll just keep going and getting more and more press in the meantime. If you live in Senator Creem’s district, VOTE HER OUT or run against her!

  • Plain Jane
    March 11, 2010 - 8:52 pm | Permalink

    Welcome to Massachusetts- a National Disgrace. Anyone with a brain and a dollar should leave immediately and certainly tell your children and their children to flee.

    This article is excellent. It really clarifies what the issues are, and who is impeding reform-the divorce lawyers. Middle income people in MA must pay tens, if not hundreds of thousands, in legal bills to get a SIMPLE divorce because the rules of the game are so stacked and so complicated, so imprecise and SO unfair.

    I am in a family in which the father has gone into debt $200,000 since a divorce that the wife sought 8 years ago, and has had to pay $80K in legal fees – the amount of money that his child has had to borrow in order to go to college, because the other parent refused to work full-time, because she did not want her alimony or child support lowered. * EVERYONE * in the family has suffered grievous financial harm because of this law, and because it permits one EDUCATED able-bodied adult to REFUSE to work full-time and thereby force everyone else, including her child, into massive, lifelong debt. WINNERS: THE LAWYERS. The father paid $80K in legal bills. The mother paid her lawyers about that much too. $160K in legal bills. The child’s education for 4 years: $120,000. The education state? Hahahahahahaha! The lawyer enrichment state. Three cheers for the Mass and Boston Bar Associations, stealing your money however they can.

    Shame shame shame on Gov. Patrick and every stinking pol in this stinking state.

    • doc hollidey
      March 11, 2010 - 9:00 pm | Permalink

      This is the same as welfare. Someone that is able to work is just living like a leech off of someone else’s hard work. Why should one have to work to support another who doesn’t want to because she may lose her blood sucking alimony? There is so much scum on earth.

      • MAK1
        March 11, 2010 - 11:30 pm | Permalink

        Utlimately there are no justifiable reasons for lifetime alimony. Even if the recipient claims that they can’t work.

        All alimony needs a durational cap in all cases – no exceptions whatsoever.

      • Heather Parizo
        April 15, 2010 - 4:13 am | Permalink

        This IS JUST like welfare! My husband pays his exwife alimony even though she is engaged to another man and has been living with him for the past five years but wont get married because THEY collect a third paycheck from my husband! It is SICKENING that people would leech off another person for their own person gain-assets were divided at time of divorce-kids married – I just can’t beleive that their is no protection for hard working people who work hard to EARN their money but have to give it to these immoral people who use someone else! Alimony reform needs to happen now! I can’t beleive in everything I read the horror stories people go through and the immoral thoughts of a SENATOR and Attorneys would squah this because THEY want to use the hard working citizens of Massachusetts for their own gain-SHAME on these people! In the end they’ll have to answer for there immorral choices! I hope to God that more people are aware of this financial abuse and don’t re-elect Cynthia Creem and get someone in office that actually CARES about people’s wellbeing through the already horrible and emotional divorce process!

  • Plain Jane
    March 11, 2010 - 8:52 pm | Permalink

    Welcome to Massachusetts- a National Disgrace. Anyone with a brain and a dollar should leave immediately and certainly tell your children and their children to flee.

    This article is excellent. It really clarifies what the issues are, and who is impeding reform-the divorce lawyers. Middle income people in MA must pay tens, if not hundreds of thousands, in legal bills to get a SIMPLE divorce because the rules of the game are so stacked and so complicated, so imprecise and SO unfair.

    I am in a family in which the father has gone into debt $200,000 since a divorce that the wife sought 8 years ago, and has had to pay $80K in legal fees – the amount of money that his child has had to borrow in order to go to college, because the other parent refused to work full-time, because she did not want her alimony or child support lowered. * EVERYONE * in the family has suffered grievous financial harm because of this law, and because it permits one EDUCATED able-bodied adult to REFUSE to work full-time and thereby force everyone else, including her child, into massive, lifelong debt. WINNERS: THE LAWYERS. The father paid $80K in legal bills. The mother paid her lawyers about that much too. $160K in legal bills. The child’s education for 4 years: $120,000. The education state? Hahahahahahaha! The lawyer enrichment state. Three cheers for the Mass and Boston Bar Associations, stealing your money however they can.

    Shame shame shame on Gov. Patrick and every stinking pol in this stinking state.

    • doc hollidey
      March 11, 2010 - 9:00 pm | Permalink

      This is the same as welfare. Someone that is able to work is just living like a leech off of someone else’s hard work. Why should one have to work to support another who doesn’t want to because she may lose her blood sucking alimony? There is so much scum on earth.

      • MAK1
        March 11, 2010 - 11:30 pm | Permalink

        Utlimately there are no justifiable reasons for lifetime alimony. Even if the recipient claims that they can’t work.

        All alimony needs a durational cap in all cases – no exceptions whatsoever.

      • Heather Parizo
        April 15, 2010 - 12:13 am | Permalink

        This IS JUST like welfare! My husband pays his exwife alimony even though she is engaged to another man and has been living with him for the past five years but wont get married because THEY collect a third paycheck from my husband! It is SICKENING that people would leech off another person for their own person gain-assets were divided at time of divorce-kids married – I just can’t beleive that their is no protection for hard working people who work hard to EARN their money but have to give it to these immoral people who use someone else! Alimony reform needs to happen now! I can’t beleive in everything I read the horror stories people go through and the immoral thoughts of a SENATOR and Attorneys would squah this because THEY want to use the hard working citizens of Massachusetts for their own gain-SHAME on these people! In the end they’ll have to answer for there immorral choices! I hope to God that more people are aware of this financial abuse and don’t re-elect Cynthia Creem and get someone in office that actually CARES about people’s wellbeing through the already horrible and emotional divorce process!

  • doc hollidey
    March 11, 2010 - 8:53 pm | Permalink

    It’s so nice to hear a woman (Beckyanoyo) support alimony reform. What more do these lawyers need to hear? Cynthia Creem needs to dismiss herself from these hearings in the name of ethics, but I am sure she has no care about ethics or morals. She is more interested in padding her own pockets and those of her cronies. When people stop getting married in Massachusetts, then maybe they will be more likely to change the laws. We have some of the same problems in South Carolina. I would not advise ANYONE to get married in these states without a pre-nup, and I am not sure I would advise it even then. Just get a preacher and a Bible and leave the state out of it. Once they are involved, they own you for life. This is the problem with just about every facet of big government. They have no business messing with our lives in this way, but they will until we stop them.

  • Emmett
    March 11, 2010 - 8:53 pm | Permalink

    Isn’t it crazy to allow one person to hold the entire commonwealth hostage on a law that is an invitation to injustice and should have been radically reformed years ago? If the Senate lets Senator Creem get away with derailing genuine alimony reform, shame on the other senators who will have enabled her.
    Under current law, people can be required to pay alimony to an ex-spouse for a period of time far longer than the duration of the marriage and can be ordered to pay more alimony if they re-marry, on the grounds that they can afford to pay more when the new spouse’s income is considered. It provides a disincentive for an ex-spouse receiving alimony to become self-supporting, because by not becoming self-supporting he or she can guarantee a lifetime income paid for by the former spouse. Finally, judges do not have to consider potential earnings when setting alimony awards, only current income. The supported spouse can then work part time or work at a lower paying job to preserve maximum alimony, while the supporting ex-spouse may have to do extra work to afford the alimony. How can anyone think that the current system, with no rules in place to prevent such abuses and injustices, is just?

    • doc hollidey
      March 11, 2010 - 9:01 pm | Permalink

      Follow the national mood and vote them all out of office!!

  • doc hollidey
    March 11, 2010 - 8:53 pm | Permalink

    It’s so nice to hear a woman (Beckyanoyo) support alimony reform. What more do these lawyers need to hear? Cynthia Creem needs to dismiss herself from these hearings in the name of ethics, but I am sure she has no care about ethics or morals. She is more interested in padding her own pockets and those of her cronies. When people stop getting married in Massachusetts, then maybe they will be more likely to change the laws. We have some of the same problems in South Carolina. I would not advise ANYONE to get married in these states without a pre-nup, and I am not sure I would advise it even then. Just get a preacher and a Bible and leave the state out of it. Once they are involved, they own you for life. This is the problem with just about every facet of big government. They have no business messing with our lives in this way, but they will until we stop them.

  • Emmett
    March 11, 2010 - 8:53 pm | Permalink

    Isn’t it crazy to allow one person to hold the entire commonwealth hostage on a law that is an invitation to injustice and should have been radically reformed years ago? If the Senate lets Senator Creem get away with derailing genuine alimony reform, shame on the other senators who will have enabled her.
    Under current law, people can be required to pay alimony to an ex-spouse for a period of time far longer than the duration of the marriage and can be ordered to pay more alimony if they re-marry, on the grounds that they can afford to pay more when the new spouse’s income is considered. It provides a disincentive for an ex-spouse receiving alimony to become self-supporting, because by not becoming self-supporting he or she can guarantee a lifetime income paid for by the former spouse. Finally, judges do not have to consider potential earnings when setting alimony awards, only current income. The supported spouse can then work part time or work at a lower paying job to preserve maximum alimony, while the supporting ex-spouse may have to do extra work to afford the alimony. How can anyone think that the current system, with no rules in place to prevent such abuses and injustices, is just?

    • doc hollidey
      March 11, 2010 - 9:01 pm | Permalink

      Follow the national mood and vote them all out of office!!

  • AlimonySucks
    March 11, 2010 - 8:54 pm | Permalink

    Only in MA could this happen – or a third world dictatorship. The sniff of an ethical lapse should immediately draw a withdrawal from the committee. Even if Sen. Creem did the right thing – and got this to a vote (which she has no interest in doing apparently) – she would be questioned by all sides – and rightfully so. She has a clear and obvious conflict regardless of her position, and should recuse herself.

    On a positive note, it sure seems that anyone who does not support real substantive change of these pathetic and arcane alimony laws will end up in a political quagmire. The state voters overwhelmingly support 1785 as it is, and more will hop on board after some minor changes. Scott Brown (a co sponsor) won a seat that couldn’t be won – current legislators should not assume they will continue to win if they don’t do something about this. I estimate that 65% or more of the states voting block are directly affected by alimony one way or another – and of those 90% plus are pro-reform. Ignoring or watering down this legislation will be a death sentence politically. This issue isn’t going away.

    To the Sen. and other legislators involved – do your jobs.

  • AlimonySucks
    March 11, 2010 - 8:54 pm | Permalink

    Only in MA could this happen – or a third world dictatorship. The sniff of an ethical lapse should immediately draw a withdrawal from the committee. Even if Sen. Creem did the right thing – and got this to a vote (which she has no interest in doing apparently) – she would be questioned by all sides – and rightfully so. She has a clear and obvious conflict regardless of her position, and should recuse herself.

    On a positive note, it sure seems that anyone who does not support real substantive change of these pathetic and arcane alimony laws will end up in a political quagmire. The state voters overwhelmingly support 1785 as it is, and more will hop on board after some minor changes. Scott Brown (a co sponsor) won a seat that couldn’t be won – current legislators should not assume they will continue to win if they don’t do something about this. I estimate that 65% or more of the states voting block are directly affected by alimony one way or another – and of those 90% plus are pro-reform. Ignoring or watering down this legislation will be a death sentence politically. This issue isn’t going away.

    To the Sen. and other legislators involved – do your jobs.

  • Deborah
    March 11, 2010 - 8:55 pm | Permalink

    You just have to scratch your head in amazement that our electred officials think the voting public are going to tolerate this type of corruption and insult to our intelligence. If there ever was a conflict of interest, this is it. I hate to quote Michale Moore, but his recent words refering to Democrats who do not listen to their constituents – “they’re in for an ass-whooping of Biblical proportions in November” Senator Creem recuse thyself. House of Representatives go pull h1785 out of Committee and vote positively and send it on to the Senate. Senators, listen to the citizenry, we want reform. Alimony reform and Ethics reform

  • Deborah
    March 11, 2010 - 8:55 pm | Permalink

    You just have to scratch your head in amazement that our electred officials think the voting public are going to tolerate this type of corruption and insult to our intelligence. If there ever was a conflict of interest, this is it. I hate to quote Michale Moore, but his recent words refering to Democrats who do not listen to their constituents – “they’re in for an ass-whooping of Biblical proportions in November” Senator Creem recuse thyself. House of Representatives go pull h1785 out of Committee and vote positively and send it on to the Senate. Senators, listen to the citizenry, we want reform. Alimony reform and Ethics reform

  • Tiger
    March 11, 2010 - 8:58 pm | Permalink

    Alimony litigation is the perpetual money machine for divorce attorney’s like Creem. If Massachusetts had more clear and presciptive alimony laws (like HB 1785, divorcing spouses and their children would be much better off.

  • Tiger
    March 11, 2010 - 8:58 pm | Permalink

    Alimony litigation is the perpetual money machine for divorce attorney’s like Creem. If Massachusetts had more clear and presciptive alimony laws (like HB 1785, divorcing spouses and their children would be much better off.

  • Kayellaich
    March 11, 2010 - 8:59 pm | Permalink

    Twice I waived my so-called “rights” to alimony: Once during my divorce in 2000 and again when I married my current husband via a pre-nuptial agreement that just for the record, I insisted upon. Now 5 years later I find out that despite the fact that I clearly don’t believe in alimony, my income can be attached to pay my husband’s nonworking, adultery-committing ex-wife. Meanwhile she and her lesbian lover (whom of course she won’t marry, even though it’s legal in MA–because she would lose her alimony) are living in a house worth twice what ours is, taking trips to Foxwoods, and sit around doing nothing but committing fraud and spending our hard-earned money.

    How is it even legal? How is it fair that I had two very young children when my first husband left me–for another woman, no less–yet I pulled myself up by my bootstraps, took on another job, paid the mortgage, furthered my education, and did what I needed to do to support myself and my children; and now my money goes directly to a non-working ex-wife whose children have been adults for 10 years? And it’s for life! DO SOMETHING ABOUT THIS and support HB 1785. Allowing Sen. Creem to make decisions about alimony law should be likened to Philip Morris being able to pass laws about smoking.

    • doc hollidey
      March 11, 2010 - 9:07 pm | Permalink

      Its only legal because the so-called Judiciary Committee says so. Vote them all out of office! If the spouse is given support so she can live the “life that she has been accustomed to”, then what about the other spouses’s “accustomed” life? Maybe the ex should still come to her ex’es house and do the laundry, clean the house, cook, and grant sexual favors. At least she would be earning her money, and this is what the former paying spouse was “accustomed” to. Nothing like “free” money at someone else’s expense. The politicians know all about this. It’s easy to spend someone else’s money

      • kayellaich
        March 12, 2010 - 12:06 am | Permalink

        My husband’s ex-wife was a terrible cook, neglectful mother, and based on her atrophied appearance I sincerely doubt he’d want any sexual favors either. She was too busy with her lesbian affairs to do much in the childrearing and homemaking role…he left her for cheating and now he pays for life because she quit her job, refused to seek another job, and never intends to work. Senator Creem asserts that these alimony payors “would not be where they are today” if not for their wives’ efforts…and she’s right. My husband would’ve been MUCH further ahead if his ex-wife hadn’t stolen all the marital funds, faked a worker’s comp injury, and cleaned out his retirement accounts without permission. Everyone who supports H1785 should campaign for Creem’s opponent and vote for him in November!!!

  • Interested Party
    March 11, 2010 - 8:59 pm | Permalink

    I am a supporter of HR 1785 as it is such an no-brainer. Aside from supporting HR 1785, there needs to be continued pressure placed on the Senate’s Ethics committee to deal with senators and issues where this a conflict such as the one facing Senator Creem. Also, another point, Senator Creem is up for re-election this year and so far I have seen little discussion or strategy about attempts to unseat her as another option. Aside from questions about her ethics, she also has one of the worst roll call vote attendance records for 2009.

    http://www.wickedlocal.com/brookline/town_info/government/x819330254/Creem-misses-40-roll-call-votes-in-2009-due-to-surgery

    Time for citizens in Senator Creem’s district to wake-up and make a change that would be better for their representation in the Mass Senate on several levels!

    • doc hollidey
      March 11, 2010 - 9:09 pm | Permalink

      Vote your next door neighbor into office. I would rather have someone in office with no experience and just good common sense that has the welfare of the state in their heart than an “experienced” crook in office.

    • March 11, 2010 - 9:59 pm | Permalink

      I’m sure to look into this for a later article thanks for pointing it out. I heard she only missed this many days because of hand surgery. My question is did she still find time to represent her wealthy clients in court?

    • Louis J
      March 12, 2010 - 2:17 am | Permalink

      Yes, voting Senator Creem out of office is a fine idea…the problem is that she represents my home town, Newton, a never-never-land in which all dogs are leashed, all grass is manicured and all disputes are remedied through courts…and if Senator Creem implies through her support of S1616 that all men are beasts, all divorces are due to testosterone surges, and all divorced women must receive alimony-for-life for having been subjected to male brutishness during marriage, the empathic citizens of Newton would not likely disagree…

  • Kayellaich
    March 11, 2010 - 8:59 pm | Permalink

    Twice I waived my so-called “rights” to alimony: Once during my divorce in 2000 and again when I married my current husband via a pre-nuptial agreement that just for the record, I insisted upon. Now 5 years later I find out that despite the fact that I clearly don’t believe in alimony, my income can be attached to pay my husband’s nonworking, adultery-committing ex-wife. Meanwhile she and her lesbian lover (whom of course she won’t marry, even though it’s legal in MA–because she would lose her alimony) are living in a house worth twice what ours is, taking trips to Foxwoods, and sit around doing nothing but committing fraud and spending our hard-earned money.

    How is it even legal? How is it fair that I had two very young children when my first husband left me–for another woman, no less–yet I pulled myself up by my bootstraps, took on another job, paid the mortgage, furthered my education, and did what I needed to do to support myself and my children; and now my money goes directly to a non-working ex-wife whose children have been adults for 10 years? And it’s for life! DO SOMETHING ABOUT THIS and support HB 1785. Allowing Sen. Creem to make decisions about alimony law should be likened to Philip Morris being able to pass laws about smoking.

    • doc hollidey
      March 11, 2010 - 9:07 pm | Permalink

      Its only legal because the so-called Judiciary Committee says so. Vote them all out of office! If the spouse is given support so she can live the “life that she has been accustomed to”, then what about the other spouses’s “accustomed” life? Maybe the ex should still come to her ex’es house and do the laundry, clean the house, cook, and grant sexual favors. At least she would be earning her money, and this is what the former paying spouse was “accustomed” to. Nothing like “free” money at someone else’s expense. The politicians know all about this. It’s easy to spend someone else’s money

      • kayellaich
        March 12, 2010 - 12:06 am | Permalink

        My husband’s ex-wife was a terrible cook, neglectful mother, and based on her atrophied appearance I sincerely doubt he’d want any sexual favors either. She was too busy with her lesbian affairs to do much in the childrearing and homemaking role…he left her for cheating and now he pays for life because she quit her job, refused to seek another job, and never intends to work. Senator Creem asserts that these alimony payors “would not be where they are today” if not for their wives’ efforts…and she’s right. My husband would’ve been MUCH further ahead if his ex-wife hadn’t stolen all the marital funds, faked a worker’s comp injury, and cleaned out his retirement accounts without permission. Everyone who supports H1785 should campaign for Creem’s opponent and vote for him in November!!!

  • Interested Party
    March 11, 2010 - 8:59 pm | Permalink

    I am a supporter of HR 1785 as it is such an no-brainer. Aside from supporting HR 1785, there needs to be continued pressure placed on the Senate’s Ethics committee to deal with senators and issues where this a conflict such as the one facing Senator Creem. Also, another point, Senator Creem is up for re-election this year and so far I have seen little discussion or strategy about attempts to unseat her as another option. Aside from questions about her ethics, she also has one of the worst roll call vote attendance records for 2009.

    http://www.wickedlocal.com/brookline/town_info/government/x819330254/Creem-misses-40-roll-call-votes-in-2009-due-to-surgery

    Time for citizens in Senator Creem’s district to wake-up and make a change that would be better for their representation in the Mass Senate on several levels!

    • doc hollidey
      March 11, 2010 - 9:09 pm | Permalink

      Vote your next door neighbor into office. I would rather have someone in office with no experience and just good common sense that has the welfare of the state in their heart than an “experienced” crook in office.

    • March 11, 2010 - 9:59 pm | Permalink

      I’m sure to look into this for a later article thanks for pointing it out. I heard she only missed this many days because of hand surgery. My question is did she still find time to represent her wealthy clients in court?

    • Louis J
      March 12, 2010 - 2:17 am | Permalink

      Yes, voting Senator Creem out of office is a fine idea…the problem is that she represents my home town, Newton, a never-never-land in which all dogs are leashed, all grass is manicured and all disputes are remedied through courts…and if Senator Creem implies through her support of S1616 that all men are beasts, all divorces are due to testosterone surges, and all divorced women must receive alimony-for-life for having been subjected to male brutishness during marriage, the empathic citizens of Newton would not likely disagree…

  • Richie
    March 11, 2010 - 9:01 pm | Permalink

    Senator Creem’s office who did engage me in a dicussion about bill 1785 ….were very defensive and know that they are obviously going to bat for themselves. This/these alimony laws are now and have been so way outdated that they it gave My X wife after being divorced for 10 years and a practicing attorny for 26 yrs…..with 5 pc’s of property…three of which she attained after the divorce…..52K a yr for the rest of her life.
    Never mind the crazy attornies fee’s that were accumulated. Which was battle out because “logic’ stated …how can this even come close to happening….but it did…..So Creem needs to know we won’t let up on so called “insider trading” Good luck with the fight for bill 1785!!!!

  • Richie
    March 11, 2010 - 9:01 pm | Permalink

    Senator Creem’s office who did engage me in a dicussion about bill 1785 ….were very defensive and know that they are obviously going to bat for themselves. This/these alimony laws are now and have been so way outdated that they it gave My X wife after being divorced for 10 years and a practicing attorny for 26 yrs…..with 5 pc’s of property…three of which she attained after the divorce…..52K a yr for the rest of her life.
    Never mind the crazy attornies fee’s that were accumulated. Which was battle out because “logic’ stated …how can this even come close to happening….but it did…..So Creem needs to know we won’t let up on so called “insider trading” Good luck with the fight for bill 1785!!!!

  • Scott
    March 11, 2010 - 9:18 pm | Permalink

    It is positively outrageous that she is allowed to continue in her role given the undeniable conflict of interest. Scott Brown’s victory was a small, but important step forward for the people of Massachusetts taking back their government. While this issue is an important one (and one that affects me personally,) the far more important battle to win is eliminating the influence of special interest groups like the Mass Bar Association and voting out of office the legislators like Ms. Creem.

  • Scott
    March 11, 2010 - 9:18 pm | Permalink

    It is positively outrageous that she is allowed to continue in her role given the undeniable conflict of interest. Scott Brown’s victory was a small, but important step forward for the people of Massachusetts taking back their government. While this issue is an important one (and one that affects me personally,) the far more important battle to win is eliminating the influence of special interest groups like the Mass Bar Association and voting out of office the legislators like Ms. Creem.

  • Stephen Poulos
    March 11, 2010 - 9:30 pm | Permalink

    I believe that if Creem is a active divorce attorney she absolutely should be considered in a conflict of interest when her lively hood would be directly affected by a bill that takes the power away from all divorce attorneys by having a clear set guidelines for all divorces.
    In my divorce my ex was making and still is making almost as much as me. I have been forced to give her 25% of my gross income which means her income is about 35% more than mine until I retire if I ever can. Then she gets 50% of my pension for the rest of my life.

  • Stephen Poulos
    March 11, 2010 - 9:30 pm | Permalink

    I believe that if Creem is a active divorce attorney she absolutely should be considered in a conflict of interest when her lively hood would be directly affected by a bill that takes the power away from all divorce attorneys by having a clear set guidelines for all divorces.
    In my divorce my ex was making and still is making almost as much as me. I have been forced to give her 25% of my gross income which means her income is about 35% more than mine until I retire if I ever can. Then she gets 50% of my pension for the rest of my life.

  • Bob
    March 11, 2010 - 9:46 pm | Permalink

    As one who has been intimately involved in the pursuit of alimony reform in a different state for many years, there are many things I have learned about the family law court system and not much of it is good. In most states divorce court is used by the legal profession as an asset milking scheme. Talk to any one of them about reforming the system, and they will introduce you to the “straw woman” that they have fabricated to perpetuate their scam. The “straw woman” devoted years and years of her life to her family and her husband, supporting and promoting him while he ignored his family to pursue his career. Then, without warning he runs off with his younger secretary and leaves his wife with a ruined career potential, no skills, no money, and no future. So, now her husband must pay. Of course, nobody has ever met this woman and if she exists, it is in such small numbers that statistical data can’t find her. Finally, divorce lawyers like Creem think the constitution is for someone else, not them. There is no such thing as “constitutional rights” in family court. It is a kangaroo court run by a judicial oligarchy.

  • Bob
    March 11, 2010 - 9:46 pm | Permalink

    As one who has been intimately involved in the pursuit of alimony reform in a different state for many years, there are many things I have learned about the family law court system and not much of it is good. In most states divorce court is used by the legal profession as an asset milking scheme. Talk to any one of them about reforming the system, and they will introduce you to the “straw woman” that they have fabricated to perpetuate their scam. The “straw woman” devoted years and years of her life to her family and her husband, supporting and promoting him while he ignored his family to pursue his career. Then, without warning he runs off with his younger secretary and leaves his wife with a ruined career potential, no skills, no money, and no future. So, now her husband must pay. Of course, nobody has ever met this woman and if she exists, it is in such small numbers that statistical data can’t find her. Finally, divorce lawyers like Creem think the constitution is for someone else, not them. There is no such thing as “constitutional rights” in family court. It is a kangaroo court run by a judicial oligarchy.

  • Le Beau
    March 11, 2010 - 10:24 pm | Permalink

    Having just begun the painful journey down this road (and being 15K into 3 Atty’s to date with no end in sight), I would think a reasonable voting populace and an objective Legislature would have by now found a way to address this issue. I’m not a proponent of “walk out & leave them broke”, but think that “till death do us part” should be for marriage and not alimony.I just emailed this to a dozen friends & family – please do the same if you feel this is a wrong worth correcting in MA.

  • Le Beau
    March 11, 2010 - 10:24 pm | Permalink

    Having just begun the painful journey down this road (and being 15K into 3 Atty’s to date with no end in sight), I would think a reasonable voting populace and an objective Legislature would have by now found a way to address this issue. I’m not a proponent of “walk out & leave them broke”, but think that “till death do us part” should be for marriage and not alimony.I just emailed this to a dozen friends & family – please do the same if you feel this is a wrong worth correcting in MA.

  • March 11, 2010 - 10:38 pm | Permalink

    This is such a joke its not funny anymore. Can’t anyone see what this is all about? MONEY…….The lawyers don’t want anything to change the trough they have been drinking from for a very long time. Especially Senator Creem. Why ruion a good thing?
    She will be the biggest obstruction to the progress of Reform. She has the ability to kill this bill and she probably will.
    This reform is long overdue and is an injustice to many people and their families. I hope that enough people voice their opinions to influence the right decsion………..REFORM

    • Dan T
      March 11, 2010 - 11:27 pm | Permalink

      I fully support HB 1785. It is time that there were hard rules to follow, not vague guidelines that can be interpreted differently depending on which day of the week.

      The fact that Catherine Creem has any input on this reform bill is completely immoral. Any decision that she makes is strictly to keep lining her pockets.

      I already gave away half of my retirement saving to my ex. When I decide to retire, the alimony should stop. My partner and I would love to get married, but not at the risk of having to take my partner’s earnings to keep my ex comfy.

  • March 11, 2010 - 10:38 pm | Permalink

    This is such a joke its not funny anymore. Can’t anyone see what this is all about? MONEY…….The lawyers don’t want anything to change the trough they have been drinking from for a very long time. Especially Senator Creem. Why ruion a good thing?
    She will be the biggest obstruction to the progress of Reform. She has the ability to kill this bill and she probably will.
    This reform is long overdue and is an injustice to many people and their families. I hope that enough people voice their opinions to influence the right decsion………..REFORM

    • Dan T
      March 11, 2010 - 11:27 pm | Permalink

      I fully support HB 1785. It is time that there were hard rules to follow, not vague guidelines that can be interpreted differently depending on which day of the week.

      The fact that Catherine Creem has any input on this reform bill is completely immoral. Any decision that she makes is strictly to keep lining her pockets.

      I already gave away half of my retirement saving to my ex. When I decide to retire, the alimony should stop. My partner and I would love to get married, but not at the risk of having to take my partner’s earnings to keep my ex comfy.

  • March 12, 2010 - 12:17 am | Permalink

    The ethics laws may not be a specific as needed but the spirit of the ethics laws are quite clear. In the performance of a public duty, an elected official should not, knowingly as in the case of Attorney Creem or unknowingly, interfere with a public debate to modify a law or existing law if such debate, change or law has the potential for personal financial gain. In her public capacity Attorney Creem is supposed to be looking out for the best interest of the public. She very well knows the expense of litigating alimony provisions under the current law because she sends her clients huge invoices for the time and expense of these litigations. Clearly, Attorney Creem needs to step down or away from bill 1785. We need to actively campaign against her ability to defeat this bill and her re-election. This bill is the only humane answer to outdated, unfair, what should be illegal, alimony awards for life. Alimony, if awarded should be rehabilitative in a no fault divorce. It should have guidelines that define who pays what and for how long. I discovered that my wife income can be used in the calculation of a modification of alimony on the basis of my remarriage after I got remarried. Otherwise, I would have stayed single. I never intended to pull my wife into this mess. Now she needs a lawyer to protect her interest. The only solution is for us to divorce. How in the heck is this good for building stable families in this state? If welfare recipients aren’t entitled to collect unearned income without demonstrating earnest effort toward gainful employment, why can’t the same standard be applied to alimony recipients? Bill 1785 provides guidelines, predictability and termination. It may reduce the amount of money that lawyers rob from families needing to divorce but it enables the families to survive divorce. I support bill 1785 100 percent. Creem bill is not worth the paper on which it is written. Does she think we are all a bunch of idiots! Please support 1785!

  • March 12, 2010 - 12:17 am | Permalink

    The ethics laws may not be a specific as needed but the spirit of the ethics laws are quite clear. In the performance of a public duty, an elected official should not, knowingly as in the case of Attorney Creem or unknowingly, interfere with a public debate to modify a law or existing law if such debate, change or law has the potential for personal financial gain. In her public capacity Attorney Creem is supposed to be looking out for the best interest of the public. She very well knows the expense of litigating alimony provisions under the current law because she sends her clients huge invoices for the time and expense of these litigations. Clearly, Attorney Creem needs to step down or away from bill 1785. We need to actively campaign against her ability to defeat this bill and her re-election. This bill is the only humane answer to outdated, unfair, what should be illegal, alimony awards for life. Alimony, if awarded should be rehabilitative in a no fault divorce. It should have guidelines that define who pays what and for how long. I discovered that my wife income can be used in the calculation of a modification of alimony on the basis of my remarriage after I got remarried. Otherwise, I would have stayed single. I never intended to pull my wife into this mess. Now she needs a lawyer to protect her interest. The only solution is for us to divorce. How in the heck is this good for building stable families in this state? If welfare recipients aren’t entitled to collect unearned income without demonstrating earnest effort toward gainful employment, why can’t the same standard be applied to alimony recipients? Bill 1785 provides guidelines, predictability and termination. It may reduce the amount of money that lawyers rob from families needing to divorce but it enables the families to survive divorce. I support bill 1785 100 percent. Creem bill is not worth the paper on which it is written. Does she think we are all a bunch of idiots! Please support 1785!

  • BostonProfessor
    March 12, 2010 - 12:31 am | Permalink

    Attorney Tim Taylor is absolutely correct. Cynthia Creem has an enormous conflict of interest. To suggest otherwise simply ignores logic and common sense. Cynthia Creem and her associates make a terrific livelihood representing, primarily, an affluent clientele that receives lifetime alimony. Her constituency in the metro Boston area (including Brookline, Newton, Wellesley, Weston, etc) is not representative of society’s norm. She caters to a group that seeks lifetime alimony and serves to extract every last penny of a long, expensive divorce. She has no incentive to come to a friendly agreement among divorcing parties: rather, she depends and even fuels acrimony among otherwise rational human beings. The same is true with modification hearings. She has an economic disincentive to resolve an issue amicably! The thousands of dollars (in my case the hundreds of thousands of dollars) going to legal fees tend to be disproportionate to the underlying portfolio of assets among the disputed parties. Nobody benefits other than the lawyers. Not only does the depletion of liquid assets destroy the ability of the husband and wife to quickly get their respective homes back in order, but the extraordinary wealth loss accruing to litigators impinges on the children who are lost in the middle. Who is protecting the financial interests of the children due to excessively litigated cases? Who sets reasonable limits or caps on legal fees for disputing parties? The answer to these questions is nobody. And, if Cynthia Creem has her way, this will continue indefinitely into the future.
    My comments are derived from experience with Cynthia Creem’s office. I am glad that this column is addressing her conflict of interest issue and hope this spotlight will cause her and others like her to change her ways.
    MA laws are archaic and need to be changed. Our legal costs are excessive, our legislators are (in some cases) misguided or corrupt, and I am only too glad to actively participate with my opinion in the forthcoming elections. As we approach November 2010, Brookline and MA voters (along with disgusted voters in other communities) have an opportunity to send a strong message to Cynthia Creem. She needs to be replaced as a State Senator and savvy couples should avoid her law firm. Meanwhile, legislators should immediately remove Cynthia Creem from her position on the judiciary Committee. If they don’t, I along with other like-minded voters will be happy to do it for them.

  • BostonProfessor
    March 12, 2010 - 12:31 am | Permalink

    Attorney Tim Taylor is absolutely correct. Cynthia Creem has an enormous conflict of interest. To suggest otherwise simply ignores logic and common sense. Cynthia Creem and her associates make a terrific livelihood representing, primarily, an affluent clientele that receives lifetime alimony. Her constituency in the metro Boston area (including Brookline, Newton, Wellesley, Weston, etc) is not representative of society’s norm. She caters to a group that seeks lifetime alimony and serves to extract every last penny of a long, expensive divorce. She has no incentive to come to a friendly agreement among divorcing parties: rather, she depends and even fuels acrimony among otherwise rational human beings. The same is true with modification hearings. She has an economic disincentive to resolve an issue amicably! The thousands of dollars (in my case the hundreds of thousands of dollars) going to legal fees tend to be disproportionate to the underlying portfolio of assets among the disputed parties. Nobody benefits other than the lawyers. Not only does the depletion of liquid assets destroy the ability of the husband and wife to quickly get their respective homes back in order, but the extraordinary wealth loss accruing to litigators impinges on the children who are lost in the middle. Who is protecting the financial interests of the children due to excessively litigated cases? Who sets reasonable limits or caps on legal fees for disputing parties? The answer to these questions is nobody. And, if Cynthia Creem has her way, this will continue indefinitely into the future.
    My comments are derived from experience with Cynthia Creem’s office. I am glad that this column is addressing her conflict of interest issue and hope this spotlight will cause her and others like her to change her ways.
    MA laws are archaic and need to be changed. Our legal costs are excessive, our legislators are (in some cases) misguided or corrupt, and I am only too glad to actively participate with my opinion in the forthcoming elections. As we approach November 2010, Brookline and MA voters (along with disgusted voters in other communities) have an opportunity to send a strong message to Cynthia Creem. She needs to be replaced as a State Senator and savvy couples should avoid her law firm. Meanwhile, legislators should immediately remove Cynthia Creem from her position on the judiciary Committee. If they don’t, I along with other like-minded voters will be happy to do it for them.

  • Emmett
    March 12, 2010 - 12:43 am | Permalink

    With regard to Senator Creem’s “straw woman,” I re-married at age 50 and did ALL the sacrificing in my 6-year marriage. I provided 2/3 of the down payment on a house and at least 2/3 of the support for my then-wife and her two children. Because I was willing to shoulder the financial burdens, my ex-wife got to stay home to care for HER teenage children, though she worked full-time when I met her. She also does not fit the straw woman stereotype in that she didn’t do 100% of the housework, shopping, etc. while I worked. I payed for a house cleaner to do most of the house cleaning, and I did about half the shopping and cooking. I also put about $20,000 into my step-son’s college account.
    After 6 years of marriage, during which my ex-wife cheated on me at least once, she got the house so I could keep my pension. She had no more right to my pension than our next door neighbor. She did nothing to support or help me in my career. She just took, took, took. But to crown it all, the judge awarded her alimony that takes about 20% of my regular income. I’ll probably be paying alimony for a period of time that will be 3 or 4 times longer than the duration of the marriage! Welcome to Massachusetts.

  • Emmett
    March 12, 2010 - 12:43 am | Permalink

    With regard to Senator Creem’s “straw woman,” I re-married at age 50 and did ALL the sacrificing in my 6-year marriage. I provided 2/3 of the down payment on a house and at least 2/3 of the support for my then-wife and her two children. Because I was willing to shoulder the financial burdens, my ex-wife got to stay home to care for HER teenage children, though she worked full-time when I met her. She also does not fit the straw woman stereotype in that she didn’t do 100% of the housework, shopping, etc. while I worked. I payed for a house cleaner to do most of the house cleaning, and I did about half the shopping and cooking. I also put about $20,000 into my step-son’s college account.
    After 6 years of marriage, during which my ex-wife cheated on me at least once, she got the house so I could keep my pension. She had no more right to my pension than our next door neighbor. She did nothing to support or help me in my career. She just took, took, took. But to crown it all, the judge awarded her alimony that takes about 20% of my regular income. I’ll probably be paying alimony for a period of time that will be 3 or 4 times longer than the duration of the marriage! Welcome to Massachusetts.

  • Bob
    March 12, 2010 - 1:36 am | Permalink

    Thank you for bringing visibility to the need to pass HB 1785 immediately!! Passing this bill will reduce ligitagion costs because there will be definite guidelines for alimony duration under bill HB1785.

    These reduced costs, with the passage of HB 1785, will not only save money in legal fees for those parties going through divorce but will also save money for all Mass tax payers since the Mass tax payers are funding the state court expenses.

    It seems to me that Senator Cream definitely has a conflict of interest; and, she should be removed from office immediately. She makes money from the fact that Mass has no clear guidelines on alimony duration”!!! She has no incentive to bring change to the current alimony laws.

  • Bob
    March 12, 2010 - 1:36 am | Permalink

    Thank you for bringing visibility to the need to pass HB 1785 immediately!! Passing this bill will reduce ligitagion costs because there will be definite guidelines for alimony duration under bill HB1785.

    These reduced costs, with the passage of HB 1785, will not only save money in legal fees for those parties going through divorce but will also save money for all Mass tax payers since the Mass tax payers are funding the state court expenses.

    It seems to me that Senator Cream definitely has a conflict of interest; and, she should be removed from office immediately. She makes money from the fact that Mass has no clear guidelines on alimony duration”!!! She has no incentive to bring change to the current alimony laws.

  • Louis J
    March 12, 2010 - 1:47 am | Permalink

    Thank you, thank you….all prior newspaper articles and televised presentations on alimony reform have given equal voice and weight to the competing bills, H1785 and S1616, ignoring the fact that Senator Creem’s laughable amendment would add two words to a complex statute and would have no impact on current judicial practices. And in their desire to offer balanced reporting, other authors and commentators have helped spin the illusion that Senator Creem is offering a reasonable alternative to H1785. The author of the article above has gone to the core of the matter and has described the farce of S1616 and the cynicism and self-interest of Senator Creem and her cronies…

    Very disappointing to read that Senate Ethics Committee would not consider a review of Senator Creem. In my place of work and in the usual ethical environment, matters in which there is an appearance of a conflict of interest are reviewed, and persons perceived to have a conflict of interest are removed from positions of authority. Not too complex a concept, I believe.

    Fair minded people should write the Senate Ethics Committee as well as their own Senators, otherwise Senator Creem and the Axis of Alimony will prevail.

  • Louis J
    March 12, 2010 - 1:47 am | Permalink

    Thank you, thank you….all prior newspaper articles and televised presentations on alimony reform have given equal voice and weight to the competing bills, H1785 and S1616, ignoring the fact that Senator Creem’s laughable amendment would add two words to a complex statute and would have no impact on current judicial practices. And in their desire to offer balanced reporting, other authors and commentators have helped spin the illusion that Senator Creem is offering a reasonable alternative to H1785. The author of the article above has gone to the core of the matter and has described the farce of S1616 and the cynicism and self-interest of Senator Creem and her cronies…

    Very disappointing to read that Senate Ethics Committee would not consider a review of Senator Creem. In my place of work and in the usual ethical environment, matters in which there is an appearance of a conflict of interest are reviewed, and persons perceived to have a conflict of interest are removed from positions of authority. Not too complex a concept, I believe.

    Fair minded people should write the Senate Ethics Committee as well as their own Senators, otherwise Senator Creem and the Axis of Alimony will prevail.

  • Susan26
    March 12, 2010 - 1:51 am | Permalink

    Alimony laws in Massachusetts are outdated and inconsistent with the lives women and men lead in the 21st century. The additional wording in Senator Creem’s proposal does nothing to address the issue of entitlement, would do nothing to stop the egregious practice of using second wives’ income to pay alimony to the first wife, and does not allow for the paying ex-spouse to retire. It would still give judges wide discretion and require endless court visits (and of course, attorney fees) any time the payer has to go back for modification. Why should a man — or woman — have to beg a judge to be allowed to retire?

    Child support has a statutory end date, and alimony should as well. These old, outdated laws treat women as helpless dependents who can’t fend for themselves and have no place in today’s society. If an ex needs to provide for a few transition years, fine. But what entitles someone to a lifetime income from a person she no longer is married to?

    The bill being proposed in the House (1785) is simple and based on common sense, and should be supported by our legislators. Senator Creem, who claims to be concerned is as greedy and complicit as they come. Come on, Massachusetts–this is 2010–let’s get this law approved.

  • Susan26
    March 12, 2010 - 1:51 am | Permalink

    Alimony laws in Massachusetts are outdated and inconsistent with the lives women and men lead in the 21st century. The additional wording in Senator Creem’s proposal does nothing to address the issue of entitlement, would do nothing to stop the egregious practice of using second wives’ income to pay alimony to the first wife, and does not allow for the paying ex-spouse to retire. It would still give judges wide discretion and require endless court visits (and of course, attorney fees) any time the payer has to go back for modification. Why should a man — or woman — have to beg a judge to be allowed to retire?

    Child support has a statutory end date, and alimony should as well. These old, outdated laws treat women as helpless dependents who can’t fend for themselves and have no place in today’s society. If an ex needs to provide for a few transition years, fine. But what entitles someone to a lifetime income from a person she no longer is married to?

    The bill being proposed in the House (1785) is simple and based on common sense, and should be supported by our legislators. Senator Creem, who claims to be concerned is as greedy and complicit as they come. Come on, Massachusetts–this is 2010–let’s get this law approved.

  • Steve M
    March 12, 2010 - 2:42 am | Permalink

    “Conflict of interest” is an understatement for Senator Creem. She is obviously self-serving, and has only the interests of herself and her greedy
    corrupt ethically challenged family lawyers buddies in mind. Obviously, a complete disregard for the interest of the Mass citizens. So, if HB 1785 is not passed due to Senator Creem and others…..all those opposed to HB1785 need to be identified and voted out of office, period, no questions asked no matter who the incumbent is. Anyone with common sense could do a better job than Senator Creem and her clan. People are tired of politicians that don’t represent the best interests of the citizens.

    With the economy in bad shape, people are aware more than ever, of bad laws, and the current MA Alimony law (or lack of) is most definitely one of them. If HB1785 doesn’t pass, it very well could be political suicide for Senator Creem and others.

  • Steve M
    March 12, 2010 - 2:42 am | Permalink

    “Conflict of interest” is an understatement for Senator Creem. She is obviously self-serving, and has only the interests of herself and her greedy
    corrupt ethically challenged family lawyers buddies in mind. Obviously, a complete disregard for the interest of the Mass citizens. So, if HB 1785 is not passed due to Senator Creem and others…..all those opposed to HB1785 need to be identified and voted out of office, period, no questions asked no matter who the incumbent is. Anyone with common sense could do a better job than Senator Creem and her clan. People are tired of politicians that don’t represent the best interests of the citizens.

    With the economy in bad shape, people are aware more than ever, of bad laws, and the current MA Alimony law (or lack of) is most definitely one of them. If HB1785 doesn’t pass, it very well could be political suicide for Senator Creem and others.

  • Plain Jane
    March 12, 2010 - 4:30 am | Permalink

    GOOD NEWS: Cynthia Creem has an opponent running against her this fall: Charles Rudnick.

    If Mr. Rudnick supports alimony reform in the form oHR 1785, he might have thousands of new supporters who will work their butts off for his campaign. Check it out:

    http://massachusetts-election-2010.com/category/state-senate/creem-rudnick/

    http://www.charlesrudnick.com

  • Plain Jane
    March 12, 2010 - 4:30 am | Permalink

    GOOD NEWS: Cynthia Creem has an opponent running against her this fall: Charles Rudnick.

    If Mr. Rudnick supports alimony reform in the form oHR 1785, he might have thousands of new supporters who will work their butts off for his campaign. Check it out:

    http://massachusetts-election-2010.com/category/state-senate/creem-rudnick/

    http://www.charlesrudnick.com

  • Andrew Popelka
    March 12, 2010 - 4:46 am | Permalink

    What Ms. Creem is doing – oposing the legislation which endangers her practice, and practice of “her alike”, and promotes lgislation which certainly damages the financial standing of regular citizens who happened to endure divorce should be viewed as economic crime, not just as a coflict of interest. She should be immediately removed from the task force. Otherwise it smells like communism

  • Andrew Popelka
    March 12, 2010 - 4:46 am | Permalink

    What Ms. Creem is doing – oposing the legislation which endangers her practice, and practice of “her alike”, and promotes lgislation which certainly damages the financial standing of regular citizens who happened to endure divorce should be viewed as economic crime, not just as a coflict of interest. She should be immediately removed from the task force. Otherwise it smells like communism

  • March 12, 2010 - 5:04 am | Permalink

    It is very important to understand the enmeshed attorney interest in legislative control and control of populations and down to county level. Firstly the inner circle of all legislative business is controlled by attorneys, they compose all key positions in any legislature. In the old days anyone and everyone was part of the house and senate, You did a hard honest days work in whatever job you did and on a part time basis purely on a public meritus and trust. Voluntarily taking part in all things that affected the business of the state. We are talking not attorneys here ! Over the past 3 generations we got lazy and allowed attorneys to control everything, don’t get me wrong here. We need lawyers but not ever near any cookie jar, that is a most dangerous place to put a socially autistic and irresponsible individual walking calculator. You can test this theory by simply asking any attorney about the law, and they will operate a calculator instead.

    Ok so they control all funding and extended business into controlling welfare. They as a private monopoly corporation proposed extending the courts to include control of welfare and social security. It was easy, here MR STATE OF MA and MR FEDERAL GOVERNEMNT we will take over this part of the safety nets, we will create no fault courts taking over control of marriage and children. Wow, says MR STATE of MA and you will save time and money. Yes they say all of those things and more. They actually increased government employees, courts and prisons and all other red tape processes to include a massive 53% of all those of the population of MA who became state employees directly or indirectly. Great ! Oh really, think about it, that is an awful lot of people who rely on state revenue for an income.

    So off these scoundrels went, reorganizing common courts to make special business courts under article 3,4, corrupting politically motivated judges and making rules that apply only to themselves, all and each rule or statute progressively increasing state revenue. All well and good, the FEDERAL Government along with state Bonds looked great with 5 star ratings. The fed was free to stick loads of IOU’s in place of SS, welfare. The trick was to secure citizens wealth, it was a coup de gras. Qui tam ! Families and their inherited wealth were free to be liquidated based on interesting legal and case law doctrines. As a result male or female, you can no longer take your child onto the highest point of your land or property, or anything and say one day this will be all yours. We have instead to say after uncle Sam has taken his 101% of my life’s worth, you if you can afford it and pay your dues to uncle sam to may get or inherit it. But again you will never own anything. Eminent domain says everything is now on rent, you own your house, or business. Give me a break, you rent it and/or are an unpaid tax collector!

    Biblically if we study the ancient cultures for the metaphor they represent, today attorneys would be the equivalent of Pharisees and the culture would be Baalism. (To take what is free and administer it at a cost). A prime and simple example of this would be accessibility to basic law to prevent injustice. In this nation it is not available unless you can afford it, hence the law is no longer able to protect our most vulnerable. A very basic safety net and we wonder why our country is in a mess. Sure you middle and upper class like the idea of palimony, alimony or CS but it was only a legal means to sacrifice families and ultimately children to a life of commercial rootless mobility.

    As for alimony (aka child support in disguise or vica versa) a noble idea, but under IV-D funding which includes alimony as a state accountable cost through, the state benefits with undistributed and federal cost refunds but as we are now finding out these attorney scoundrels have been emptying the larders, declaring this as state revenue on the books when it actually belonged to individuals, investing in multimillion dollar retirement scams for themselves in commodity markets. Raiding every pot that previous generations thought we had saved up for, many died for, and many believed we had in real tangibles so that future generations could live in security. Not a cat in hells chance, these scoundrels could not keep their hands off the cookie jar. As for alimony yes certain females benefited and some quite rightly so. Most are I believe taken to their own future personal detriment, no self respect or fortitude of even being a citizen of equality but entitlement. It is a sad state that we have created dependency not independence. Certainly a far cry from our beliefs by evidencing that males are never given alimony. No equality or sense of citizenship, it is almost scarily incestuous in the dependency it has created for particular individuals.

    Creem has been for the last decade sitting on progressive legislative actions to prevent them from being enacted while deceitfully blocking their passage by other actions based solely on her business and personal welfare world view. Like all politicians who rise out of the ranks of attorneys including the current president. They own the law and are only accountable to themselves along with the great brotherhood, we do not get to have a say period !, we do not get to act period !, and worse we pay for these things that these people do on our behalf. We shall now pay the price for allowing this progressive attorney thinking, while these scoundrels realign themselves or run for cover. Hopefully creems foreign made very expensive auto can travel fast enough out of town when the going starts to get rough around here. As in where does the money come from now ! Alimony payers are now getting the short shaft not because they deserve it, but simply because they don’t have it. John Cleese as an example, married no children has to work till his dying day to service a court ordered alimony based on his career without fail. The interesting thing is for every eight dollars that Cleese pays, the state attorney generals office gets one in the pass through for managing it from the taxpayers. Why do you think attorneys play this game the state, not the people benefit. In going through the secretive books of CS and alimony there are guys who are dead who are being claimed for by the state, if you move to another state, both states declare the revenue for refunds. Welfare, CS, alimony and many other attorney scams are always held in secret meeting away from public discussion. Politicians and attorneys always say ‘The people are too stupid to understand’, they say, ‘the people have no idea what they are talking about’, and worse, ‘they need to be administered’ and we lawyers will be the administrators allowed to do this.

    • Kevin Baker
      March 12, 2010 - 12:55 pm | Permalink

      I am writing from the state of Virginia. Yes, Virginia has the lottery for life judicial sweepstakes just as Massachusetts. There is no need for me to go in to details about my opinion on this topic. I will just say that something has to be done. The one point I would like to bring up is: The legal system is only promoting a person receiving alimony for life to not advance to their full potential. They don’t need too.
      Okay, I have two points: Child support ends at age 18. Why is that? I think it is because at 18, a people are suppose to be able to work and take care of themselves. Why can’t a grown spouse do the same thing?

      • MassMan
        March 16, 2010 - 7:08 pm | Permalink

        Just a side note, MA allows child support up to 23 yrs old.

  • March 12, 2010 - 5:04 am | Permalink

    It is very important to understand the enmeshed attorney interest in legislative control and control of populations and down to county level. Firstly the inner circle of all legislative business is controlled by attorneys, they compose all key positions in any legislature. In the old days anyone and everyone was part of the house and senate, You did a hard honest days work in whatever job you did and on a part time basis purely on a public meritus and trust. Voluntarily taking part in all things that affected the business of the state. We are talking not attorneys here ! Over the past 3 generations we got lazy and allowed attorneys to control everything, don’t get me wrong here. We need lawyers but not ever near any cookie jar, that is a most dangerous place to put a socially autistic and irresponsible individual walking calculator. You can test this theory by simply asking any attorney about the law, and they will operate a calculator instead.

    Ok so they control all funding and extended business into controlling welfare. They as a private monopoly corporation proposed extending the courts to include control of welfare and social security. It was easy, here MR STATE OF MA and MR FEDERAL GOVERNEMNT we will take over this part of the safety nets, we will create no fault courts taking over control of marriage and children. Wow, says MR STATE of MA and you will save time and money. Yes they say all of those things and more. They actually increased government employees, courts and prisons and all other red tape processes to include a massive 53% of all those of the population of MA who became state employees directly or indirectly. Great ! Oh really, think about it, that is an awful lot of people who rely on state revenue for an income.

    So off these scoundrels went, reorganizing common courts to make special business courts under article 3,4, corrupting politically motivated judges and making rules that apply only to themselves, all and each rule or statute progressively increasing state revenue. All well and good, the FEDERAL Government along with state Bonds looked great with 5 star ratings. The fed was free to stick loads of IOU’s in place of SS, welfare. The trick was to secure citizens wealth, it was a coup de gras. Qui tam ! Families and their inherited wealth were free to be liquidated based on interesting legal and case law doctrines. As a result male or female, you can no longer take your child onto the highest point of your land or property, or anything and say one day this will be all yours. We have instead to say after uncle Sam has taken his 101% of my life’s worth, you if you can afford it and pay your dues to uncle sam to may get or inherit it. But again you will never own anything. Eminent domain says everything is now on rent, you own your house, or business. Give me a break, you rent it and/or are an unpaid tax collector!

    Biblically if we study the ancient cultures for the metaphor they represent, today attorneys would be the equivalent of Pharisees and the culture would be Baalism. (To take what is free and administer it at a cost). A prime and simple example of this would be accessibility to basic law to prevent injustice. In this nation it is not available unless you can afford it, hence the law is no longer able to protect our most vulnerable. A very basic safety net and we wonder why our country is in a mess. Sure you middle and upper class like the idea of palimony, alimony or CS but it was only a legal means to sacrifice families and ultimately children to a life of commercial rootless mobility.

    As for alimony (aka child support in disguise or vica versa) a noble idea, but under IV-D funding which includes alimony as a state accountable cost through, the state benefits with undistributed and federal cost refunds but as we are now finding out these attorney scoundrels have been emptying the larders, declaring this as state revenue on the books when it actually belonged to individuals, investing in multimillion dollar retirement scams for themselves in commodity markets. Raiding every pot that previous generations thought we had saved up for, many died for, and many believed we had in real tangibles so that future generations could live in security. Not a cat in hells chance, these scoundrels could not keep their hands off the cookie jar. As for alimony yes certain females benefited and some quite rightly so. Most are I believe taken to their own future personal detriment, no self respect or fortitude of even being a citizen of equality but entitlement. It is a sad state that we have created dependency not independence. Certainly a far cry from our beliefs by evidencing that males are never given alimony. No equality or sense of citizenship, it is almost scarily incestuous in the dependency it has created for particular individuals.

    Creem has been for the last decade sitting on progressive legislative actions to prevent them from being enacted while deceitfully blocking their passage by other actions based solely on her business and personal welfare world view. Like all politicians who rise out of the ranks of attorneys including the current president. They own the law and are only accountable to themselves along with the great brotherhood, we do not get to have a say period !, we do not get to act period !, and worse we pay for these things that these people do on our behalf. We shall now pay the price for allowing this progressive attorney thinking, while these scoundrels realign themselves or run for cover. Hopefully creems foreign made very expensive auto can travel fast enough out of town when the going starts to get rough around here. As in where does the money come from now ! Alimony payers are now getting the short shaft not because they deserve it, but simply because they don’t have it. John Cleese as an example, married no children has to work till his dying day to service a court ordered alimony based on his career without fail. The interesting thing is for every eight dollars that Cleese pays, the state attorney generals office gets one in the pass through for managing it from the taxpayers. Why do you think attorneys play this game the state, not the people benefit. In going through the secretive books of CS and alimony there are guys who are dead who are being claimed for by the state, if you move to another state, both states declare the revenue for refunds. Welfare, CS, alimony and many other attorney scams are always held in secret meeting away from public discussion. Politicians and attorneys always say ‘The people are too stupid to understand’, they say, ‘the people have no idea what they are talking about’, and worse, ‘they need to be administered’ and we lawyers will be the administrators allowed to do this.

    • Kevin Baker
      March 12, 2010 - 12:55 pm | Permalink

      I am writing from the state of Virginia. Yes, Virginia has the lottery for life judicial sweepstakes just as Massachusetts. There is no need for me to go in to details about my opinion on this topic. I will just say that something has to be done. The one point I would like to bring up is: The legal system is only promoting a person receiving alimony for life to not advance to their full potential. They don’t need too.
      Okay, I have two points: Child support ends at age 18. Why is that? I think it is because at 18, a people are suppose to be able to work and take care of themselves. Why can’t a grown spouse do the same thing?

      • MassMan
        March 16, 2010 - 3:08 pm | Permalink

        Just a side note, MA allows child support up to 23 yrs old.

  • Sprout
    March 12, 2010 - 12:56 pm | Permalink

    Cynthia Creem has taken a self-indulgent position in this matter with no regard for the multitude of families that the current divorce laws negatively impact every day. Massachusetts laws on this matter are so far behind the rest of the country it is pathetic. Senator Creem represents my town and I will do everything in my power to help remove her from office in the next election cycle she runs in.

    • Steve M
      March 12, 2010 - 1:35 pm | Permalink

      In reply to “Sprout”, please have as many of your citizens your town help remove Cynthia Creem from office, as no matter what happens to HB 1785, she needs to go as well as her co-sponsor Alice Hanlon Peisch representing Natick, Weston and Wellesley, both need to be shown the exit door.

  • Sprout
    March 12, 2010 - 12:56 pm | Permalink

    Cynthia Creem has taken a self-indulgent position in this matter with no regard for the multitude of families that the current divorce laws negatively impact every day. Massachusetts laws on this matter are so far behind the rest of the country it is pathetic. Senator Creem represents my town and I will do everything in my power to help remove her from office in the next election cycle she runs in.

    • Steve M
      March 12, 2010 - 1:35 pm | Permalink

      In reply to “Sprout”, please have as many of your citizens your town help remove Cynthia Creem from office, as no matter what happens to HB 1785, she needs to go as well as her co-sponsor Alice Hanlon Peisch representing Natick, Weston and Wellesley, both need to be shown the exit door.

  • Steve M
    March 12, 2010 - 1:18 pm | Permalink

    In reply to “Sprout”, please have as many of your citizens your town help remove Cynthia Creem from office, as no matter what happens to HB 1785, she needs to go as well as her co-sponsor Alice Hanlon Peisch representing Natick, Weston and Wellesley, both need to be shown the exit door.

  • Steve M
    March 12, 2010 - 1:18 pm | Permalink

    In reply to “Sprout”, please have as many of your citizens your town help remove Cynthia Creem from office, as no matter what happens to HB 1785, she needs to go as well as her co-sponsor Alice Hanlon Peisch representing Natick, Weston and Wellesley, both need to be shown the exit door.

  • Dwight Perry
    March 12, 2010 - 1:20 pm | Permalink

    It is no suprise that the legal community does not support HB1785.
    A change would result in “free” money loss. Ma. is one of a few states that still has this archaic system. Divorce should be final when children are emancipated. What type of judicial system pits two people against each other for life? My ex chooses not to work 10 weeks of each year yet I have to subsidise her income! Everytime there is a change in circumstance (job loss/change) I have to run to court to file papers before her to keep from being charged with contempt. I believe the court has better things to do than waste people’s time and money lording over individuals creating a situation of bad feelings and revenge. It is unhealthy at best. We can only hope that this bill gets attention and passed. Given the current state of our legislature I doubt. Most are lawyers and will protect their own. Maybe if we could get HB1785 attached to a state house pay raise? Hmmmmm

  • Dwight Perry
    March 12, 2010 - 1:20 pm | Permalink

    It is no suprise that the legal community does not support HB1785.
    A change would result in “free” money loss. Ma. is one of a few states that still has this archaic system. Divorce should be final when children are emancipated. What type of judicial system pits two people against each other for life? My ex chooses not to work 10 weeks of each year yet I have to subsidise her income! Everytime there is a change in circumstance (job loss/change) I have to run to court to file papers before her to keep from being charged with contempt. I believe the court has better things to do than waste people’s time and money lording over individuals creating a situation of bad feelings and revenge. It is unhealthy at best. We can only hope that this bill gets attention and passed. Given the current state of our legislature I doubt. Most are lawyers and will protect their own. Maybe if we could get HB1785 attached to a state house pay raise? Hmmmmm

  • Jeff Turner
    March 12, 2010 - 1:28 pm | Permalink

    This is outrageous! How can a practicing divorce attorney actively work AGAINST a House bill that reduces income for divorce attorneys?

    Hello?!? Anybody at the State House listening?!?

    C’mon folks, end this nonsense: Creem needs to admit she’s not playing fair and rescind her support of S1616.

    At least that’s what someone would do who truly puts the interests of the people of the Commonwealth ahead of her own.

  • Jeff Turner
    March 12, 2010 - 1:28 pm | Permalink

    This is outrageous! How can a practicing divorce attorney actively work AGAINST a House bill that reduces income for divorce attorneys?

    Hello?!? Anybody at the State House listening?!?

    C’mon folks, end this nonsense: Creem needs to admit she’s not playing fair and rescind her support of S1616.

    At least that’s what someone would do who truly puts the interests of the people of the Commonwealth ahead of her own.

  • Emmett
    March 12, 2010 - 2:14 pm | Permalink

    If Creem’s opponent supports HB 1785, I’ll certainly contribute money to his campaign even though I’m not in that district! I hope that others will, too.

  • Emmett
    March 12, 2010 - 2:14 pm | Permalink

    If Creem’s opponent supports HB 1785, I’ll certainly contribute money to his campaign even though I’m not in that district! I hope that others will, too.

  • SickOfItAll
    March 12, 2010 - 2:21 pm | Permalink

    Last night the Mass Bar Association presented Cynthia with the Legislator of the Year Award!! Gee, I wonder why?

  • SickOfItAll
    March 12, 2010 - 2:21 pm | Permalink

    Last night the Mass Bar Association presented Cynthia with the Legislator of the Year Award!! Gee, I wonder why?

  • Another2ndWife
    March 12, 2010 - 2:35 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for this enlightening article. There is not doubt that Sen. Creem has conflict of interest. With all due respect Ms. Wilmot, speculative? She is a DIVORCE LAWYER! SB 1616 has no substance, while HB 1785 will bring MA divorce law into the present and help repair some of the damage the current outdated law has done.

    I am a 2nd wife, divorced in NH, I received no child support or alimony from my first marriage, yet built a life for myself and my children without any help or public assistance. I then married my husband, a man divorced in MA. We had no idea that his alimony obligation would never be over or we would not have married! Has the Commonwealth forgotten about the constitution? Indentured servitude in 2010… I do believe it has. My family and friends are amazed that this can happen! Never in my wildest dreams or should I say, nightmares, would I have believed that I would have an ex-wife! Yes, I am bitter, cynical and just plain angry. I have worked all my life and now this woman has the right to take everything I have earned? How will my husband I retire, how will my children go to college?

    I have lost count of the times his ex has taken him to court since we’ve married but it has cost us thousands for her trivial nonsense. She receives disability for an ailment that cannot be disproved, $350.00 a week in alimony from my husband. yet volunteers for charities and is on Linked In as a professional. Before the the last hearing, she was receiving disability, her son’s stipend ($800 a month) plus child support. When his stipend ended at 19, she kicked him out of her house, thus opening the door for more alimony. He is in college and we support him.

    She now receives over 54K a year, has sold her home (my husband gave it to her at the time of divorce without a court order), bought a home in Florida, has 100K in the bank and still wants more. There is no end to her greed. We are not wealthy people, I have been laid off from my job due to the economy, we have no savings and I have tapped into my IRA at least 7 times since we have been married.

    We, yes we, because now she wants my income included, are back in court again. This litigation will cost over 10K. She has subpoenaed my husband, myself, his employer and our bank for depositions. She now has my personal tax information, bank records and since I was laid off, my termination letter. What right does she have to my personal information?We are all suffering because of this woman. She will not help support her son and my children suffer as well. She has threatened me and said horrible things about my children and harassed my in-laws, yet in MA this does not matter. I am terrified of what she will do next, I have spoken with the police who agree it is harassment, but need more evidence. She can do whatever she wants to my family and be rewarded for it.

    I was at the hearing in Sept. as a member of Mass Alimony Reform and a Second Wife. I observed the same things Karen pointed out about Sen. Creem’s behavior. I felt she was inattentive and distracted. I was one of the last to testify (about 9PM), we had all been there for over 8 hours, yet the committee had come & gone frequently. By the time I testified there were very few members left.

    If you are reading this Ms. Creem, I am the woman who fears bankruptcy because my husband’s ex-wife is sucking us dry! Try to remember me, blond hair, black jacket, red scarf, 2nd last woman to testify; NH resident, credit destroyed, credit cards maxed out, cannot pay utility bills, on the edge of bankruptcy, supporting 3 children and an ex-wife… I highly doubt you remember, but I will never forget the horror stories I heard, many much worse than ours, so many lives destroyed.

    Shortly after the hearing I wrote to Ms. Creem who so kindly sent me a form letter telling me about the Sept. hearing. I had mentioned in my letter that I was there, though I highly doubt that neither she nor the staff member who stuck the letter in the envelope read it. I would have like to quote some of the letter but… it seems to be lost in the pile of bills we cannot pay. One things I do remember was something similar to “if I can be of any service please let me know”. Well now I am letting you know how you can be of service Ms. Creem, do the right thing, resign.

    This law is archaic, Massachusetts, please help bring your state into the present! Support HB1785!

    • RtheyKidding
      March 12, 2010 - 3:23 pm | Permalink

      I think you should hire Ms. Creem as your divorce lawyer.

      Seriously!

      Let her fight for you and explain to the judge why it is unfair for this woman to go after your salary. She is obviously a dedicated divorce lawyer and must know the system quite well.

      Then when she’s done her job, you can politely thank her and then tell her you’ll pay her AFTER you finish paying the ex-wife, credit cards and other debt off.

      :-)

      • Another2ndWife
        March 12, 2010 - 9:19 pm | Permalink

        A brilliant idea! Thank you!

    • Karen
      March 12, 2010 - 5:47 pm | Permalink

      Thanks for your story; I testified right after you did–I was the woman from Maine, the last one to testify that night. Sad to say though that Senator Creem will not remember you, nor will she remember me…she was not present when we testified. I don’t know if she was bored and left, or was on another vote or what, but I found the whole jumping up and leaving the testimony (which several members of the judiciary did over and over that day) distracting and disrespectful.

      • Another2ndWife
        March 12, 2010 - 9:49 pm | Permalink

        Thanks Karen, I remember your testimony very well. I did think that Sen. Creem was in & out during our testimonies, but I may be wrong as I was so exhausted and emotionally drained that by then the committee was merely a blur of bored faces. There was so much coming and going that I really don’t think any of the committee members could possibly have a full grasp of what we are all going through. Adding to my frustration is the fact that I have already “been there, done that” in a divorce that cost me over 37K and don’t even want to be a factor in this battle. One thing I forgot to mention in my former post is that the ex’s attorney is not happy that I am involved with MAR or the Second Wives. Imagine that!

  • Another2ndWife
    March 12, 2010 - 2:35 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for this enlightening article. There is not doubt that Sen. Creem has conflict of interest. With all due respect Ms. Wilmot, speculative? She is a DIVORCE LAWYER! SB 1616 has no substance, while HB 1785 will bring MA divorce law into the present and help repair some of the damage the current outdated law has done.

    I am a 2nd wife, divorced in NH, I received no child support or alimony from my first marriage, yet built a life for myself and my children without any help or public assistance. I then married my husband, a man divorced in MA. We had no idea that his alimony obligation would never be over or we would not have married! Has the Commonwealth forgotten about the constitution? Indentured servitude in 2010… I do believe it has. My family and friends are amazed that this can happen! Never in my wildest dreams or should I say, nightmares, would I have believed that I would have an ex-wife! Yes, I am bitter, cynical and just plain angry. I have worked all my life and now this woman has the right to take everything I have earned? How will my husband I retire, how will my children go to college?

    I have lost count of the times his ex has taken him to court since we’ve married but it has cost us thousands for her trivial nonsense. She receives disability for an ailment that cannot be disproved, $350.00 a week in alimony from my husband. yet volunteers for charities and is on Linked In as a professional. Before the the last hearing, she was receiving disability, her son’s stipend ($800 a month) plus child support. When his stipend ended at 19, she kicked him out of her house, thus opening the door for more alimony. He is in college and we support him.

    She now receives over 54K a year, has sold her home (my husband gave it to her at the time of divorce without a court order), bought a home in Florida, has 100K in the bank and still wants more. There is no end to her greed. We are not wealthy people, I have been laid off from my job due to the economy, we have no savings and I have tapped into my IRA at least 7 times since we have been married.

    We, yes we, because now she wants my income included, are back in court again. This litigation will cost over 10K. She has subpoenaed my husband, myself, his employer and our bank for depositions. She now has my personal tax information, bank records and since I was laid off, my termination letter. What right does she have to my personal information?We are all suffering because of this woman. She will not help support her son and my children suffer as well. She has threatened me and said horrible things about my children and harassed my in-laws, yet in MA this does not matter. I am terrified of what she will do next, I have spoken with the police who agree it is harassment, but need more evidence. She can do whatever she wants to my family and be rewarded for it.

    I was at the hearing in Sept. as a member of Mass Alimony Reform and a Second Wife. I observed the same things Karen pointed out about Sen. Creem’s behavior. I felt she was inattentive and distracted. I was one of the last to testify (about 9PM), we had all been there for over 8 hours, yet the committee had come & gone frequently. By the time I testified there were very few members left.

    If you are reading this Ms. Creem, I am the woman who fears bankruptcy because my husband’s ex-wife is sucking us dry! Try to remember me, blond hair, black jacket, red scarf, 2nd last woman to testify; NH resident, credit destroyed, credit cards maxed out, cannot pay utility bills, on the edge of bankruptcy, supporting 3 children and an ex-wife… I highly doubt you remember, but I will never forget the horror stories I heard, many much worse than ours, so many lives destroyed.

    Shortly after the hearing I wrote to Ms. Creem who so kindly sent me a form letter telling me about the Sept. hearing. I had mentioned in my letter that I was there, though I highly doubt that neither she nor the staff member who stuck the letter in the envelope read it. I would have like to quote some of the letter but… it seems to be lost in the pile of bills we cannot pay. One things I do remember was something similar to “if I can be of any service please let me know”. Well now I am letting you know how you can be of service Ms. Creem, do the right thing, resign.

    This law is archaic, Massachusetts, please help bring your state into the present! Support HB1785!

    • RtheyKidding
      March 12, 2010 - 3:23 pm | Permalink

      I think you should hire Ms. Creem as your divorce lawyer.

      Seriously!

      Let her fight for you and explain to the judge why it is unfair for this woman to go after your salary. She is obviously a dedicated divorce lawyer and must know the system quite well.

      Then when she’s done her job, you can politely thank her and then tell her you’ll pay her AFTER you finish paying the ex-wife, credit cards and other debt off.

      :-)

      • Another2ndWife
        March 12, 2010 - 9:19 pm | Permalink

        A brilliant idea! Thank you!

    • Karen
      March 12, 2010 - 5:47 pm | Permalink

      Thanks for your story; I testified right after you did–I was the woman from Maine, the last one to testify that night. Sad to say though that Senator Creem will not remember you, nor will she remember me…she was not present when we testified. I don’t know if she was bored and left, or was on another vote or what, but I found the whole jumping up and leaving the testimony (which several members of the judiciary did over and over that day) distracting and disrespectful.

      • Another2ndWife
        March 12, 2010 - 9:49 pm | Permalink

        Thanks Karen, I remember your testimony very well. I did think that Sen. Creem was in & out during our testimonies, but I may be wrong as I was so exhausted and emotionally drained that by then the committee was merely a blur of bored faces. There was so much coming and going that I really don’t think any of the committee members could possibly have a full grasp of what we are all going through. Adding to my frustration is the fact that I have already “been there, done that” in a divorce that cost me over 37K and don’t even want to be a factor in this battle. One thing I forgot to mention in my former post is that the ex’s attorney is not happy that I am involved with MAR or the Second Wives. Imagine that!

  • Bob
    March 12, 2010 - 2:37 pm | Permalink

    Research the history and founding of our country and you will find that that “The Bar” in England was part of the tyrannical oligarchy that our founding fathers came here to escape. It is documented that when lawyers from England came here to embed their evil, they were told to get back on the ships and go back to England. They were not permitted in courtrooms and were shunned. The more we learn about our founding fathers and their knowledge and wisdom the more we see how right they were and how straying so far from their beliefs is destroying our republic. When you look at the demonic greed and corruption that permeates our government through the legal profession, you will understand why our country is headed toward another great tragedy if we don’t purge them from the government. The fear and misery index they foist upon us is incalculable. Anyone with any knowledge of family law can see what a farce the “practice of law” is.

  • Bob
    March 12, 2010 - 2:37 pm | Permalink

    Research the history and founding of our country and you will find that that “The Bar” in England was part of the tyrannical oligarchy that our founding fathers came here to escape. It is documented that when lawyers from England came here to embed their evil, they were told to get back on the ships and go back to England. They were not permitted in courtrooms and were shunned. The more we learn about our founding fathers and their knowledge and wisdom the more we see how right they were and how straying so far from their beliefs is destroying our republic. When you look at the demonic greed and corruption that permeates our government through the legal profession, you will understand why our country is headed toward another great tragedy if we don’t purge them from the government. The fear and misery index they foist upon us is incalculable. Anyone with any knowledge of family law can see what a farce the “practice of law” is.

  • Joe G
    March 12, 2010 - 2:42 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for this insightful article. My-ex has, while receiving, alimony ( I call it marital lifetime pension) has lost the drive to better herself. Instead, her life’s goal has become making sure that she does not earn enough money to affect her “pension”. The laws, as written are as bad for the recipient as they are for the payor. Sen, Creem is not protecting women with her defense of the status quo.

  • Joe G
    March 12, 2010 - 2:42 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for this insightful article. My-ex has, while receiving, alimony ( I call it marital lifetime pension) has lost the drive to better herself. Instead, her life’s goal has become making sure that she does not earn enough money to affect her “pension”. The laws, as written are as bad for the recipient as they are for the payor. Sen, Creem is not protecting women with her defense of the status quo.

  • Jason S.
    March 12, 2010 - 2:55 pm | Permalink

    We must vote these people out of office, but that does not mean that these crazy laws will be changed! The ONLY way to change things is to become involved. Complaining will do nothing. Every MUST get to know there state Reps and Senators. Meet them in person. Tell them your story. Tell them that they NEED to persoanlly contact Senator Creem, Rep O’Flaherty, Rep DeLeo and Senator Murray. The only way these laws will change are if enough people become involved and let these 4 individuals know that they must now act on these issues. It is not enough to go to the Judiciary Committee meetings. They have little to no weight in making change. Those hearings were PACKED with alimony reform and shared parenting supporters, but both of those bills are DEAD this year. The Judiciary Committee couldn’t care less about those hearings. The only way is for everybody that is complaining to contact their legislators. Let them know that if they don’t support your issues, you will be supporting a candidate that does.

  • Jason S.
    March 12, 2010 - 2:55 pm | Permalink

    We must vote these people out of office, but that does not mean that these crazy laws will be changed! The ONLY way to change things is to become involved. Complaining will do nothing. Every MUST get to know there state Reps and Senators. Meet them in person. Tell them your story. Tell them that they NEED to persoanlly contact Senator Creem, Rep O’Flaherty, Rep DeLeo and Senator Murray. The only way these laws will change are if enough people become involved and let these 4 individuals know that they must now act on these issues. It is not enough to go to the Judiciary Committee meetings. They have little to no weight in making change. Those hearings were PACKED with alimony reform and shared parenting supporters, but both of those bills are DEAD this year. The Judiciary Committee couldn’t care less about those hearings. The only way is for everybody that is complaining to contact their legislators. Let them know that if they don’t support your issues, you will be supporting a candidate that does.

  • RtheyKidding
    March 12, 2010 - 3:15 pm | Permalink

    I am a woman who believes that while alimony may be necessary, 12 years should be enough to get any additional experience or education to support herself. It’s up to the mother to provide a strong role model of self sufficiency.

    I’m divorced and was just happy not to have to PAY alimony to a man I supported for 7 years. That’s right… I SUPPORTED! So don’t tell me women are dependent on men. It goes both ways.

    What I completely throws me into a tizzy is that I put myself through school, worked my whole life, supported my family, and now I am expected to pay some woman I never met, who’s never gone to college and has been supported for over 28 years? What?! Who is she? Why does she get a free ride and I have to pay her?!? Please explain that to me.

    And for the record, I struck up a conversation with a high end salon owner and she said she was divorced but would never marry again. She said “I have a boyfriend who is 12 years younger, I’m happy and I have my kids. Besides, if I got married I’d loose my alimony. Why would I ever do that?” – Oh I don’t know… why would you? It’s free money right??

    For me it’s a matter of principle and self respect, but obviously I’m kind of stupid that way.

    • Cristiane Oliveira
      March 12, 2010 - 7:24 pm | Permalink

      This woman (the salon owner) is a con artist ! We need to exterminate this con artists !

    • Heather Parizo
      May 19, 2010 - 6:14 am | Permalink

      Yes, it sickening that someone can be that selfish and greedy. We have been paying my husband’s exwife alimony for the past five years who’s been living with her fiancee for the past five years but refuses to get married because the alimony would stop!! WHO does that? And how about her fiancee-what kind of man would let another man support HIM and HIS fiancee?? If you love someone enough-like thats what its suppose to be about-you wouldn’t let (or expect) the xhusband to be your third paycheck!! If you love someone enough you wouldn’t care about the money you would get married because of LOVE!! And better yet, the LAW allows this kind of financial abuse to the hard working people who EARN their money!! These kind of people are like the kind of people who abuse the welfare system-ones that won’t get a job because the welfare would stop=Won’t get married because the alimony would stop. I waived my right to alimony because a divorce is a divorce and my x husband should not be OBLIGATED to pay my way when we were no longer married!!

  • RtheyKidding
    March 12, 2010 - 3:15 pm | Permalink

    I am a woman who believes that while alimony may be necessary, 12 years should be enough to get any additional experience or education to support herself. It’s up to the mother to provide a strong role model of self sufficiency.

    I’m divorced and was just happy not to have to PAY alimony to a man I supported for 7 years. That’s right… I SUPPORTED! So don’t tell me women are dependent on men. It goes both ways.

    What I completely throws me into a tizzy is that I put myself through school, worked my whole life, supported my family, and now I am expected to pay some woman I never met, who’s never gone to college and has been supported for over 28 years? What?! Who is she? Why does she get a free ride and I have to pay her?!? Please explain that to me.

    And for the record, I struck up a conversation with a high end salon owner and she said she was divorced but would never marry again. She said “I have a boyfriend who is 12 years younger, I’m happy and I have my kids. Besides, if I got married I’d loose my alimony. Why would I ever do that?” – Oh I don’t know… why would you? It’s free money right??

    For me it’s a matter of principle and self respect, but obviously I’m kind of stupid that way.

    • Cristiane Oliveira
      March 12, 2010 - 7:24 pm | Permalink

      This woman (the salon owner) is a con artist ! We need to exterminate this con artists !

    • Heather Parizo
      May 19, 2010 - 2:14 am | Permalink

      Yes, it sickening that someone can be that selfish and greedy. We have been paying my husband’s exwife alimony for the past five years who’s been living with her fiancee for the past five years but refuses to get married because the alimony would stop!! WHO does that? And how about her fiancee-what kind of man would let another man support HIM and HIS fiancee?? If you love someone enough-like thats what its suppose to be about-you wouldn’t let (or expect) the xhusband to be your third paycheck!! If you love someone enough you wouldn’t care about the money you would get married because of LOVE!! And better yet, the LAW allows this kind of financial abuse to the hard working people who EARN their money!! These kind of people are like the kind of people who abuse the welfare system-ones that won’t get a job because the welfare would stop=Won’t get married because the alimony would stop. I waived my right to alimony because a divorce is a divorce and my x husband should not be OBLIGATED to pay my way when we were no longer married!!

  • FAB56
    March 12, 2010 - 3:31 pm | Permalink

    It is disgraceful, and so obvious that Senator Creem and the Bar Association are only in the divorce practice for themselves and their pocketbooks! I too attended the Judiciary hearing and was appalled by the lack of interest and more so, the lack of courtesy shown in particular by Senator Creem. Hard working people are being forced into bankruptcy and their relationships with their children are being ruined by the constant fighting that goes on over alimony. In this day and age where everyone is supposed to be equal, where is the justice? I have absolutely no problem supporting MY children however I do not think that it is right to be forced to support my ex-wife who “lost “her job and is now working part time even though she is a fully licensed insurance broker in the state of MA and her unemployed boyfriend who lives at a much better lifestyle that I can, the one who goes to work every day! Please support HB 1785 and end lifetime alimony let people move on with their lives!!!!!!

  • FAB56
    March 12, 2010 - 3:31 pm | Permalink

    It is disgraceful, and so obvious that Senator Creem and the Bar Association are only in the divorce practice for themselves and their pocketbooks! I too attended the Judiciary hearing and was appalled by the lack of interest and more so, the lack of courtesy shown in particular by Senator Creem. Hard working people are being forced into bankruptcy and their relationships with their children are being ruined by the constant fighting that goes on over alimony. In this day and age where everyone is supposed to be equal, where is the justice? I have absolutely no problem supporting MY children however I do not think that it is right to be forced to support my ex-wife who “lost “her job and is now working part time even though she is a fully licensed insurance broker in the state of MA and her unemployed boyfriend who lives at a much better lifestyle that I can, the one who goes to work every day! Please support HB 1785 and end lifetime alimony let people move on with their lives!!!!!!

  • TK
    March 12, 2010 - 4:04 pm | Permalink

    I am a woman supporting a lazy drunk ex husband who now no longer has custody of our special needs child due to his inability to be an effective parent eyt I STILL pay alimony and get no child support. I have since lost 60% of my income and have to “find” the moeny to take him back to court because I am drained. What is wrong with this state?????

    We need a major revamp of the laws to make these lazy, selfish, self serving ex’s to take care of themselves~!!!!

  • TK
    March 12, 2010 - 4:04 pm | Permalink

    I am a woman supporting a lazy drunk ex husband who now no longer has custody of our special needs child due to his inability to be an effective parent eyt I STILL pay alimony and get no child support. I have since lost 60% of my income and have to “find” the moeny to take him back to court because I am drained. What is wrong with this state?????

    We need a major revamp of the laws to make these lazy, selfish, self serving ex’s to take care of themselves~!!!!

  • Luckstyle
    March 12, 2010 - 5:15 pm | Permalink

    Senator Creem has no interest in Alimony Reform. S1616 is actually more support for litigation. While duration needs to be adressed (which HR 1785 does) it should be through a restrictive methodology which limits its duration on the basis of the length of the marriage. Judicial discretion is already a large part of the problem and S1616 only contributes further to that. While some judges are fair, others see alimony awards as a penalty, usually against men (97% of alimony payors are men). Until alimony reform occurs, in essence, it remains an effront to the constitutional rights of the individual payor who may be subjected to a cruel and unusual financial penalty and go to debtors prison if they cannot pay (for conempt of court). S1616 would virtually do nothing to eliminate the problem. The only people on earth who support the current laws are the lawyers who make a fortune off us poor bastards and the recipient ex wife who sees alimony as an etitlement program that continues long after it should have expired. The idea that someone should continue to live a lifestyle long after they cannot support it on their own needs to be reviewed. Alimony should be a fair settlement to both parties. Child rearing is a job and should be rewarded if the marriage braeks up. But only long enough to get the child rearer back into the mainstream of the employable. It should be an insult to any women who works that capable women who live off alimony continue not to work under the feeble guise of being victimized by divorce.

  • Luckstyle
    March 12, 2010 - 5:15 pm | Permalink

    Senator Creem has no interest in Alimony Reform. S1616 is actually more support for litigation. While duration needs to be adressed (which HR 1785 does) it should be through a restrictive methodology which limits its duration on the basis of the length of the marriage. Judicial discretion is already a large part of the problem and S1616 only contributes further to that. While some judges are fair, others see alimony awards as a penalty, usually against men (97% of alimony payors are men). Until alimony reform occurs, in essence, it remains an effront to the constitutional rights of the individual payor who may be subjected to a cruel and unusual financial penalty and go to debtors prison if they cannot pay (for conempt of court). S1616 would virtually do nothing to eliminate the problem. The only people on earth who support the current laws are the lawyers who make a fortune off us poor bastards and the recipient ex wife who sees alimony as an etitlement program that continues long after it should have expired. The idea that someone should continue to live a lifestyle long after they cannot support it on their own needs to be reviewed. Alimony should be a fair settlement to both parties. Child rearing is a job and should be rewarded if the marriage braeks up. But only long enough to get the child rearer back into the mainstream of the employable. It should be an insult to any women who works that capable women who live off alimony continue not to work under the feeble guise of being victimized by divorce.

  • Cristiane Oliveira
    March 12, 2010 - 6:14 pm | Permalink

    ALIMONY – THE SHAME OF MASSACHUSETTS‏

    THE REPRESENTATIVES ARE RESPONSABLE FOR THIS SHAME !

    The permanent or life time alimony awards no longer reflect the reality of modern marriage and socio-economic trends.
    But in Massachussets this atrocity is allowed for bad person that are called “REPRESENTATIVES”.

    There are a lot of states in USA, including those of Texas, Montana, Kansas, Utah, Kentucky and Maine, give explicit guidelines to judges on the amount and/or duration of alimony. In Texas, Mississippi and Tennessee for example, alimony is awarded only in cases of marriage or civil union of ten years or longer and the payments are limited to THREE YEARSthree years . Furthermore, the amount of spousal support is limited to the lesser of $2,500 per month. WHY DO THE REPRESENTATIVE ALLOW A EX-HUSBAND OR EX-WIFE to take 33% of the gross income of somebody?
    THIS IS ATROCITY !

    Massachussets allows the gay marriage but don’t allow the freedom of the prisoners of alimony !

    We, alimony payers, will not be the only losers in this war !

    • Cristiane Oliveira
      March 12, 2010 - 7:14 pm | Permalink

      LET’S GO TO DO NOISE GUYS !

      LET’S GO STREETS !

  • Cristiane Oliveira
    March 12, 2010 - 6:14 pm | Permalink

    ALIMONY – THE SHAME OF MASSACHUSETTS‏

    THE REPRESENTATIVES ARE RESPONSABLE FOR THIS SHAME !

    The permanent or life time alimony awards no longer reflect the reality of modern marriage and socio-economic trends.
    But in Massachussets this atrocity is allowed for bad person that are called “REPRESENTATIVES”.

    There are a lot of states in USA, including those of Texas, Montana, Kansas, Utah, Kentucky and Maine, give explicit guidelines to judges on the amount and/or duration of alimony. In Texas, Mississippi and Tennessee for example, alimony is awarded only in cases of marriage or civil union of ten years or longer and the payments are limited to THREE YEARSthree years . Furthermore, the amount of spousal support is limited to the lesser of $2,500 per month. WHY DO THE REPRESENTATIVE ALLOW A EX-HUSBAND OR EX-WIFE to take 33% of the gross income of somebody?
    THIS IS ATROCITY !

    Massachussets allows the gay marriage but don’t allow the freedom of the prisoners of alimony !

    We, alimony payers, will not be the only losers in this war !

    • Cristiane Oliveira
      March 12, 2010 - 7:14 pm | Permalink

      LET’S GO TO DO NOISE GUYS !

      LET’S GO STREETS !

  • Dave R
    March 12, 2010 - 7:17 pm | Permalink

    It’s interesting to me that virtually none of the foregoing comments are against HR-1785. If we can bring more light to this issue, we should be able to overcome the committee-head’s obvious conflict. It would be very helpful if Senator Creem could be questioned about her conflict by one of the local news stations.

    I believe alimony can certainly be justified – for 12 years, but not longer. My ex did continue her teaching career and now is doing well. However, I have paid alimony for 14 years and have another 6 to go. The fact that she now does not need the money (she makes in excess of $80,000 per year to support herself and no one else) is irrelevant under Massachusetts law.

    Now, while I have lost my job and my ex is doing fine, I still have to find a way to come up with alimony payments every month. Otherwise, as the judge has demonstrated to me without hesitation, I will be sent to the Suffolk County House of Corrections.

  • Dave R
    March 12, 2010 - 7:17 pm | Permalink

    It’s interesting to me that virtually none of the foregoing comments are against HR-1785. If we can bring more light to this issue, we should be able to overcome the committee-head’s obvious conflict. It would be very helpful if Senator Creem could be questioned about her conflict by one of the local news stations.

    I believe alimony can certainly be justified – for 12 years, but not longer. My ex did continue her teaching career and now is doing well. However, I have paid alimony for 14 years and have another 6 to go. The fact that she now does not need the money (she makes in excess of $80,000 per year to support herself and no one else) is irrelevant under Massachusetts law.

    Now, while I have lost my job and my ex is doing fine, I still have to find a way to come up with alimony payments every month. Otherwise, as the judge has demonstrated to me without hesitation, I will be sent to the Suffolk County House of Corrections.

  • Cristiane Oliveira
    March 12, 2010 - 7:35 pm | Permalink

    Dave R,

    Alimony for 12 years is unjust !

    If I spend 20 years working for the same company, given my blood and sweat, and spending more time there than in my own home, and if a beautiful day my employer tells me that I am not welcome there any longer and wants to “divorce me”, why can’t I go to court and ask for “alimony” ? After all, I spent 20 years of my life helping my employer to get richer. If the logic of the legislators and USA family courts is that in a marriage the part that earns less money should be rewarded in a divorce, wouldn’t it be more coherent that we also apply the rules of alimony for the employer/employee “relationship” ?

    Why it is so difficult for the “REPRESENTATIVE ” to understand that the practice of alimony feeds laziness, incompetence, and alienation ? Why it is so difficult to understand that someone just because you lived with someone you should not be forced to financially support this person ? Following the current line of thought regarding alimony, if a single person does not earn a good salary, whose fault is it ? To whom should I ask alimony ? To the USA government ? After all, if I do not earn enough, it should be someone’s fault.

    Many sub-developed countries justify their poverty as the result of the policies adopted by the rich countries, especially the USA ,which is the richest one. Be aware ! Tomorrow the USA maybe taken to an international court and be forced to pay alimony to the rest of the world.

    WE NEED TO WIPE ALIMONY OUT !

    • Dave R
      March 12, 2010 - 7:48 pm | Permalink

      Christiane – I hear you and as someone who has paid away the funds for my kids college education to my ex, you are not going to get too much of an argument from me. I do think that it is probably not realistic to hope for an abolition of alimony and that reform is a goal that seems closer to being achieved.

      The argument for alimony for some period of time is to allow the spouse that was at home supporting the wage-earner to gain those skills that have not been practiced while they were at home supporting the wage-earner. Nowadays, the whole concept of one spouse staying at home to support the other wage-earning spouse seems archaic, and in that respect, I agree completely that alimony is outdated.

      I was first married thirty-seven years ago and things were a bit different then.

  • Cristiane Oliveira
    March 12, 2010 - 7:35 pm | Permalink

    Dave R,

    Alimony for 12 years is unjust !

    If I spend 20 years working for the same company, given my blood and sweat, and spending more time there than in my own home, and if a beautiful day my employer tells me that I am not welcome there any longer and wants to “divorce me”, why can’t I go to court and ask for “alimony” ? After all, I spent 20 years of my life helping my employer to get richer. If the logic of the legislators and USA family courts is that in a marriage the part that earns less money should be rewarded in a divorce, wouldn’t it be more coherent that we also apply the rules of alimony for the employer/employee “relationship” ?

    Why it is so difficult for the “REPRESENTATIVE ” to understand that the practice of alimony feeds laziness, incompetence, and alienation ? Why it is so difficult to understand that someone just because you lived with someone you should not be forced to financially support this person ? Following the current line of thought regarding alimony, if a single person does not earn a good salary, whose fault is it ? To whom should I ask alimony ? To the USA government ? After all, if I do not earn enough, it should be someone’s fault.

    Many sub-developed countries justify their poverty as the result of the policies adopted by the rich countries, especially the USA ,which is the richest one. Be aware ! Tomorrow the USA maybe taken to an international court and be forced to pay alimony to the rest of the world.

    WE NEED TO WIPE ALIMONY OUT !

    • Dave R
      March 12, 2010 - 7:48 pm | Permalink

      Christiane – I hear you and as someone who has paid away the funds for my kids college education to my ex, you are not going to get too much of an argument from me. I do think that it is probably not realistic to hope for an abolition of alimony and that reform is a goal that seems closer to being achieved.

      The argument for alimony for some period of time is to allow the spouse that was at home supporting the wage-earner to gain those skills that have not been practiced while they were at home supporting the wage-earner. Nowadays, the whole concept of one spouse staying at home to support the other wage-earning spouse seems archaic, and in that respect, I agree completely that alimony is outdated.

      I was first married thirty-seven years ago and things were a bit different then.

  • Miike
    March 13, 2010 - 2:29 am | Permalink

    Cynthia Creem is a former legal lobbyist and practicing divorce lawyer. Cynthia Creem is the chairwoman of the Judiciary Committee and has been blocking H1785. Time to run someone against her.

  • Miike
    March 13, 2010 - 2:29 am | Permalink

    Cynthia Creem is a former legal lobbyist and practicing divorce lawyer. Cynthia Creem is the chairwoman of the Judiciary Committee and has been blocking H1785. Time to run someone against her.

  • Paul
    March 13, 2010 - 2:40 am | Permalink

    How can this woman possibly justify impeding this legislation? Even the appearance of being so self-serving is an insult to the people she is supposed to be representing. She should recuse herself from voting on this legislation.

  • Paul
    March 13, 2010 - 2:40 am | Permalink

    How can this woman possibly justify impeding this legislation? Even the appearance of being so self-serving is an insult to the people she is supposed to be representing. She should recuse herself from voting on this legislation.

  • PJavi
    March 13, 2010 - 4:43 am | Permalink

    Though I have been paying alimony now for over 16 years, I realize it is an important part of the family justice system. Nevertheless, there have to be clear guidelines in order that it be a true justice system. One important guideline that is necessary to establish is termination of alimony so that both parties have the ability to plan for the rest of their lives, through retirement and into old age. Alimony is not part of the criminal justice system, that is intended to penalize the paying party, denying him or her, among other things the ability to retire.

    H1785 accomplishes the goals of establishing these guidelines in fair manner for all parties.

  • PJavi
    March 13, 2010 - 4:43 am | Permalink

    Though I have been paying alimony now for over 16 years, I realize it is an important part of the family justice system. Nevertheless, there have to be clear guidelines in order that it be a true justice system. One important guideline that is necessary to establish is termination of alimony so that both parties have the ability to plan for the rest of their lives, through retirement and into old age. Alimony is not part of the criminal justice system, that is intended to penalize the paying party, denying him or her, among other things the ability to retire.

    H1785 accomplishes the goals of establishing these guidelines in fair manner for all parties.

  • Ed
    March 13, 2010 - 1:15 pm | Permalink

    This issue is simple: FOLLOW THE MONEY.

    I have paid more than $200,000 to attorneys over the past 5 years because the current laws give both sides wide latitude to argue their position at the expense of the parties and their families. If one party wants to stretch it out and abuse the other, the Courts here in Massachusetts is the place to be.

    My ex is attempting to use the current Statues to extort money from me in the form of alimony; yes, more attorney fees ahead. It’s a waste of time and money but the lawyers on BOTH sides win every day, every time arguing silly things with more Motions and Pleadings because the law is unclear and the judges have way too much latitude. They really don’t know all the facts and they certainly don’t apply the laws equally. Who you get for a judge makes a HUGE difference in the outcome. Laws are to be uniformly applied to be equatable; judge’s discretion is too much of a variable.

    H1785 is the only sane choice.

    For any one who does not support H1785 we won’t forget and we will vote you out. Hello Scott Brown!

  • Ed
    March 13, 2010 - 1:15 pm | Permalink

    This issue is simple: FOLLOW THE MONEY.

    I have paid more than $200,000 to attorneys over the past 5 years because the current laws give both sides wide latitude to argue their position at the expense of the parties and their families. If one party wants to stretch it out and abuse the other, the Courts here in Massachusetts is the place to be.

    My ex is attempting to use the current Statues to extort money from me in the form of alimony; yes, more attorney fees ahead. It’s a waste of time and money but the lawyers on BOTH sides win every day, every time arguing silly things with more Motions and Pleadings because the law is unclear and the judges have way too much latitude. They really don’t know all the facts and they certainly don’t apply the laws equally. Who you get for a judge makes a HUGE difference in the outcome. Laws are to be uniformly applied to be equatable; judge’s discretion is too much of a variable.

    H1785 is the only sane choice.

    For any one who does not support H1785 we won’t forget and we will vote you out. Hello Scott Brown!

  • March 13, 2010 - 3:58 pm | Permalink

    Cynthia Creem is a current lobbyist for the Massachusetts Bar Assn. AND someone IS running against her: Charles Rudnick. Start calling and writing him!!!!

    http://www.charlesrudnick.com

    http://massachusetts-election-2010.com/category/state-senate/creem-rudnick/

  • March 13, 2010 - 3:58 pm | Permalink

    Cynthia Creem is a current lobbyist for the Massachusetts Bar Assn. AND someone IS running against her: Charles Rudnick. Start calling and writing him!!!!

    http://www.charlesrudnick.com

    http://massachusetts-election-2010.com/category/state-senate/creem-rudnick/

  • leslie
    March 13, 2010 - 8:16 pm | Permalink

    A second wife, here; and I was a first wife, too. We divorced in 1981; my former husband moved to GA. He paid a pittance of child support while I raised 2 children (aged 9 & 6) in MA. Minimal alimony for two years, so that I could get my degree (as I’d supported us while he got his). That was all I wanted, & even the child support fizzled out after 5 or 6 yrs. He also spent all of the children’s college $$, as he was the trustee for the stock his grandparents gave our children…then HE declared bankruptcy to get out of the obligation! Fast forward to my remarriage in 1991. Now married 18 years, my husband and I have been pouring $$ into his former wife’s 5-bedroom home in Dover since they split in 1988. Finally, child support ended in 5/09, when his youngest of 4 graduated from college (age 22). Oh, but wait…$5000/month continues to flow to this woman…so that she can remain, ALONE, in her 5-bedroom house and substitute teach! I beg to differ with the folks who say “only the lawyers benefit.” WHAT ABOUT A WOMAN WHO SITS IN HER BIG, EMPTY HOUSE, SIPHONING $$ FROM A MAN WHO HAS BEEN MY HUSBAND FOR ALMOST 19 YEARS?? I agree with the respondent who called alimony “WELFARE.” Only thing is that it’s MEGA-welfare for leeches! Wow; I sound bitter…

  • leslie
    March 13, 2010 - 8:16 pm | Permalink

    A second wife, here; and I was a first wife, too. We divorced in 1981; my former husband moved to GA. He paid a pittance of child support while I raised 2 children (aged 9 & 6) in MA. Minimal alimony for two years, so that I could get my degree (as I’d supported us while he got his). That was all I wanted, & even the child support fizzled out after 5 or 6 yrs. He also spent all of the children’s college $$, as he was the trustee for the stock his grandparents gave our children…then HE declared bankruptcy to get out of the obligation! Fast forward to my remarriage in 1991. Now married 18 years, my husband and I have been pouring $$ into his former wife’s 5-bedroom home in Dover since they split in 1988. Finally, child support ended in 5/09, when his youngest of 4 graduated from college (age 22). Oh, but wait…$5000/month continues to flow to this woman…so that she can remain, ALONE, in her 5-bedroom house and substitute teach! I beg to differ with the folks who say “only the lawyers benefit.” WHAT ABOUT A WOMAN WHO SITS IN HER BIG, EMPTY HOUSE, SIPHONING $$ FROM A MAN WHO HAS BEEN MY HUSBAND FOR ALMOST 19 YEARS?? I agree with the respondent who called alimony “WELFARE.” Only thing is that it’s MEGA-welfare for leeches! Wow; I sound bitter…

  • MAK1
    March 13, 2010 - 8:35 pm | Permalink

    Calling and writing to Creem’s opponent is good but more needs to be done. We should be donating money to Rudnick’s campaign, volunteering, etc. Even if one doesn’t agree with Rudnick’s positions on the issues, it will be worth it to get Creem out of her position as chairperson of the Judiciary Committee.

  • MAK1
    March 13, 2010 - 8:35 pm | Permalink

    Calling and writing to Creem’s opponent is good but more needs to be done. We should be donating money to Rudnick’s campaign, volunteering, etc. Even if one doesn’t agree with Rudnick’s positions on the issues, it will be worth it to get Creem out of her position as chairperson of the Judiciary Committee.

  • MAK1
    March 13, 2010 - 8:37 pm | Permalink
  • MAK1
    March 13, 2010 - 8:37 pm | Permalink
  • Emmett
    March 13, 2010 - 8:45 pm | Permalink

    Does anyone know where Rudnick stands on HB 1785? I checked his website and couldn’t tell. Also, there was no e-mail address where one could contact him to ask the question.

    • MAK1
      March 13, 2010 - 9:09 pm | Permalink

      The most important thing is to apply pressure to Creem and try to get her defeated in November. It would be nice to find that Rudnick supports HB 1785, but if he doesn’t support it, he can’t single-handedly stop it, like Creem can.

    • March 13, 2010 - 10:43 pm | Permalink

      I’ve asked him, but he hasn’t gotten back to me. If anyone gets an answer from him let me know. I’m sure if he made a single statement on the issue that he’d get a lot of people volunteering and contributing for him.

      I think candidates don’t yet have enough courage to come out for Alimony Reform – even though its really popular. As soon as one of them does – and sees the spike in their popularity they will all want to jump on the bandwagon.

  • Emmett
    March 13, 2010 - 8:45 pm | Permalink

    Does anyone know where Rudnick stands on HB 1785? I checked his website and couldn’t tell. Also, there was no e-mail address where one could contact him to ask the question.

    • MAK1
      March 13, 2010 - 9:09 pm | Permalink

      The most important thing is to apply pressure to Creem and try to get her defeated in November. It would be nice to find that Rudnick supports HB 1785, but if he doesn’t support it, he can’t single-handedly stop it, like Creem can.

    • March 13, 2010 - 10:43 pm | Permalink

      I’ve asked him, but he hasn’t gotten back to me. If anyone gets an answer from him let me know. I’m sure if he made a single statement on the issue that he’d get a lot of people volunteering and contributing for him.

      I think candidates don’t yet have enough courage to come out for Alimony Reform – even though its really popular. As soon as one of them does – and sees the spike in their popularity they will all want to jump on the bandwagon.

  • March 13, 2010 - 11:11 pm | Permalink

    For Leslie- It goes without saying that the alimony queens win too! It’s disgusting, this woman sitting in her 5 bedroom house. I would be livid. I am in a similar situation with an alimony queen (but I didn’t marry her ex-husband, so she couldn’t come after my money) who has 5X what I have. Oh, wait, I AM livid. Would you write to me and I will give you the name of a good lawyer who may be able to help you out of your troubles? Janejane2929@gmail.com.

    Everyone else: Shouldn’t be hard to get a phone number for Mr. Rudnick. I’m sure the last thing in the world he wants is to take a stand on alimony reform, but if he learns that he will have thousands of people working for him if he does, he might change his mind. Poor guy has stepped into a hornet’s nest called The Massachusetts Bar Association.

  • March 13, 2010 - 11:11 pm | Permalink

    For Leslie- It goes without saying that the alimony queens win too! It’s disgusting, this woman sitting in her 5 bedroom house. I would be livid. I am in a similar situation with an alimony queen (but I didn’t marry her ex-husband, so she couldn’t come after my money) who has 5X what I have. Oh, wait, I AM livid. Would you write to me and I will give you the name of a good lawyer who may be able to help you out of your troubles? Janejane2929@gmail.com.

    Everyone else: Shouldn’t be hard to get a phone number for Mr. Rudnick. I’m sure the last thing in the world he wants is to take a stand on alimony reform, but if he learns that he will have thousands of people working for him if he does, he might change his mind. Poor guy has stepped into a hornet’s nest called The Massachusetts Bar Association.

  • SCB
    March 14, 2010 - 12:13 am | Permalink

    MBA press release announcing Cynthia Creem as “Legislator of the Year.”

    What a sick joke.

    http://www.massbar.org/media/709162/03%2004%2010%20creem%20legislator%20of%20the%20year%20pr%20%282%29.pdf

  • SCB
    March 14, 2010 - 12:13 am | Permalink

    MBA press release announcing Cynthia Creem as “Legislator of the Year.”

    What a sick joke.

    http://www.massbar.org/media/709162/03%2004%2010%20creem%20legislator%20of%20the%20year%20pr%20%282%29.pdf

  • March 14, 2010 - 2:51 am | Permalink

    I am just another “Lifetime Alimony” payor in the state of Ma. My situation is just another chapter in the book of “Horror Stories” created by the “Family Probate Laws in the State of Mass”. All the verbs and adjectives I could use to describe my feeling have been voiced many times already. We the people of Mass need to support HB1785 in every way. Call your local representatives, write letters, and set up meetings. Join the cause, tell your story, and let the people be heard!

    Join us: http://massalimonyreform.org We are here to help! But without the help of constituents we can’t reach outside of our own reps.

    Senator Creem knows what she should do but she won’t; “Greed is ugly…almost as Ugly as Alimony!!!

    HB1785 is the answer!

  • March 14, 2010 - 2:51 am | Permalink

    I am just another “Lifetime Alimony” payor in the state of Ma. My situation is just another chapter in the book of “Horror Stories” created by the “Family Probate Laws in the State of Mass”. All the verbs and adjectives I could use to describe my feeling have been voiced many times already. We the people of Mass need to support HB1785 in every way. Call your local representatives, write letters, and set up meetings. Join the cause, tell your story, and let the people be heard!

    Join us: http://massalimonyreform.org We are here to help! But without the help of constituents we can’t reach outside of our own reps.

    Senator Creem knows what she should do but she won’t; “Greed is ugly…almost as Ugly as Alimony!!!

    HB1785 is the answer!

  • Arela
    March 14, 2010 - 3:37 am | Permalink

    Thank you for writing a great article on the current Alimony laws in Mass.
    Make no mistake, the current law is in place for one reason and ONE REASON ONLY. For the beneift of money hungary attorneys who want more billable hours. Alimony in Mass is about Attorneys and Greed. It is legal EXTORTION that has finally been exposed for what it is. Senator Cynthia Creem is a disgrace to her constituents and is a fraud. She is working for her own self-serving interests and for the benefit of her “brotherhood” . . . this is evident as she filed HB 1616 to continue the extortion by adding the word “duration” to alimony as though this would change the current law in any way. Who does she think she is anyway? I, too, was present on the day of testimony as many individuals packed the hearing room to share their horror stories. Senator Creem was texting and talking and didn’t have the professional courtesy to listen to the people who elect her. Massachusetts is a state where Communism is alive. Once you get tied into the court system, they don’t allow you to get out and will whip you around and put you in jail if you dare to stand up for what is right. They write the script and you best do as you are told. Support HB 1785 and spread the word that this injustice must stop. It will.

  • Arela
    March 14, 2010 - 3:37 am | Permalink

    Thank you for writing a great article on the current Alimony laws in Mass.
    Make no mistake, the current law is in place for one reason and ONE REASON ONLY. For the beneift of money hungary attorneys who want more billable hours. Alimony in Mass is about Attorneys and Greed. It is legal EXTORTION that has finally been exposed for what it is. Senator Cynthia Creem is a disgrace to her constituents and is a fraud. She is working for her own self-serving interests and for the benefit of her “brotherhood” . . . this is evident as she filed HB 1616 to continue the extortion by adding the word “duration” to alimony as though this would change the current law in any way. Who does she think she is anyway? I, too, was present on the day of testimony as many individuals packed the hearing room to share their horror stories. Senator Creem was texting and talking and didn’t have the professional courtesy to listen to the people who elect her. Massachusetts is a state where Communism is alive. Once you get tied into the court system, they don’t allow you to get out and will whip you around and put you in jail if you dare to stand up for what is right. They write the script and you best do as you are told. Support HB 1785 and spread the word that this injustice must stop. It will.

  • March 15, 2010 - 10:18 am | Permalink

    Creem has made her play on her bill, lets see what the lawyer think tank actually does with it now that the cat is out the bag, so to speak. I should imagine they will kill both bills and wait for the public’s attention span to take interest in other things or diversions. Where and when I am sure they will slip it in as some form of rider. I say we keep our eyes peeled well back on this one. Creem could also do the last patsy run and get her bill through, after all it is a money maker and she will be compensated elsewhere. Once it is rallied through, these new legislative acts are pretty hard to reverse.

  • March 15, 2010 - 10:18 am | Permalink

    Creem has made her play on her bill, lets see what the lawyer think tank actually does with it now that the cat is out the bag, so to speak. I should imagine they will kill both bills and wait for the public’s attention span to take interest in other things or diversions. Where and when I am sure they will slip it in as some form of rider. I say we keep our eyes peeled well back on this one. Creem could also do the last patsy run and get her bill through, after all it is a money maker and she will be compensated elsewhere. Once it is rallied through, these new legislative acts are pretty hard to reverse.

  • jconyx
    March 15, 2010 - 9:18 pm | Permalink

    Self-serving bloodsuckers…..the whole lot of them. Lawyers as public servants..thats a joke. State Senator Creem is not interested in serving the tax payers…her only interest is making her fellow devorce lawyer cronies rich, at the expense of those who cannot make their relationship work out. So this should be a life sentence. Both sides should be able to move on with their lives. Good people are going to jail, their crime being a tanking economy choking them on bloated and extended alimony payments?

    So thank you. It is through articles like this that we are getting the word out. Public awareness makes it impossible for these sleasebag politicialns/lawyers to continue to hijack our state probate system for their financial well being. Identify them and vote them out.

  • jconyx
    March 15, 2010 - 5:18 pm | Permalink

    Self-serving bloodsuckers…..the whole lot of them. Lawyers as public servants..thats a joke. State Senator Creem is not interested in serving the tax payers…her only interest is making her fellow devorce lawyer cronies rich, at the expense of those who cannot make their relationship work out. So this should be a life sentence. Both sides should be able to move on with their lives. Good people are going to jail, their crime being a tanking economy choking them on bloated and extended alimony payments?

    So thank you. It is through articles like this that we are getting the word out. Public awareness makes it impossible for these sleasebag politicialns/lawyers to continue to hijack our state probate system for their financial well being. Identify them and vote them out.

  • March 15, 2010 - 9:37 pm | Permalink

    HB1785 is the only solution to the Archaic Family and Probate Laws that punish MEN and WOMEN alike. Its BAD LAW that is ruining the lives of Children of Divorce, Destroys Families, causes bankruptcies and puts innocent hard working people in jail. Mass Family and Probate courts are severely overburdened by this BAD LAW and the unscrupulous individuals who are willing to take advantage of it for revenge and even worse profit.

    SB1616 is just Senator Creem’s attempt to preserve “BAD LAW” to protect her own “Self Interests”. If her current actions are not a call for her constituents vote her out of office at the next election I don’t know what is! I’m sure many Alimony Payor’s in this state, like I, can’t survive another 6 years with her in office only to protect her own “Interests” not the interests of the people who put their trust in her when they cast their votes! If any legislator doesn’t listen to their constituents we only 1 choice; vote them out of office!

    If Senator Creem tries to pull a fast one and “Slip her bill through with only 2 supporters” I would hope the 72 supporters for HB1785 can block her self fulfilling attempt.

    We need to keep the pressure on, we can’t let up. Let the people be heard, keep the letters to your legislators coming.

    “Till death do I pay” no longer… “Till death do I support HB1785!”

    • doc hollidey
      March 16, 2010 - 2:26 pm | Permalink

      I agree. I want the same thing in South Carolina. This should be a national effort. All states should be forced to conform to a national ruling on this matter to stop the self-serving lawyers from raping all of us.

  • March 15, 2010 - 5:37 pm | Permalink

    HB1785 is the only solution to the Archaic Family and Probate Laws that punish MEN and WOMEN alike. Its BAD LAW that is ruining the lives of Children of Divorce, Destroys Families, causes bankruptcies and puts innocent hard working people in jail. Mass Family and Probate courts are severely overburdened by this BAD LAW and the unscrupulous individuals who are willing to take advantage of it for revenge and even worse profit.

    SB1616 is just Senator Creem’s attempt to preserve “BAD LAW” to protect her own “Self Interests”. If her current actions are not a call for her constituents vote her out of office at the next election I don’t know what is! I’m sure many Alimony Payor’s in this state, like I, can’t survive another 6 years with her in office only to protect her own “Interests” not the interests of the people who put their trust in her when they cast their votes! If any legislator doesn’t listen to their constituents we only 1 choice; vote them out of office!

    If Senator Creem tries to pull a fast one and “Slip her bill through with only 2 supporters” I would hope the 72 supporters for HB1785 can block her self fulfilling attempt.

    We need to keep the pressure on, we can’t let up. Let the people be heard, keep the letters to your legislators coming.

    “Till death do I pay” no longer… “Till death do I support HB1785!”

    • doc hollidey
      March 16, 2010 - 10:26 am | Permalink

      I agree. I want the same thing in South Carolina. This should be a national effort. All states should be forced to conform to a national ruling on this matter to stop the self-serving lawyers from raping all of us.

  • March 15, 2010 - 9:43 pm | Permalink

    If you have not already please join Mass Alimony Reform. We can win this if we all stick together and function as a team.

    http://www.massalimonyreform.org

  • March 15, 2010 - 5:43 pm | Permalink

    If you have not already please join Mass Alimony Reform. We can win this if we all stick together and function as a team.

    http://www.massalimonyreform.org

  • doc hollidey
    March 16, 2010 - 2:24 pm | Permalink

    I am writing from South Carolina where we pretty much have the same problem. I have paid over $100,000 in alimony and court costs over the last ten years. My ex now gets 1/3 of my retirement and over $400 in alimony. I had requested that the alimony would end when I retired and refused to agree to or sign anything without that stipulation. I was under the impression that I had this in the divorce settlement. I found out later that I did not. My attorney explained to me that, because my ex would not agree to this, the judge had to make the ruling for permanent alimony until circumstances changed. Well…they did. I retired after over 30 years on the same job and went back to court to get the alimony terminated. All the judge did was to decrease my alimony from $700 per month to $425 per month, plus I have to pay my exe’s attorney fees. She stated that I was “able” to pay alimony because I have some money in investments. My ex now makes $900 more per month than I do. She actually got a $400 per month “raise” when I retired when you combine the alimony and retirement. I took a 30% cut in pay. This continuing alimony and the cost of going to court each time my financial status changes is draining me. I fully support HR1785. No one should be made to serve as a slave to someone else who is fully able to work. It is like owing money to a credit card company that can never be paid off. No matter how much you pay.

  • doc hollidey
    March 16, 2010 - 10:24 am | Permalink

    I am writing from South Carolina where we pretty much have the same problem. I have paid over $100,000 in alimony and court costs over the last ten years. My ex now gets 1/3 of my retirement and over $400 in alimony. I had requested that the alimony would end when I retired and refused to agree to or sign anything without that stipulation. I was under the impression that I had this in the divorce settlement. I found out later that I did not. My attorney explained to me that, because my ex would not agree to this, the judge had to make the ruling for permanent alimony until circumstances changed. Well…they did. I retired after over 30 years on the same job and went back to court to get the alimony terminated. All the judge did was to decrease my alimony from $700 per month to $425 per month, plus I have to pay my exe’s attorney fees. She stated that I was “able” to pay alimony because I have some money in investments. My ex now makes $900 more per month than I do. She actually got a $400 per month “raise” when I retired when you combine the alimony and retirement. I took a 30% cut in pay. This continuing alimony and the cost of going to court each time my financial status changes is draining me. I fully support HR1785. No one should be made to serve as a slave to someone else who is fully able to work. It is like owing money to a credit card company that can never be paid off. No matter how much you pay.

  • Steve M
    March 16, 2010 - 6:15 pm | Permalink

    Down with the Massachusetts Alimony Regime ! Call all your state Reps and Senators and let them know if they don’t support HB1785, their political future could be on the line. This issue is NOT going away and the public needs to put Creem and others opposed to HB1785 into a political pressure cooker. Current MA alimony law alone is enough to deter married people from coming to this state, if they know…. BUT they are learning very quick, with all the news and media focusing on the Alimony issue, thanks to the efforts of the Mass Alimony Reform group. There have been many comments on this page, and all of us are in agreement its way over due. Now its time to take action, and change this nonsense out of date alimony statue.

  • Steve M
    March 16, 2010 - 2:15 pm | Permalink

    Down with the Massachusetts Alimony Regime ! Call all your state Reps and Senators and let them know if they don’t support HB1785, their political future could be on the line. This issue is NOT going away and the public needs to put Creem and others opposed to HB1785 into a political pressure cooker. Current MA alimony law alone is enough to deter married people from coming to this state, if they know…. BUT they are learning very quick, with all the news and media focusing on the Alimony issue, thanks to the efforts of the Mass Alimony Reform group. There have been many comments on this page, and all of us are in agreement its way over due. Now its time to take action, and change this nonsense out of date alimony statue.

  • Tom Herl
    March 17, 2010 - 1:03 am | Permalink

    I am in support of Massachusetts House Bill 1785.

    I have an ‘alimony for life’ provision to an ex-wife who is 45 years old, had a 14 year career prior to the birth of our children, and has worked after the birth of our children in ‘temp to perm’ role. Her alimony is now ~ $40,000 per year plus another $42,000 in potential bonus money. This is in addition to the ~ $30,000 in child support. The divorce resulted in her receiving almost $1 million in assets including a fully paid for house. What is her incentive to work for the next 20 years?

    I lost my job almost 6 months ago, must now pay $5,000 or more in legal bills to request a modification of my alimony payments. Her attorney’s position is that I have the ‘ability’ to pay, meaning I can take it out of my savings (the half of the assets that I got to keep). Being unemployed is stressful enough, but not knowing what the outcome of this case will be is even more stressful.

    The laws need to change to be more specific and not force judges to comply with the current outdated laws.

    Alimony ’til death do us part’ …… ridiculous.

  • Tom Herl
    March 16, 2010 - 9:03 pm | Permalink

    I am in support of Massachusetts House Bill 1785.

    I have an ‘alimony for life’ provision to an ex-wife who is 45 years old, had a 14 year career prior to the birth of our children, and has worked after the birth of our children in ‘temp to perm’ role. Her alimony is now ~ $40,000 per year plus another $42,000 in potential bonus money. This is in addition to the ~ $30,000 in child support. The divorce resulted in her receiving almost $1 million in assets including a fully paid for house. What is her incentive to work for the next 20 years?

    I lost my job almost 6 months ago, must now pay $5,000 or more in legal bills to request a modification of my alimony payments. Her attorney’s position is that I have the ‘ability’ to pay, meaning I can take it out of my savings (the half of the assets that I got to keep). Being unemployed is stressful enough, but not knowing what the outcome of this case will be is even more stressful.

    The laws need to change to be more specific and not force judges to comply with the current outdated laws.

    Alimony ’til death do us part’ …… ridiculous.

  • BostonProfessor
    March 17, 2010 - 3:02 pm | Permalink

    Tom,
    My 34 year old ex wife (former RN) received alimony for life as well (in addition to child support through age 23). My ex wife was awarded 125% of my take home pay. This meant that I needed to create a business or hold a second job (pay her a chunk of the money from that and then worry about the flows from my “side” income. Two years after my divorce our economy went into a deep economic recession. My business died and I had to shut it down and bring my ex to court. Despite the fact that my ex had created a business that grossed more money than mine, the courts completely ignored my ex wife’s income potential and placed all of its focus on my current wife’s income. Consequently, the courts ruled that my wife needs to work to support my lazy ex-wfe. Again, this will continue for life! I agree with others that we need to send a strong message to Cynthia Creem and others that support her (such as Alice Peisch). After considerable pressure from groups such as Mass Alimony Reform, Alice Peisch is now trying to distance herself from Cynthia Creem’s bill (at least in direct meetings). However, the voting constituents of each community need to support worthy candidates who will help build efficient, effective policies. Clearly, Cynthia Creem needs to be replaced in the next election. Alice Peisch is now being closely monitored by many in her district for her comments on this issue. Members of MAR can make a big difference in the next election. We are a passionate, vocal, (angry) community that is seeking change to our archaic system.

  • BostonProfessor
    March 17, 2010 - 11:02 am | Permalink

    Tom,
    My 34 year old ex wife (former RN) received alimony for life as well (in addition to child support through age 23). My ex wife was awarded 125% of my take home pay. This meant that I needed to create a business or hold a second job (pay her a chunk of the money from that and then worry about the flows from my “side” income. Two years after my divorce our economy went into a deep economic recession. My business died and I had to shut it down and bring my ex to court. Despite the fact that my ex had created a business that grossed more money than mine, the courts completely ignored my ex wife’s income potential and placed all of its focus on my current wife’s income. Consequently, the courts ruled that my wife needs to work to support my lazy ex-wfe. Again, this will continue for life! I agree with others that we need to send a strong message to Cynthia Creem and others that support her (such as Alice Peisch). After considerable pressure from groups such as Mass Alimony Reform, Alice Peisch is now trying to distance herself from Cynthia Creem’s bill (at least in direct meetings). However, the voting constituents of each community need to support worthy candidates who will help build efficient, effective policies. Clearly, Cynthia Creem needs to be replaced in the next election. Alice Peisch is now being closely monitored by many in her district for her comments on this issue. Members of MAR can make a big difference in the next election. We are a passionate, vocal, (angry) community that is seeking change to our archaic system.

  • PaulRavere
    March 17, 2010 - 7:16 pm | Permalink

    Is this the way they think divorces are based on mutual respect, equality, and trust. Not to mention the social factors that influence the occurrence of domestic violence. are they aware there is a 50% chance you will end up in a divorce and paying alimony which could result in your financial suicide.
    According to the National Center For State Courts (NCSC), statistics show that, for family law cases in California alone: 67% of petitioners at filing (72% for largest counties) are self-represented. More and more people are finding that they are unable to afford the high cost of lawyers and are turning to representing themselves .
    It is not right for the family judicial system to interfere in your life. You are supposed to be protected by the constitutional guarantee of the Right to Privacy in matters related to your marriage. There is no government interference when you get married, so why should they interfere when there is a divorce

    • Steve M
      March 17, 2010 - 7:38 pm | Permalink

      PaulRavere, just follow the money. Divorce is a money making scam for lawyers, judges, courts, greedy lazy ex-louses, and other ethically handicapped people involved with divorce. High earners or those of wealth, are stripped by a system which is setup to “legally steal” from the higher wealth individual, and transfer his or her assets to the ex-louse and lawyers. Doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure it out, its as obvious as it gets. If there was no money involved and everyone was dirt poor, there wouldn’t be anything to fight out, no lawyers, no judges, no court, no nothing. People would just split and go on with their life. Whenever money is involved the government at the state or federal level, has their hand in your pocket emptying it out every time. This all needs to change, and the public needs to make it happen.

  • PaulRavere
    March 17, 2010 - 3:16 pm | Permalink

    Is this the way they think divorces are based on mutual respect, equality, and trust. Not to mention the social factors that influence the occurrence of domestic violence. are they aware there is a 50% chance you will end up in a divorce and paying alimony which could result in your financial suicide.
    According to the National Center For State Courts (NCSC), statistics show that, for family law cases in California alone: 67% of petitioners at filing (72% for largest counties) are self-represented. More and more people are finding that they are unable to afford the high cost of lawyers and are turning to representing themselves .
    It is not right for the family judicial system to interfere in your life. You are supposed to be protected by the constitutional guarantee of the Right to Privacy in matters related to your marriage. There is no government interference when you get married, so why should they interfere when there is a divorce

    • Steve M
      March 17, 2010 - 3:38 pm | Permalink

      PaulRavere, just follow the money. Divorce is a money making scam for lawyers, judges, courts, greedy lazy ex-louses, and other ethically handicapped people involved with divorce. High earners or those of wealth, are stripped by a system which is setup to “legally steal” from the higher wealth individual, and transfer his or her assets to the ex-louse and lawyers. Doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure it out, its as obvious as it gets. If there was no money involved and everyone was dirt poor, there wouldn’t be anything to fight out, no lawyers, no judges, no court, no nothing. People would just split and go on with their life. Whenever money is involved the government at the state or federal level, has their hand in your pocket emptying it out every time. This all needs to change, and the public needs to make it happen.

  • JAMES RN FLORIDA
    March 17, 2010 - 10:35 pm | Permalink

    It may seem trivial to you, but paying $350.00 a week, for over eight years, to an ex, whom’s family that I raised and supported for Fifteen years, could easily support their Mother, without finally pushing me into bankruptcy and foreclose in a much smaller home that I am forced to permanently support for a single woman, that could be very comfortable living in a smaller home, with better transportation opportunities.

    I did not try to claim any of the hundred twenty five thousand plus tax free dollars that I was entitled to when she received cash settlements that the judge claimed to be taxable income.

    Permanent Alimony is just that, a license to get away with being a permanent, “GOLD DIGGER,” at the expense of the government, and the poor sucker that got caught up in an unregulated antiquated legal system that wants nothing more than money, at the expense of anyone’s life they can help to totally ruin. Congratulations, you can add myself, and the daily suffering of my family to your mysteriously, seemingly invisible list.

    James Montgomery, Jacksonville, FL

  • JAMES RN FLORIDA
    March 17, 2010 - 6:35 pm | Permalink

    It may seem trivial to you, but paying $350.00 a week, for over eight years, to an ex, whom’s family that I raised and supported for Fifteen years, could easily support their Mother, without finally pushing me into bankruptcy and foreclose in a much smaller home that I am forced to permanently support for a single woman, that could be very comfortable living in a smaller home, with better transportation opportunities.

    I did not try to claim any of the hundred twenty five thousand plus tax free dollars that I was entitled to when she received cash settlements that the judge claimed to be taxable income.

    Permanent Alimony is just that, a license to get away with being a permanent, “GOLD DIGGER,” at the expense of the government, and the poor sucker that got caught up in an unregulated antiquated legal system that wants nothing more than money, at the expense of anyone’s life they can help to totally ruin. Congratulations, you can add myself, and the daily suffering of my family to your mysteriously, seemingly invisible list.

    James Montgomery, Jacksonville, FL

  • KenJr
    March 17, 2010 - 10:51 pm | Permalink

    This article breaks my heart. I had such high hopes for reform. Looks like my ex-wife will continue to get almost all of my pension (plus her social security and her own pension) leaving me mostly with just social security to live on.

    We look to those in office to represent the interests of the people. But in this instance, the only people who’s interests are being supported are those of the lawyers .. and of course .. the ex-wives who use those lawyers to milk the system for all it’s worth, with ex-husbands ending up as the system’s victims.

    Been paying into alimony for twenty-three years now. Recently though, I had come to believe that some kind of fairness was finally going to be injected into the system. But no, looks like those of my ilk are flat out of luck. Who would have believed, especially in Massachusetts, that one woman could yield enough power to make the lives of so many men continue on in such misery – and do it so legally – even though obviously blatant conflict of interest is at the center of the blocking action. Sad, really sad .. looks like it’s back to alimony ’til death.

  • KenJr
    March 17, 2010 - 6:51 pm | Permalink

    This article breaks my heart. I had such high hopes for reform. Looks like my ex-wife will continue to get almost all of my pension (plus her social security and her own pension) leaving me mostly with just social security to live on.

    We look to those in office to represent the interests of the people. But in this instance, the only people who’s interests are being supported are those of the lawyers .. and of course .. the ex-wives who use those lawyers to milk the system for all it’s worth, with ex-husbands ending up as the system’s victims.

    Been paying into alimony for twenty-three years now. Recently though, I had come to believe that some kind of fairness was finally going to be injected into the system. But no, looks like those of my ilk are flat out of luck. Who would have believed, especially in Massachusetts, that one woman could yield enough power to make the lives of so many men continue on in such misery – and do it so legally – even though obviously blatant conflict of interest is at the center of the blocking action. Sad, really sad .. looks like it’s back to alimony ’til death.

  • PaulRavere
    March 18, 2010 - 12:52 am | Permalink

    The plutocratic state’s lack of social mobility is a result of exploitation of the masses, preventing the workers from climbing out of poverty. What we need is equal funding for all candidates so we can get rid of this riff raff we have on the hill now. Do not confuse the expertise that politicians have mastered at swindling you with scientific and economic expertise about lifetime alimony. Millions have been swindled out of their private pensions, investments, and life savings. Exactly which experts do you think are on your side and are going to make better decisions for you than you? On certain important matters elected officials never honestly represent you. You must represent yourself.

  • PaulRavere
    March 17, 2010 - 8:52 pm | Permalink

    The plutocratic state’s lack of social mobility is a result of exploitation of the masses, preventing the workers from climbing out of poverty. What we need is equal funding for all candidates so we can get rid of this riff raff we have on the hill now. Do not confuse the expertise that politicians have mastered at swindling you with scientific and economic expertise about lifetime alimony. Millions have been swindled out of their private pensions, investments, and life savings. Exactly which experts do you think are on your side and are going to make better decisions for you than you? On certain important matters elected officials never honestly represent you. You must represent yourself.

  • PaulRavere
    March 18, 2010 - 1:39 am | Permalink

    The two greatest enemies of freedom are those who insist “You must serve me!” and those who insist “You must be like me!” Serve and conform. Creating law on difficult, social issues such as lifetime alimony are usually proposed and supported by moneyed, organized, radical interest groups that deviously manipulate unsuspecting others to win their way such as Sen. Cynthia Creem with her conflict of interest.
    Even proposals made by well intentioned but perhaps naive ordinary people may be unscrupulously supported or fought by radical interests for selfish purposes. Distribution of alimony would depend on accident of birth and the person’s talents, ambitions, study, hard work, and luck.

  • PaulRavere
    March 17, 2010 - 9:39 pm | Permalink

    The two greatest enemies of freedom are those who insist “You must serve me!” and those who insist “You must be like me!” Serve and conform. Creating law on difficult, social issues such as lifetime alimony are usually proposed and supported by moneyed, organized, radical interest groups that deviously manipulate unsuspecting others to win their way such as Sen. Cynthia Creem with her conflict of interest.
    Even proposals made by well intentioned but perhaps naive ordinary people may be unscrupulously supported or fought by radical interests for selfish purposes. Distribution of alimony would depend on accident of birth and the person’s talents, ambitions, study, hard work, and luck.

  • PaulRavere
    March 18, 2010 - 4:09 am | Permalink

    With lifetime alimony You have three paths. Going to the left results in being eaten by a grue. Going to the right results in being turned into a grue, then eaten by a grue slayer. Going down the middle path results in a realization that there is, in fact, no middle path. Getting married in Massachusetts means they should put a chapel in Tony Soprano’s Bada Bing Club and having Sen. Cynthia Creem at the recieving line. It is not as if we still look up to local politics, especially around here, for greatness, or nobility. Imagine the people voting for Sen. Creem seeking diversity by admitting a Massachusetts airhead to office? Unfortunately, I have to agree with the critics: the sequel, Legally Blonde 3, is disappointing. The idea is that she is smart enough to interfere with a corrupt bill sponsored by her law firm, a pork barrel project that would enrich only herself and her rich cronies. More likely she did what she did, and that includes what she un-did yesterday, because there was something in it for her. Lets face it we submitted everything from a PERT diagram, an activity chart, itemized budget, and manpower utilization matrix. Sorry Steve, about the submission of your revised proposal. The due date for proposals is July 31, 1776. Ten copies with original signatures will be required.

  • PaulRavere
    March 18, 2010 - 12:09 am | Permalink

    With lifetime alimony You have three paths. Going to the left results in being eaten by a grue. Going to the right results in being turned into a grue, then eaten by a grue slayer. Going down the middle path results in a realization that there is, in fact, no middle path. Getting married in Massachusetts means they should put a chapel in Tony Soprano’s Bada Bing Club and having Sen. Cynthia Creem at the recieving line. It is not as if we still look up to local politics, especially around here, for greatness, or nobility. Imagine the people voting for Sen. Creem seeking diversity by admitting a Massachusetts airhead to office? Unfortunately, I have to agree with the critics: the sequel, Legally Blonde 3, is disappointing. The idea is that she is smart enough to interfere with a corrupt bill sponsored by her law firm, a pork barrel project that would enrich only herself and her rich cronies. More likely she did what she did, and that includes what she un-did yesterday, because there was something in it for her. Lets face it we submitted everything from a PERT diagram, an activity chart, itemized budget, and manpower utilization matrix. Sorry Steve, about the submission of your revised proposal. The due date for proposals is July 31, 1776. Ten copies with original signatures will be required.

  • PJavi
    March 18, 2010 - 4:48 am | Permalink

    What I find disappointing and in fact troubling, is that I haven’t seen anybody that opposes H1785 actually make any comments against it here or anywhere else where the issue is aired in a public forum. It is worrisome, because, ultimately, I suspect that the strategy of the opponents of the bill is to lie low and quietly kill it in committee. As noted in another posting in this blog, H1785 did get an extension today so is not yet dead. But I think as long as Creem can quietly keep a pillow on it, it will slowly suffocate.

    • March 18, 2010 - 5:02 am | Permalink

      So long as we the pressure up its not easy to kill it. We need to keep writing letter, responding to news articles and make sure legislators know we are watching them.

      I think there is a good chance some form of alimony reform will be passed this year. We have to wait and see what the task force comes up with.

  • PJavi
    March 18, 2010 - 12:48 am | Permalink

    What I find disappointing and in fact troubling, is that I haven’t seen anybody that opposes H1785 actually make any comments against it here or anywhere else where the issue is aired in a public forum. It is worrisome, because, ultimately, I suspect that the strategy of the opponents of the bill is to lie low and quietly kill it in committee. As noted in another posting in this blog, H1785 did get an extension today so is not yet dead. But I think as long as Creem can quietly keep a pillow on it, it will slowly suffocate.

    • March 18, 2010 - 1:02 am | Permalink

      So long as we the pressure up its not easy to kill it. We need to keep writing letter, responding to news articles and make sure legislators know we are watching them.

      I think there is a good chance some form of alimony reform will be passed this year. We have to wait and see what the task force comes up with.

  • Bob Guardino
    March 18, 2010 - 1:37 pm | Permalink

    There is certainly a conflict of interest when a divorce lawyer proposes legislation that merely benefits the profession. When is the house going to act in support of the public at large and force the rights of men and women to be heard. I for one was slapped with Lifetime alimony even after giving my ex-wife half of my retirement pension. Why would Cynthia Creem not support HB1785 which limits alimony to the maximum of an individual’s normal retirement age, because it would take away thousands of dollars in litigation fees from her and every divorce lawyer in the profession. It’s time for the alimony laws in Mass. to be reformed as in many other states where alimony has a term limit and by no means does it extend beyond an individual’s normal retirement age!!

  • Bob Guardino
    March 18, 2010 - 9:37 am | Permalink

    There is certainly a conflict of interest when a divorce lawyer proposes legislation that merely benefits the profession. When is the house going to act in support of the public at large and force the rights of men and women to be heard. I for one was slapped with Lifetime alimony even after giving my ex-wife half of my retirement pension. Why would Cynthia Creem not support HB1785 which limits alimony to the maximum of an individual’s normal retirement age, because it would take away thousands of dollars in litigation fees from her and every divorce lawyer in the profession. It’s time for the alimony laws in Mass. to be reformed as in many other states where alimony has a term limit and by no means does it extend beyond an individual’s normal retirement age!!

  • Emmett
    March 18, 2010 - 1:45 pm | Permalink

    I don’t know whether this will have an effect, but I’ve begun writing to local radio stations asking them to mention or cover alimony reform in their news programs. I’m also sending notes to the morning DJs, who are always looking for things to talk about. I mention such points as the fact that someone may be ordered to pay alimony that lasts many times the duration of the marriage, that a judge may order higher alimony if the person paying re-marries, and that the receiver’s potential earnings generally are not considered by judges when awarding alimony. I give them the website of massalimony.org for further information. If a radio station receives several e-mails asking them to cover alimony reform, perhaps it will. It may also strike a nerve with radio station employees who are paying alimony. It’s worth a try.

    • Steve M
      March 18, 2010 - 3:22 pm | Permalink

      Great idea Emmett, alimony reform and the passage of HB1785 need to be hammered home wherever possible. The alimony horrors that have been and will be inflicted onto innocent MA citizens by Mass family courts, needs to be known to all of the USA. It will save those married people seriously considering coming to MA, as they will cross out this state as a possible place to live, no doubt. Bad for the MA economy, but oh well, that’s how the Mass Alimony Regime wants it.

  • Emmett
    March 18, 2010 - 9:45 am | Permalink

    I don’t know whether this will have an effect, but I’ve begun writing to local radio stations asking them to mention or cover alimony reform in their news programs. I’m also sending notes to the morning DJs, who are always looking for things to talk about. I mention such points as the fact that someone may be ordered to pay alimony that lasts many times the duration of the marriage, that a judge may order higher alimony if the person paying re-marries, and that the receiver’s potential earnings generally are not considered by judges when awarding alimony. I give them the website of massalimony.org for further information. If a radio station receives several e-mails asking them to cover alimony reform, perhaps it will. It may also strike a nerve with radio station employees who are paying alimony. It’s worth a try.

    • Steve M
      March 18, 2010 - 11:22 am | Permalink

      Great idea Emmett, alimony reform and the passage of HB1785 need to be hammered home wherever possible. The alimony horrors that have been and will be inflicted onto innocent MA citizens by Mass family courts, needs to be known to all of the USA. It will save those married people seriously considering coming to MA, as they will cross out this state as a possible place to live, no doubt. Bad for the MA economy, but oh well, that’s how the Mass Alimony Regime wants it.

  • John M
    March 19, 2010 - 9:52 pm | Permalink

    Just unbelievable. If this article, and the stories posted in the comments, are not proof that feminism is one of the biggest scams ever pulled, I don’t know what it. Marriage is for suckers. I’m sorry guys, but paying alimony to your ex-shrew for over 20 years while she shacks up with another lover? SUCKER. If I knew there was even the remotest possibility of this ever happening, I would never get married. I do, and I won’t ever get married even though many women want me. Creem and her feminist ilk are making marriage totally outdated, and nothing but a sucker’s game.

    I find it humorous that the only women who speak out against alimony here are the ones who are having to pay out to the first ex-wife. Talk about just desserts!! It makes me so happy that women’s paychecks can be attached to pay the ex’s alimony, because without this loophole all women would continue to support the unfair, sexist practice known as alimony. Maybe you should have thought of that when you were milking your first husband of alimony you harpy!

    • Interested Party
      March 20, 2010 - 10:00 pm | Permalink

      The comment: “I find it humorous that the only women who speak out against alimony here are the ones who are having to pay out to the first ex-wife.” to be unfair and frankly offensive to those of us women (Interested Party)who have posted on this blog and preferred to focus on the discussion of Alimony Reform and not feel we had to tell our stories.

      There are many women in MA – single, engaged, married, divorced who think the current MA alimony “guidelines and laws” are outdated along with those divorced women who are just as outdated. These women are parasites who feel entitled and justified in “reaping the benefits” while inflicting emotional and financial hardship on their ex-husbands along with the seldom discussed subject of collateral damage on the children involved as well.

      Women come in many varieties with many different opinions based on their own experiences just like men. In summary, there are more of us who think MA Alimony reform is imperative and necessary than you realize!

    • Karen
      March 22, 2010 - 8:09 pm | Permalink

      Um, the facts sir from one of those feminists you’re spewing about…I waived my “right” to alimony twice–once during my divorce from my cheating ex-husband 10 years ago (against my attorney’s advice) and again when I married my current husband via a pre-nup. So yup, I DO object to paying my husband’s nonworking lesbian ex-wife, and I’m justified in my anger since I don’t get a penny from my ex-husband by my own choice. If you research the topic you’ll see that there are plenty of second wives like me who supported ourselves and our children and didn’t take alimony; we’re not all harpies. Don’t worry about your stance refusing to get married; most women aren’t into marrying misogynistic guys so it’s not a likely option for you anyway.

      • March 22, 2010 - 8:53 pm | Permalink

        The movement to reform alimony needs more women like you.

        Some people wrongly believe that alimony is a men vs. women issue. But times have changed and women are increasingly in the position of having to pay alimony also.

        Back in the days of whalebone corsets when women were not allowed to work alimony made sense. But in today’s world of high achieving professional women we need to change the laws.

        There is no reason today that all healthy adults should not be expected to work to support themselves.

  • John M
    March 19, 2010 - 5:52 pm | Permalink

    Just unbelievable. If this article, and the stories posted in the comments, are not proof that feminism is one of the biggest scams ever pulled, I don’t know what it. Marriage is for suckers. I’m sorry guys, but paying alimony to your ex-shrew for over 20 years while she shacks up with another lover? SUCKER. If I knew there was even the remotest possibility of this ever happening, I would never get married. I do, and I won’t ever get married even though many women want me. Creem and her feminist ilk are making marriage totally outdated, and nothing but a sucker’s game.

    I find it humorous that the only women who speak out against alimony here are the ones who are having to pay out to the first ex-wife. Talk about just desserts!! It makes me so happy that women’s paychecks can be attached to pay the ex’s alimony, because without this loophole all women would continue to support the unfair, sexist practice known as alimony. Maybe you should have thought of that when you were milking your first husband of alimony you harpy!

    • Interested Party
      March 20, 2010 - 6:00 pm | Permalink

      The comment: “I find it humorous that the only women who speak out against alimony here are the ones who are having to pay out to the first ex-wife.” to be unfair and frankly offensive to those of us women (Interested Party)who have posted on this blog and preferred to focus on the discussion of Alimony Reform and not feel we had to tell our stories.

      There are many women in MA – single, engaged, married, divorced who think the current MA alimony “guidelines and laws” are outdated along with those divorced women who are just as outdated. These women are parasites who feel entitled and justified in “reaping the benefits” while inflicting emotional and financial hardship on their ex-husbands along with the seldom discussed subject of collateral damage on the children involved as well.

      Women come in many varieties with many different opinions based on their own experiences just like men. In summary, there are more of us who think MA Alimony reform is imperative and necessary than you realize!

    • Karen
      March 22, 2010 - 4:09 pm | Permalink

      Um, the facts sir from one of those feminists you’re spewing about…I waived my “right” to alimony twice–once during my divorce from my cheating ex-husband 10 years ago (against my attorney’s advice) and again when I married my current husband via a pre-nup. So yup, I DO object to paying my husband’s nonworking lesbian ex-wife, and I’m justified in my anger since I don’t get a penny from my ex-husband by my own choice. If you research the topic you’ll see that there are plenty of second wives like me who supported ourselves and our children and didn’t take alimony; we’re not all harpies. Don’t worry about your stance refusing to get married; most women aren’t into marrying misogynistic guys so it’s not a likely option for you anyway.

      • March 22, 2010 - 4:53 pm | Permalink

        The movement to reform alimony needs more women like you.

        Some people wrongly believe that alimony is a men vs. women issue. But times have changed and women are increasingly in the position of having to pay alimony also.

        Back in the days of whalebone corsets when women were not allowed to work alimony made sense. But in today’s world of high achieving professional women we need to change the laws.

        There is no reason today that all healthy adults should not be expected to work to support themselves.

  • PaulRavere
    March 21, 2010 - 1:36 pm | Permalink

    Alimony payers for life are victims of being forced to have fixed incomes and see their cost of living go up. For those who save, the value of their savings deteriorate. Simply another opportunity to impose a stealth cost on hard-working victims. It is just another imposition of paying several more taxes on the same income. State Government can convince people of the simplest things: who is the bad guy, who is the good guy. As we all know by now its the one who goes out and works for a living. When things go wrong, people try to find someone else to blame than themselves, so what they do is they attempt to affect people’s feelings and seek alimony for life. My 100 dollar bill I earn is worth less than toilet paper. Lifetime alimony created massive devaluation of each dollar I earn. Seems like Massachusetts is hell bent on creating crazy lunitics.

    • Steve M
      March 22, 2010 - 12:12 pm | Permalink

      Sentencing someone to lifetime alimony would be enough I would think to send someone “off the cliff” into a mindset of desperation. Having to pay your ex-louse for life, simply because your marriage failed, especially in relative short-medium term marriages, I would think can create huge amounts of resentment and anger. It easy to see how it could make someone into a “crazy lunatic” time bomb for sure.

  • PaulRavere
    March 21, 2010 - 9:36 am | Permalink

    Alimony payers for life are victims of being forced to have fixed incomes and see their cost of living go up. For those who save, the value of their savings deteriorate. Simply another opportunity to impose a stealth cost on hard-working victims. It is just another imposition of paying several more taxes on the same income. State Government can convince people of the simplest things: who is the bad guy, who is the good guy. As we all know by now its the one who goes out and works for a living. When things go wrong, people try to find someone else to blame than themselves, so what they do is they attempt to affect people’s feelings and seek alimony for life. My 100 dollar bill I earn is worth less than toilet paper. Lifetime alimony created massive devaluation of each dollar I earn. Seems like Massachusetts is hell bent on creating crazy lunitics.

    • Steve M
      March 22, 2010 - 8:12 am | Permalink

      Sentencing someone to lifetime alimony would be enough I would think to send someone “off the cliff” into a mindset of desperation. Having to pay your ex-louse for life, simply because your marriage failed, especially in relative short-medium term marriages, I would think can create huge amounts of resentment and anger. It easy to see how it could make someone into a “crazy lunatic” time bomb for sure.

  • Anon
    March 31, 2010 - 5:58 pm | Permalink

    Is anyone taking into consideration disabled spouses of long term 25+ year marriages? Apparently not. I have seen language in a final divorce decree states that a spouse may seek alimony if they are unable to work and are in danger of becoming a public ward. I am unable to work (over 10 years of the marriage) due to multiple medical conditions which will never change, except to worsen, so that I may be self supporting. Believe me, I would rather have to work multiple jobs a month to be independent of my soon to be ex! So through no fault of my own, I should be ripped of my needs to be able to care for myself because there are those who have surely abused the system and the truly deserving must be draggged down with them?
    Why was there no opportunity for hearings for this segment of the population to be heard? Why is Steven Hitner the only member of the task force who would see alimony abolished entirely and there is no representative for the disabled spouse population? Surely a diverse group would be the best choice for a committee that will have massive impacts on so many lives. It is not gender specific. There are men as well as women who are in the same category and yet where is a voice for them?
    Let’s be real. There are those who MUST be able to receive alimony for life and their ex spouses were well aware of their disabilities before divorce so how does that magically remove itself from the equation?
    Any changes to existing laws MUST!!! provide for those who would not be able to even have the means for the most basic of care for their living needs. Each case is as unique as the people they deal with and any “one size fits all” solution will harm the most deserving as well as the general public due to the fact that state funding would be needed to provide for the gaps any changes that do not provide for those who have no choice but to be maintained for their natural lives by a former spouse. That usually means the public will be forced to foot the bill. So I ask this, would those who are howling for relief now handle caring for those in our state that would fall on them to support over a spouse who accepted the responsibility and then decided to drop the ball for others to deal with?
    In the fenzy that surrounds this subject, let’s not forget that there are those that are in real need for alimony just as there are those who may not need it once the particulars of their situation are reviewed.
    I see the many sides of the issue and am praying that those like myself are not going to “fall through the cracks” in hasty, incomplete revisions that can surely create more problems than solutions and more suffering due to pigeon-holed views of how to fix alimony problems that will, without a doubt, be with us for years to come.

    • March 31, 2010 - 6:19 pm | Permalink

      I think everyone is looking for a fair alimony law which protects people who need to be protected, and cures the abuses. The current bill has been proposed several times and been refined each time to deal with cases like yours.

      There is an exception in the proposed law if “the court finds the supported party to be incapable, both physically and mentally, of any gainful employment.”

      We should also consider that people who are incapable of working because of disability have access to disability payments through the state, through disability insurance and through social security. The duty of society to take care of people who have legitimate disabilities is something which should fall equally on everyone and not be something that is handled through alimony payments.

      Once people are no longer married the responsiblity of the former spouse should decrease with time and its right that the care of that disabled person become more and more a responsibility of society as a whole.

      In your case with 25 years of marriage you would under this law qualify for full alimony for at least 13 years. If you were married at a common age of 25, you would be 50 at the time of divorce and you would get alimony in full until age 63. And you would be eligible for social security disability insurance that entire time.

      I think that’s pretty fair

    • Emmett
      April 1, 2010 - 12:33 am | Permalink

      While I agree that someone who is disabled and cannot be self-supporting ought to be supported by an ex-spouse for a reasonable period of time, I do not think that it is easy to justify a claim that the ex-spouse has a moral duty to support the disabled ex-spouse for life. The fact that someone needs support does not entail that it is some specific person’s moral duty to provide that support. Why think it is the ex-spouse’s moral duty to provide that support rather than, say, one’s next door neighbor? When people marry, do they agree to financially support their new spouse for life whether or not they remain married? I didn’t.
      If a couple has been married for 30 years and then they divorce, and one of the parties is disabled, I think it is reasonable to require financial support for the disabled ex-spouse for some period of time, say half to 2/3 the length of the marriage – 15 to 20 years. That’s a long time to provide support. But under no circumstances should the duration of the support exceed the length of the marriage.

      As the previous person said, society collectively has a duty to support the disabled. State and federal programs exist to provide that support. The government would not be justified in picking some stranger and saying “You’ve been selected to support this disabled person for life because she needs support.” The state is not much more justified in saying “You’ve been selected to support this disabled person for life because she needs support and you were once married to her.”

  • Anon
    March 31, 2010 - 1:58 pm | Permalink

    Is anyone taking into consideration disabled spouses of long term 25+ year marriages? Apparently not. I have seen language in a final divorce decree states that a spouse may seek alimony if they are unable to work and are in danger of becoming a public ward. I am unable to work (over 10 years of the marriage) due to multiple medical conditions which will never change, except to worsen, so that I may be self supporting. Believe me, I would rather have to work multiple jobs a month to be independent of my soon to be ex! So through no fault of my own, I should be ripped of my needs to be able to care for myself because there are those who have surely abused the system and the truly deserving must be draggged down with them?
    Why was there no opportunity for hearings for this segment of the population to be heard? Why is Steven Hitner the only member of the task force who would see alimony abolished entirely and there is no representative for the disabled spouse population? Surely a diverse group would be the best choice for a committee that will have massive impacts on so many lives. It is not gender specific. There are men as well as women who are in the same category and yet where is a voice for them?
    Let’s be real. There are those who MUST be able to receive alimony for life and their ex spouses were well aware of their disabilities before divorce so how does that magically remove itself from the equation?
    Any changes to existing laws MUST!!! provide for those who would not be able to even have the means for the most basic of care for their living needs. Each case is as unique as the people they deal with and any “one size fits all” solution will harm the most deserving as well as the general public due to the fact that state funding would be needed to provide for the gaps any changes that do not provide for those who have no choice but to be maintained for their natural lives by a former spouse. That usually means the public will be forced to foot the bill. So I ask this, would those who are howling for relief now handle caring for those in our state that would fall on them to support over a spouse who accepted the responsibility and then decided to drop the ball for others to deal with?
    In the fenzy that surrounds this subject, let’s not forget that there are those that are in real need for alimony just as there are those who may not need it once the particulars of their situation are reviewed.
    I see the many sides of the issue and am praying that those like myself are not going to “fall through the cracks” in hasty, incomplete revisions that can surely create more problems than solutions and more suffering due to pigeon-holed views of how to fix alimony problems that will, without a doubt, be with us for years to come.

    • March 31, 2010 - 2:19 pm | Permalink

      I think everyone is looking for a fair alimony law which protects people who need to be protected, and cures the abuses. The current bill has been proposed several times and been refined each time to deal with cases like yours.

      There is an exception in the proposed law if “the court finds the supported party to be incapable, both physically and mentally, of any gainful employment.”

      We should also consider that people who are incapable of working because of disability have access to disability payments through the state, through disability insurance and through social security. The duty of society to take care of people who have legitimate disabilities is something which should fall equally on everyone and not be something that is handled through alimony payments.

      Once people are no longer married the responsiblity of the former spouse should decrease with time and its right that the care of that disabled person become more and more a responsibility of society as a whole.

      In your case with 25 years of marriage you would under this law qualify for full alimony for at least 13 years. If you were married at a common age of 25, you would be 50 at the time of divorce and you would get alimony in full until age 63. And you would be eligible for social security disability insurance that entire time.

      I think that’s pretty fair

    • Emmett
      March 31, 2010 - 8:33 pm | Permalink

      While I agree that someone who is disabled and cannot be self-supporting ought to be supported by an ex-spouse for a reasonable period of time, I do not think that it is easy to justify a claim that the ex-spouse has a moral duty to support the disabled ex-spouse for life. The fact that someone needs support does not entail that it is some specific person’s moral duty to provide that support. Why think it is the ex-spouse’s moral duty to provide that support rather than, say, one’s next door neighbor? When people marry, do they agree to financially support their new spouse for life whether or not they remain married? I didn’t.
      If a couple has been married for 30 years and then they divorce, and one of the parties is disabled, I think it is reasonable to require financial support for the disabled ex-spouse for some period of time, say half to 2/3 the length of the marriage – 15 to 20 years. That’s a long time to provide support. But under no circumstances should the duration of the support exceed the length of the marriage.

      As the previous person said, society collectively has a duty to support the disabled. State and federal programs exist to provide that support. The government would not be justified in picking some stranger and saying “You’ve been selected to support this disabled person for life because she needs support.” The state is not much more justified in saying “You’ve been selected to support this disabled person for life because she needs support and you were once married to her.”

  • ebc
    April 5, 2010 - 11:48 pm | Permalink

    This from Cynthia’s Creem’s Facebook page:

    “Join Senator Cindy Creem for Coffee with Creem at 10:00 am on Saturday, April 10th at Taste Coffee House in Newtonville.”

    Sounds like a great opportunity to ask her why she is obstructing alimony and other family court reform.

  • ebc
    April 5, 2010 - 7:48 pm | Permalink

    This from Cynthia’s Creem’s Facebook page:

    “Join Senator Cindy Creem for Coffee with Creem at 10:00 am on Saturday, April 10th at Taste Coffee House in Newtonville.”

    Sounds like a great opportunity to ask her why she is obstructing alimony and other family court reform.

  • April 19, 2010 - 6:17 pm | Permalink

    I agree that alimony reform is 30 years overdue in Massachusetts. Only in MA is it possible that such backwards and out-of-touch laws still exist. The lawyers are deeply involved in maintaining the status quo and Creem is leading the charge. In the private sector this would be a huge conflict of interest that would result in immediate termination. In Mass politics it is perfectly legal. Too bad. No wonder Massachusetts population is shrinking each year. That is one unfriendly state.

  • April 19, 2010 - 6:31 pm | Permalink

    This issue has plagued me for 15 years. My div was final in 1995 after a 10 year marriage. I have been paying ever since despite the fact that my x works, owns a home in Newton and has inherited over $2 million.

    So far I have made 184 consecutive monthly payments and only was late twice.

    I have come to realize I will never retire. After consultation with 3 different attorneys I concluded long ago there is no possibility for my alimony payments to end despite the x’s wealth. I have discussed this at length with my current spouse of 20 years and we both agree that if I tire of working the option of suicide is definitely a viable alternative to being put in jail for not being able to pay. I know others have considered this option as well. Its far better to end on planned terms with people you love with you than be stuck in a cold jail cell suffering.

  • April 19, 2010 - 11:36 pm | Permalink

    Tonybee~ Faced with a sentence of lifelong servitude, consider the year on year output of family courts. 26,000 + males off themselves, honest decent men and fathers each and every year. That’s a whole lot of guys that just not could get their lives back together after a good wallet roasting and family assets feasting, as much as they tried. Each and everyone as a direct result of Probate and family court actions. The crime was committed in the courts, but the effects may take up to four years to reach the scene of a predicted sad avoidable crime. That does not include families and children also adversely affected. Modern day Jim Crow lives well and doth not prosper. Anyone who really contemplates this issue and assumes they are an individual case, (maybe only specific to the amounts of money involved), but believe me there are tens of millions of Guys out there who have been through the grinder. It’s not like the legal system does not understand or know what it’s doing and has been doing for the last four decades. Anyone who tells me they have an individual special case that a particular judge ordained them into, needs to join the back of the 78 million man queue. It goes on everyday by every judge. The legal system knows exactly what it is doing and always needs your ex as a proxy, so don’t stay focused on the minutia. All our former spouses may have an entitlement problem but someone namely the legal system creates the entitlement. Simply by offsetting the states created legal political parties problems and revenue onto the back of Americans.
    Males these days are just dispensable citizens who seem to prefer poligrip instead of vaseline when encountering the legal system and it’s actors.

  • April 19, 2010 - 7:36 pm | Permalink

    Tonybee~ Faced with a sentence of lifelong servitude, consider the year on year output of family courts. 26,000 + males off themselves, honest decent men and fathers each and every year. That’s a whole lot of guys that just not could get their lives back together after a good wallet roasting and family assets feasting, as much as they tried. Each and everyone as a direct result of Probate and family court actions. The crime was committed in the courts, but the effects may take up to four years to reach the scene of a predicted sad avoidable crime. That does not include families and children also adversely affected. Modern day Jim Crow lives well and doth not prosper. Anyone who really contemplates this issue and assumes they are an individual case, (maybe only specific to the amounts of money involved), but believe me there are tens of millions of Guys out there who have been through the grinder. It’s not like the legal system does not understand or know what it’s doing and has been doing for the last four decades. Anyone who tells me they have an individual special case that a particular judge ordained them into, needs to join the back of the 78 million man queue. It goes on everyday by every judge. The legal system knows exactly what it is doing and always needs your ex as a proxy, so don’t stay focused on the minutia. All our former spouses may have an entitlement problem but someone namely the legal system creates the entitlement. Simply by offsetting the states created legal political parties problems and revenue onto the back of Americans.
    Males these days are just dispensable citizens who seem to prefer poligrip instead of vaseline when encountering the legal system and it’s actors.

  • Screwed
    April 21, 2010 - 4:13 am | Permalink

    Just cant understand how the state of Massachusetts can establish guidelines for child support and it to end at the age of 18/22. But alimony of a perfectly capable adult spouse can have no governing and last a lifetime.

    • RobertW
      April 21, 2010 - 4:51 pm | Permalink

      Simple, its $$$. Mass family courts and lawyers are greed leeches, that want nothing more than to milk the monied spouse dry. Then throw him or her into jail for fun, because they can’t pay ridiculous amounts of alimony to an ex-spouse who is a lazy deadbeat, or simply didn’t make as much money….and to punish the wealthier because this for the rest of their life. Nice, Mass has to be one of, if not the most unfriendly US states to live in. Married people that have 1/2 a brain and a dollar, should high tail it out of this state pronto, before becoming another family/probate court statistic.

  • Screwed
    April 21, 2010 - 12:13 am | Permalink

    Just cant understand how the state of Massachusetts can establish guidelines for child support and it to end at the age of 18/22. But alimony of a perfectly capable adult spouse can have no governing and last a lifetime.

    • RobertW
      April 21, 2010 - 12:51 pm | Permalink

      Simple, its $$$. Mass family courts and lawyers are greed leeches, that want nothing more than to milk the monied spouse dry. Then throw him or her into jail for fun, because they can’t pay ridiculous amounts of alimony to an ex-spouse who is a lazy deadbeat, or simply didn’t make as much money….and to punish the wealthier because this for the rest of their life. Nice, Mass has to be one of, if not the most unfriendly US states to live in. Married people that have 1/2 a brain and a dollar, should high tail it out of this state pronto, before becoming another family/probate court statistic.

  • Communicate with her Directly
    April 22, 2010 - 7:30 pm | Permalink

    http://www.mass.gov/legis/member/csc0.htm

    If you live in Newton. Wellsely or Brookline or you’re a member of the State Democratic Caucus or you have influence with the Governor (who’s facing re-election) please take the time to write or call Ms. Creem or the Governor’s office and express your displeasure with her actions.

    If you live or work in Boston please stop by and talk with her office personally.

    There’s nothing like the light of day to influence her behaviour; if she’s being an obstructionist she should be called out as one. We do not want Massachusetts to become as notorious as say, Chicago or old-time Louisiana.

    Her Address: Room 416-B
    Boston, MA 02133

    Telephone: (617) 722-1639

    Her Email: Cynthia.Creem@state.ma.us

  • Communicate with her Directly
    April 22, 2010 - 3:30 pm | Permalink

    http://www.mass.gov/legis/member/csc0.htm

    If you live in Newton. Wellsely or Brookline or you’re a member of the State Democratic Caucus or you have influence with the Governor (who’s facing re-election) please take the time to write or call Ms. Creem or the Governor’s office and express your displeasure with her actions.

    If you live or work in Boston please stop by and talk with her office personally.

    There’s nothing like the light of day to influence her behaviour; if she’s being an obstructionist she should be called out as one. We do not want Massachusetts to become as notorious as say, Chicago or old-time Louisiana.

    Her Address: Room 416-B
    Boston, MA 02133

    Telephone: (617) 722-1639

    Her Email: Cynthia.Creem@state.ma.us

  • Emmett Barcalow
    May 20, 2010 - 2:11 am | Permalink

    One lingering alimony issue is that of ex-spouses who are unable to work. While I agree that someone who is unable to work should receive temporary support from an ex-spouse, especially if that individual contributed to the acquisition by the ex-spouse of a valuable asset, such as a degree of work experience, I do not see how we can justify requiring lifetime support.

    Why think that an ex-spouse should be saddled with a lifetime obligation to support an adult who cannot work rather than a relative by blood, such as a parent, sibling, child, or aunt or uncle? If we cannot justify requiring a blood relative to provide lifetime support, how can we justify requiring an ex-spouse to provide lifetime support?

    We generally expect the entire community, working through government, to support those who cannot work. No one should be forced to support an ex-spouse for a period of time that exceeds the length of the marriage!

  • Emmett Barcalow
    May 19, 2010 - 10:11 pm | Permalink

    One lingering alimony issue is that of ex-spouses who are unable to work. While I agree that someone who is unable to work should receive temporary support from an ex-spouse, especially if that individual contributed to the acquisition by the ex-spouse of a valuable asset, such as a degree of work experience, I do not see how we can justify requiring lifetime support.

    Why think that an ex-spouse should be saddled with a lifetime obligation to support an adult who cannot work rather than a relative by blood, such as a parent, sibling, child, or aunt or uncle? If we cannot justify requiring a blood relative to provide lifetime support, how can we justify requiring an ex-spouse to provide lifetime support?

    We generally expect the entire community, working through government, to support those who cannot work. No one should be forced to support an ex-spouse for a period of time that exceeds the length of the marriage!

  • Guest
    July 25, 2010 - 8:35 am | Permalink

    See this Story on Senator Creem as well

    http://www.examiner.com/examiner/x-39557-Boston

  • Kevin Thompson
    August 14, 2010 - 10:52 pm | Permalink

    Cindy Creem is a phony who has abused her position as chair of the judiciary committee to protect the interests of divorce lawyers.

    87.2% of her constituents voted in favor of equal parenting after divorce but Creem, who works as a divorce lawyer herself, has prevented the bills that have been filed over the last five years (for equal parenting and alimony reform) from getting out of her committee so that they can be voted on by the full House and Senate .

    Why?

    Because lawyers profit considerably off the current “winner takes all” rulings in family court. Equal parenting and alimony reform would both reduce billable litigation and business opportunities for Creem and her colleagues.

    Can you say “conflict of interest”?

    It is time to get this lawyer and every other lawyer out of this state’s legislative branch. They are destroying families and children for profit.

  • Kevin Thompson
    August 14, 2010 - 6:52 pm | Permalink

    Cindy Creem is a phony who has abused her position as chair of the judiciary committee to protect the interests of divorce lawyers.

    87.2% of her constituents voted in favor of equal parenting after divorce but Creem, who works as a divorce lawyer herself, has prevented the bills that have been filed over the last five years (for equal parenting and alimony reform) from getting out of her committee so that they can be voted on by the full House and Senate .

    Why?

    Because lawyers profit considerably off the current “winner takes all” rulings in family court. Equal parenting and alimony reform would both reduce billable litigation and business opportunities for Creem and her colleagues.

    Can you say “conflict of interest”?

    It is time to get this lawyer and every other lawyer out of this state’s legislative branch. They are destroying families and children for profit.

  • Pcbguy69
    May 4, 2011 - 6:09 pm | Permalink

    Its simple-Women claim both sexes are equal in the USA. That then should mean that if either the man or woman in a marriage decides to stay home for the kids, it is a voluntary decision. Their pay is then in the form of free rent, free food, free electricity, free car, free car payment and spend money. That is fair and is paid during the time that the marriage contract is in-force. Unless there is highly rare circumstances, both men and women also have equal opportunity to go back to school or do what they need to during the marriage. Both my wife and I both worked full time after the children got to elementary school. There is no reason not to as anything else would be SLOTH! So, my point then is why should alimony be legal at all? OK, let’s say either party got lazy, didn’t assume the roll of an equal-opportunity (which also includes equal responsibility) and didn’t do what they needed to during the marriage. I can see an award of no more than two years of additional schooling such that the man or woman can get their life together. After that…its called being a grown up-go earn your own damn’ money and stop steeling from the other and forcing them into indentured servitude.

  • Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>