Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Family Court has run off the tracks.

- The war next door.

Let me tell you a little story about a couple whose marriage has finally come to an end, and who went through the wringer of Family Court in little old Suffolk County, New York. I will start by laying some ground work as the basis for my conclusions, as I have been through similar processes twice, and in the same County. Looking back, I think I was treated fairly by the Court.

       I.     Family Court Judge in case = 74 y/o, Husband of Town of Huntington elected official.
     II.    Wife had an ineffective, non-aggressive lawyer.
   III.    Husband went through two lawyers, used as stalling tactics very successfully.
  IV.     Husband received an Order of Protection against the wife under false premises; quickly
    V.     Wife awarded $500/mo. In child support for three un-emancipated children.
  VI.      Husband earns approx. $126k; wife earns approx. $100k; both 
          are teachers.
VII.      Each party spent approx. $200k (+) on lawyers and fees; so, 
          you tell me who the winner is.
VIII.    Child advocate, Susan Stoltz is ancient and hates women; sided
          100% with Husband.
  IX.      Judge also leaned toward Husband.
    X.      Couple lived under these conditions in the same house for over 
           three years.
  XI.      Husband has attempted to manipulate the children against the Wife.
XII.      Husband's mother gifted the couple $70k as a down payment on their current house.
XIII.     Husband did not pay full Vi-share of bills since action was first adjudicated.
XIV.    Wife attached ½ of Husband's available pension; Husband's first wife has prior attachment of
           ½   , so current wife only gets ½   of a ½ = ¼
XV.      Wife agreed to refund entire $70k gift; + $176k (1/2) of the equity in their current house; 
           most of the household furnishings; husband is holding out for more.
XVI.    Couple agreed to "shared" custody; 2 week days / 3 week day nights / alternating
           weekends. I know from experience that this set-up is a bad one right from the start.
XVII.   Husband finally told to vacate current house by February, 2014; given past history, this date is
           not written in stone.
XVIII.  All three children are now siding with their mother, but still don't want to upset their father.
The clock is ticking for this sorry excuse of a father/husband. He has a scant two and a half weeks before he's supposed to be out of the house. This entails him buying his own house, which is something I'm pretty sure will give him an excuse to drag things out even longer. He will probably be allowed to do so by our wonderful Family Court system (aka. Love Boat).

This is a member of the male species who has never gone food shopping, never cooked a decent meal, never played in the back yard with his kids, and, apparently, never paid his share of the expenses at any level. I have it from reliable sources that he has spent the majority of the past three years cooped up in the master bedroom trying to write the next great American novel. During the storm "Sandy", he refused to even light a fire in the fireplace after the electricity went out and shut the furnace down; he was consistent in his inactivity for the full duration of the power outage. Yes, he had plenty of fire wood, and could have, at any time, taken some of mine, as I had an abundant amount.

In the almost fourteen years I have been acquainted with this person only once have I witnessed him in his back yard, and I have more than enough fingers and toes to count the times I have seen him shooting hoops with his sons in the driveway. How the wife has been able to keep her sanity for the past three years is way beyond my imagination. Were I her, and I'm not, I would probably have been very tempted to make a purchase of some sort of weapon of mass destruction and been done with him. By not doing so, the wife has demonstrated her love for her children by staying on an even keel (on the outside). She has indeed entered my house with tears streaming down her face. Luckily, my wife and I have been here to console her fears of losing her children because of a Court system that most obviously was not giving her a fair deal.

This neighbor man has consistently acted like a two year old child, and from all indications his tantrums have served him very well in this situation. His arrogance and snobbery made it impossible for me to make friends with him, and my aforementioned feelings started growing pretty much after the first time we met. I recall one very heavy snow storm, 2002 I believe, before I was married to my wife. The two of us had been off somewhere and returned home to find the neighbors struggling to get the neighbor wife's father through the snow and into a car to take him home. Somehow, they managed to Grandpa stuck in a snow drift. The neighbor man, the neighbor wife's brother, and the entire "famn damily" were standing around with their proverbial thumbs up their proverbial butts. Thankfully I returned home in time to witness this Chinese fire drill, and was able to jump in and take over the task of getting Grandpa through the snow and into the car. Neighbor man never uttered one word of thanks, or appreciation. Neighbor wife has, to this day, never forgotten that little episode, and thanked me on numerous occasions.

All this brings me to my point. What the Hell is a septuagenarian doing on the Bench in State Supreme Court, Family Part? Could it be simply because he's politically connected through his wife? Could it be simply that he still needs a pay check? Could it be because he's in the "Goode Olde Boys Club" with his fellow ambulance-chasing lawyers? 

I'm going to go with "all the above". The cronyism still runs deep here in Suffolk County, as I'm certain it does all across this Nation.

             Have a nice day!

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