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Alimony reduction...is this fair?

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Investigating-1

Junior Member
What is the name of your state?What is the name of your state? California

I was married for 12 years. I have been divorced now for three. My settlement included 500.00 alimony for six years and 500.00 child support until my son is 18. I make about 60,000. a year. My ex made 102,000.
My ex applied for a promotion at work this year, didn't get it and was so distraught that he decided to take an early retirement (at 56) and build up his own business at home. He went to a therapist and a pyschiatrist, both who wrote letters on his behalf claiming that he is too stressed to continue working at his present job. A careful look at each letter shows that neither of these professionals actually advised him to quit. Each claims that her assessment is from what he had told them in their respective offices.
He is on anti-depression medication. He claims he can't make the long distance commute any more and cannot deal with the nasty politics at work.
He is collecting from his pension. He wants to reduce the amount of alimony he is currently paying. He claims the stress was enough to legitimize his retirement. He also has had a stent put in a coronary artery for some minimal blockage. He is claiming this as a related stress problem although his internist did not tell him to quit his job. Because my ex does not exercise, and has made poor choices about what he eats, I think (and I would bet his doctor would think) that lifestyle choices caused the stent requirement.
I work in an extrememly stressful environment (public high school), take anti-depressant medication too as well as a variety of other meds for the same ailments that my ex takes (although I have no blockage). I am a few years years younger than he, yet I have no plans to retire early! I also fail to see why he is "too stressed to continue working at his present job" when he applied for a higher management position that would have had more responibility and would have caused even more stress. He also commuted during our marriage and about three years into our divorce. His "business" is nothing more than a hobby, and he can virtually lie about the income. He is out and about, living a very normal life. This whole thing is a ruse at best.
He keeps threating to retain his lawyer again to go for a reduction. He has made me an offer that falls short of what he owes in terms of the current court order. What do you think my chance are of winning this case? Thank you for your time.
 


dallas702

Senior Member
First, he is still obligated under his current CO. He will have to go back to court to get it reduced, and most judges can see through the b.s., or will figure out if legitimately needs a reduction.

Second, you cannot compare your mental state and situation to his (or anyone else's). What keeps you going may not be what allows him to function. I have seen a lot of men become so beaten down by the family court system that they lose the ability to earn a living entirely. If he has a heart problem and professionally-diagnosed depression/stress issues you are not going to get more out of him by beating on him or making the situation worse.

Maybe you should make plans to get less or lose what you are getting, just in case. As a CA secondary teacher...stressful or not...you make a good salary and get better benefits than most working people (especially those who work 50 weeks a year rather than 34). $60K ain't a stick in the eye. Get on with your life and hopefully your ex will be able to make a living too.
 

Investigating-1

Junior Member
Thanks, but....

CA secondary educators work an average of sixty hours per week. This job doesn't end once you get home. I've worked well into the night grading essays. I've worked entire weekends while others (who have year round jobs as you claim) are playing golf. For what I do, and for what I must know to do this job, my salary is nothing!
Should we pay firefighters only for the hours they spend putting out fires?
 

dallas702

Senior Member
Sorry, but I don't buy the "poor teacher" line at all. My family has been teaching the little critters in CA since 1910. I grew up the son of a secondary teacher, spent some years as one before moving on to the college ranks, and still have a few doing their part as they get ready to retire at almost full pay. If a teacher is spending 60 hours a week (for those 186 classroom days) it is because they have not learned to be efficient. Like most jobs, there is a learning curve to teaching. The first few years are tough, but that is when most teachers are young, single and have the energy and time to figure out what works and what doesn't. The only teachers I can see giving 60 hours a week are the band directors who almost live at the schools because of the performances, events, and practices. Some administrators earn their "big bucks" by putting in those 10-12 hour days and weekends, but that is part of the responsibility of authority.

When teachers begin their careers by working in retail, health care, or some other profit-generating business for at least 8-10 years (at 60-70 hours/week for 50 weeks), and still feel they are undercompensated, then they can either go back to the non-tenured grind or produce a better product (students who graduate with the ability to calculate and communicate). If their experience in the "real" world is used as support to their pablum state-chosen curriculum, then they might just be worth more than the current salary and benefit package.

No one drags people into colleges to become teachers. They all know the compensation BEFORE they start down that path. The money for all the bloated civil service retirement/benefit packages still comes from productive workers and profitable businesses. When the current system breaks their backs, the teachers will have no pot to dip from (yeah, I know....ending a sentence with a preposition...).

So, it obviously behooves teachers to make sure their little mushheads hit the streets with the best and most useful knowledge they can possibly get. Everyone sacrifices something in a career choice. Everyone pays his dues.
 

LdiJ

Senior Member
dallas702 said:
Sorry, but I don't buy the "poor teacher" line at all. My family has been teaching the little critters in CA since 1910. I grew up the son of a secondary teacher, spent some years as one before moving on to the college ranks, and still have a few doing their part as they get ready to retire at almost full pay. If a teacher is spending 60 hours a week (for those 186 classroom days) it is because they have not learned to be efficient. Like most jobs, there is a learning curve to teaching. The first few years are tough, but that is when most teachers are young, single and have the energy and time to figure out what works and what doesn't. The only teachers I can see giving 60 hours a week are the band directors who almost live at the schools because of the performances, events, and practices. Some administrators earn their "big bucks" by putting in those 10-12 hour days and weekends, but that is part of the responsibility of authority.

When teachers begin their careers by working in retail, health care, or some other profit-generating business for at least 8-10 years (at 60-70 hours/week for 50 weeks), and still feel they are undercompensated, then they can either go back to the non-tenured grind or produce a better product (students who graduate with the ability to calculate and communicate). If their experience in the "real" world is used as support to their pablum state-chosen curriculum, then they might just be worth more than the current salary and benefit package.

No one drags people into colleges to become teachers. They all know the compensation BEFORE they start down that path. The money for all the bloated civil service retirement/benefit packages still comes from productive workers and profitable businesses. When the current system breaks their backs, the teachers will have no pot to dip from (yeah, I know....ending a sentence with a preposition...).

So, it obviously behooves teachers to make sure their little mushheads hit the streets with the best and most useful knowledge they can possibly get. Everyone sacrifices something in a career choice. Everyone pays his dues.
Dallas, I have to tell you that I also come from a family of educators, and I personally find your post very offensive and inaccurate. No good teacher that I have ever observed spends less than 60 hours a week at their job.

If you think that a teacher can do everything they need to do (grading papers, lesson plans etc.) in the 45 minutes or so of prep time they get each day...then you are living in fantasyland.
 

LdiJ

Senior Member
Investigating-1 said:
CA secondary educators work an average of sixty hours per week. This job doesn't end once you get home. I've worked well into the night grading essays. I've worked entire weekends while others (who have year round jobs as you claim) are playing golf. For what I do, and for what I must know to do this job, my salary is nothing!
Should we pay firefighters only for the hours they spend putting out fires?
AMEN!

Its going to be up to a judge to decide whether or not he gets alimony eliminated or reduced.

However, you also only have three more years, in a best case scenario, to keep collecting the alimony. So it would probably be wise to adjust your budget so that you can do without it anyway.
 

Investigating-1

Junior Member
Dallas

Mr. Dallas,
If you look closely at your response, you'll see that you contradict yourself. It is also quite obvious that you know NOTHING about education. You don't HAVE to "buy the poor teacher line." It is not important that you do. By the way, students are not widgets....we do not produce a "product." I am surprised that you tout the cliche of Skinnerian philosophy! Please do not respond. I am not interested in what you have to say.
 

dallas702

Senior Member
Sorry Investigating-1, but it may not agree with your perception of the education system and teachers/administrators but I know a hell of a lot more about education and the system than you do. Not only has my family been in the "business" for almost 100 years, I ran the gamut from being a secondary teacher, to an administrator, to a college prof, to a member of the State Board of Education. My mother taught...and I mean T-A-U-G-H-T...45 kids per classroom for 15 years when the big baby boom wave ran its course. She never had prep periods or "inservice days". She had parent conferences after school on HER time...not during the workday like teachers do today. I began helping her grade papers when I was in 4th grade...about 1 year after I was helping her set up her room for each quarter of school and the holiday events. She was an ex USN Lt. who graduated from Cal Berkley and Radcliff, and had a few years of real life work experience under her belt before she stepped into the classroom. At the end of her last year she made about $700/month. We never lived the lifestyle that teachers do today, and she NEVER once complained about the compensation.

Besides the other members of my family who are still teaching, my grandmother pioneered several one-room, 8 grade schools in northern CA, and became Superintendant for 12 years...when women very seldom got those positions. She put over 40 years into building better students and citizens, and like my mother was considered one of the best of her time.

I have raised 6 children through public schools and am now putting 3 grandchildren through the system. When I went on to teach at the college level for 7 years I could see that there was a more serious problem with out public schools than most people realized. First, most of the students entering college as teaching majors were scoring at or near the bottom of their peers on the SAT and ACT (unlike my family members who were all in the top 10% of their classes). As a coach who spent 15 years working with kids 16-25 I could easily see that they were ill-prepared for academia or life. My coaching peers from the high school ranks were lazy and cared more about summer vacation than excellent academic skills. It is a fact that most of those entering the teaching profession are NOT the well-educated, highly disciplined, morally-upstanding part of our society that they were in the past.

THAT DOESN'T MEAN THERE AREN'T SOME GOOD, DEDICATED TEACHERS OUT THERE!.

But, the sorry fact is that most of our present teachers (especially under the age of 45-50) have been indoctrinated in education programs themselves that are pathetically weak, and they don't know the difference. My belief is that NO ONE should be allowed in a classroom to teach if their sole claim to do so is a college "education" and a State License. Kids who come through high school, right into and out of college, and then right back into a classroom to teach don't know squat about what makes kids learn. I have been through the program, and I know. I have been in the classroom and a policy-maker, and I know.

So don't cry about teachers who make "only" $60K for working 186 days and having to learn to grade papers efficiently. When they try working in some grind like retail for 15 years and put in a real 60 hours a week at the store...with the threat of being fired at the discretion of any supervisor at any time...then maybe they will appreciate what the rest of the working world does.

BTW: your close-minded "don't respond to me" comment shows exactly the lack of character I am talking about. Period!
 
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Investigating-1

Junior Member
Well, Dallas

Well, Dallas, what am I supposed to say? Your arguements are so easily refuted, but I don't want to spend the time responding to your diatribe. I worked in industry for years before I taught. I simply don't agree with your assessment. Some of my colleagues were lawyers, engineers and advertising agents. One was a radio show producer. We have many who changed careers. ALL say their former jobs were not nearly as demanding (even the lawyers who put in long hours).

Hats off to your mom, but you can't compare your mom's experience to what exists today. At one time female teachers couldn't marry and males couldn't go to a pool hall or a barber shop! So what's your point? I think your mom was exploited and I'm glad things have changed. They still need to change.

You sound like you were not a very good administrator. You probably didn't appreciate your staff but criticized them. BTW, one cannot simply be fired in industry without due process. In the first two probationary years of teaching, one can be terminated without due process or even as much as an explanation. In industry I could file a wrongful termination suit. This is not so in education.

Well, I said I wouldn't respond, but I did. I don't think it is productive to continue this sparing. I think the public is getting education at bargain prices. You think differnently. Why continue?
 

Investigating-1

Junior Member
Dallas

"Arguements" is a typo. I know how to spell arguments. The comma missing before the coordinating conjunction in that compound sentence is another typo.
 

stealth2

Under the Radar Member
Investigating-1 said:
BTW, one cannot simply be fired in industry without due process. In the first two probationary years of teaching, one can be terminated without due process or even as much as an explanation.
Wrong, actually. In "at will" states, you can be terminated w/o cause or due process.
 

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