|Canadian Divorce Courts Are Driving People to Suicide|
The more I think about the plight of Dave Foley, which I wrote about yesterday, the more it stretches my credulity.
I'm thinking there's no way this can be real. How can this be real?
He says the court system in Canada ordered him under threat of imprisonment to make monthly "spousal maintenance" and child payments five times higher than his actual monthly income: $17,700 a month.
That's $212,400 a year.
Then he's got to support himself and a daughter he had with another woman in California. So before taxes cut him in half, in order to make his payment he's got to make about a million dollars a year- or go to jail.
This has got to be a joke.
He's saying he's going to go to jail if he ever goes back to Canada, for the crime of not making a million dollars?
This can't be real. It has to be a brilliant, pitch-black Kafkaesque comedy routine. Right?
Dave Foley's a comedian.
This is like a comedy bit he's doing, right?
So I Google all around trying to find some evidence that this is all a big joke. It's just got to be. Alas, I've found no indication it is.
Well if something this insane is actually real, then there must be other examples of it, right?
There are. Like this one:
"The horror shows that emerge from Canada’s family courts, those aggressive high-conflict battles that can go on for years, are often complicated and nuanced.
Jeramey A.’s story — Postmedia isn’t using his last name because two of his young children carry it — is certainly one such.
It involves an ex-wife and two daughters, a former fiancée and a young son, and a current wife named Angela.
But a couple of things are straightforward and clear.
On March 8, Jeramey finally signed off on the July 11, 2016, order from B.C. Supreme Court Judge B.J. Brown.
He unsuccessfully had applied for an order varying the amount of child and spousal support he had to pay his former wife, a total of $6,500 a month. She in turn was seeking he be found in contempt of another order and fined an additional $10,000; the judge adjourned those issues.
Another woman, with whom he’d been briefly engaged and fathered a son after his divorce, was seeking retroactive and ongoing child support for their son.
Both those applications were successful, bringing his total child and spousal debt to about $8,000 a month, but then, in fairness, that woman is herself a family court lawyer.
Early on the morning of March 9, Jeramey apparently rigged his truck so that when he drove down an embankment at the end of Page Road in Abbotsford, B.C., his neck would break.
In a scrawled and bloody suicide note found in the truck, he wrote: “FAMILY LAW NEEDS REFORM. I recommend mandated lower costs and less reward for false claims of abuse. Parental Alienation is devastating. I loved my children as much as a husband and father could. I see no light. Recommend; an authority consistent during high conflict separations: It is exploited in family law.
“Sorry Dad and Angie. I’m very sorry.”
He was 45 years old when he died, and as his current wife, Angie, told Postmedia in a telephone interview from B.C. Tuesday, “He had a hard life. He could not catch a break.”
Born into a Jehovah’s Witness family, he was kicked out when he was a teenager, lived with his grandmother and was basically cut off from everyone else in his family.
He was married the first time for almost eight years.
The woman accused him of assault, he was arrested, the charges eventually stayed. But, of course, he had to pay for a criminal lawyer to defend him.
This double whammy — a spouse making criminal allegations while custody and access applications are underway in family court — is known, Angie said, as “the silver bullet.”
Jeramey had a company that built cellphone towers and microwave dishes in B.C. and the north; the business dried up about the time of his divorce, when fibre optics took over.
In the end, he had declared bankruptcy, though the judge was sceptical that he really was bankrupt and imputed an income of $181,400 to him. He paid more than $330,000, Angela said, in legal fees.
He was in arrears, owed money to almost everyone.
B.C.’s Family Maintenance and Enforcement Program was chasing him, because while he always paid something in support, it wasn’t what the court had ordered, and FMEP was moving to take away his driver’s licence and passport for failing to meet his financial obligations, Angela said. His ex was going to get his pension, if and when he retired.
He hadn’t seen his daughters, now about eight and 10, for almost 11 months. They were, Angela said, completely alienated from him. He never got to see his son by the lawyer.
In October last year, he was jailed for non-payment of support and breaching court orders. This strapping man had never been in jail before and was terrified.
Angela knew he was in despair, but weeps that she didn’t realize the depths of it. “I just didn’t know,” she sobbed on the phone. “If he could have seen those girls, he could have handled all this...
“His bank accounts were locked, he lost his homes, his vehicle, his business. You emasculate a man and take away his ability to provide … he’s a human being. He has limits.”
The two had known one another as teenagers and reconnected in 2014; they married on Valentine’s Day the next year. Jeramey was completely honest with her: “He told me everything,” she said. “I knew what I was getting into.”
They were in court, for one thing or another, almost every month, Angie said. “Knowing you owe so much money, and they’re taking your passport and driver’s licence, your pension is ours … On top of that, seeing what it was doing to me, not seeing his daughters … he was in despair, an emasculated man in despair.
“He thought he was burdening me,” she sobbed. “ ‘You’ll love me until we’re old, you didn’t ask for this. You deserve more,’ but I didn’t want more, I wanted him.”
Two days before he died, Jeramey wrote his lawyer: “I’m tired … Not only have I lost my children which by itself has torn me into two, but I have lost all my assets in life … The level of cruelty brought on by what could have been a simple divorce was and still is mind blowing and I’m simply not the same person I was, and I expect I’ll never see that person again.”
At his memorial service, his best friend gave the eulogy and said, in part, that family courts and spousal support in particular “creates an artificial right to another person’s successes.”
It's just unreal.
Hey, by the way, do you know why Robin Williams committed suicide?
Well he was having "financial problems."
"Depending on your point of view, Robin Williams was either a wealthy man who made sure his children were properly provided for and could afford to pay his ex-wives generous alimony, or he was stressed by the way his vast fortune had been drained and was forced to take a TV role — which was then cancelled — to pay the bills.
We'll never know Williams' true feelings about his financial situation, following his death by suicide Aug. 11. Business Insider noted a few hours later that while the actor once had a net worth of $130 million, he had also complained about being on the brink of bankruptcy following two divorces that cost him $30 million. He was also trying unsuccessfully to sell a house once valued at $35 million."
Covering this story, Linda Stasi at The New York Daily News says it well:
Did alimony kill Robin Williams?
At least in part it sure did. Paying out over $30 million to ex-wives who were allowed to attach themselves to Williams’ bank account like comatose patients on feeding tubes would be enough to make Gandhi angry and depressed.
While states are finally, gradually catching up to the modern age in terms of alimony (now they call it “maintenance” — as in “high maintenance”) the practice of men paying women because they once were married is not just primitive but, yes, sexist.
Yeah, go ahead, call me anti-feminist, call me whatever you want, but the truth is alimony (which is different from child support and fair distribution of assets acquired during the marriage) doesn’t mean the non-working spouse is entitled to live as high as the Kardashians. It’s that concept that is fundamentally anti-feminist.
No, I’m not talking out of my head. I’m talking as a formerly divorced, unemployed woman who didn’t ask for alimony, just a fair amount of child support for our then-2-year-old daughter, which never happened anyway.
And thank God for it. Had I been “maintained,” I would never have found my own way in the world. I wouldn’t have written books at night as a side-job, I would never have fought against sexism to be given decent assignments, and my daughter would have had a “maintained” mother as opposed to an ambitious one as an example.
Yes, it was scary as hell most of the time. But hell, if a man could support a family, why couldn’t I?
“Maintenance” is treading water, which makes moving forward impossible.
And even though women now work as a matter of course, according to 2010 Census records, 97 percent of the 400,000 people receiving spousal support are women.
Of course, money woes weren’t all that brought on Williams’ suicide. Depression in his case was a life-long battle, and Parkinson’s exacerbated it.
We all have situational depression from time to time, and do eventually get out of it. Chronic depression is a whole other beast.
One of my best friends, Dr. Jane Falkenstein, is a physician who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s ten years ago.
“I’ve never tended towards depression,” she said, “so I didn’t become unduly depressed. Although the diagnosis itself is depressing because you know what’s coming. When patients sit in a waiting room, they see their future.”
Despite all the love in his present, all Williams saw was what the past had cost him and what the future would bring. As he once said, “Divorce is expensive. I used to joke they were going to call it ‘all the money,’ but they changed it to ‘alimony.’ It’s ripping your heart out through your wallet.”
This is some of the craziest most ridiculous shit I've ever heard.
They are just forcing men to pay women for nothing because they were once married.
Millions and millions of dollars. That's Robin's money. He made all of that. He should get to decide what to do with it.
Sorry gold diggers.
You're going to have to get a job.
What is so fucking wrong with telling a woman she has to get a job?
It's just as wrong if a man who's never going to accomplish anything in life leeches off a successful woman as well. These sad sacks of shit have taken down Madonna, Britney, Janet, Kirstie, Jessica, and plenty more, for millions and millions of dollars that they didn't and couldn't possibly earn themselves.
I don't understand how they can bear to look another human being in the eye after preying on a successful woman like that and paying their way through life by sponging off a better person like a little bitch.
Or how the court system in America actually enforces this madness. Motherfuckers, that is their money. They made that out of their blood, sweat, and tears, and talent.
But as you saw in the statistics above, 97 percent of the victims of this are men, and 97 percent of the predators are women.
And if you feel any kind of outpouring of sadness and sympathy for the victims, and anger and hatred for the predators, shitheads like the one who commented on my post yesterday will make snide remarks about it.
Well yeah, shithead, it is a shitty story.
Look at it!
It's actually happening to many of the talented and productive men in North America and Europe. It's their shitty life, and I fear they will never get the level of empathy and generosity of spirit that they deserve for it.
Well they will from me.