This is the very first marriage horror story I ever read on the net about 3-4 years ago. It's a medium length read, but worth it.
Marriage isn't what you think it is. It's a license you give the government that allows greedy opportunistic lawyers to steal everything you own. Here in America there are a lot of people making a lot of money splitting up relationships hunting for people like you to suck you dry.
You think it can't happen to you. That's what I thought. I am Marc Perkel and when I tell you my story you're going to think, "This is America, the can't do that!" Well, they can and they do. If you are considering marriage, run from it as fast as you can.
If you want to be in a relationship, do it.
Buy her a ring, live happily ever after. But a contract with the government doesn't add to the relationship. In fact, because of today's laws, marriage actually hurts the relationship and you are more likely to stay together if you don't get married.
Now if you don't have any money and don't ever plan to have any, this doesn't apply to you. Get married, have children, don't worry. However, if you have a good job, own property, buying a house, you're in trouble. And if you're a programmer like me, it's even worse because software is a concept that is way beyond the mental bandwidth of judges to comprehend.
I am in the process of losing everything I own. I am under a court order to pay more money than I have. If I manage to borrow the money, she will get more than 100% of everything. You're thinking "No way, that's not possible!" I'm going through it and I can't believe it. But it's true!
My X and I got together in 1986. She has a daughter who was 8 at the time. We lived together for 3 years before we got married. Long enough to get to know someone you would think. We were happy. In 1989 she came home one day with a wedding dress she bought at a yard sale for one dollar. I had believed at that time that living together was better than being married being that we weren't going to have any children, but I had a close friend who had died that year at the age of 39 and it seemed that getting married was the right thing to do.
I had never been married before. I was her third husband. Maybe that should have been a clue, I don't know. We got married on September 1st of 1989 in Eureka Springs Arkansas. We had a good five years together. Sure we had our problems but I thought we were doing a lot better than most couples and we probably were.
In 1993 we had a good year in the software business. Made $120,000 between us. Never made that much before. First real good year I ever had. Things were looking up. We had been living in a small house in the middle of town and we had always talked about having a place in the country. Finally we could afford it. We were doing well and it was time to live the American dream.
After hunting around we found a place about 15 miles north of town. A 78-acre farm with river frontage and a pond. Picked it up for $97,000 using my house in town as collateral on the loan. Started making plans to build a castle on it. It was going to be wonderful. I had been renting office space in town for my software business and was going to move it out there too.
My ex-wife is a very gullible person. She's involved in every 12 step group that exists. Not that she has any real problems, but it's like a cult. People get into these groups and they get screwed up. Psychologists make more money keeping you sick than making you well, and group therapy is the new frontiers for those selling snake oil. But that's another story.Anyhow, getting to the point, she went on a cruise with a bunch of her new age friends and came back and had decided that "I wasn't enlightened enough for her anymore" and that she wanted a divorce so she could get together with someone who was into what she was into.
You see, I don't believe in reincarnation. I don't believe in Astrology. I don't believe in Past Life Regression. I don't think that UFOs are abducting people or mutilating cattle.
I had thought I was married for life. Sure there were things that I didn't like about the relationship, but I though we were better off than most couples. Who would have thought that one day you think everything is fine and the next day it's all over.
Over 50% of marriages end in divorce these days. If you get married you run a better than even chance that this, or something like this, could happen to you.
Actually, it wasn't over in that one day. That's just hindsight. I tried to put things back together. Many times she changed her mind about the divorce. However, she learned that the threat of divorce was an effective weapon and it was always there, hanging over my head. And if she didn't get her way she would threaten me with the "D Word".
So here I am about to build a $200,000 house on a $97,000 farm and living with a wife who has been to a lawyer and know what she can do to me. And no matter how hard I tried to reason around it, I just couldn't go out and borrow the money to build a house knowing that divorce was hanging over my head. My X was just too gullible and I would never know when one of her new are friends was going to sucker her.
In fact, her lawyer is one of her new age buddies. He makes a lot of money by splitting people up. Having done some asking around I knew that there was no way I was going to stay married to My X knowing that Bill Wear was involved in her life waiting for the opportunity to take everything I own.
I suggested to My X that in order to preserve the relationship that I wanted a divorce. I said that she was just to vulnerable to be married to because it was a threat to the property. That she tended to "go nuts" and could screw things up for both of us. If we were divorced then the threat of divorce wouldn't be a factor in the relationship. I pointed out that I had trusted her when we got married, (being that I had all the assets and she had nothing), and that it was her turn to trust me.
This would have put her in a position where if I wanted to dump her in the future, I could have. So it really was a matter of trust. However, we had lived together for 8 years and I had been totally loyal and had never done anything untrustworthy. Since she came into the relationship with nothing, she was already way ahead. And with her history of being gullible, which she acknowledged, getting divorced and living together was a logical and reasonable solution.
The 4th Branch of Government (how CPS and the courts steal your children)
Because of the power the government gives lawyers and judges the ability to steal your stuff, and the power to make your mate's life miserable should you choose to do so, being married is like living with a loaded gun sitting on the kitchen table. And once someone picks that gun up and points it at the other person, your marriage is over and your life is ruined. Because of the court system, marriage is bad for your relationship.
Even though she thought about trusting me, she decided not to. Her friends and her lawyer talked her out of it. She kept getting more involved in her groups and it became clear that people were moving in on her to take advantage of the divorce opportunity. However, we hadn't had an event that caused either one of us to actually take any action until August of 1994, when the %#&$ hit the fan.
We were at the fair and had just had a fight over something stupid. I decided to walk home. For some reason that night My X's daughter her daughter decided to tell her a secret we were keeping. She told her mother she was no longer a virgin. I had know about it for several months and she didn't want me to tell her mom. I didn't like keeping it a secret but she assured me that when she did tell My X that she wouldn't let on that I had known and not told.
My X was none to happy about it and freaked out. I can see why her daughter didn't want to tell her. But not it wasn't that it happened, it was that we kept it a secret. The way I saw it is that if you don't keep secrets, people don't tell you anything. She was doing it anyway, the only difference is whether or not I knew about it, and I would rather know so I can make sure she was using birth control than not know and have her end up pregnant. 16 year old girls are often too shy to by condoms.
Anyhow, the next day she consulted with her lawyer and called me up at work demanding that I move out of my house. I came home and she decided to turn me into family services as an "abuser". It's a common tactic these days for lawyers to advise clients that if you accuse the male of sexual abuse you can get him out of the house and eventually get it and more property. However, when her daughter came home from school she made it clear to My X that she wasn't going to go along with the story. Eventually, My X called the cops back and told them not to come out.
This didn't end it as far as I was concerned. That was the act that caused me to cross the line. At that point there was no chance of preserving the relationship. I find the idea of falsely accusing someone of sexual abuse to be contemptible. After trying to discuss it with her, I decided to spend the night elsewhere. I told her the next morning I had been with a hooker. I said the way I see it, if having sex is consummating the marriage, the having sex with someone else is consummating the divorce. At that point I didn't want a divorce to preserve the relationship, I wanted her out of my life.
I actually didn't start to divorce her right away. It just takes a while before you actually go down to see a lawyer and do it. Sometimes it just doesn't fully sink in that it's over. We had an agreement about who uses what credit cards and she took a cash advance loan against my credit card to pay for her lawyer. And that, along with another divorce threat, is what finally got me to start the process.
The Divorce Begins ...
In September of 1994 my wife filed for a divorce. In December we had a separate maintenance hearing. The commissioner, Winston Davis, ordered that I pay some maintenance, $800/month, $1200 in attorneys fees, and that I give my wife access to my business, Computer-Tyme Inc
. to use the computer network and printing equipment in spite of the fact that at an earlier date he had granted me a restraining order to keep her out of Computer-Tyme Inc.
The reason she needed access to the equipment was that she wanted to produce a brochure for an event called the "World Peace Meditation" for which her lawyer, Bill Wear Jr., was the key note speaker. I was rather "amazed" that a family court commissioner had the authority to order a corporation, Computer Tyme, to provide equipment and materials for the benefit of the petitioner's attorney so that he could speak at a new age conference.
I told my attorney that I couldn't comply with the order. That I had a business to run and I was hardly going to give my wife access to the computer network at my office. I told him that I wanted a hearing where I could appear in person and testify. He advised me not to ask for that because it would "piss off the judge". My wife's presence at the business would have been highly disruptive and to give her access to the company computer network would have been foolhardy. I fired my lawyer and decided to represent myself.
When the file was turned over to me I noticed on the letterhead of my wife's attorneys the name "Evelyn Gwin". I saw one of my wife's attorney's the next day at the courthouse, Jim Sharp, and pointed out that Evelyn Gwin had a client with a pending $100,000 lawsuit against Computer-Tyme Inc. and asked him if he knew that. He said he'd check into it.
I followed it up with a letter pointing out the conflict. A law firm is not allowed to represent more than one client suing for the same assets. I got an angry response from her lawyer who called me up and cussed me out on the phone and immediately scheduled depositions for the next week.
Based on Rule 61.01a I filed my timely objections to the discovery request. This is what's called a motion to quash. I never heard and response to this. After a few days I faxed a letter to the judge and her lawyer indicating that I had heard no response and that I would assume that depositions were canceled unless I heard something. I got no reply from her lawyer or the judge. Then the morning the depositions were supposed to take place I called over there to confirm they weren't happening. The secretary said no depositions were scheduled.
A few days later we had a hearing about my failure to show up for depositions. Commissioner Scott Tinsley made it very clear that he didn't like people representing themselves pro se and ruled against me apparently out of spite to send me a message that I'd better get a lawyer. For a commissioner to rule against someone as a message to get a lawyer is not ethical. He ruled sanctions against me even though I complied with all procedures for quashing depositions.
But the abuses don't end there. I got the message that Tinsley seemed to be sending and hired a lawyer. The next hearing was the separate maintenance hearing in front of Commissioner Winston Davis. I figured that by getting a lawyer that I had redeemed myself as a reasonable person in the eyes of the court. Davis had privately told my lawyer how glad he was that I was represented.
However, when the decision came down Mr. Davis gave my wife more money than her lawyer requested. I was ordered to pay $2500 of her lawyers fees plus I had to pay her $1200 a month plus health insurance for her and her daughter her daughter, who's not my kid, plus provide a car for both of them, plus auto insurance for both of them, plus make the payments on one of her credit cards, plus I had to make the entire payment on the 78 acres we bought together. Land that was eventually awarded to her in the final judgment. The total was about $2800 per month which was more than 50% of my income.
And this was after she testified that she was a legal secretary, typed 115 words a minute, had computer skills, and just chose not to work. In addition to that I had to pay my lawyers fees while she was allowed to charge her lawyers fees running up a debt of over $15,000 which she later got a judgment for me to pay. And in spite of all these subsidies, she also managed to run up more than $10,000 of additional credit card debt. She was also receiving $363 per month from social security that was a death benefit from her daughter's father who dies earlier that year. My X kept that money, and her daughter had to work as a waitress after school to support herself.
My company, Computer-Tyme had an SBA loan it was paying off. This loan became due every year and had to be renewed. Because both our names were on the loan she had to sign it too. She refused. Fortunately the loan was paid down to $16,000, and I managed to come up with $10,000 and got an unsecured loan for the other $6000. But as you can imagine, that seriously cut into my cash flow.
Around September of 1995 I ran out of money and decided I could no longer afford a lawyer. I also knew that I sure didn't want to get divorced in either Davis's or Tinsley's court. I managed to get both of them to recluse themselves and ended up with the last family court judge in Greene County, Judge McGuire.
Judge McGuire had been in the news quite a bit over the years because of problems he had with drinking. I'd talked to quite a few lawyers about Judge McGuire's drinking and they would say, "Well, he may get drunk at night, but I've never seen him get drunk on the bench." There may be people who believe that an alcoholic judge can get drunk in the evening and in the morning have the ability to make decisions about the fate of peoples lives, but I'm not one of them. However, he was the last judge left.
While representing myself I had a couple of hearings in front of him to deal with some simple motions. He didn't seem to me to be sober enough to understand and answer a few easy questions I had about the interpretations of Commissioner Davis's ruling. I'd been around a lot of drunks before and he may have been sober enough to pass a driving test, but in my opinion he wasn't sober enough to be on the bench. And this was the judge I thought was my best bet to get a reasonable hearing.
Around that time the paper reported a story about him having an incident where he allegedly got drunk and was shooting a gun through the walls of his next door neighbors house. This incident apparently created some serious public pressure and Judge McGuire decided to retire at the end of the year, just 8 days before my divorce was to be heard.
After 6 weeks I got a notice that a visiting judge, Paul McGhee, was appointed to hear the case. The first hearing in front of him was at a time when I was going to be out of the area. I called him up and asked if it could be rescheduled. He said that wouldn't be convenient and suggested I hire a lawyer. About two weeks later I called him back and told him I had hired a new lawyer. So I thought, finally, I might get this case over with starting with a fresh lawyer and judge that didn't already hate me.
Things seemed to go all right, had the trial on June 24th. It lasted for 2 days. Then I waited 5 weeks for a decision. When I finally got the decision it was absolutely beyond belief. I absolutely can't believe that Missouri hires judges that are this incompetent! The judgment speaks for itself. I'm not a lawyer and I've never written a judgment and I can do better than that!
You can read this judgment and the explanation that follows yourself. The short version is that it awards my X over 100% of what I own. Rather steep for someone who was only married for 5 years with no kids. It also doesn't have any explanations for any of his decisions and it doesn't put values on anything. You can tell by the way it's written that the judge clearly doesn't understand what's legal and what isn't. Please Read, Don't Marry the State!http://www.jesus-is-savior.com/Mens%20P ... arried.htm