California businessman Steven Zinnel, age 50, thought he could get away with cheating his wife, his two teenage children, and the bankruptcy court, but he was wrong….boy was he wrong! Zinnel and his wife, of Gold River, separated in 1999. By 2001 their uncoupling got even more ugly when he told his wife she would […]
Money Money Money
The times are changing for family court issues. No longer are “Mommies” automatically the preferred custodial parent. Now “Daddies” have about an equal chance at primary custody IF, yes IF, they have the cash.I have watched and read so many divorce cases, and appeals and come away sure in my belief that s/he who has the biggest bankroll will win.
KNOW PROTECT and ASSERT your RIGHTS
There are no “Public Attorney’s” for family court. However I strongly believe THERE SHOULD BE!! In family courts there are no juries for the most part, only a judge, often biased in belief, and I often wonder if influenced by, well I’ll say it, bribery and/or extortion. I say this after reading so many cases where a judge has ignored the best interest of the parties to favor the best financial bottom line. Maybe some of you believe financial strength SHOULD take precedence over a parent who is destitute.
Did we bring this on ourselves by using children/child support to punish ex spouses in contemptuous accusations? In family court it is so often the non-payers who wind up in jail for their failure to pay. The court seemingly indifferent to the non-payers life circumstance such as loss of job, disability, or the fact that the children the court demands support for LOATHES the parent (usually due to PAS and rarely by fault of their own)
Who would want to put out half their income, often living in squalor, so a child taught to hate them could have a new car, braces to make them beautiful, music lessons for their pleasure, or worse, money for the alcohol which their custodial parent consumes far too much of?
5th, 6th, 7th and 8th Amendments SHOULD Apply
I contend that any legal process that could result in the loss of your freedom should be covered by the Bill of Rights as equally as it is applied in Criminal Court; and go a step farther to state that some actions in divorce cases should be criminalized, ESPECIALLY Parental Alienation.
Parental Alienation charges should be available OUTSIDE family court such that not strictly former spouse, but anyone caught or proven to have harmed a parent child relation should be open for civil liability and in some cases, criminal charges.
Want to discuss this? please click discuss criminalizing PAS
This past week I have been struggling about blogging my life. One of my kids says she hates reading about her family here… I know it hurts her and I know she probablly feels compelled to read anyway.
I feel I must continue blogging here because I run across so many people on a daily basis facing choices I once made; facing outcomes that might hurt all the people they love, and I think my experiences might help them avoid mistakes that can’t be undone mistakes known by experts in PAS & High Conflict Divorces (HCD) shown, known and proven to cause serious, sometimes PERMANENT, psychological trauma to kids and parents in high conflict divorce cases (HCD}.
If you’ve been reading here before then you know that I feel that sometimes a parent isn’t alienating the child/ren on purpose; sometimes they are just so full of pain over the break-up they can’t bring themselves to be respectful… Talking about the other parent in a positive light is actually impossible when one is hurting so badly… and alienation can occur subconsciously. However, once a parent understands that their behavior, comments, and preventing contact so that normal healthy parent/child relationships can continue to exist, is harming not just their ex, but also damaging the children, well then we move to a different level. We may be leaving kids in the care of a cruel and possibly dangerous person… One who doesn’t care about the child’s self esteem, or who places their own feelings above those others. This is the person who should face sanctions, possibly criminal charges for child abuse. That is EXACTLY what this behavior is; Child Abuse.
Signs of parental alienation include:
- Bad-mouthing the other parent to the children
- Limiting contact
- Erasing the parent from the children’s lives
- Forcing the children to reject the other parent
- Forcing the children to choose sides
- Creating the impression the other parent is dangerous (yes I just said the alternator is the dangerous one…)
- Belittling comments to the other parent in front of the children
- Calling the children to testify against the other parent
- Convincing the children the other parent is creating financial hardship on the family
- Spreading rumors and lies to community members which make it difficult, if not impossible, for the other parent to remain within the family’s previous shared community.
- Making criminal allegations to law enforcement causing legal issues and sometimes incarceration when there is no validity to the charges; or the charges emanate from legal activity prior to divorce or separation.
My son believes that I stole from his father, he says he was shown proof. I have asked to see this proof to no avail. I’m left to believe either it doesn’t exist, or may be easily refuted once I can see what was shown to him. Proving a negative is almost impossible. However making sense of documents, providing legitimate reasons specific papers exist, is quite simple. Showing a kid some stock trades or line item purchases without giving background, or dates, (perhaps a married couple decision to make a purchase, now being twisted into a theft by the outsider) whatever the case may be, if their was a CRIME COMMITTED then the District Attorney would file charges, a criminal trial would ensue, and the truth would come out because unlike family court, criminal court has due process and burdens of proof to satisfy. How is a child supposed to have the critical thinking skills required to question legitimacy of these types of accusations? S/he can’t s/he just believes it or not.
MY HIGHEST CRIME:
ONE DAY while I was still married I did something out of anger that I knew was wrong. I charged 100 pizzas to his card and had them delivered to his former workplace with a nice greeting. $500. is no felony. People enjoyed it and I felt a little less angry that day.
Yup I did that.
I was texting my daughter (the only one that still talks to me) the other night. She says that all this stuff is private and I shouldn’t publish it.
I really think over the things I publish, I have prayed about it, I have even discussed it with an attorney and come to the conclusion that the only thing left for me to do it to show the hypocrisy, and give public evidence of the pain I have endured now for 12 years. I blog here not just to regain some of my own lost pride, but also because I FIRMLY believe that Parental Alienation can only be prevented if one knows what to look for.
I was BLINDSIDED by this. I never imagined the children I gave birth to could hate me so harshly, and so undeservedly. I was a good mother. I tried very hard to teach my children in ways that would have meaning, not just by lecture or spanking, but by demonstrating how actions have consequences.
My children have taught me that in divorce leaving the state is the absolute WORST IDEA anyone can have. You MUST BE THERE for them even if it is not in the same house. For that mistake I will pay continuously for the rest of my life.
I can’t keep reaching out to them, to be hung up on, or avoid writing the truth here because it is embarrassing. TO BAD!
A) I never wanted to be divorced; he filed against me.
B) I signed our IRS documents shortly after the divorce, HE DIDN’T FILE them, HE disobeyed the courts order, not me.
C) I had to pay private mortgage interest rates because he left my name on our home in Alabama for 6 years the rate of interest I was paying was 10.5% while the bank rate was around 5%.
D) I couldn’t go back to school for two years because of his failure to file. Until I finally consulted the IRS and an attorney who told me that since he did not comply with the judge’s 30 day mandate I was no longer obligated to wait, I could file on my own, and I did.
E) When American Express sued him his defense was that I was mental and overspent. However, all the items I bought he enjoys.
F) If I was mental as he says, how is it that he was able or even RIGHT to have me sign a “Quit Claim” deed on our home while I was in the hospital voluntarily seeking help for what I can only describe as a “breakdown”?
G) The religious aspects of this really tick me off, I have been avoiding writing about them, but there will be a lot about that coming soon. Anyway, he is a born Catholic. Divorces are not acceptable, and his divorce, and subsequent remarriage, according to Doctrine makes him (and by default me) an adulterer in the eyes of the Catholic Church. So how does he have the nerve to take Holy Communion? I don’t. I won’t until I get a blessing to do so by a priest I am seeing for counseling over all this. So far, he has not said I can receive communion. PLUS Chuck is a Knight of Columbus and a Past Grand Knight, who marches in Parades in full regalia which kind of makes me want to barf.
G) GEE how can he make this right? Admit to the kids he lied to them about me, that HE refused me re-admittance to the home, he wanted the divorce and that he systematically chased me out of Alabama… That he did not follow the court order, that HE kept my letters and gifts from them so they would think I was not thinking about them ALL THE TIME (which I was). That I LOVE THEM SO MUCH and he knows it, and they should too. FINALLY he needs to pay me the money I was awarded in our divorce.
I am not holding my breath,. But I am so GLAD that there is a FIRST AMENDMENT.
Let’s talk about cash.
Cold, hard, cash. My ex husband waited until I was voluntarily in Huntsville Hospital seeking help for my breakdown to bring in a paper called a “quit claim deed” which he asked me to sign and I in a drugged induced fog signed it; not knowing that he had a divorce planned, and he nefariously wanted me to lose my right to the home. In case you didn’t know, a quitclaim deed removes all your right to property you purchased with another party.
Our home on Manningham Drive was my pride and joy. I was the one who picked out the floor plan, who was there every day during the construction process, put dug the pond in the backyard while 7 months pregnant, me who went to our prior home to ask for a wister I had moved to our new house. I had grown that wisteria from a twig no longer than my forearm, and now it was a full-grown tree with blossoms that smelled like carnations and cinnamon. I loved that neighborhood so much that I put myself through terrible times to protect neighborhood property rights and values as both president of the homeowners association and member of the architectural approval committee. Quit claim deed, I would never have signed it knowing what the real purpose was. I call that fraud,obtaining property when someone is completely mentally out of it…
During the court proceeding his side brought that quitclaim deed into court declaring I wanted no part of the house. Five years later a different judge heard a case brought by American Express against my ex-husband for not paying a bill ordered by Judge battle for him to pay within 30 days of my divorce being final. My ex-husband’s defense against not having to pay that bill was that at the time the money was spent I was fully responsible for the charges that I was mentally incompetent to make good money decisions therefore he was not responsible for paying that bill. So how can I po have been lucid enough to sign that?! Was it a coincidence that the judge that heard my contempt hearing was the same judge that ruled in Chuck’s favor when American Express sued him?
In the state of Alabama if a marriage goes over 10 years before divorce the wife and husband are to divide assets equally. There are exceptions in cases where adultery is involved or other unthinkable acts, yet adultery is considered forgiven if the husband and wife remain married for more than six months after the discovery of the infidelity. This was the case in my divorce. It had been much longer than six months in fact it had been over a year since I even saw Saco. However we did have a substantial tax bill and American Express bill that needed to be dealt with. The judge ordered Chuck to pay both the taxes and the American Express to then subtract 50% of both of those bills from my portion of his Lockheed Martin retirement and pay me the remainder of my 50%, within 30 days of our divorce ring final. The judge states he, the judge, would submit the QDRO.
My husband ignored the courts order and never filed our taxes for several years he also did not pay the American Express bill which was on my credit report as well as his for years. He also never removed my name from his mortgage on our former home which had the effect of preventing me from obtaining a mortgage on a home of my own from a bank. Instead I had to go and find private money at a rate of 13% interest which is significantly higher than the rate that a bank would charge.
His failure to file taxes cost me a year of school attendance because I could not show my income to the student financial aid department. Three years after our divorce I finally spoke to a lawyer who went over my divorce decree and told me that since Chuck did not file the taxes within 30 days or pay the American Express bill within 30 days he was in contempt of court and I was no longer obligated to be responsible for that 50%. He also advised that I could file my own taxes for those years and so I did, despite having signed a joint tax return prepared about a year after our divorce. I called the IRS first, of course, and asked if a joint tax return had been filed for the years ordered in my decree with our Social Security numbers? They told me none had been filed. They agreed with the attorney and said I should file my own tax returns for the years in question with my own income stated on the forms. Of course being a stay-at-home mom with a very small business meant that I had no tax liability for the years in question.
I do not believe that it’s a grey area of law if a person disobeys a court order to do something within 30 days, failing to comply cost them the right to force another party to lose money.
His failure to follow the court order cost me dearly. Not only did I have to pay 13% interest on my home but my credit was damaged beyond belief causing me to file a bankruptcy. The lawyer who did my bankruptcy included every loan that my ex-husband and I had jointly IRS, American Express, and any debt that he could claim even remotely I owed. The bankruptcy was discharged in 2005. I am only just now reestablishing my credit.
Now let’s talk about the retirement fund. At the time of our divorce we had been saving the max allowed in the Lockheed Martin retirement fund his salary was about $120,000 a year. Lockheed Martin matched funds up to a certain point and he had worked there for seven years. Also we had retirement funds from his work at Native American services, his work at EWA, and other companies over our 13 year marriage. We also purchased a weekly $100 savings bond.
Aside from saving for the future we had a very large gun, coin, jewelry, gem, collectible, and musical instrument collection. Some of the furniture in our home was over 100 years old and quite valuable.
Through some mega bargaining I had purchased Chuck a Cadillac Deville which he and I sold after driving for a year at a profit. Very nearly unheard of. The sale price was $18,500, I paid $17,000 a year before. When the cars were brought up in court it was as though they were trying to say that I made poor purchases that cost our family money. The facts show that the purchases I made on the vehicles made our family money. Indeed I was criticized for not financing them and for paying for them with a check we had the money. We had the money, because I made several daytrades that gleaned us over $1.5 million. Indeed things were going quite well until the dreadful stock market crash. To me it seemed the divorce was partially motivated by losing money to the stock market. What my husband failed to see was that despite margin calls we still had stock worth well over $50,000. Had we just bided time these things would’ve turned around. I want to add though that about two months before the stock market crash I had asked no big him to sell all the stock and get liquid he refused to do so because he did not want a tax liability.
I promised that I would not seek alimony if he put my kids through college. So far he failed to put my two oldest children through college. Since I don’t know who is paying for my daughter Wanda Wanda to attend I can’t speak for that, and my son is not out of high school yet.
There are many other things that we could probably put a price tag on but primarily the items above should be, by court order, divided equally. This has never occurred. In fact today I have only received $20,000 from an account that I myself put my own money in from Dean Witter daytrading, and a small amount from Waddell and Reed which only represented a small portion of the money they held for our retirement and certainly did not receive 50% of our total holdings with them. Chuck never disclosed several accounts including one at Travelers, another at Merrill Lynch and finally a savings account at Redstone Federal credit Union.
When it came time for a QDRO to be filed his lawyer flatly refused to do it fill out the form. My lawyer was disbarred. However, I do not think it is too late. So if you are a lawyer capable of practicing in Alabama and would like to represent me please contact me. Lorindellia@hotmail.com