Welcome to Vermont Alimony Reform

Time To End Alimony Payments By Second Spouses

The Vermont 2nd Spouses & Partners Club is an opportunity for all 2nd spouses and partners to gain support and encouragement and to change the current alimony statute of lifetime alimony in the State of Vermont. We are hard-working women or men who support our spouse who has been ordered by the Vermont family courts to pay life time alimony to their ex-spouse, a person we never married.

The second wives club is an opportunity to share your story with others and let the public know how paying alimony to the former spouses affects your marriage.

I am married to a wonderful man who has been sentenced to lifetime alimony. This means that I too have been sentenced to lifetime alimony. Instead of looking to a bright future, planning our retirement and being able to assist our children and grandchildren when they need it, we are working to provide a free meal ticket to a grown adult. The state has brought this person into our marriage and our life is not our own.

It is time to let your voices be heard so that we can make a change for ourselves and future generations. Please join us now!

The probability that we may fail in the struggle ought not to deter us from the support of a cause we believe to be just. - Abraham Lincoln

You can make a difference. If you are tired of the intrusion of the family court system in your life relative to lifetime alimony, we want to hear from you.

If you want to learn more, please contact Amy Fleming at 802-490-8534 or


Second Spouses and Partners Alimony Stories

I am writing this to share with other families the complete travesty that is going on behind closed doors in the Vermont Family Courtrooms. I am a second wife to a lifetime alimony payor from Vermont. Every person that I have told my story to is in compete shock and disbelief as to what goes on in Vermont with respect to alimony. It is so horrific that I believe our Forefathers would literally be rolling around in their graves if they knew what is happening in the Courts there.

I write about my story, the story of my family, but I would be remiss without sharing that countless others have contacted me with their own Alimony horror stories and have asked for my help. Family Court leads to more suicides than all other forms of court combined. Why? These lifetime alimony payors – men, and in increasingly more cases, women, believe there is no way out of the lifetime sentence imposed on them in a civil case.

My husband is the most outstanding human being I have ever known. He is kind, fair to everyone, and has worked hard his whole life. He is guilty of one thing: a failed marriage. At the time of my husband's divorce, his children were grown adults. The financial penalty imposed on him for his entire lifetime is not to care for children; it is to provide "maintenance" to his remarried ex-wife in her new life.

In most states (and particularly "no-fault" states such as VT) distribution of assets occurs, and folks are able to move and enjoy life. Vermont, which is one of the most progressive of states socially (one of the first to allow same-sex marriage) has some of the most archaic Family Laws in the Nation, which are nothing short of Draconian in nature.

Alimony, when awarded, should have a specific purpose, such as rehabilitative (to help one re-establish a career) or transitional (to assist for a period of time to help the recipient spouse to transition to a life on their own). Alimony should not be arbitrary, punitive, or capricious, but designed on an established and predictable set of guidelines. Why is alimony designed to allow a recipient spouse to "live the lifestyle they were accustomed to during the marriage" forever and literally force the paying ex-spouse into poverty? When two people were married and living together and now are not, how is one person supposed to be able to maintain the other at the previous level and still have anything to live on? That simply does not make logical sense. My husband was forced to modify his lifestyle drastically because he has been forced to by the facts and the balance sheet of reality. Why is this not expected of his ex-wife? Why is the law so one-sided?

My husband's ex-wife remarried just over a year after we did, to a man who was working full-time when they met, and shortly thereafter, stopped earning income. Under current law, if a recipient spouse remarries and the combined income does not meet the ex-spouse's basic needs, the responsibility resides with the ex-spouse. We are NOT talking about child support here, the children are grown. This is JUST alimony! My husband's ex-wife took a voluntary reduction in pay, and her new husband stopped working and earning a paycheck, allowing them to remain dependent on my husband. Now my husband has to support two full-bodied, capable adults off of his severely reduced earnings that are not even part of our family! Why is this the case? What if my husband's ex-wife leaves her current spouse, and decides to marry another? Does he or she get to stop working so we can support them too? Why does she need her salary, the financial support of an ex-husband forever and to be married to meet her basic needs?

The most unbelievable statement of fact in my husband's modification of alimony support appeal, in addition to the Court not recognizing my husband's change in financial circumstances, was the comment made by the Court regarding the adoption of our daughter. My husband testified that we used some of his savings (of which his ex-wife already was given half of) to adopt a child, and that she had some medical issues which we had to pay for out of pocket. The Court replied with the statement that although it is normal for a newly married couple to want children, he (Mr. Fleming) should have kept the money in his savings to maintain his ex-wife's previously accustomed to lifestyle rather than adopt a child. He should've, according to the Court, recognized his financial support obligation to his (remarried) ex-wife, rather than have proceeded with the adoption. The Court allowed his ex-wife to state that she absolutely needed the money for things such as spa treatments and personal gifts, but we weren't allowed to adopt a child? This is not only "double-dipping", but under whose authority is the Court able to determine future life choices for either party? Alimony should be based on earned income and basic life necessities, not savings which have been previously split amongst the parties equally, nor life's extravagances.

The Court also admitted paperwork into the trial stating that the ex-wife's new husband did not earn any income, without requiring proper documentation, and further, allowed my husband's ex-wife to submit as one of her monthly expenses, payment for health insurance policy for her new husband. We were not to adopt a child, an innocent being that needed a loving home, yet my husband's ex-wife could support a grown and able man? Where is the justification for this? How can we be assured that there was no bias when we were told we shouldn't have adopted our daughter, yet my husband's ex-wife can almost fully support her new husband and have allowable expenses by the court to care for him, a grown adult's needs?

My husband and I both work long full-time hours, have had to borrow out of both of our savings, take loans, use credit cards, and even borrow from family to be able to support our family, and we still have not seen justice. With this judgment, he can never retire, for he has to continue to toil in order to support his ex-wife and her new husband until death. When will this financial noose that is unhealthy and tethering to all parties be eliminated? Permanent lifetime alimony is damaging to all parties and needs to stop NOW!

Amy Fleming, case in Windham County, VT

 

I have watched my husband's health bounce around for the last three years. I am sure a lot of it is contributed to stress. He works six days a week, often times seven and he works anywhere from 8 to 12 hours each day. His pay is strictly commission. It doesn't matter how much he makes each month, he is still required to pay his ex-wife $2750 for alimony, $200 for her lawyer fees and is solely responsible for their marital homestead and all expenses (which has been on the market for three years).

Unfortunately, my husband has to make the money he is making in order to pay his court ordered alimony, so he is unable to change careers to be able to only work a normal 40 hour week.

My husband attempted a modification, due to a pay decrease. The attempt only cost him additional funds due to lawyer fees and the modification was not awarded. Why are we only required to support our children until they are 18 but adult ex's receive alimony, often times for 20+ years?

Ginger, Windham County, Vermont


Please contact us if you want to help change the laws in Vermont. If you are paying permanent alimony you need to join our organization. When you help us you help yourself.

 

 

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