Friday, May 01, 2015

Family Law Horror Stories

I do not practice family law, but I read the new cases in Ohio as they are reported.  Here the court ordered an ex-husband to pay alimony in an amount greater than his income (after federally ordered bankruptcy payments).

Here is a case in which the court of appeals affirmed a trial court that had ordered a man to continue to pay $1,000 per month in (ex-)spousal support.  Three months after the divorce, the man had filed for chapter 13 bankruptcy and had a monthly $890 obligation to the bankruptcy trustee.  Four months after the divorce, he applied for and was awarded SSI disability receiving $1,242 per month, his only source of income.  

somehow the court thought it was acceptable to force him to continue to pay $1000 per month to his ex-wife from his $352 monthly net income remaining after paying the bankruptcy trustee.  A significant factor was the man's subsequent marriage to a woman who was employed and paid all their household expenses from her income.  The court apparently assumed that either the new wife must make up the shortfall or the 100% disabled ex-husband should get a job.

The court sends a very clear message: If you get divorced and must pay alimony, don't get married (and don't be supported by someone).  

The case is Cox. v. Cox, 2015-Ohio-1660.

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