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Advice to Men

In Memory of Allen Wells

This set of web pages for Allen Wells has been recreated from web pages archived at http://web.archive.org

Key Page for Allen Wells

Allen Wells:The Trial

Allen Wells: The Trial

(Originally posted in 1990 at Usenet soc.men)

For those of you who have tired of the saga of my divorce ... type 'j' now ...

My trial date was today. The divorce has been in process for 2 1/2 years, and it's finally done. Unfortunately, I was not allowed to attend. The result of this is that I was put into 'default'. Since I knew I wasn't going to be able to be there, I spent all weekend working on depositions and affadavits to be entered into the court in my absence. The court wouldn't even allow them to be entered or read into the record.

I won't know the result for about a week, but it is likely to be bad. My lawyer advises me that the best possible result I could hope for would still put me into bankruptcy. If I'm lucky, I'll get the standard guideline child support award - it's more likely I'll get much worse, and there is a significant chance that I'll be paying alimony on top of it.

How does this sort of thing happen? Mainly I opened myself up for it because I tried for custody. That's what allowed the opposition to delay the proceedings to over 2 years, and that magnified the potential for system abuse. Unfortunately, you have fewer rights in a civil case than you do in a criminal case ...

Details of how you can have be divorced without being allowed to tell your side follow. People who have followed this may want to hit 'j' now. The rest of you can hit 'j' too - but just pretending you're reading helps me vent off steam ... ;)

Quick Background: 4 year marriage 2.5 year divorce 1 child wife regularily physically abused husband wife 40 years old with associate's degree and prof. certification husband 32 years old with master's degree Quick History: Husband files for divorce, asking for custody based on abusive nature of wife. Husband voluntarily offers 'temporary' support of $1400 mortgage on marital home and an additional $600 cash per month (over half of income) which is codified by the court (six months later).

After almost 2 years of divorce in process, husband is driven out of NH (to WA) by the wife's continued, post-marriage abuse (smashed windshields, physical assaults, harrassing phone calls, denied visitation, police in the middle of the night, and - most of all - doing everything possible to make the son uncomfortable on visitation) together with the court's unwillingness to do anything to protect husband from wife, to guarantee court-ordered visitation, or to protect husband-son relationship.

Nation-wide job search leads to placement with a 25% cut in pay (best offer). Husband takes job, and applies for a Change in Circumstances. Court orders the marital home be sold to lower support required.

Wife refuses to list house or allow broker to inspect it. Husband, unable to continue paying, lets the mortgage lapse after two months. Forclosure proceedings start. Wife re-petitions court repeatedly. Court puts wife in contempt, then - six months after the house was ordered to be sold - lifts the contempt and defers the matter to the final divorce trial. Wife goes to a different judge and gets an arrest warrant on the husband for back mortgage due - said warrant timed two days before husband was to arrive for a visitation with his son.

Husband asks for reconsideration and to have the warrant lifted. Court denies the petition, or even an exemption to allow the husband to attend his trial.

The net result is:

  • A broke husband who cannot pay the mortgage current, who
  • Cannot step foot in the state of NH without being arrested, thus
  • Cannot attend his divorce without being put into jail, and
  • If he went and got put into jail, he would not be let out to attend his trial unless he paid the arrearage - which he can't.

When he doesn't attend the trial, he is put into 'default'. So, there are two choices:

  • Stay in WA and default on the divorce
  • Go to NH, be put in jail, and default on the divorce

During the divorce, the following things apparently happened:

  • Wife claims that she was abused, not abuser
  • Wife claims husband is capable of earning much more than he is making, thus the 'earnings capacity' clause should be used to inflate child support
  • Wife claims she is permanently disabled (continuation of a fraudulent workman's compensation claim she used during the marriage) and should receive permanent alimony
  • Wife claims that husband should get no visitation or custodial rights (something that the Guardian, to his credit, objected strenuously to)
  • Wife claims husband has hidden assets (he doesn't)
  • Wife claims husband took an unfair proportion of the marital assets when he left (he didn't, he took 1/2 the cash and less than 10% of the marital posessions)

I think you get the general idea. Husband, being in default, has no right to even submit written testimony and thus no right to defend himself against these charges, much less make charges of his own.

I'll let you know what happens when I find out next week. I expect it to be grim ... :(

---------- "Keep an open mind, but not so open your brains fall out"
   Alien |  
----------                 - old Indian saying

More information on Allan Wells and his circumstances (Off-site, in web archive)


Posted 2006 09 04