by David Perry Davis Esq. –
I’m not generally one to send a “blast email”, but this is the final push to get alimony reform enacted and we need to get involved – all of us. The last time there was a legislative push for a Family Law matter, is was to have Irreconcilable Differences added to the law (and we won eventually, and the sky hasn’t fallen).
The current situation in Trenton is unusual. We have a lame duck legislature, which, without going into a huge amount of detail, is conducive to getting bills like this passed. We won’t have another for four years. Additionally, we have a governor who (love him or hate him on other issues) will absolutely stand up to the Bar Association and thus will most probably not fold to the expected “last minute push” by the Bar to short-circuit the bill.
In other words, the time is now. Please write a letter, mail it and fax it. Additionally, send an email. Additionally, call and leave a message for your representative. A couple samples are below, please modify as you see fit. Three’s nothing wrong with adding a BRIEF statement about your own case (3-4 sentences), perhaps something along the lines of :”I spent thousands and thousands of dollars in legal fees to eventually arrive at almost precisely the same alimony obligation that this statute would have suggested in what would have taken half an hour (if that) of legal time.” (or words to that effect). Remember, the legislature can’t directly do anything about your case – we’re seeking to fix the system here.
Please, folks, take a couple of minutes. Certain segments of the Bar (whose mission, by the way, is “to serve, protect, foster and promote the personal and professional interests of its members” — not of the public) are in high gear to oppose this. There is a lot of money involved in getting people fighting about alimony issues; they’re not going to just give up.
Many of the recipients of this email are attorneys – none of the recipients are the over-billing sleazes who try to get people fighting over alimony issues to run a bill, only to eventually resolve based on the “one third of the difference in incomes for half the length of the marriage.” We have a special duty here to act. We, who deal with many cases, know (as the individual litigant doesn’t) that we need to stop the hypocrisy of denying “how we really do this” and, by our silence, permitting the public to continue to be bilked by those who see our profession as a money-making business first and a “profession” last. Please read the bill – there are “safety valves” all over the place that let judges depart when necessary (including incomes over 150% of the then-current CSG max, advanced age, health issues, etc). None of the opposition’s reasons for opposing the bill are true. Please step up. Take a minute and get involved.
The power of sending a written letter is more than you may know. They are read. Notes are taken whenever a call comes in. Especially those from individuals and not a lobbying group. You could have a real effect on this – you could well be the voice the tips the scales into having it passed. Please take a few minutes.
The contact information for your representatives: