Again, the issue was summarily rejected. I honestly believed no one bothered to read our appeals.
My attorney had a similar but opposite comment. In reading the court's decision, she concluded that they fully understood our arguments but then they rejected them.
The matter was then filed in the state Supreme Court. This is something we almost never did. Finally, justice.
My girlfriend is of the opinion that I have a case worth appealing to the Supreme Court. I agree that I have a case that merits appealing to the Supreme Court as far as the greater legal issue (more below) but it's not worth it financially (i.e., I am not paying enough in alimony to justify me paying all of those legal costs) or personally (i.e., I need to just move on with my life, win or lose).
The legal issue is that my State has very weird laws/statutes as far as how alimony is decided. It's very much left up to the judge's discretion.
Nonetheless, there are clear statutes that alimony can only be awarded if the obligor can afford to pay alimony and the obligee has a financial need. To resolve these issues, people getting divorced negotiate over their "reasonable budget" and their incomes.
The issue where I think that we have a real case for the Supreme Court is how reasonable budgets and incomes are computed. The law (i.e., actual statutes) in my State says very clearly that child support should count as part of the obligee's income. Our appellate case was, therefore, super simple. If you look at my ex's budget (as set by the district) court, she could easily afford it after you considered her actual income plus child support.
HOWEVER, relatively recently, the appellate court made a precedent-setting ruling saying that expenses explicitly used for children (for example, daycare) should not be included in the budget so that they are not double-counted. The judge, therefore, removed several of the expenses that my ex-wife claimed as part of her budget. The appellate court ruled that because the judge removed these items from her budget, then the State's statute that includes child support as income should not be applied (i.e., saying that her total income = actual income + child support).
From a legal perspective, in my opinion, the problem with this approach is that it's almost impossible to properly determine someone's budget while excluding the children. For example, the judge ruled that my ex-wife's grocery budget was $800 per month, which included her and our three kids. He did not reduce this amount to $250 per month (or whatever).
So... the problem is that the current way of determining "can this person meet their reasonable budget?" is muddled and partially involving one system of rules and partially using another system of rules. To me (a non-lawyer), this is precisely the type of thing that should go to a Supreme Court (i.e., weird ambiguities in the law).
But, I don't want to pay for all of those legal fees... and I doubt my attorney wants to do it pro bono.
Follow your attorney's advice.
Absolutely. This actually goes back to my need to just move on with my life. I was not especially involved in the appeal and I don't plan on being deeply involved in the next legal steps. I sent my attorney an email a couple of days ago with all of the pertinent information and documentation that I had for claiming that she's living with her romantic partner... and she's going to pick and choose what to use versus what to ignore.
[This message edited by barcher144 at 6:18 PM, Friday, March 18th]