All Comments  for

A Crash Course in Family Law

Comments (59)
by Anonymous

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by PostScriptor03/05/10

Darn useful...

for those of us who have two qualifications: we write stories, and aren't lawyers ourselves! LOL!

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by Tail End Pete03/05/10

Yup, you are a lawyer.

I can tell because this was concise and specific. Thank you for taking the time and making the effort to write this. Next if you would try a treatise or something on orders of protection vs restraining orders, alienation of affection, and suing a past horndog for raising his child as yours. Oh, and are these dna tests really all that? I appreciate your stories. Thank you.

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by fregen03/05/10

Well Done

Very clear. Now writers have no excuses to get it wrong (hah!).

Thanks for sharing.

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by lanncer03/05/10


I appreciate the crash course... I remember a story here in literotica about a husband who divorced a mentally ill wife and took all their combined assets so that the state will pay for the medical treatment of the ex wife. Is it plausible?

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by Risq_00103/05/10

While I personally think this was "very much" needed.

Too many will still ignore this based on how they believe the law should work (^_^)

You must cringe like I do every time I read a story on how someone "cracked" someone's computer and hacked their way inside. I've been working with Computers over 20 years and currently work as a Network Systems Analyst and if I had a nickle for every story like that that made me cringe or smile by what they got wrong I wouldn't need the lottery. (^_^)

I too kinda of chuckle at some of the divorce stories >=)

But one thing I learned in my research was something I was curious about that you didn't mention. I understand that this was a short essay and not to cover everything, but tell me if this is still true. Last I read of the 50 states only 48 of them had No faults statutes that say it doesn't matter who sought it, and short of disputes over who got what, the divorce will proceed with only one complainant seeking a divorce.

Of the two states that were left, Ohio is the "only" one that while it has a No Fault statute on the books, one can prevents this from being used if one side or the other "contest" either the divorce or the use of it for the divorce. And if that happens then other "grounds" must actually be used.

I've also always read that New York is the only state that has "no" No Fault statute on their books and grounds must always be used in divorce filings.

Asking because of curiosity, is that still a fair assessment from what I've managed to read from the various state and government websites or is that just a quick and dirty reference and may not be the case anymore?


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by Rehnquist03/05/10

Quick Responses

First, to the request that I write something on orders of protection/restraining orders, I will attempt to do so in the near future and to also cover other issues that I frequently see abused.

Regarding Risq's comments, I hope you're not picking on my computer illiteracy from my last story! (If so, you are right; I can barely function my word processing program.) However, you are correct in that most jurisdictions permit the divorce to go forward without agreement by the parties on grounds. The most frequent reason is what we call default. Once the summons is served, the defendant has--in Illinois--30 days in which to file an appearance in the case and their answer to the complaint. If they don't so file within 30 days, the complainant may seek a default judgment, which is granted as a matter of course.

The second case where one party doesn't want the divorce is where the grounds alleged in the initial complaint are denied in the defendant's answer. In such cases, the court will actually hold a hearing on grounds to determine whether they exist to grant the divorce. In Illinois, this is called the B-1 portion of the trial, and this must be done before any other issues (custody, property split, etc.) are addressed. Also, the Illinois irreconcilable differences statute requires the parties to not live as husband and wife (they can live in the same home, but can't be having "marital relations") for at least 6 months prior to the finding of irreconcilable differences, and this is only if BOTH parties waive the otherwise 2-year waiting period. However, after two years, the court will almost always grant the divorce as the separation, in and of itself, is generally sufficient proof that the marriage is irretrievably broken.

Finally, I have no idea what the laws are in the State of New York. I can only assume, though, that they have something similar to mental cruelty as a ground, and, as noted, this is generally simple to prove. You should all be careful, as well, in relying solely on statutes in determining the laws of each jurisdiction. Judges and lawyers, while using the statutes as the obvious starting point, actually determine the interpretation and application of the statutes from the extensive caselaw published by the appellate courts. As I said, family law is very fact specific, and little changes make a big deal.

Thanks all,


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by Risq_00103/05/10

Cool thanks for the answers (^_^)

I watched eight divorces here in Indiana in the last 10 years and everything you said here was spot on for what I saw. The only one I disagreed with was the one guy who's lawyer decided to not let him make any claims against her.

I guess you could say he won, but she was the one seeking the divorce even though she was the one cheating on him (with "a lot" of different people with at least 12 that we know of directly in one year) and he was responsible for maintenance for 1 year and he got custody of the 2 kids (17 and 15) and she got custody of the 9 year old. And from what I saw here in Indiana, you were again spot on in the fact that the courts don't care who cheated on who, but he really took a bath because legally his lawyer wouldn't let him say or make any counter arguments. He had custody of the two, all the bills from the marriage, had to pay maintenance, had to give her the "good" car of the two (they switched cars), and paid her first 3 months rent in her new apartment. That was far different from what I had ever seen in the past in the other divorce cases.

I guess there was something his lawyer knew about him that I didn't because he said they got the best deal they could expect. (^_^)

And believe it or not I wasn't picking on your computer skills for your specialist from the last story. Well just one thing. Network Systems Analyst is a catch all. It basically mean "Jack of all trades" for a company. Its the guy everyone finds first when something is broken and if he/she can't fix it then they are tasked with finding the correct person. But a Network Security Specialist/Analyst is someone tasked with making sure your network/computer security is top notched and secure. But that was the only thing that I found and it was such a tiny deal it didn't matter.

And your explanation of how the hacker got in was more apt and believable than anything I've read before. That's how most corporate espionage takes place. Someone on the inside leaking info out.

Most people believe what they see in the Movies. Remember Sandra Bullock in the move "The net" where she used that same diskette in 2 different Apples and then in an IBM PC? God only knows what OS they were all running. And then she went a step further and emailed the FBI a copy of an unasked for large executable program, that they "magically figured out was a back door hack, in enough time to save her and to start legal proceedings against the Bill Gates knock off? Heh heh, my wife hated watching that movie with me. No one emails the FBI anything like that. Ever. (^_^)

But your point about someone attaching a device from with-in the network was the most easiest way to by pass security. Now a days no one is hacking through any corporate firewalls from the internet. Most use some form of "hardware" firewalls, with no IP that routes to a PC, and they use Proxy servers as a focal point on the other side. So other than explaining how he got to the information after the tap was in place, it was more believable, because you would need something like this to get past all the actual "hardware" to even begin to hack the network.

So I thought that was a good job (^_^)

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Don't forget Alienation of affection.

Lots of people like to whip that old bit out, no matter the location of the story, even though in the US only 5 states still recognize that type of action.

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by victoriangent03/05/10


While the author of this piece gave a very educational lesson in family law, and it would benefical if you anticipate taking a case to a "real" court. Also there have been many comments supporting this lesson. However, I did not see anyone approach the fact that Literotica stories are primarily "fiction" and the authors are granted certain literary license. So, why as readers, we can't just read the story and if we feel we need to critique the writer on his grammer, puncutation and form, then do it in a constructive way.

"Never Give Up"

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by Risq_00103/05/10

Victoriangent, literary license is a poor crutch to rest a story on....

Not speaking for the author, I'd like to throw in my 2 cents worth.

While that may be true that most take some form of literary license to write a story no matter how its classed, some don't realize that as they believe they are shifting through some form of valid facts it may be based on, such as how the law works. You know that there are still some actually believe everything they read. Even in this day and age some still believe everything that happens in the WWE is real. And I know two wrestlers "personally" who are on TV in the WWE. We work out at the same gym and even knowing that I still had someone tell me in the library while I was there looking for a book that everything they saw on TV was real!!

The other reason is that readers need understand the boundaries of a story. Just going "Literary license" doesn't forgive the lack of setup up a story in a proper context. I know that I as well as Harry often get slammed for hating reconciliation stories. Well Harry gets slammed for it far more often. But the fact is I don't hate them at all and I've even written one. But what I hate is "sloppy" stories that don't make sense.

Often a writer will spend way to much time on why to dislike or hate a character, then "magically" stick the back with their mate and go "He/She forgave them and they lived happy ever after". Why not spend equal amount of time make me feel like I can like them after making me dislike them so much? That too is literary license. Thus this piece. If a reader is going to read it then they should at least "feel" it and if they don't know what they are talking about then they will just get sloppy and get it wrong.

Literary license isn't a get out of jail free card. It's where you can get almost "all" the fact right and maybe fudge a tiny bit here to round out the story or maybe you decide to write/tell a true story but change the facts to fit your audience. It's not getting most everything "wrong" but by claiming that if you blow up a story and make it so unbelievable, that now somehow because your the one who tells it, it's ok to not bother to check any of the facts.


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by lancewm03/05/10

This was excellent

I enjoyed getting the straight scoop from your much appreciated crash course. While the stories here are fiction, the closer a story holds to the plausible, the more interesting and intriguing. Like Risq, my lifetime career has been in computer technology. I designed tools for software engineers that are broadly used in software companies and Information Technology (IT) groups. Hence, my comments to your story concerning the impossibility of changing the bank's software application code. The number and placement of coconspirators in the bank's business infrastructure makes no difference. There are stringent technical safeguards surrounding business critical applications that ensure detection of changes to the software code that are visible at many levels of the software engineering organization. Banking application code that controls the flow of money is even harder to crack: 1) every line of code is audited by people who are independent and unknown to the code author, 2) once the application is in production, the original source code created by the software engineer has been translated to machine code; and 3) the machine code operation is monitored by other software systems purchased from 3rd party vendors. I could go on, but I think you get the point. If you write another story that is dependent on altering computer software, I would be happy to advise.

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by Anonymous03/05/10

As an aside...

Most laughable computer hacking EVER: the movie Independence Day! A human computer expect somehow inserts a disc into the computer belonging to aliens who have just invaded the Earth. Amazingly, the disc fits, and the computer accept it, and then the hacker hacks his way in, despite the fact the aliens speak and write in ANOTHER LANGUAGE and totally different alphabet that the hacker doesn't know a single word of!

Anyway, to the author: thanks for this useful piece. I only hope this will result in some more legally accurate stories.

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by Anonymous03/05/10


Bless you!
Literary license does not allow you to suspend belief, unless you are writing pure fantasy. If an author wrote about traveling at 450 miles per hour on interstate 80 you’d hear a lot of negative comments, and they’d be right. Well, the same holds true to flights of legal fantasy in LW category. We expect that the people and events are fictitious but are operating in the “real world.”
Sure, we all would like to see the bad spouse get theirs, some really want to pour it on. But when it conflicts with the normal world it purports to be in, the knowledgeable in the audience are taken out of the story, usually saying, “What the hey?”
So, what do you do if you don’t know? Read this article! You could also Google it, it is amazing the quality of information you can quickly obtain that way. It seems that some who claim literary license are actually just too lazy to do the work to make it right.
I now live in Louisiana (from California). In California there was a program (dissomaster) that calculated child support. Plug in the numbers and out came the amounts. Here in La the judge does have more leeway. But even here in the deep South most don’t give a rip about cheating.
Most fights between ex-partners end up costing a lot of time and money. I do beg to differ a little with you. Even though by Statute a party may be entitled to attorneys’ fees, I’ve rarely seen it happen, The judge usually grants a portion of the total fee. That’s why you stated that “Litigating principal (sic) is usually a bad idea.” I couldn’t agree more.
BTW, maintenance is still referred to Alimony in much of the country and in our Tax Code.
An angle that I thought many authors miss is retribution for failed support/visitation. I come from a legal family (Father, uncles, brothers, nephews, etc.). In one recent case, a man hid his assets until his last child was past the age for support. He actually served a brief stint in the local jail over it. He then bought a house with a substantial down payment. His ex sued, and was awarded it for past unpaid child support. He approached my brother to represent him. My brother told him just to pay it. The idiot found another attorney and lost. So, he ended up paying the past support plus interest as well as attorneys’ fees for a lost cause.
I share a common interest with Risq_001, I too work in the computer field. I develop software for attorneys and notaries. I have another brother who works for the Beast in WA. I wish most corporate offices were as secure as you believe. Some have very restrictive policies that do work. Most are too lenient. That said, most hacking stories are pretty dumb. I got the same reaction he did from my wife when we watched Sneakers. Robert Redford supposedly finds a program that breaks into encrypted networks. I could buy that, but once in he still would have had to crack passwords which he didn’t need to do.
Thanks for your work here. I look forward to seeing your future efforts. -ttom

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by victoriangent03/05/10

Ok Ok Ok

All you folks that have "opened my mind" and "showed me the light" in reference to my comment. I'll make a deal with you. All of you keep looking for the perfect story here on Literotica and I'll just plug away and read the stories and use my feeble mind to try and understand what the author is trying to say. Thanks everyone. BTW here in Virginia some get pretty close to that 450 MPH on I64!!

Never Give Up"

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by Anonymous03/05/10

Specific (but odd) Question:

You're getting a divorce, and have suspicions that "your" child, is not really "your" child and is result of a previous affair. You don't want to pay child support until you're sure, but wife (with whom child is currently living during divorce proceedings) refuses to submit child for DNA test.

Is there any recourse?

And if the child isn't yours biologically, is there still any possible way that she can weasel the court into getting the guy to pay child support for the child?

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by gatorhermit03/06/10

Excellent Essay

Thanks Rehnquist for an excellent piece. I went through a divorce in WVa and my experience pretty much paralleled what you wrote. I got custody of the kids because she didn't really want the responsibility, and visitation was set up exactly as you outlined. BTW I had a good attorney who I really respect and whose work stood the test of time - five years later she wanted to challenge the initial agreement and her attorney told her no way she'd succeed. Rehnquist is correct - some of the LW stories are pretty naive concerning the legal aspects of divorce and custody.

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by Pistolpackinpete03/06/10

O.k. essay but actually full of holes....

....especially in re: maintenance.-Although I respect your abilities as a writer you are (is it a lawyer "thing"?)- overreaching in your dissemination of typical legal rulings. Ask Joan Lunden's ex if he agrees with you about the difficulty obtaining or the supposed hasty "dissolution" of "alimony". Ask any man in the state of Maine involved in a custody dispute if your statements about child support payments ring true.I do not believe you can speak for states you do not practice in unless you are willing to eat a lot of crow. Other than the inarguable fiscally motivated trend towards no-fault and a slower trending towards viewing caregiver and financial responsibilities more evenly I have seen nothing in our courts which suggests the kind of uniformity of ruling that would allow a member of one states judiciary the gravitas to speak about them all. Keep writing though!!!

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by Anonymous03/06/10

I gave up

about a third of the way in when I realised no one was going to start fucking.

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by Irrumatio03/06/10

You want reality -- on a fantasy-sex site?

Next you'll be expecting a "Loving Husbands" section.

I would like to know about what happens legally with the progeny of adulterous relationships though. I know that some husbands have been required to pay for the upbringing of children that were proven not be theirs.

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by Eric_Shift03/06/10

Would you have any idea of Australias laws?

Trying to help my Sister.

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by Rehnquist03/06/10

If the child's not yours?

A quick response to the few questions about where the child of the marriage may not be the biological child of the husband. In Illinois, a child born during the marriage is presumed to be the child of the parties. That is, however, a rebuttable presumption. Thus, if the husband is the defendant in the divorce, he denies paternity in his written answer filed with the court, then files a motion for DNA testing. If he can present sufficient evidence, which in my jurisdiction means simply a reasonable suspicion, that the child isn't his, then the Court will usually order the parties to comply with DNA testing. DNA testing, by the way, is highly accurate and, unlike when I began practicing, has a quick turnaround time--usually less than a month. If the child is not biologically his, then the court--at least in Illinois--completely lacks authority to order him to pay support. The flipside is, of course, that visitation is also now not permitted unless the parties otherwise agree.

And I'm sorry, Australia, but I have no clue about dissolution of marriages in your country.

And to the guy that gave up a third of the way through when he realized there was no fucking? Funniest friggin' comment I've ever read!

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by Lazyloner03/06/10


Thanks for this primer Rehnquist. I've found the way divorces are handled here mostly humorous partly because I live in California and other than having a child support enforcement group that tends to completely ignore DNA results (If the mother claims you are the father you pretty much have to spend tens of thousands in court and lawyer fees to force them to accept that the kid isn't yours) the rest looked pretty accurate. I know California even has a simplified divorce for married couples who have no children and aren't going to argue about the assets.

Perfect realism isn't necessary, but i do agree that its nice when the writers are somewhat accurate with their writings. For a while now I have posted complaints about how some "loving wife" authors handle sex in the workplace situations. I've been on the wrong side of one sexual harassment claim and involved in or watched 7 others over the years and I've noticed that companies are a lot less naive about harassment than the writers here who always seem to have the women falling for the "have sex with me to keep your job" lines. In any company I've worked for the woman would have been running to HR within seconds of hearing that line and the man saying it would have been packing his desk within a week.

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by Anonymous03/07/10

I think you have left out a major factor in how rulings are made

If both parties do not have the same amount of money to (or at least sufficient money) to pay the lawyers the trial is likely to end differently. I watched a child custody trial in Alabama where one couple (former wife and new husband) spend over $150,000 in fighting for custody and fianlly ran out of money for more shrinks etc. and lost custody. Most legislatures consist of a majority of lawyers who set up the system to enrich themselves not provide equal access to the "blind" justice.

If you do not think so see how much tort reform is in 0bama's heathcare 2000 page bill. Actually for a trillion dollar medical bill there is nothing for dentists which are a major part of American health.

The stories with a rich wife/husband vs a poor spouse are a lot closer toteh truth than the lawyers like to admit.

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by Anonymous03/09/10

Fantasy defined

Fantasy is defined as:
A. imagination unrestricted by reality;
B. a whimsical or far-fetched notion;
C. a highly elaborate imaginative design or creation;
D. literature having a large fantasy content;
E. the formation of a mental image of something that is not perceived as real and is not present to the senses;
Example: "popular imagination created a world of demons"; "imagination reveals what the world could be";
E. something existing solely in the imagination (but often mistaken for reality);
F. fiction with a large amount of imagination in it;
G. a literary work based on the imagination and not necessarily on fact

One of the things that people on this site just do not understand, is that almost every story on Literotica is fantasy and fiction.

By writing this little essay you are part of the ten to twelve people who think of this site as their on personal website (this includes the multitudes of anonymous critics). They think that all of the so-called Loving Wives section should be factual. ??? It is true that some who read these stories think they are true to life, they me remind of the thousands of people who think soap operas are real life. You know the ones who accost those actors and actresses and yell and scream at them about their behavior on those shows.

Illinois is only one state out of fifty, you have no idea how those states view divorce or what their standards are concerning divorce at all. By posting this essay you are trying to fit those authors with imagination into some kind of box that you and others control. I find those stories that go to the extreme with divorces a welcome counterpoint to the excess of stories involving cuckolds, creampie eaters, and wimps. I like those those stories where the author is extreme enough that the idiots who think those stories are real, say something like 'that's unbelievable' because that means that author is using his or her imagination to write fiction. Or in other words; 'thinking outside the box'.

Stories of fiction and fantasy should be defined as; FICTION BASED ON IMAGINATION, NOT FICTION BASED ON FACT. There is enough fiction based on fact on the Lifetime network.

Fiction is defined as:

a. An imaginative creation or a pretense that does not represent actuality but has been invented.
b. The act of inventing such a creation or pretense.
2. A lie.
a. A literary work whose content is produced by the imagination and is not necessarily based on fact.
b. The category of literature comprising works of this kind, including novels and short stories.

1. (Literary & Literary Critical Terms) literary works invented by the imagination, such as novels or short stories
2. an invented story or explanation; lie
3. the act of inventing a story or explanation
4. (Law) Law something assumed to be true for the sake of convenience, though probably false.

Whatever happened to freedom of expression? Why, Renquist do you feel the need to insult authors who use their imagination to write what they fantasize on how a divorce should be? It is hard enough to write a short story, if it was easy, Harry, Risq, Zed, etc; and the many anonymous critics would have a thousand stories between them. Your stories, which I have read, are all pretty well written. Could you have made your point in two thirds less pages? Could you? That is what a lot of this genre's authors do, write stories that have the same theme and try to imagine a new way to write it. All in two or three pages, all who manage to convey anger, humiliation, outrage and revenge in those same pages.

You do a disservice here with your words about how the law should work in these stories. It is nice to know how one state views and enforces divorces. It is another to say that all of the other forty-nine states are the same because basically that is what you are saying.

Definition of Artistic License:

The freedom to create an artwork, musical work, or piece of writing based on the artist's interpretation and mainly for effect; also called poetic license, creative license, etc.

Example: Artistic license often provokes controversy by offending those who resent the reinterpretation of cherished beliefs or previous works.

I think this above definition and example is what you feel, still it is wrong for you to try to stifle creativity in order to sooth your bruised ego.

Also, in your story; 'Education of Shannon' is that the norm with lawyers with client they hate? Or did you use creative license? Is it fiction or fact based?

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You posted something on Anonymouses'sses' site with out permission, and he/she/it/they wrote you a novella telling you not to do that no more. Not your website after all, now is it? I think he/she/it/they are still cranky about the lack of sex and general naughtiness that was included, or would that be 'excluded'? Oh well, chalk it up to artistic license and lynch the bastard/bitch/uh.../whatevers.

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by inspirixis05/10/10

Thank You!

Whenever someone new comments on one of my stories I always go and see if they are an author and read their work. This time I think I hit the jackpot! Excellent post. Ava.

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by Anonymous10/09/10

Typical lawyer gov view of the world....

All it takes is one pissed off outlaw type guy and the wife, lawyers, judges, everybody loose with those laws....

As to computers.... as somebody doing computers since 1973 I have to say the stories do have some artistic license BUT you would blanch at how fast some of us could get anything thing they want off any computer with just a few mins on it or a console.... The only thing that holds us back is simple honesty and honor... Seriously.... Even bank stuff.
BTW.. the hackers are pretty stupid that's why viruses and such are manageable. Phone systems and cell systems are easy to hack too if you know how they work in detail.... There is a really big hole a million miles wide in land line/internet communications systems that the "experts" ignore. Encryption can be worked around, too, if you think out of the box....

BTW Rehnquist, I wonder if I know you from social occasions when my children were kids playing ball....
anonymous in Wheaton

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by Anonymous10/09/10

Further comment...

To make clear what I mean about "outlaw" I will give you as an example a man I knew in the mid 1970s.
He was a "flying angel" originally from the Oakland Chapter of the Hell's Angels..
I was a college student in a mid-western university. My roommates and I were known for throwing the best parties at our pad. It was only a matter of time until he became a regular visitor, when in town...
One day I got up the nerve to ask him about the nasty bullet scars on his legs...
We were all several sheets to the rain so he told me..
Shortly after the Tet offensive he filtered into DaNang from the field with his best buddy... In those days you needed proof of kills to get R&R. Some kept photos ... others kept other things.. He kept a necklace of left ears and his buddy one of right ears. (all tanned) A tanned ball sac was their stash bag at the bottom of each necklace.... so.. DaNang right after Tet and these two show up with trophy necklaces... The natives freaked and a huge riot started. It took an ARVN division to put down the riot. The US Military responded by quickly shipping them back to America with an instant discharge.... So.. months before they were supposed to be home he showed up at his pad in Oakland. His wife and best friend were there surprised to see him but they seemed happy. He went up to the sink to get a drink of water and heard "CLICK". Combat 24 hours before and he recognized that 45 Caliber click. He dove to the ground.
They emptied the 45 clobbering his legs with a couple of hits.
He got upset and jumped on his chopper ... went a 1/4 block and realized he was seriously hurt. Drove back to his pad and told his wife to call 911 now or he would kill her and his "buddy" on the spot. When the police came he told them he was tired and dropped the gun. Refused to say more. The wife leaned in as they were taking him to the ambulance and he whispered to her... Run.. Run forever! You and him will never know when or where it's going to happen but I will make you pay....

I didn't believe him until he showed me the huge pile of letters from general delivery all over the country begging for mercy...

I asked if he was ever going to kill them or let them off. He said "no... I will let them worry themselves to death for the rest of their lives".
I lost track of him about 78 and never did learn his last name...

I have to say he was one of the toughest guys I ever met... excluding SpecOps..

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by Anonymous11/11/10


The essay- written by anonymous- in response to this story is missing the point deliberately. This is about how not to ruin a good story with glaring errors, not about insisting that everything is realistic. The fact is that a great many readers on this site have a great deal of practical knowledge, lawyers or not, and if they are reading about something that they themselves know well and something is inaccurate then the story often is ruined. What exactly do you want Rehnquist to do, put up with errors and mark the story based on itself alone? We do not live in a vacuum, we are the sum of our experiences and if we read something that we know is false, it will break the ties between the reader and the text.

My enjoyment of a story at least is drawn from being able to picture it in my mind and being able to relate to a character or situation. If a story has bad grammar, I find myself leaving to read something else. Do I miss out on some quality stories? Probably, but the good stories with bad grammar and spelling are in a significant minority. The issue is that if something reads false during the story ruins my relating to it, and thus then my ability to visualise it. I might be being pedantic, but as a reader it is my prerogative.

Furthermore, there is something a bit hypocritical about your issue with this essay. you talk about the author's right to artistic licence, but what of the reader's right to a logical story without plot holes or continuation issues? This essay is not about the author; it is about the reader. I find your issues with this- and your use of examples and definitions- arrogant and rude. This is meant to be an aid to those who want the facts, or at least something to base their stories on. Take it the right way, not as a slight to your favourite author.

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by classof6911/25/10


Thank you for the info. I went through all that 16 years ago and would have appreciated this factual info then.
Mid-90's, most of this fit but i found the courts and the legal system very prejudiced against fathers seeking custody.
As a father, living in NY, it was not easy or even normal for a dad to get custody.
As a general rule of thumb, i found women in the legal system to be very supportive of me. My lawyer was a man but i dealt with some female judges, my childrens court appointed lawyer was female, and so was the court appointed psychologist.
Men seemed predisposed to take pity on my ex but the women were incensed at her failures both in the financial aspects and in her nurturing capacity. I honestly feel that without the support of those women, i would have lost custody and damn near everything else.
I agree with you also on your cue re: presentation.
Every decision i made, every comment, every time i opened my mouth, i spoke about what was best for my kids and never once did i ask for revenge, pity, or restitution for anything done to me.
Every time my ex opened her mouth, it was about what she wanted... including baby sitter payment when i was out of town on business! The court noticed and at one point even my wifes lawyer apologized for my ex's venomous rant during an arbitration hearing!
My big complaint back then was that the court did not grant custody to the best parent but generally granted custody to the least financially stable parent in order to enhance the families income, in the face of having to support two households instead of one. Because my wife refused to work even after the kids were all in school, i had a distinct disadvantage in that respect. She was unqualified to help financially.
In that respect, i felt the courts did not have the childrens best interest at heart.
I took a hell of a beating financially but i did get custody even though the court knew i would take a huge cut in income because i needed to leave a high paying job that required extensive travel.
I cost me everything i had but i would have mortgaged the rest of my future for custody and at that, i felt it was a deal!
I understand men are winning custody battles more and more every year. It's not because the laws have changed. It's because in two income families, men have been playing a greater nurturing role than ever before and society has been holding women responsible for their actions more and more.
There was a time that the blame for what any wrong a woman did was attributed to her father/husband/pusher/pimp/etc. Women in the legal system who are also wives/mothers/businesswomen/nurturers/etc. no longer have any pity for a woman who cannot manage her own life, let alone her family!
Although the fight for equality of women began before the turn of the 20th century, it didn't take hold till WWII, when Rosie the Riveter, (my mother was one) proved they could do a mans job!
100 years later, our court system finally begins to expect equal responsibility from women. That truly is a sign of equality for women and hope for good fathers!

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by Anonymous01/26/11


for the clarification! As a European reader I have really been wondering about the very strange American system. Now I now that the reality is not that different.

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by Anonymous02/05/11

You seem to have described what the law is. My only comment is often people don't obey the law. My sister-in-law had a lien on her ex's home for years of back child support. He sold it anyway. Sure, she could have hired a lawyer, and tried to get the money back. He'd already spent it(or hidden it). She lived over a thousand miles away and would have had to spend a lot of money just to try and recuperate what was hers. I think the house was worth 30 thou. She decided not even to try and I think she was right.

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by Anonymous04/23/11

Much needed

Hopefully this will serve as a primer for authors who will take the time to read it (or even know it is out there.) There will always be occasions for literary licence but this at least gives authors a basis to start from.

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by DWornock06/18/11

His statements regarding divorce are better than most stories.

However, he is stating the theory of divorce law. That is what the law schools teach and what Family courts claim.

Regardless, he is just stating the lies that family courts use to justify awarding custody to women in 98% of contested cases. Women are awarded custody and child support in about 90% of divorces. That includes the almost 5 to 8 percent of the cases where the women are not seeking custody.

His statement about visitation is theory and not factual. Women violate visitation will impunity under the theory that the courts can not enforce visitation by putting the woman in jail because the children need her.

If men are awarded custody, child support from the woman is much less or non-existant. Futhermore, women poison the well by alienating the children from the father and the courts ignore it.

It would be nice if the theory of law as stated was in fact how the family courts handle divorce. However, that is almost never the facts and are just lies the family courts use to justify what they are going to do anyway.

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by RonRWood06/23/11


What I like best about "Non-erotic" or close to non-erotic stories is that some of them come close to my own life experiences. I do not read them for the porn. I can select those type of stories easily from "Loving wives".

I prefer selecting "Cheating Wives" because that block of stories written by good writers parallel the human experience. Though most of us know the stories are fiction, we want enough realism so the story appears somewhat real to life.

There are so many commenters in this block of story writing it would appear it is the best site because we can join in the story with our own experiences and preferences of how we wish it to go or how we think it should have gone. We get into it literally!

Very few of us could write a believable story ourselves because we don't know how. Yet, most of us have experienced infidelity or committed it. This is a subject we have strong opinions about.

Some of us will tolerate forgiving one's spouse and some maintain they could never. (I guess they confess and leave the family unit immediately when they cheat)

I suspect that some of the hardcore commenters weren't forgiven or were deserted by their women. Many of us readers know that there is much more to a good marriage than absolutely no infidelity. Such as love, good sex, economics, property concerns, and family.

I like some of the writers that suggest, "Would you be happy if you gave all that up because of a mistake on your spouse's part."

Well, it would depend if you found a better replacement for all that wouldn't it? I suppose that is why so many writers provide a prettier, much more perfect woman. One like the perfect husband. Always one waiting in the wings, isn't there?

In most of the stories the cheating wife is painted so horribly that it seems impossible to keep her or reconcile. Of course, the cheated husband is painted as being such a perfect husband, with such a high degree of honor and integrity, that he could not possibly get over what she did no matter how much she still loves him.

I personaly know that most men cheat on their wives at times when the opportunity arrives. Why is it so different for the wives that do the same? They both are showing disrespect for the other and taking something from the other to give to another.

I do not believe there are that many perfect men other than those described in these stories. I do not believe that most cheating wives are complete sluts either. That is the fiction in these stories.

That is why I myself can go either way towards divorcing them or reconciliation. It is up to the writer as to how he makes that either unrealistic or realistic. Sometimes it is very realistic for them to save their life and family and get by the mistakes made.

That so many commenters hate this tells me they only believe in fiction. Face it, cheaters cheat because they decide to. People give up on their marriage because they decide to. The rest of these reasons are fiction! Events do not control your life, you do. We are all looking for the reasons something happened so as to excuse our actions.

The comments on all the other stroke stories are that you despised what you read or loved it. Depending on your likes and dislikes.

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by roguerrilla06/23/11

The author and the commenter DWornock are both right. There is a strong bone of truth in both the article and the criticism. The standards for child custody are similar in most jurisdictions. Those for property division, especially in definition of what is a marital asset, and even child support, can vary wildly. For example, next door in Indiana, every thing of value owned by either party is a marital asset and goes into the pot. The absolutes mentioned in Illinois are only considerations to be taken into account.

While DWornock exaggerates his statistics, the essence is a truth that sits like an elephant in the room that everyone tries to ignore. Mothers do get custody more often than not, even in hotly contested matters. And Mother's routinely never pay the same price or penalty for their own contemptuous conduct.

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by BTTap11/16/11

Best paragraph ever

I'm a fan of yours Renquist. Also a lawyer. I've read everything you've posted.
This is your best paragraph ever:
"Oh, and mental cruelty? That's just two or more separate occasions when your husband yells at you, berates you, belittles you, or otherwise hurts your feelings pretty badly, and you did nothing to provoke either outburst. I've rarely seen a marriage, no matter how strong, that doesn't technically qualify for a divorce on these grounds. (Okay, my wife yells at me constantly, but I'm man enough to admit that I usually provoke it with my typically inexcusable behavior; how was I to know plaid golf pants and a Metallica concert shirt weren't appropriate attire for her sister's wedding?)"

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by Anonymous01/08/12

The best story wins!!

The 'law' only works if you have a lot of money to spend on lawyers. For every factual statement you made I can show you the exceptions, like my ex hid money in three different 401 k's.
What I have found is that family law is an industry that needs contributions to continue running. The facts don't matter because a judge can't be bothered to read an entire case file to get a grasp on the the story, so the judge accepts the best story and that side wins. Your crash course is accurate and I would recommend it as a 'primer' but in realty, its the best story wins. been there, done that

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by count2three02/23/12

Very interesting. But you really chose the wrong example:

The Doktor who cheats on his wife with the new nurse. He pays for it and all is good and well. But what if, as thats the case in most stories i've read, its the wife who gets bored at home all day and cheats on the hardworking, honest doktor (in the stories its allmost always engineers). Now he not only stands before the broken pieces of his marriage, he on top loses 65% of the marital assets and can pay 50% of his income so he can visit(!) his children every second weekend. Talk about fucked up. That is the example that you should have explained, not the one you did, in which the outcome is fair on accident.

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by LegionsOfLies03/27/12

Newfound deep respect

plaid golf pants and a Metallica concert shirt

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by Northern_Writer04/30/12

Thank You

Until I read this I thought the laws in the USA must be very different than in Ontario, Canada. What you wrote is pretty much what my lawyer told me when I was divorced 14 years ago.

Of course I was pissed that I couldn't use the divorce to get back at the cheating bitch, but the fact is that the "no fault" approach was probably was best for the kids in the long run.

I am so much happier without her that I have to resist the urge to thank her for having the affair every time I see her.

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by jiminab09/24/12

Thank you for that Mr R

I know that everyone has a lawyer joke. But I have been the butt of similar jokes so I understand. I am a dentist. So we share. But I love (not in a sexual way) my lawyer, Looking after me and not screwing the opponent. He is a gentleman but a strong one. Your little essay on marital law was very enlightening. Just thank you for that. That being said I may hate my wife's lawyer if it comes to that. Hopefully that will not be you. Thank you for all your reads. Jim

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by Anonymous10/09/12

I'm a Canadian Lawyer

Our laws are close to yours, with some minor variations. I think it should be emphasized that support payments, whether spousal or child support, cut both ways. Yes, the female spouse may wind up paying spousal support and child support. Much to the horror of some of my female clients. But, as they say, mutatis mutandis (or: good for the goose, etc)

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by Anonymous11/05/12

a thought

What is one spouse is employed they other isnt and hasnt been and needs to complete training to become what they started out to be and is custodian of 3 children. Then the payor will wind up paying 50% plus and additional 32% meaning the payor has only 18% of income to live on. This is not only unfair its unequitable and means to me it would be easier to be fired and live off welfare, it would generate more income. After all what do you do with someone that wont or cant pay and doesnt have a job, put them in prison. That makes sense then the spouse with children gets nothing and the state pays for the housing and welfare of the nonpayor. NoFault divorce is the states way of being Politically Correct and saying it doesnt matter what you do to your spouse they still owe you. Another very socialistic set of laws. Why not move out of state, go off the grid, work only for cash or barter and no social security, oh yes, and dont pay lawyer fees either. Millions of Americans already live this way.

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by Anonymous11/05/12

the law

the law is why more cheaters now days end up dead! The number is going up
not down.

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by GToast07/24/13

I enjoyed it

On the other hand, I'm a learning junkie. I'll watch a History Channel doc on the history of tampons, if it's well-done.

So, maybe it was total bullshit; but, as happened with Michael Corleone, you "pulled me back in!"

One MAJOR question: what if, after fifteen years of marriage, hubby learns none of the three children are actually his? Does he have recourse to hang the responsibility on the sperm donors?

Anyway, nicely done.

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by 49greg08/19/13

Thanks, very informative.

I'm glad I found this essay, I think I'll copy and paste this to keep as a reference.

I recently posted a LW story, and although at this point there wasn't a divorce mentioned in what I've posted, I'll have to revise some of the actions of one of my characters in the partially completed second chapter I'm still working on. You might have forced me to use my imagination to find other reasons to make a story more dramatic. Or maybe just some 'poetic license' LOL.

And if I continue to post LW stories, I have to keep reminding myself "A 3 in LW is like a 4 in any other category". At least that's what I tell myself.

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by fanfare10/08/13

some Holy cheese to go with your whine?

alimony/maintenance/joint property division: A common whine is how unfair the courts are in awarding to the advantage of the wife.

A simple way to view this, this family has one loaf of bread to be eaten by father, mother, and three children. Divide the loaf, half to father, half to mother who then has to divide it four ways to share with the children.

Daddy gets to eat half a loaf of bread, Mother and the three children each get one or two slices. These are growing hungry children being made to go hungry so Daddy gets a ‘fair’ share.

So the court decides that the loaf of bread will be divided five ways, each person gets three or four slices of bread. Now Daddy is crying that the court is being unfair to him. The court retorts to Daddy, so you would have your children go hungry so you can fill up your fat gut? You are willing to throw the family you fathered onto public welfare or other charity, so you can eat to your content?

Well, daddy says, I’m the one who goes out and earns the money that pays for all this. The court responds, you created a family, you insisted that your wife be there to take care of your house, your needs and your children? Since that is what she is doing, what do you want her to do instead? Where is the validity of your complaint?

If you want her to go out and get another job then being wife, housekeeper and mother. Who will fulfill those functions? The reality is you rarely help with the household chores neither do you take care of the children nor see to their needs. So who is going to fulfill those functions and how much are they going to charge you?

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by sugna04/12/14

Cost Comparrision

In these stories the protagonist usually has 4 possible options, living with the slut, divorce the slut, run from the slut and kill the slut. Given the legal ramifications of the above options and depending on the earning potential of the protagonist can you provide a cost/benefit analysis of the above options? I am interested in a consumer reports type of comparison.
In the end, it is really about making a smart decision. I have heard the phrase, "cheaper to keep her", I have seen men raked over the coals and financially broken by divorce, and watched their children go down the drain. I have even seen men run / hide from their wives, eventually having to face the music. I have read the news about men killing the cheating wives in a "rage", and then only serving a relatively short time in jail! Hm? the backwards court system at it's finest. Sometimes the typical/obvious choices are not the best choices.

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by Anonymous05/06/14

last paragraph

Not if they are dead. And we see more of this happening.

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