Ex-husband stops alimony payments for terminal cancer patient

Full story: WTSP Tampa Bay

Margaret Cochran is 51-years-old and wonders if she'll make it to 52. She has terminal ovarian cancer.

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AFPJ

Inverness, FL

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#1
Feb 7, 2008
 
Stephen Paul Coleman, a 50-year-old former attorney who owns a mortgage company in Jacksonville. Former attorney I wounder why, but it does explain his shark like attitude regarding his dieing exwife. Now he a Mortgage broker, which places him in the same catogery as used car saleman, funeral directors and real estate sales people.

Kharma will catch up with him sometime, and hopefully the courts also. What an uncaring as*hole drut this guy is. Bet Will Rodgers would slap him in the face on initial meeting.
Deborah

United States

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#2
Feb 7, 2008
 
Yeah, this guy is going to have a karma moment, I wish I would be around to see it, its going to be sweet.
Malobou

Bradenton, FL

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#3
Feb 7, 2008
 
Wendy Doyle, by taking on Ms.
Cochran's case has shown there are lawyers who do in fact care about people, not always the money!!! Way to go Ms. Doyle! Show that no good ex
what it likes to be raked over the coals.
SBS

Clearwater, FL

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#4
Feb 7, 2008
 
My sympathies to ms Cochran. I went through a similar situation, although my cancer wasn't terminal. And my x had just gotten back from a 3 week trip to Europe with his new wife. I am sorry you're going through such difficulties. I pray your situation gets resolved to that your life can be lived in peace.
Peg

New Port Richey, FL

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#5
Feb 7, 2008
 
Put him in jail until he pays.
carol

Tampa, FL

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#7
Feb 7, 2008
 
Shame on Bob for his cold callous comment. Your mother obviously didn't have stage 4 cancer which is pretty well a death sentence. I feel sorry for this poor woman being screwed out of her alimony by her scumball husband. Whether she works or not, it is his responsibility to pay her. Maybe she worked before she got cancer, so don't be so quick to judge unless you know all the details. Why should she suffer while her ex husband is most likely enjoying life with some bimbo half his age.
Denelle

Clearwater, FL

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#9
Feb 7, 2008
 
I am too supposed to receive alimony and child support. I am a disabled mother of two and since a 2 1/2 year long divorce, during that time we had to file at least 10 contempt charges against my ex for non-payment for support, the court in Citrus County Judge Schenck would tell him he had to pay or else, the or elses came and went. They finally arrested him, but let him go without paying the full amount due because he said a "check was in the mail." Now he's two months behind on child support/alimony and I was told by Tallahasee where all payments are to be made that they don't get involved in enforcing alimony payments and he has to be behind $2000. or more in child support before they would get involved. So I will have to wait until he's 3 months behind before the State will do anything. I went as far as to email the Govenor to ask where I should go for assistance and was brushed off. This is totally shameful how the state deals with these issues.
joan wiley

United States

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#11
Feb 7, 2008
 
I can not understand how this former attorney, Coleman can get away with his black hearted behavior toward his ex wife. Does the word "former" mean disbared? No person deserves such calus treatment. I hope he has to spend time in jail for the hell he has put her through.
hsn

Dade City, FL

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#13
Feb 7, 2008
 
i have been involved with this case for a while and can tell you this ex-husband is a low-life. He has managed to manipulate the system, and is a disbarred lawyer who constantly tries to delay the proceedings however he can. This case started about 3 years ago and somehow this man has managed to slip by using the system to his advantage. We tried to get this transferred to Pasco because Ms. C cannot travel to Jax, but it was denied, twice. This man owes over $11,000 in arrearages, yet tries to claim he doesn't owe anything and can't afford to pay anything...yet he can travel to miami several times a month.
hsn

Dade City, FL

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#14
Feb 7, 2008
 
and to malobou....we too commend Ms. Doyle on taking on Ms. C's case...we have been attempting to find her an attorney in the Jax area to take this on but have been unsuccessful in the past several weeks...she needs someone who can handle this on a pro bono basis, yet someone who can fight this tooth and nail...she has spent too much trying to fight this and has yet to receive anything in return...we are glad to see someone willing to step up to the plate, who will hopefully fight for her.
Denelle

Clearwater, FL

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#15
Feb 8, 2008
 
Unfortunately you don't have to be a disbarred attorney to "work the system" in my case, my ex is a licensed Nuke Power Plant operator, he doesn't know much about the legal system and has constantly lied to the court, says either the right thing at the right time or doesn't show up period for hearings. The problem seems to lie with the judicial system that does not put a foot down or uphold their contempt charges. Sometimes these dead-beat Dad's need to spend a little time in the "system" if not for anything but to learn a lesson. But even then sometimes they don't when they have their arraignment and still lie, as in my case "check in the mail" and w/out proof the judge let him go. I know that during election times a lot of people probably don't pay attention much to Judges who are running for their position as there are other more pressing issues to vote on. But I think just like anyone else running for an office their records of what they have or haven't done while on the bench should be public knowledge. I think a lot of Judges would lose their seats behind the bench if the general public knew how badly they performed in their elected position. There has to be someone somewhere who is willing to literally put their foot down and put an end to this crime, and that is EXACTLY what it is, a crime. Yanking someone's driver's license because they haven't paid child support is not a deterrant, especially when they can turn around and apply for a hardship license. Other than dragging them through court(civil) again for non-payment of alimony there is no punishment or deterrent for not paying alimony. Child support is deducted from the non-custodial parent's paycheck, alimony if awarded through the court should also be an automatic deduction. The Family Court system I understand is overburdened, but the main reason is because of cases like this. Wouldn't it make sense to garnish wages just like child support, therefore this kind of thing doesn't sit forever while someone has to suffer?
Tracy G

Lady Lake, FL

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#16
Feb 8, 2008
 
This makes me sick! I am also a stage IV ovarian cancer warrior and to think that any human being would do this is simply disgusting!
pee

Tampa, FL

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#17
Feb 8, 2008
 
I have been watching Margaret go through this situation for 3 years now. It is time it stop. Her ex knows how to manipulate the judicial system like a puppeteer. He files frivolous motion one after another just to keep her emotionally distraught. He has managed to eat up any extra monies she may have had. He has one of the blackest hearts I have ever seen. 7 years after their divorce you would think that he would just get on with his life, pay her what he is supposed to pay and let both of them live their own respective lives. How can a man be so obsessed with causing so much anguish in another person. His time is coming.
Linda M N

Cincinnati, OH

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#18
Feb 8, 2008
 
What a wretched, wretched man. And I use the word "Man" lightly, as it insults decent men.
I am so proud of Margaret for making this struggle a public one. I applaud News 10 for bringing this to light. Hopefully, this will give other women the courage to do what they MUST to do when their former spouse defies a COURT ORDER!
Shame on that cockroach of a human being, Stephen Coleman & his current wife. The "new" Mrs. Coleman should be very concerned about the scum she is married to. Or maybe she's a greedy woman who wants to keep the money herself? Shame on them both. I hope this man goes to jail & is forced to pay Margaret. God bless you.
SandyS

Baldwin City, KS

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#19
Feb 8, 2008
 
What a total rotten jerk this guy is - he obviously has no scruples or any kind or caring bone in his body. I hope he ends up going to jail also or at the very least is forced to give Margaret which she rightfully has coming to her. I applaud her courage for bringing this to light and hope it encourages other women in the same situation to do the same thing. Good luck to Margaret!!
jrm

United States

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#20
Feb 8, 2008
 
Stephen Coleman is a disgusting human being - I wouldn't have responded to your calls either, if I were him. I hope he has a hard time holding his head up in public from now on!

Ms. Cochran deseves the alimony the courts awarded her, what the HECK is wrong with our justice system??? Thank God for attorneys like Wendy Doyle. I hope she can see justice done as quickly as possible.
Duffy

United States

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#21
Feb 8, 2008
 
I've been aware of Margaret's plight for some time now. We met on an internet women's cancer support group and have since spent time together in person when I've traveled to Florida with my husband. I'd like to first commend channel 10 for reporting on this travesty of what is supposed to be our LEGAL system. Thank God for Ms. Doyle and any other attorneys like her who are willing to help out women like Margaret when they're up against conscienceless bullies like Stephen Coleman.

This is a sweet lady who’s fighting tooth and nail for her life, and not for the first time in the last three years. She was going through chemo when I met her, and she's going through chemo again now that her cancer has returned. I don't know how she gets out of bed in the morning to face her life when all she has to look forward to is worrying about losing her house and car because of her deadbeat husband who seems to have an amazing ability to manipulate our judicial system.

Obviously if Margaret Cochran could have afforded to pay a lawyer to help her - when she's incapable of working to earn any kind of income - she might have gotten somewhere long before now. Thank God she's finally going to get some help in forcing her sorry S.O.B. of an ex-husband to pay her back alimony. We can only pray she lives long enough to collect the money owed her so she can pay her medical bills, buy her necessary medicines, and perhaps even manage to pay for her utilizes - all without having to swallow her pride and depend on the charity of others.

THIS IS NOT RIGHT and I will NEVER understand why court orders can't be upheld more easily or why it's not more difficult for tormentors like Stephen Coleman to delay and manipulate the court system the way he has, the disbarred a$$hole!
Marion

Burnaby, Canada

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#22
Feb 8, 2008
 
It is outrageous that this man has been able to get away with non-payment of alimony all these years and to be allowed to get around the system with excuses of one kind or another. Where is the justice in that....obviously non-existant. Ms.Doyle has to be commended for stepping in and I sincerely hope justice will be done and this man will be made acountable, it`s well overdue.
Bob

Sebastian, FL

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#23
Feb 8, 2008
 
For every one of these "poor" woman divorce stories, there are a dozen women who have financially raped and tortured their ex husbands using divorce and alimony laws.........all the while having no impediment to supporting themselves........One thing we can all agree on is that state involvement in our private lives and marriages needs to be studied, scrutinized, and reformed....
Some stats:
Divorce rate 50%+
Divorces filed by women 60-70%
Richard Lindsey- AFFFA

Auckland, New Zealand

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#24
Feb 8, 2008
 
All are sympathetic to Mrs. Cochrane's medical condition, and wish her our prayers for recovery.
Your article does a disservice to the public by trying to transform Mrs. Cochrane's economics of medical care into an issue related to her marital status. They are unrelated.
Floridians are constitutionality entitled to a right of association and to alter their marital status without intrusion by the state unless there is a compelling state interest. There simply is not a compelling state interest for the alimony statute.
The statute, besides being an impermissible intrusion into the fundamental rights of Floridians to make personal decisions relating to their marriage without the state imposing an undue burden, is antediluvian.
There are equally tragic stories to be told by alimony payers who have had judges place a lifetime yoke of alimony around their necks because they or their former spouse chose to change their associational interests by altering their marital status, i.e. divorce. Tell some of those stories.
The state does not mandate we provide financial support to our parents forever nor during times when their health creates economic hardships...why should it mandate Floridians support a former spouse forever?
The state does not mandate we provide financial support for our children (after age 18) forever nor during times when their health creates economic hardships...why should it mandate we support a former spouse forever?
The alimony statute is unconstitutional as well as economically and morally improper.
Richard Lindsey,
President,the Alliance for Freedom from Alimony, Inc.

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