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Vengeful ex faces charges over mailing soiled alimony checks

The end of a marriage is often accompanied by strong emotions. Feelings of hurt and anger and thoughts of revenge are hardly uncommon among spouses during, and sometimes long after, divorce. Most spouses, even those blindsided by a partner's decision, usually regain perspective and emotional control eventually.

Sometimes, ex-spouses don't reach a point of acceptance easily. A former partner may argue every point of child custody, support or alimony in court. While that may be expensive, extremely stressful and time-consuming, it is legal. That's nothing compared to what a New York ex-husband is accused of doing.

Federal authorities are prosecuting a Long Island man who allegedly used the postal service in Brooklyn as a tool to intimidate his former wife. The bartender reportedly was prompt about sending alimony payments, but the manner in which he sent the checks could put the Garden City resident in jail.

The 51-year-old man allegedly layered the alimony checks with excrement before sending them to his former wife in Arizona. Prosecutors said the bartender included crude, troubling notes and unidentified, offensive objects along with the alimony. In one instance, a picture of a knife accompanied a check. Prosecutors said the former wife had left New York because she feared her husband.

Now the Garden City man faces charges of stalking across state lines and sending hazardous materials through the postal service. The ex-husband was arraigned in federal court and forced to fork over $35,000 before he was released on bail.

Negative, even extreme, feelings about an ex-spouse are not rare, especially during a contentious divorce. Knee-jerk responses to heartache or betrayal and long-term grudges serve little purpose in moving forward following a marital breakup.

Leftover sentiments designed to cause pain or intimidate an ex-spouse are especially harmful for divorcing couples who are also parents. An alimony agreement or child visitation or custody arrangement can be modified. It is better to seek legal advice than risk criminal charges.

Source: New York Post, "LI man made good on alimony - but checks were covered in poo," Mitchel Maddux, Dec. 7, 2012

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