It all started over dinner at the Isla Del Sol yachting club in St. Petersburg, Florida, according to John Barry at TampaBay.Com. Bob Luzenberg was having dinner with his second wife. Marlene Forand was their waiter. Bob came back a few nights later without the wife, said he was soon to be divorced. He told her he was an inventor with patents. Marlene was a licensed practical nurse, but she said if he could make something, she could market it. Bob Luzenberg and Marlene Forand got married in 1984.
Their businesses together prospered, but their marriage did not. Their divorce started in 1995. They’re still fighting over the money in court. They’ve run through 10 judges and 16 lawyers and their courthouse files fill 13 volumes.
The Florida divorce judge ordered Bob to pay Marlene a lump sum of $240,000, permanent alimony of $6,000 a month, medical insurance of $500 a month, 29 percent of Bob’s interest in a company called World Drink USA, and half of Bob’s interest in seven other companies, half interest in all of Bob’s patents, and all of Marlene’s attorney’s fees.
But Bob moved to Alabama, and when Marlene finally got him to pay over $200,000 in 2003, she netted only $80,000 after attorney fees. She has now fired her attorneys and is representing herself.
As Marlene has discovered the hard way, getting a judgment is not the same as getting the cash. You become a judgment creditor and can use the tools of the court to collect your judgment like attachment of assets and garnishment of wages. But if your spouse is unemployed or without assets, he is said to be judgment proof and you can’t collect. I wish I had a nickel for every noncollectable judgment in my file cabinet.