Archive for the ‘Divorce as Domestic Violence’ Category

About what, exactly, was he “sorry”?

Wednesday, March 27th, 2013

Recently, my ex claimed that he was “very sorry for everything that happened in the past.” It’s now two and a half weeks later. He continues to be in contempt of, well, everything, and still isn’t supporting his child at all.

He brags about how he “got saved” and is doing things that “the Lord put on [his] heart”. Odd kind of god he’s got, who “puts on his heart” to be a liar and a deadbeat dad. But then, his wife has the same god, and she’s been committing fraud for years, including identity theft not too long ago.

Is it any wonder that “Christians” have such a bad reputation?

She actually admitted it!

Wednesday, March 13th, 2013

My ex finally deigned to surrender all (he claims) of my and our child’s belongings in his possession. You know, all the stuff he whined to the judge had been clogging up “his” house, preventing his wife from moving her stuff in and getting in her son’s way of leaving for college. (I have no idea how that works; I’m just telling you what his story was.)

When he finally showed (with me having a cop and a third-party witness on hand), all of our piles and piles of stuff that we’d so rudely “forced” him to store for us “for free” for so many years — fit in the back of his Honda Civic, with room to spare.

And, funny thing, when I asked him what had happened to our child’s clothes, his wife volunteered that she’d gotten rid of all of our child’s things when she’d moved in. Just like I’d told the judge on January 24th, she’d donated them to charity for the tax deduction. She actually admitted it!

The crime of perjury doesn’t really exist

Saturday, January 26th, 2013

My ex’s psycho wife was the surprise witness on Thursday. My ex’s attorney ambushed me with her. In her testimony, she made clear that her husband had lied. Then she went and did some lying of her own. My witness, unfortunately, was injured on the job and was in the hospital on Thursday, so I had only a police “incident summary” to back up the facts.

The judge refused to view any of the written evidence (which confirmed the ex and his wife to be lying) and ignored my testimony (for reasons unknown to me). As a result of discarding the evidence and my testimony, the judge claimed that there was “no evidence” of any misbehavior on my ex’s part, and dismissed my petition to get my belongings returned to me.

I’ve done some research, and have learned that there is, in practical terms, no penalty for providing perjured testimony. Government officials (like state’s attorneys, etc) don’t prosecute it, and the injured parties are barred by law (or custom) from seeking any redress.

I’d long been disgusted by how often my ex’s contradictions and lies succeeded. I’d had no idea that his conduct was actually supported by law and practice. No wonder I’ve been losing: I’ve been playing by the rules, telling the truth, and thinking that the evidence had some relevance. Go figger.

I “lost” today

Thursday, January 24th, 2013

I lost all three of my motions today at court.

The two child-support motions were always long shots. “The” verdict, when I ran this by various attorneys, seemed to vary with the person. Losing this hurts financially, but it was child support that I wasn’t likely ever to have received anyway. And, on the plus side, I did get the ex to admit, in a sworn filing, that he had owed the amounts.

I’d really thought I’d had a chance on the motion to get my non-marital property back. But my witness was injured at work and is in the hospital today, and the ex’s attorney was allowed to spring a surprise witness on me, who of course lied through her teeth. I should have had the sense to subpoena the police officers who’d been present because, contrary to what the lead officer had told me, the report he’d written was not accepted as “evidence” by the presiding judge.

Live and learn.

As my sister pointed out, my ex hadn’t gotten the second “industrial-strength” shredder as part of the decor; he’d locked himself into his private home office and shredded documents by the hour because he’d been destroying documents. Of course my documents don’t exist any more! And the ex had told me, in early 2009, that he was “making piles of” my stuff to donate for the tax deduction. Of course my stuff isn’t there any more! He’s donated our child’s things, too: all the clothes, toys, cell phones, school supplies, etc, that I’d paid for and supplied to the ex for when our son was over there.

Now I’m stuck providing a list of things to the ex’s attorney (that is, giving him an itemized list of things to destroy) to pass along to the ex, in hopes that the ex will suddenly “find” my things and return them.

He escaped the contempt finding by claiming he’s been holding my things for years. Whaddaya wanna bet he escapes returning any of our things by claiming (again) that none of my things were ever over there?


But my sister is right. Nothing “real” changed today. The ex is continuing not to support his child, and to get away with it. That’s nothing new. And the ex is getting away with having destroyed my things. I was lucky to get out with as much as I did.

Now I need to start composing a Motion to Compel. The ex has done almost nothing he agreed to do in the divorce decree, and now, due to his own successful claim, he can no longer make excuses based on stuff from before that decree was entered.

Time to get to work. And, hey, I wasn’t heard for three and a half years when I had attorneys. Sure, I lost today, but I was finally heard! And it only took me four months.

Looking forward to court on the 24th

Friday, January 4th, 2013

I am actually looking forward to court later this month. Last month, I was startled to discover that my ex’s lies were being used by his attorney as their legal strategy! Maybe they’re thinking that, because we now have a new judge (the previous judge having retired), they can make claims that won’t be checked.

Thankfully, my court reporter became ill. Not that I wish her any harm, but it cut things short, giving me time to realize what was going on. (Yes, I actually stuck to my guns and insisted on my right to have a reporter present, despite my ex’s attorney hammering on my supposed “craziness” for wanting to document what he and my ex say.)

My ex begged off coming to court this month, on the grounds that it was a “hardship” for him to come because he’d have to leave his job that he’d “just started…yesterday”, being December nineteenth. But he’d told others about it on the fifth of December, and he sent me a letter, dated the nineteenth but postmarked the twenty-first, saying that he’d started on the seventeenth — a Monday, which makes much more sense. Then he sent me an e-mail this month, claiming that he’d lost the job on the twenty-sixth. Riiiiiiiiight.

Back to the “strategy”: My ex’s attorney is actually claiming that, as part of the divorce settlement, I agreed to “forgive” my ex’s tens of thousands of dollars in withheld child support in return for his “forgiving” me the hundreds of thousands (or millions; it depends when you ask them) that I’d owed him under the court order of March 27, 2009.

Unfortunately for them, I have a legible copy of that order. And in one of my ex’s rambling “she a bitch-whore from the pits of hell” screeds, he specified that the 2009 order is the one they mean when they claim that I owed the ex any portion of the income from my business (that they claim the previous judge had declared was a partnership).

I have little idea what I’m doing in court, but I have to say that, with the help of a program I found online (and these years of experience), I’m actually doing better now without an attorney than I ever did with one. How shameful is that?

I won!

Tuesday, October 9th, 2012

My ex has refused to return my non-marital property, despite his own attorney having written the order giving him a deadline of 01 June 2012. He’s even rebuffed all my attempts to retrieve my stuff. Then he started billing me “storage fees” for the stuff he wouldn’t let me get. Then he threatened to sell whatever of my stuff is left, but keep billing me for storage fees.


Anyway, I’d been working on a Motion to Show Cause (why he shouldn’t be held in contempt for keeping my stuff) when I realized that I was about out of time (on his arbitrary and unilateral schedule) for ransoming my things. So I did an emergency hearing at the court, asking the judge for a temporary restraining order preventing the ex from selling or otherwise disposing of my property.

I didn’t get the TRO, but I did get an order saying that the ex must let me come over, must let me in, must let my guys (whoever they turn out to be) move the furniture, and must not interfere. The local police will be allowed to walk me through while I attempt to find the rest of my stuff (like my employment and tax records).

So I didn’t get what I’d asked for, but I was still heard, and I got what I needed. Thank you, all who have prayed for and supported me! Thank you, God! Yay!

Standing up for myself

Monday, July 30th, 2012

For three and a half years, I listened to attorneys who told me that I didn’t make enough money to get better representation or better deals, who warned me that I’d better do whatever my husband said (under the “friendly parent” doctrine) or I’d never see my son again, who told me to trust that they were advocating for me regardless of the results.

Leaving aside the facts of that situation, it looks like I’ll do okay representing myself, now that the divorce is (ha, ha) “over”.

My ex refused to comply with the court order’s rules, etc, for providing health-insurance coverage for our child. I waited as long as I dared, after making all the efforts that I could think of to obtain coverage on my own, and then went to court with my motion for an emergency hearing.

My motion wasn’t “perfect” and I wasn’t “supposed” to be allowed to file it, but I was. There was “no way” the judge would hear me today, but he did. My motion was, in the end, stricken, but this was because the ex claimed (amidst various documented falsehoods and a little slander thrown in for good measure) that he had provided insurance two weeks previous, and had provided notification well in advance of (actually, about an hour after) my having filed for relief.

The “coverage” he crowed about is only good for three and a half weeks, of which two are already spent. But my motion is now part of the official record. When (not “if”) I have to go back to court, I’ll have started the record of his obstructionism, laying a foundation, I hope, for increased assistance at some point.

The judge seemed very nice. He’s new; I hope I draw him again.

Supervising my love-life

Sunday, July 15th, 2012

From time to time during the course of the divorce, my (now ex-) husband would make weird references to my “sharing [my time] with somebody special”. But during his deposition of me, he made clear that he planned to attack me during the trial for being some kind of child-abusing slut for having started dating somebody more than three years after he locked me out of the house.

He’s getting married in two weeks.

Inequality enforced by the family courts

Tuesday, June 19th, 2012

My ex-husband apparently lost his job recently. (He continues to refuse to comply with court orders to provide documentation, but our child has started receiving the “dependent child” allotment from the unemployment office in our state.) Partly as a result of this recent job loss, the ex was allowed to drop child support (other than the state-enforced allotment) and has been ordered to pay only thirty-five percent of our son’s uncovered costs (medical, school, etc). I have to pay the other sixty-five percent.

The justification for this unequal apportionment was that I’d be making more (possibly) with my salary than he’d be making with his severance package and the unemployment payments. I wasn’t allowed to point out to the court that I’ve been ordered to pay the ex more than half of my after-tax salary (tax-free to him) in alimony. Even if he were entirely unemployed (that is, even if he didn’t have the part-time job(s)), he’d still be “making” more than me.

All along, the ex had the money and the power in the relationship. Throughout the three and a half years of our divorce, his attorney was allowed to shout, even scream, his lies at the judge, while my attorney was repeatedly interrupted and shouted down. In three and a half years, I was barely, if ever, “heard” by the court.

It is unfortunate that this situation is so common. I’ve actually done much better than have many other women in my position. But the family-court system has again displayed its well-documented tendency to enforce power-unequal relationships and to continue previous abuse on behalf of the abusers. How sad, that people like my son go to the courts for protection, only to be treated so shabbily.

How quickly it starts up again

Friday, June 8th, 2012

It only took my ex-husband about a week and a half to return to his previous (repeatedly, conclusively, and very-expensively disproven) claims that all of my documentation (cancelled checks, doctors’ bills, etc) was fraudulent, and “the only way” for him to determine the true-truth (as opposed to the mere facts which must suffice for us normal people) is for him to be given complete control of all of my finances.

On the basis of these ludicrous claims, he is justifying his renewed refusal to comply with court orders or pay child support. And because I’m having to pay him tens of thousands of dollars a year in alimony for more than a decade (tax-free to him), he can afford a lawyer to defend himself, while I can’t afford one to protect our son.

There seems to be a growing awareness of how the family-court system (in America, at least) is being serially used by abusers as a means of continuing their abuse and control of their victims. I think it’s appalling that my child is being forced to serve as another data point.