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how did i not know this until now?

Old 05-01-2012, 04:33 PM
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how did i not know this until now?

My state is one of 2 in the country that has a MANDATORY 50/50 custody mandate. So, after doing a lot of "discovery" (aka me paying a lot of money for my lawyer to get info from AH, read all my documentation etc...) I've been told that it's really a gamble to go to a trial with the custody issue. A judge could be sympathetic to my "side" of the story and see that there is reason for concern about the girls well being with AH OR I could come off as the vindictive soon to be ex wife who wants to alienate the father of her kids. Given AH's fairly good public image in this town, my lawyer (and her nickname fyi is "the bulldog of ____ my state so she's tough!) said I should strongly consider going with the mandatory 50/50 and then asking for a parenting plan that has me as primary custodial parent. This state is more and more a$$ backward the more I learn. I also learned this state is utterly useless when it comes to being able to use any recordings in court. This state has the most stringent wire tap laws and so nanny cams, recordings etc... are all totally useless. The criminals and abusers in this $hitty state are protected while the rest of us are screwed.

I have a lot of decisions to make and I really don't like any of my options. I am an anxious mess. I am not sleeping at night bc I am so traumatized from the arrest and spending the night in jail that nighttime is a horror for me.

I had a great week of vacation with my girls but all of this is now weighing heavy on me and the idea of not being with them 99% of the time like I am now is just devastating.

Thanks for listening.
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Old 05-01-2012, 04:44 PM
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Sending hugs, WTBH. Big bear hugs.
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Old 05-01-2012, 04:55 PM
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Update: I just talked to my T. I had to reschedule an appt and he called and I melted down on the phone and it was fortuitous that he called I guess bc he pointed out some good things for me...

In the past I would have let this info stop me in my tracks and reconsider letting AH back into my life. Instead, I am resolved (though it hurts a TON and I hate the options in front of me) to go forward. I can't afford a long battle and I am frightened by AH's pathological liar ability and fear that a custody fight might be worse for me in the long run than agreeing to 50/50.

I want to be free of him asap (at least legally in a marital way). He will still have to pay child support whether there's shared custody or not so that's a non issue. I doubt seriously that he will want to spend 50% time with the girls. He never has before. I think that he wants to look like he cares and public image is everything.

My T said that in his 30 yrs experience once an abuser gets the 50% custody they claim to want, they exercise that right for a few months at best and then it's done. At that point I will document his lack of time with the girls and petition after a period of time to show that I am the primary parent and have the custody agreement changed.

As sucky as it is to have to deal with the 50/50 split without any questions asked or any concern for his abuse/alcoholism (since I can't really prove most of it it's going to be he said/she said), I'm going to accept it as something I can not control right now and go on. I'm getting divorced and free of AH come hell or high water and the sooner the better.

It is comforting in a way to realize that even when potential roadblocks are thrown in my way, I'm sure enough in my decision to be DONE with AH, that nothing is going to stop me.
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Old 05-01-2012, 05:00 PM
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WTBH,
Slow down.
I have a feeling in my bones that everything will be ok.
Once bozo gets what he wants or thinks he does, he will back off.
His facade is cracking. Let him do the work himself. He is showing himself to the world. Let him.
Pray, breathe, take time to just enjoy YOUR accomplishments.
Everyone says here, to watch someone's actions, not their words.
Well people are watching you and him.
Who do you think is winning?
Let the universe take care of you.
And listen to "Bulldog". Let her take him on. She sounds like she doesn't like to loose either.
A lot of the time lawyers have a whole song and dance going on, so make sure that you go by her advice to you, as opposed to what you hear her saying to the other side.
I learnt that one recently. I found that a bit confusing.
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Old 05-01-2012, 05:01 PM
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WTBH,
Slow down.
I have a feeling in my bones that everything will be ok.
Once bozo gets what he wants or thinks he does, he will back off.
His facade is cracking. Let him do the work himself. He is showing himself to the world. Let him.
Pray, breathe, take time to just enjoy YOUR accomplishments.
Everyone says here, to watch someone's actions, not their words.
Well people are watching you and him.
Who do you think is winning?
Let the universe take care of you.
And listen to "Bulldog". Let her take him on. She sounds like she doesn't like to loose either.
A lot of the time lawyers have a whole song and dance going on, so make sure that you go by her advice to you, as opposed to what you hear her saying to the other side.
I learnt that one recently. I found that a bit confusing.
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Old 05-01-2012, 05:03 PM
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Stay cool WTBH!!!!!!
The universe has good things in store for you.
You will be ok.
I like "Bulldog". Just see what happens, you will be ok.
:ghug3
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Old 05-01-2012, 07:33 PM
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Thanks for the pep talks. I was obviously panicking initially and need to stay away from googling horror stories of moms getting screwed in this state by fathers rights groups. Sure courts may have been biased unfairly at times toward moms at one point but there are some nutcases here and google isn't a friend to an already scared and anxious mom divorcing her sociopathic AH.
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Old 05-01-2012, 07:56 PM
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(((WTBH))) - My XABF had a saying (and I know...he was an A) but it was "give him enough rope to hang himself".

I have faith that, given time, he will show his true colors. I was an A for a long time before it became evident to everyone. He will do the same. He may GET 50/50 with the girls, but I doubt he will adhere to it. Document, document, document. I hate that your state is so bassackwards, but I still have faith that you and the girls will be okay in the end.

Hugs and prayers,

Amy
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Old 05-01-2012, 08:53 PM
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I would tend to agree with your T. Appearances are everything, especially when others are watching. If he wasn't the type to be involved before he likely won't be later, when he thinks no one is watching anymore.
Consider it just another bump in the road.
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Old 05-02-2012, 03:05 AM
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Originally Posted by wanttobehealthy View Post
My T said that in his 30 yrs experience once an abuser gets the 50% custody they claim to want, they exercise that right for a few months at best and then it's done. At that point I will document his lack of time with the girls and petition after a period of time to show that I am the primary parent and have the custody agreement changed.
I agree with your therapist!

It has been my experience that the alcoholic will push for visitation rights and then when the charm of active parenting wears off (football season), they are done.

I'm glad you got in touch with the therapist.

Sending (((hugs))) and peace
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Old 05-02-2012, 05:40 AM
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My only concern is your children spending time with him whilst he's drinking and possibly driving. There has to be some way to protect them.
I'm glad however you didn't give up and decide this was all for naught. You've come too far to turn back now. And if you did it would make it look like all he's accused you of us true. Keep the faith, stay strong. We believe in you!!
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Old 05-02-2012, 06:22 AM
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Would it be possible to put a provision in the divorce decree that if he is arrested at any time for drinking/using when the children are in his custody that the custody arrangement be immediately revisited? If he refuses to do this, it may be interesting to have him explain to a judge why he objects. After all, if he is such a gent and would never do such a thing, then why would he care?

Just a thought....
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Old 05-02-2012, 07:20 AM
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Would it be possible to put a provision in the divorce decree that if he is arrested at any time for drinking/using when the children are in his custody that the custody arrangement be immediately revisited? If he refuses to do this, it may be interesting to have him explain to a judge why he objects. After all, if he is such a gent and would never do such a thing, then why would he care?
This is an interesting suggestion. I'm a big fan of having everything in the custody agreement that you can think of, because once it's over you don't want to have to go back if it can be avoided. If for some reason you get to mediation instead of a custody hearing, I would definitely throw something like this in the agreement. See what your lawyer thinks.

Good luck. You're doing really, really well. This is hard, and it sucks, but it will end.

xo
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Old 05-02-2012, 07:21 AM
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fwiw, your girls are young. it's a full time job to entertain young children and watch them. I'm betting the majority of his visiting time will be at his parents house, with them being the caretakers. as craptastic as that is, they should be safe. If you suspect he is drinking and driving with the kids, you need to report it as it is happening.
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Old 05-02-2012, 07:51 AM
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Why would you need to know when you are trying to keep your marriage together?

But now you do, and you will conquer this as you have everything else. Look back on your old posts, WTBH. You have come a long way, baby!

I agree with everyone else. After it is all final, and the joy of screwing you wears off, he'll lose interest. Give it a year or two, and then go for a move somewhere close enough to have the girls available but far away enough to not have him in your face everyday. For me, that was 3000 miles and plane tickets on Delta, but that's just my preference! ; )
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Old 05-02-2012, 10:46 AM
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Originally Posted by wanttobehealthy View Post
My T said that in his 30 yrs experience once an abuser gets the 50% custody they claim to want, they exercise that right for a few months at best and then it's done. At that point I will document his lack of time with the girls and petition after a period of time to show that I am the primary parent and have the custody agreement changed.
This is exactly what happened with my SIL and her abusive, violent, psychopathic XAH. He went for the throat, got 50% custody, and within months he had dropped his guard, got a DUI, got arrested for assault, got into the CPS system because he endangered the life of one child (with witnesses) and it all went to hell. He really didn't have any interest in being with his sons half the time. My SIL eventually had full custody, and dad only saw the kids in supervised visits. Hopefully over time your XAH's true colors will show, and he'll shoot himself in the foot. That's one thing about alcoholics, they can't keep up the facade forever.
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Old 05-02-2012, 11:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Pelican View Post

It has been my experience that the alcoholic will push for visitation rights and then when the charm of active parenting wears off (football season), they are done.
That push for visitation, while it will be painful to go through that BS for a month or two, will wear off and you will breathe easier once it is done.

By the way, had to chuckle with the football season comment. Some of the more interesting conversations with my teenage daughters have been during football games (half the time, nothing to do with football). That had to do with my XAW not being interested in the conversations and with me carving out that 3 hours to just sit and relax, instead of running around the house trying to do everything while the XAW did very little.
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