Monday, December 20, 2010

PEACE? REALLY?

The overwhelming consensus in comments and e-mails is that when I finally 'leave' my husband (which I am assuming that anyone who has read my blog for any amount of time knows that I've already left him, as in we don't live together and have not for over a year, and the only thing left to do is divorce him) I will have peace.

But I have so many questions, preferably for people who have gone through it.

  • How can there be peace when the mere idea of him having my girls alone for any length of time makes me want to vomit?
    a: because he doesn't watch them. They are 1.5 and 2.5 years old respectively and he lets them run around in public places (ie: restaurants, parking lots, large stores) by themselves and without reigning them in and telling them to stay close, let alone holding their hands like he should be in the first place.

    b: because I am scared to death he will flee the country with them. He came here illegally before and has and is a part of a bunch of things regarding illegal immigration, including currently harboring his 3 illegal nephews. How could I not put it past him to take them away from me. Aside from that I am also fearful that one of these days ICE is going to get a hold of him for all his illegal dealings and if my girls are in his custody when they get him who knows what would happen to them?!

    c: He can't recite his own address, phone number, or any personal information if there was an emergency and he needed to call 911 which I don't think he would remember to do anyway.

    d: He has never changed a diaper since my girls have been alive and when I asked him 1x to take Buzzy potty (she's fully day time potty trained) he needed me to show him how to pull her pants down for her and pull them back up.

    e: I am scared for the emotional development of my girls with him as their father. He is manipulative and likes to give guilt trips, even to my girls. Just the other day he told Buzzy she was only 2.5 years old and didn't know what she wanted when he asked her if she wanted to come to his apartment and she said no. He then unceremoniously told her she was coming anyway.
The other big deal about divorcing him is that while I have a little bit of money on hand to pay for my attorney she charges a retainer fee of $3000 and guesstimates that an average case will cost double the retainer fee. I don't have $6000+ to just throw around. My credit is in the garbage thanks to my husband so I can't even take out a small personal lone and my family is already helping me in so many ways, how could I think to ask to borrow? Especially when I'm not working and borrowing will be more like asking for a $6000 handout. 

I know what needs to be done.
I'm scared. Not of being lonely. I can deal with being alone. Not for lack of anything. I have a wonderful and supportive family.

I am scared for my girls. 

I wish someone could give me peace of mind that he would be allowed to see them whenever he wanted but only with supervised visits in public places. I wish someone could tell me that everything will be okay and that my girls will be safe. 

I wish so many things but in reality no one can do anything to settle my worries.

Again, prayer is appreciated.


XO Kristen

14 comments :

  1. If he is involved in so many illegal things I don't see how he could get any legal rights here anyway. Threaten to turn him over. Maybe he would just let you have full custody. Doesn't sound like a very nice guy.

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  2. You could always turn him in for harbouring people illegally and for coming there illegally (if he isn't a citizen by now).

    I don't know how things like that work - but if he's on criminal charges I'd think he'd be less likely to get the kids.

    Plus men are already at a disadvantage.

    In Canada you can apply for an emergency motion without notice to make sure you have custody because you have fears of the children facing immediate harm (sounds like he's a volatile guy, so maybe there's something like that where you are?

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  3. no doubt those things will cause legal battles--but any judge will listen to your concerns. My thinking was more along the lines of just shutting him out and not seeing him or talking to him so much. Its like he's gone, but he's not gone you know?

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  4. When you do decide to divorce, it is possible to get supervised visitations. In fact, it should be easy in your case. The court typically sides with the mother, even if it is to the detriment of the child, unfortunately. This isn't your case, but I speak from experience when my father was trying to get custody of me from my documented alcoholic, Schizophrenic mother. There's no way in hell a court will give him joint custody as long as you are willing to give an accurate picture of him in court, which you def. seem willing to do. Hang in there, kiddo. This too shall pass...

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  5. Sending you good thoughts, K. That's all really tough stuff to be dealing with, especially with the girls involved. Again, good thoughts are being sent your way.

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  6. Hi. I went through a crappy divorce when my son was 7. I can't really get into everything here but my email is stacye13@hotmail.com.

    I don't trust my ex to take proper care of our son either and it's something that I have come to somewhat terms with although it does make me sick. My son was older though. That's honestly just about the only reason I stayed with him as long as I did though. We split when my son was 2 and that was a big part in why I reconciled. If I had it to do over, I wouldn't have made that decision.

    Phone # and address. I suggest you sew or write labels in all the clothes the kids wear and take to visit him. The lables would have your phone# on them. Yea some would feel this is crazy but I woulda done it when my son was little.

    You can't do anything about the guilt trips and stuff. Don't ever talk bad about him in front of the kids. Raise them the way you know they should. All you can do is give them as much love and support as you can. I HATE it b/c my ex is a total azz and does this. This is the only way I've found personally to deal with it.

    Money wise, this is what I did. We lived in different states and it was gonna cost me at least $3000 up front and that was for uncontested. He was being a jerk and it woulda ended up costing me $10,000. It took me a year to get him to sign, but I typed up my own divorce papers. I found basic forms on a nearby county's judicial website and retyped them with what we agreed to. I'd be glad to send the basic copies to you if I can find them. The whole shebang cost me $80 to file and some time back and forth getting him to agree and sign. Different states/counties require different things though. This enabled me to have a child support order. He didn't realize the divorce papers meant that or he probably wouldn't have signed. Problem with this, he wouldn't sign unless I gave him joint custody (I have primary physical custody though) and regular unsupervised visitation. He rarely gets our son though. He makes lots of court threats still though.

    If he were to get picked up, Social services would probably be called for the kids. The lables in their clothes would come in handy here.

    My suggestion is to contact your local DFAC and see if they can put you in touch with Legal Aid. Depending on your income, the state may help you to get a divorce or at the least a separation aggreement. Have both of you guys investigated for fitness as parents if you need to. Do what you need to do to get supervised visitation if you can and you believe it's necessary. As it stands right now, you BOTH have just as much legal right to the kids. My ex has been with gf, now wife, since 3 mths after our split. I trust her to take care of him for the most part.

    I know EXACTLY how you feel having all of this out of your control. There is no peace in that. Getting the divorce done does get a lot of the drama out and makes things more cut and dried. I don't know if this is what you were looking for & I'm sorry if any of it comes across as harsh or a downer. The best thing you can do is to do What you Can about What you Can and try to let go of the rest. It's HARD! I still get mad sometimes when my ex does the guilt trips on our son or calls me 20 something times in a day FIVE YEARS after divorce trying to start a fight! It's a lot easier to let it go now though. Time and having the divorce, or at least something legal, done will help you out a lot.

    Feel free to contact me anytime :)

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  7. I'm new to your blog btw. I just read your previous post. I also suggest you find out the laws in your state regarding taping conversations and phone conversations. Start taping every freaking conversation with this man and NEVER let him know you are doing this.

    My prayers are with you and the girls. I know just how you feel. You are a much stronger person than you think. I was beat down and told I was worthless for years and I believed it. It's taken me 5 years but I know my worth now. You are a strong woman too.

    Sorry... reading that just brought back so much from the hell I went through with my own manapulative SOB... I'll be praying for you.

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  8. First off, divorcing him begins EMOTIONALLY. Go back and reread those posts where you talk about how you love him and want to make it work, even after you've done the, "I'm done, this is over, he's abusive" thing. Realize that you FIrST HAVE TO ACT LIKE YOU CUT HiM Out OF YOUr LIFE...before you legally cut him out of your life. Tell him you won't play his games. You will delete all his texts that aren't immediately apparent about useful child-related/support-related stuff. You will NOT READ HIS MANIPULATIVE CRAP. And then..guess what...turn off the cell phone. You don't work so when you're home or have your girls, turn off the phone and if he messages and the first few words aren't clearly ABOUT SOME PERTINENT PARENTAL ISSUE, like when he gets them/picks up/sends payment for food/diapers...delete it without reading. If you read it, he will reel you in again. It will drive him nuts. Let it. Just don't drive yourself nuts by playing along. Divorce him by phone/text/emotions first.

    Then, like others advise, use your home computer time to research and get advice and see if you can get pro bono divorce advice.

    If he is here illegally, turn his ass in. Period. No threatening to. Just call INS, tell them where he is, where he works, and let them pick his ass up and throw his ass out.

    If he's doing other illegal things, anonymously report them to the cops. Let them deal with him.

    And this: Remember that the day you are divorced and he has visitation rights (if he does, if you haven't documented his irresponsibility enough to get full custody and he only gets supervised visits), remember YOU married this man. You knew what he was like before having two sweet babies with him. So, if you have to live worrying when he has them, then that is what you have to do. Your choice; your anguish. Pray while he has them (though I hope he never has unsupervised visits, given his weird shit). Pray for their protection. Then just deal. Because like a lot of things in life, when we make poor choices--about food, about men, about drugs, about school or jobs--the consequences can follow us a long, long time. Until the girls are old enough to know how to tend somewhat to themselves, part of the cross you bear is worrying when they are with him. It will always be an issue as long as they are vulnerable. But you just have to suck it up if the law cannot intervene.

    But yeah, turn the skank in. If he's arrested or out of the country, maybe you can have some breathing room.

    Divorce in feelings and actions until you can divorce in fact/reality.

    And remember all this the next time some guy sweeps your heart away. Choose more wisely, cause your girls will suffer if you do not. Choose with brain, not just emotions...so one day they have a stable home with a mature man and a happy mama. :) Happy SLIM mama. :)

    You will get through this. It's just gonna be hard as hell and you'll have to put your armor on and see where you can get assistance.

    But turn him in. Don't chicken out. Get rid of the shit.

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  9. I love Stacy's advise--especially the labels on EVERYTHING--clothes, backpacks, everything. I like that a lot!

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  10. I agree with Princess. I had to face the fact that I'd chosen this man and married him knowing what he was. That DOES NOT mean that you believe the BS he says about you! That just means that you made a mistake in judgement and it's gonna cause drama for a good many years to come and your kids are going to be caught in it. That can't be fixed. You can only minimize the damage the best you can. It made me VERY careful dating after that. I'm remarried now to an AMAZING guy who is a wonderful father and who has built me up over the last two years rather than tear me down. I had to realize I was worth it though. There were problems at first with that. My primary thing was that he was a good man and a good father to his daughter though even though it was a "love at first sight" kind of thing.

    Example: When my ex left he moved to NC to live with his mother. His 3 brothers were on drugs and I know for sure that one deals. I NEVER left my son alone with these people, even the ex MIL. The attorney said that I still have to let him take my son to visit there (and let him take him there when he lived there) becaue I can't prove this goes on. Even the fact that the dealer has been to jail for it doesn't matter. All I can do is pray.

    Do not let him intrude on your life now. Cut him out. Like when I said he called me 20 something times a few days ago. I didn't answer the phone. When it got on my nerves I turned the phone off. I texted a reply to one comment he made regarding the time of pickup on Christmas day and ignored the rest. That's hard to do and will take some time. I know how it is. You (people in general, not you) want out and want better but a part of you is still drawn towards that. It's familiar and part of you thinks you deserve it. It's easier than starting new... It's almost like addiction in a way.

    Document everything. I made my ex only contact me through email for awhile and have taperecorded conversations to prove that he lied to attorneys and judges in his state. He will play dirty, he will try to get reactions out of you so he can use it against you, be prepared for it.

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  11. Kris, you need to contact LEGAL AID immediately! First you need to file for legal custody and child and spousal support. NOW! If he gets legal aid first then you can NOT have legal aid because it is a conflict of interest and will have to find a pro bono lawyer( this I can speak of from experience). Your priority is to make sure your girls are taken care of. And yes you can get child support AND custody while married because you are living separately. If you are that concerned of his parenting while going to court the judge can order him to take parenting classes if he wants visitation! And you can also have a forensic exam (psychological) done on him, you and your girls. It is usually done at the office. They will watch him with the children. All these things need to be taken care of ASAP!

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  12. http://www.courts.wa.gov/forms/index.cfm?fa=forms.contribute&formID=35

    Washington State
    Court Forms: Temporary Order for Child Visitation

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  13. Good luck. I went through that crap a decade ago. I finally got papers written up on my own.. And told the lawyer they were uncontested. My ex got them signed and notarized, but HE never showed up for court. So the divorce was in my favor.

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  14. I agree with the other posters. There is legal aid assistance in most states. When I went through my divorce, I couldn't qualify for legal aid for the divorce b/c I made too much money (I made a whopping $8.50/hr. The cut off? $8!!!)
    But, I did qualify for help with the Attorney General's office for filing of temporary child custody. I was afraid my in laws were going to take my child and not give her back, and in the state I was in, custody is 90% whoever has her if you don't have papers written up.

    Also, if you are truly afraid of him skipping country with the girls, this is something that needs to be brought up in court. Measures can be made to help ensure that he can't (chaperoned visitation rights for one).

    There are plenty of options out there for you.

    And, don't forget..the most important part of all of this -- Prayer.

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