I am trying to get information to help a friend in a bad spot.
Background: She & her H, within 2 or 3 months, had a baby, got married, then moved several states away and found out she has a pretty serious long-term medical condition. Since then (several years at this point) he has progressively become abusive (emotionally & economically - I don't think it is physical). Here are some things she needs help with:
First of all, she has told me that she has caught him in lies about how much money they have (told her their bank account is 0 when really they have a few hundred $s) so I wouldn't be surprised if he is squirreling away money in another account, and since he has actual access to their combined funds, he could have thousands squirreled away somewhere while telling her he can't possibly afford her meds or to buy food for their kid. How would she find out about that?
Second, is there any way to confirm whether or not he applied for a job/housing/etc elsewhere (if that's the case, then I would think it would be more important to file before he can, and worry about the 3-months-from-now-plan later - he has threatened to take their DC away to their home state and that she would never see her kid again)? I'm thinking that would have to involve a private investigator, but how much would that cost (and yes, I'm sure it varies, but ballpark, could it likely be done in $100s, or are we talking $1000s), and how would you find a good one?
Same question about a divorce lawyer. I know she needs to talk to one, but would she need someone who has experience with disability & abuse issues when it comes to custody? IDK how that works, or how to find the one that will have that info.
She has read "Why Does He Do That?" after I saw it recommended here, again, I recommended she keep it out of the house, but he found it, so he is aware that she is 'onto him.' What does this mean for her/how she should proceed?
And finally, I guess the biggest question, how do I help her without taking over? The fact that she can't get places by herself (can't drive due to medical condition & we don't live in an area with real helpful pub trans, at least if you have to bring a kid with you) definitely affects her feelings of independence. Not to mention, I don't want this to impact my own DD any more then it already has (and it definitely has). I don't want her to have to spend all her time in a car, in offices (if my friend were to need to get to a lawyer or investigator, for example), etc. because of this, you know? The only way she would conceivably be able to get to these places without her H knowing is if she tells him we are taking the kids somewhere together. That is literally the only time she goes anywhere without him.
So if you are still reading after all that, thank you. I really hope someone has some concrete ideas as to the best way to go from here, and would appreciate any suggestions.
Edited by Okapi - 8/10/11 at 5:26am