or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Mom › Parenting › Single Parenting › I don't know where to begin logistically
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

I don't know where to begin logistically

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 

Hi.  I don't post often but I read here a lot.


The short version is that I have been married to an alchohlic who is verbally at sometimes physically abusive for 17 years. We have four children, ages 16-7.  My 16 yo dd is 22 weeks pregnant.  My husband is preparing to retire and it home 99% of the time which makes things very tense.  Anyway, my questions are not about the relationship.  I know (and have known for quite some time that things are not getting better, he is not willing to work on anything etc.


My huge dilema.  I have been a sahm our entire marriage.  Going out now and looking for a job would mean my dd wouldn't get the help with the baby she needs while schooling, etc.  And with my dh home so much he's not going to be a help and things are just overall tense between them.   Am I just making excuses? I don't know if  my desire to be here and help her are clouding what I need to just suck it up and do, kwim?


I have no friends here and although I could go stay with my mom or cousin in other states, my dd has already said she does not want to leave the father of her baby and move.  Well, I'm not leaving her here either.


If I were to go file for divorce, how would that work? With me having no income? No where to go? I know I could not afford to stay in our current home and I don't really care about that.  But, how do you go and look for a place to rent when you have no income? Would I need to stay in the home until the divorce is final? These things have held me back every time I think about finally leaving.  Also everything we own is in his name, the house, bank account (which I have no access to) vehicles, etc.  UGH this is so hard.  I feel like I am stuck and will never be able to get out.  I live in CO by the way.


Thank you.

post #2 of 25

Hi mama,


I'm sorry you find yourself in such a difficult situation.


I would strongly recommend seeing what resources can be had in your city/state with regards to legal aid and social services. Only a lawyer can answer your questions regarding income and separation accurately. Some states have over-the-phone legal consultations for free; that may also help you get a lay of the land.

post #3 of 25
Thread Starter 

thanks for the reply.  Where would I call about legal aid?  Talking to a lawyer I assume would cost money and I only have money when he gives me some.  I am going to put some books, etc up for sale on another board I am on to have some set aside at least for a hotel or gas etc

post #4 of 25

I'm glad you are on the road to getting away from this man.  It's no partnership when everything is "his".  Ironically, you will actually have more money from him after divorcing!


Some lawyers do not charge a fee for a consultation.  You should look up Family Law attorneys in your area and ask if/what they charge for a fee for a consulation.  You should also google "women's resource center" for your area.  Even a domestic abuse shelter will be able to give you leads about where to go for legal aid.


After filing for separation and child support, your ex will be responsible for giving a percentage of his income to you.  You will also be eligible for maintenace (alimony) especially given that you were together for a long time.  You will also be entitled to half of his assets... savings, 401k... whatever.  Remember that they are not just "his" - he would not have been able to earn money and build his career if you were not watching the children all that time.  Plus, you'll be entitled alf of the proceeds of the sale of the house and whatever else you may sell.  It doesn't matter if your name is on it or not - where that is BAD is that he can make decisions as to who to sell it to, and decide the price  (Fellow women:  ALWAYS make sure name is on things that show ownership!!!)  So you have less say in the details, but as the married partner, those are still your assets too! 


So before you do anything, see a lawyer and ask them what you need to file to make this stuff happen.  As impossible as it may seem, as you have been mired in his sexist mentality in so long - women can and do get out of these exact same situations all the time.  Your husband wants you to THINK all that's his and that you have no power.  It's a myth.  And it's as simple as that.

post #5 of 25

I would talk to a lawyer and find facts. I think I spent about $100 for an initial consultation with a lawyer. I also got legal aid through the legal services office on campus when I became a student that was paid for through my student fees.


I am pretty sure that Colorado is a community-property state. Of course, we had no property to speak of when we divorced, so I don't really know what I'm talking about.

post #6 of 25

I agree with what others said in terms of divorce.

For your daughter, there are all sorts of things out there that might help or assist her as well.  Maybe you, yourself can not help or be their to help your grandchild 100% of the time, however she might be able to qualify for special programs through your state/county.  I know the lady I used to take my kids to was registered to watch kids in her home through the county.  She watched (and got paid throught he state to do so) for her grandkids.  She also watched my 2 kids and was such a wonderful, excellent woman.  She treated my children like her own grandkids and gave them all the loving care she showed her own.  My kids cried so hard when we had to move and leave Nana.  Maybe something to look into?  Maybe a way to move out and bring in a little bit of income?  Maybe you only want to watch your grandchild?  Maybe one other? Or however many you are comfortable with.  Just something I thought I would through out there for you.

post #7 of 25

Some thoughts for your daughter.  SHE should qualify for WIC and possibly foodstamps.  The new baby would qualify for medicaid and possibly your DD as well.

Some things your daughter needs to think about:  She needs to file paternity and child support for the baby.  She is going to find out very quickly that diapers (cloth or disposables are expensive). What is she going to do about school.  Is she going to stay at her high school, is she going to go to an alternative schedule, a condensed schedule, an online/virtual school?  I know shes 'only' 16 but is she going to get a job as well?  Does her high school, or new school have an onsite daycare?  Can her guidance counselor give you and her some suggestions?

She may want to stay 'here' and be with baby's father but what is the baby's fathers role been so far?  What do his parents think?


Onto your situation.  You need to find legal aid,  a domestic violence shelter or hotline should be able to give you that information.  You need to open your own bank account, at your own bank.  Get copies of all your necessary paperwork (birth certs for everyone, passports, social security cards etc) and keep it in a safe spot outside of the home.  Incase you need to leave asap you know this info is safe and you can get to it.  If you need to send it FexEx to you mom, then do so.

Divorces happen, courts can and do order liquidation of assets and splitting of funds.  You may get alimony and child support but just because that is ordered does not mean he willingly pays it.  Be prepared to support yourself.  Wage attachments are great but if he is retired.. there are no wages.  They could attach and draw from a bank account.

I wouldn't want my grandchild growing up in that type of environment.  Make some calls when you get some quiet time and start gathering info.  The library is also a good resource.

post #8 of 25
Thread Starter 
Thank you all very much. Ive set a timeline for myself and am going to start putting a little money away when I can. It is a scary prospect but it will be worth it.

My dd is in online school, the father of the baby and his family is very supportive and involved. I need to take her to get on WIC. I am trying to get a les from my h but he hasn't given me one yet so I haven't been able to.
post #9 of 25
Thread Starter 

Update:November 1st, the kids and I left in the middle of the night after a particularly horrible week.  We stayed in  a hotel which got very expensive of course.  There is a organization here that deals with situations like this.  I talked to one of the counselers and she told me I had more than enough basis for a restraining order.  I now have a temporary order, which God willing will turn permanent on Nov 22.  I didn't have enough time to get a lot of funds saved, but I think getting out when I did was the best thing.  The kids and I are currently back in our home and I am not sure where he is.  I will need to contact commander to see where to serve divorce papers.  I am praying that the kids and I will be able to stay in the home until the divorce is final and I am receiving child support etc and am able to rent a place of our own.  I appreciate this forum, I have gleaned from it so much over the past and continue to learn from you ladies. 

post #10 of 25


You are a strong woman.  Know that you can do this, it will work out one way or another.  It might be rough, but in the end you are doing something that will make your and your kids life better.  Keep us updated.  I remember the first few days, first week, first month being the most difficult.  So many emotions, so hard to understand it all.  It really does get better though.  I remember the best feeling when i took the kids and left their dad was that I felt an immense relief.  Like someone just lifted a 50 lb weight off my shoulders and I was able to breath normally.



post #11 of 25

Good luck and stay strong. Reach out all that you can to the domestic violence support services in your area. I really hope they can give you the tools you need to break free. Nobody deserves to live with abuse.

post #12 of 25

Definitly agreed, do not be afraid or too proud to take help or a handout.  If you need to be on public assistance, go on it!  That is what it is there for!  As for help at the DV shelter in your area.  And when someone offers you help, take them up on it.  If you need it, do not be afriad to ask for help from family and friends.  The least they will do is turn you down.  It can not hurt to try. 

FYI on something that I ran into.  I was in a DV shelter for 2 months with my kids.  I was searching daily for a job and getting everything in place for us.  Last things I did was find a place to live and then called the free legal aid line to ask for help with a divorce.  I figured I was taking it one step at a time and it was more important to have a roof over our heads, money coming in, etc than a divorce at that time.  So I didn't call until the 2nd month.  I was turned down.  Because I didn't call sooner.  Had I called right when i got there, or in the first month, I would have been approved.  For my county's legal aid it had to be recent (in the last month's) case of DV.

post #13 of 25
Thread Starter 

thank you for the kind words.  I was able to get a legal services referral from a TESSA workder (it is a domestic violence group) so I will have a lawyer for the permanant hearing.  I have not yet filed for divorce but I have all the paperwork, etc.  Kinda nerve wracking to think of the holidays not yet knowing if we will be in our home.  I am trying to just push that aside and take one day at a time.  My home is so much more peaceful and the kids are just so much more calm not having all of us walk around on eggshells all the time.  Murph12334, thank you for mentioning the legal aid on divorce.  I was set up with a divorce 'clinic' I believe he called it for Dec 20.  I will have filed by then but that will be helpful in helping in filling out the rest of the paperwork.  I actually have no idea where STBXH went after he was served, so it was recomended to me by the victims advocate on base to file and have him served at the courthouse on Tues. 


Thank you all again.

post #14 of 25

I just now read this thread and noticed you maybe have a court date on the 22nd? I went through the system of getting a temp restraining order in CO, (the lawyer I had then recommended that we not ask that it be made permanent) and we ended up with something completely unenforceable... essentially an agreement that we would only communicate when necessary about the kids. It was a joke.


Anyway, from what I remember about CO, (I obviously didn't go though the whole process of having to prove that I needed the restraining order, but I had a friend that did) the temp restraining orders are readily given, but to make it permanent can be another story. Be prepared to prove that you and your children absolutely need him to stay away from you for the rest of his life, the friend I had had to go so far as to say that she was afraid for her and her daughter's lives. Start writing down everything you can remember that he's done, write down dates as close as you can remember, going as far back as possible. TESSA is wonderful though, I'm glad you found them!


I remember the sudden feeling of peace after x was out of the house, it was incredible. But also how stressful it was not knowing what was going to happen for the long-term. Stay strong, mama, you're doing the best thing for your family. hug.gif

post #15 of 25

another thing you have to do is get your kids in to see a counselor who will testify in court or write a letter to the court, confirming the abuse or their feelings about it, and that he should not get custody.  i didn't have this, and he gets to see the kids unsupervised now!  they were going to a counselor, who refuses to go to court as a matter of policy.  i liked the counselor and my lawyer thought it wouldn't matter because our case was open and shut.  in my town, it is catholic social services who have the best free or sliding scale counselors.  the counselor at the place for kids who have witnessed abuse here sucked.

post #16 of 25
Thread Starter 

Haven't updated in awhile...the last restraining order hearing went into a contiuance until Jan 5th, so the kids and I are able to stay in the home at least till then.  He has hired a lawyer and gotten the initial status hearing postponed.  I have an appointment for cash assistance tomorrow, they said they'd get a case started for child support.  I should have done this earlier, but I thought with the food stamps and the fact that the court ordered him to continue paying bills that I'd be ok till the first divorce hearing.  Did not count on him NOT paying anything and getting the date postponed.  Sigh.  Oh well, better late than never.  

post #17 of 25

Hang in there, mama. hug.gif I suggest mentally preparing yourself to not count on him for anything but headaches. redface.gif  I'm glad to hear that you and your kids are safe. Do you have family or friends you would be able to stay with should you need to get out of the house after Jan 5th? Just a thought. Stay strong!

post #18 of 25

Good luck to you mama! I hope you get child support from him and get to stay in your house. I've read your thread and it reminded me I'm not the only one going through this bs right now. Hang in there!

post #19 of 25

Kay, this is very upsetting for me, however; I need to reply.


I use to be very active Mother in all different kinds of Forums/Blogs, whatever.  I was married for 15 years,....excuse me, with two beautiful children.  This is very hard for me. Anyway, my husband and myself were going through the exact same thing you are going through now.  I prayed everyday for help, and I was very active with my Blogs.  I blamed my husband for everything; I was a mean spirited wife who didn't know any better.  It was easier for me to tell my problems to the World through my blogs, and I quite frankly put our marriage out there for the world to make the decision on weather to ride it out or run away.  I was hurting but, I didn't realize my Husband was hurting even more. Excuse me, (crying). We had very little communication with each other, this is what made me feel unloved. So, this is the part/reason why I need to say something to you.  At the time my emotions clouded my thinking and all I wanted to do was get away.  So I ran. Took the kids and left. I had no friends, but I did have some money saved to get an apartment; so there I went.  I felt alone, but relieved.  I started to let out all the things that I thought was wrong with my marriage on blogs like this one. There was so much overwhelming advise from people who I have never met; who have no idea who I am; and no idea who my husband was! Excuse me,.. (Crying-again). Except, for what I posted on my blogs. Anyway, I'll I ever wanted from him was Love, but I didn't know how or what else to do.  I took the advise, from those that responded to me.  I served my Husband of 15 years with Divorce paperwork. I was soooo confused, but did it anyway. When he received the paperwork, he called me everyday apologizing and saying he would change.  This is really hard for me, I was so confused, I didn't hear his cry for help.  He Loved me so much, but I was Blind. This all happened three months ago. God, what I wouldn't do to change things now. Sorry, here I go again; (crying).  He committed SUICIDE. This is tearing me apart. I was wrong in wanting a divorce, I just wanted to be Loved.  I love and miss him each and every day. I know he wasn't perfect, but I can honestly tell you I had ALOT of flaws, that no one knew about. This is why I stopped reading/blogging from these types of sites. I LOST my husband and my children lost their Father. I'm so mad at him, all I wanted was to feel special; But, now I have to LIVE with this.. And people, don't you DARE tell me it wasn't my fault. 15 years of marriage, and it was thrown away.  Sorry, enough about me.

     What I want to say to you Kay4, is. Allot of people, post here and everywhere, because they are hurt or need support! Sometimes, the advise you receive may not be the best for you and your Family. I wish now I would have went another route. Remember, you are the ONLY one who knows you and your Family. If it doesn't feel right, It's NOT. You say, You're married for "17 Years".  God, I wish that could have been me.  I want a DO-OVER.

My Heart goes out to you. And remember, this is your Family, your children, and from what I have read, still you're Husband.

My Prayers for you and you're Family. God Bless.

post #20 of 25
IMMH- No one should stay with an abusive alcoholic because he might commit suicide and if you were in a similar situation and really feel you deserved to stay in that then I hope you seek help.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Single Parenting
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Mom › Parenting › Single Parenting › I don't know where to begin logistically