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I fell apart tonight, update post #110 - Page 2

post #21 of 131
I am in total agreement with Mama41. YOU need to take control of this situation and not let anyone rush you into signing something that you are not ready for. Talk to your parents. Fully explain the situation with the car and if they are available to help you out with transportation if something falls through with the car. I absolutely would not let anyone rush me into signing something just because there is a car at stake here. They are trying to control and manipulate you, and well, succeeding at this point... but you have the power to change this. Do you realize how much power you have at this moment? Think about that before you go rushing to sign papers by Tuesday. You deserve the time you need to process this before signing papers.
post #22 of 131
Mama41 is so right on. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE listen to her advice.

You are being abused. Pure and simple. (why do you think you melted down when the daycare provider said such nice things about you? your self-esteem must be in the toilet!).

You are an AMAZING mamma. You ARE.

You are an AMAZING woman. You ARE.

Something with your STBX is not right. IT'S NOT.

I don't know if you meditate, or do yoga, but sit and reconnect with yourself. Your innate wisdom will guide you to the best outcome for your situation.
post #23 of 131
Thread Starter 
Ok, I'm so confused at this point... yes, I do see how this is abusive, but I guess I'm wondering why it would be terrible to file a parenting plan that I essentially drafted with no input from stbx, that he agreed to, and that a lawyer told me to jump on if he agreed to sign it? This is about how I'm feeling now : Yes I would like more time to process, but is it worth losing some of the stuff in my parenting plan? Because the fact is, stbx IS manipulative, and that's not going to change with time.... and he's already told me that if I drag this out he won't allow dd1 to homeschool, give me the alimony he's voluntarily agreeing to so that I don't *have* to work full-time so that I can homeschool her and not have to put our 18 mo. old dd2 in daycare full time, and most importantly, that he would pursue more custody. According to the hourly calculation, he has them now about 21% of the time.... even this hurts, and if he went for more, just out of spite, or whatever, I do think I'd be kicking myself for not jumping on the agreement like the lawyer advised me to... BUT I'm getting some of this out here for you mamas, because I do realize I must be in a bad way, and I'd love to hear more about why I should risk some of these things........ it's really hard to figure out right now; thank you for all the support and advice!
post #24 of 131
Emily, I understand you're speaking from desperation and a genuine belief that you cannot control this situation.

However, a man who promises something, and then threatens to take it away if you don't comply with something as major as divorcing on his hurry-up schedule, is not serious about keeping his word to you about anything in his agreement. He has agreed to everything because he desperately wants the divorce NOW, for whatever reason, not because he actually wants or means to give you any of what he's promising to. As soon as that thing is filed, he's going to forget it. Because a piece of paper is one thing; enforcement is another, and he knows that you don't have the money or time to drag him into court over and over and over again. (How much you want to bet that in under a year he's taking you to court, and claiming you threatened and coerced him into signing the current agreement?) I have to tell you, in all the divorce stories I've heard, I've never heard anything as crazy as "I have to be divorced by Friday." (Or Tuesday, or whatever.) The world does not work this way.

I would slow the hell down here, and do this thing right. Certainly don't rush for a car. If you feel pushed -- and, if what you say is accurate, you're being shoved -- step aside, and politely tell him that you will do this in your own reasonable time. And really, I know your options are limited there, but the whole situation cries out for a lawyer. Because someone should be looking out for you right now.

You may want to talk to your lawyer about how you can actually enforce anything he signs. It sounds like your mom is being sensible about this, btw -- lean on her.
post #25 of 131
Quote:
Originally Posted by emilyrose View Post
He's already told me that if I drag this out he won't allow dd1 to homeschool, give me the alimony he's voluntarily agreeing to so that I don't *have* to work full-time so that I can homeschool her and not have to put our 18 mo. old dd2 in daycare full time, and most importantly, that he would pursue more custody.
Hon, he has no intention of giving you money so you can homeschool. He doesn't care about homeschooling. He cares about himself. He knows you care about homeschooling. If he cared about homeschooling, he wouldn't use it as a stick to threaten you with.

Also, he doesn't want more custody. If he did, he'd have it right now.

He's bluffing you in an unbelievable way. Stay calm in yourself, understand that you are, whatever happens, the mama, and that you have the ability to make things turn out reasonably. Whatever he threatens, your answer is: You can work with me on this, or we can go through the courts, and it'll be another year and a half and several thousand dollars before we're divorced.
post #26 of 131
My other wonder (after I posted earlier) was whether or not you have all of your "negotiations" on the parenting plan recorded somewhere? Either on the phone or via email? Because as Mama41 points out, he's using the things you care about as a stick to get what he wants. And if you've only talked to him, and gotten his verbal, yes, I'll agree to the plan you sent over, but don't have that recorded, he most likely WILL take you to court, and you'll be crying 'but we were going to do everything by mediation! You agreed to all of this on the phone!'

If your lawyer says you should take the agreement and run, see if you can't type up a summary of your negotiations so you can show that he didn't sign the thing under duress (like he comes back and says you demanded the car and thus the speeded up schedule because his parents were going out of town).

And wherever his parents are doing? do they not have access to a fax machine? or a FedEx/DHL/UPS overnight service to send the bill of sale to you?
post #27 of 131
another note, take a copy of your agreement with you when you go to sign. Look over all the pages to make sure they start and end at the same places as your copy, then, sit down and read the entire agreement before signing it.

I would go ask an attorney to review it. I would specifically ask how easy it would be to have the portions you want deactivated in court if your ex decides he wants to not play nice later on.

I wonder if he is about to come into some money and doesn't want to give half of it to you.
post #28 of 131
Quote:
Originally Posted by pranamama View Post
another note, take a copy of your agreement with you when you go to sign. Look over all the pages to make sure they start and end at the same places as your copy, then, sit down and read the entire agreement before signing it.

I would go ask an attorney to review it. I would specifically ask how easy it would be to have the portions you want deactivated in court if your ex decides he wants to not play nice later on.

I wonder if he is about to come into some money and doesn't want to give half of it to you.
Yes, I had the same thoughts.

Emily, no normal person deals with divorce this way. We all go into it understanding that this is a long and harrowing process, and that it's done when it's done -- either when *both parties* are comfortable signing or when the clerk of courts sets your trial date and the lawyers and judge actually show up for it. Frankly, I'm beginning to wonder if your guy is mentally ill, and whether you should be looking for a psych eval.

Whatever is happening, though, never, ever sign a piece of paper when you have "gee, this is really weird, but I'm getting the things I want" feelings. That's a surefire way to end up in deep trouble.

momof4peppers is right, too. I'd thought he'd already signed. If not, then I know it sucks to hear, but you have no agreement. All you have is the word of a man who's unreliable and manipulative. Don't kid yourself about what that's worth.

It sounds to me like you've really let him lead for the last few years, and in a way that's giving, but in a way it's also a really easy thing to do. This process -- this divorce process -- is your chance to protect and stand up for yourself and your daughters. It's the biggest chance you'll get. You need to do this from a position of strength, not like a rabbit being chased into what you think is a safe corner. People don't chase rabbits into safe corners; they chase them into traps, or chase them out and slam the door shut. You really need to stand up now, with all the weight and power that you really have, and be the savvy, bearish mama.

If your stbx genuinely wants to do alimony, homeschooling, primary custody, a car, and all the rest, this month or three months from now won't make a difference. If he doesn't want to do them, then it doesn't matter what you sign or when; you'll be right back in court. You have no reason to rush. And I bet you he's freaking out at you like this because he knows perfectly well that you have no reason, and don't have to rush, so his only chance is to scare you.

In Step 2, btw, he threatens you with trying to take away all custody of the girls by having you evaluated as crazy. Don't pay any attention to that one either. I would however document all of his flipflopping around, and if you have an agreement that the two of you have worked up, I would keep it. It's going to be very hard for him to show that he thinks you're dangerous when he was willing to hand over custody to you a few months before, and in fact decreased his visitation voluntarily. You'll know he's really desperate when he tells you he's only going to work under the table so you'll never see a dime of child support. Again, pay no attention. Ulysses, mast.
post #29 of 131
When XH and I divorced, I had a lawyer and he did not. I definitely wanted to avoid going to court. If you aren't 100% confidant in the papers that are being turned in, then I would take the final documents to the lawyer you spoke with and pay for the lawyer to review them. If the docs are good, it shouldn't take that long for the lawyer to check them over. You might only have to pay for a few hours of time.

Getting a lawyer does not have to mean things get adversarial. If XH had hired a lawyer, I definitely would have hired one as well, but that is just because I wanted to be sure I didn't miss some nuance in the paperwork.
post #30 of 131
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mama41 View Post

Also, he doesn't want more custody. If he did, he'd have it right now.

He's bluffing you in an unbelievable way.
I've read so many posts in this forum about sbtxs pursuing and winning more custody than they actually want, simply because they want to get at the woman, pay less in c/s, or both...... so I guess I'm not clear on why it would be good to risk this. I do understand that he can come after it later, after the divorce, but it's my understanding, from the lawyer I spoke with, that anything that is brought to court in the first year is considered to be a waste of the judge's time (unless it's something "serious"). It is also my understanding that while custody is never secure, that setting a precedent is important, and that judge's are reluctant to mess with the status quo unless someone (stbx) can prove that the current situation is not working for the dds. I'm not sure how he'd be able to prove this (except by lying).

I will require him to sign a copy of our parenting plan... and momof4peppers, I'm not clear. How would a typed up summary of our negotiations help me "prove" that he didn't agree under duress?

I do have three pages of documentation of everything he and his parents have threatened, but I'm wondering about this also... I have written the date next to each item, but how can I really use this as proof if I need to? Presumably someone could just make a bunch of stuff up.
post #31 of 131
I wish I had some good advice. I agree that he is bullying you, there is something fishy, and you probably do have more power than you realize. However, I also completely understand the unwillingness to gamble with that when it is your DDs that are at stake. And, of course, he knows this about you. What an awful person to threaten someone they vowed to love and care for with their own children. My ex has done it many times too. There are many examples of how in retrospect I see that I had more power than I realized and should have held my ground. But I couldn't take the gamble at the time. Sigh... this is totally not useful. Except for you to know that others have navigated through this. You are doing great, you really are.

I do think I'd ask your lawyer some very specific questions. In my state, it is very rare for a court to change custody or even visitation without significant evidence of "material change in circumstance." So, I imagine that my lawyer here might tell you to get that parenting agreement signed and submitted asap and you're pretty much safe. But all states are different.

Good advice about reading ALL copies of the agreement. And paying your lawyer to read it as well.

I don't know how much all that documented stuff holds up in court... I have it to. I figure, better to have it than not, just in case. Witnesses, I'd imagine are helpful too.

I would also ask a lawyer's advice about the whole situation. What he is offering/threatening, etc. Divorce lawyers see a lot of this. You may get some good advice there. If you're not, you may need another lawyer. My lawyer often had good tips about how to handle my ex's bullying.

And remember... you don't care about him. If he's coming into money, who cares. If he's getting married, who cares. You care about getting your and your DDs lives as secure as possible and moving forward. Let him think he's screwed you. Who cares. AS LONG AS YOU ARE GETTING WHAT YOU want, need, and deserve... You know?

Arg... don't know if any of this helps. It sounds so complicated and I know how terrifying it must feel.

As for day of the divorce, whenever it ends up being... plan something nice for yourself. With a good friend if there's someone you think you'd like to be with. Otherwise on your own. Whatever that is... get a massage... or get your favorite take out and go home or to the park... go for a long walk... or to the movies...
For me, I was ecstatic, but that's only b/c it took so long to get there. A few months in, like you, I'd have been devastated and a wreck. I went out to sushi with my lawyer and never looked back on my way out of the courthouse.

Hugs.
Robin
post #32 of 131
Emily ~

(((HUGS)))

I keep reading this thread and honestly don't know what to say.... my gut response is to tell you to slow down. I do understand your desire to be done with this process with your ex as quickly as possible.

It sounds to me like YOU want to have this done with by Tuesday as well as your ex... is that true? Is this what you feel is best for you and your daughters in your gut? If so, do it, but be sure it is YOUR desire & be smart about it! The only way I would allow myself to be rushed is if:

EVERYTHING WAS ON MY TERMS 100%
Custody of the children - Child Support - College Savings - Spousal Support
& Assets in my name PRIOR to signing or verbally agreeing to anything - all 100% my way!

You have the power right now if HE is the one rushing YOU! Don't throw that power away and sell you or your girls short.
post #33 of 131
Quote:
Originally Posted by emilyrose View Post
I've read so many posts in this forum about sbtxs pursuing and winning more custody than they actually want, simply because they want to get at the woman, pay less in c/s, or both...... so I guess I'm not clear on why it would be good to risk this.
Somehow, with your guy, I just wouldn't worry that much. It doesn't sound like he's got terrific follow-through, but it does sound like he looks after his own ass enough not to take on burdens he doesn't want. Whatever craziness might be going on, and however flat-out mean his old man might be, rich guys don't get rich by throwing around money hysterically to suit their crazy wives and children. Something tells me they're both on a pretty short leash.

My ex tried this one on me, btw, during mediation. Tried to get two overnights a week, threatened to fight for custody if I said no. I rejected it out of hand and there was no custody fight.

Quote:
I do understand that he can come after it later, after the divorce, but it's my understanding, from the lawyer I spoke with, that anything that is brought to court in the first year is considered to be a waste of the judge's time (unless it's something "serious"). It is also my understanding that while custody is never secure, that setting a precedent is important, and that judge's are reluctant to mess with the status quo unless someone (stbx) can prove that the current situation is not working for the dds. I'm not sure how he'd be able to prove this (except by lying).
A year goes by very quickly, and it doesn't even get both your girls to school. If I were you, I would have a look through those appellate briefs and see what the judges actually do, particularly after the daddies remarry and appear to have stable second families.

I would just grind the whole thing to a halt, distance yourself from these people and stay very calm in your dealings with them, and do some investigating before I signed anything, because really, I wouldn't agree to buy a box of Girl Scout cookies with this much pressure behind the pitch. Something just ain't right. If you're lucky, it's just that he's coming into money. But the way he's pushing, I'd be wary of a trap. What kind? I don't know. That's why I say slow down and investigate.

Have you actually done discovery on his finances? Is there a trust around that he gains access to at age whatever it is? (Is he going to be 30 soon?)
post #34 of 131
This situation reeks of bizarre. I agree w/Mama41. My guess is he's got some money, or is expecting some money, or a new, lucrative job, that he doesn't want you to catch wind of.

Does he have a lawyer? I forget. Slow down, way down. My divorce/separation is dragging on, and it sucks, but I don't want to get screwed long-term.
post #35 of 131
Thread Starter 
Thanks mamas. I'm in a really bad way right now. It looks like this won't be worked out, and stbx is now intent on making this a court battle. It kills me that it's come to this, because almost every single thing had been worked out, and we've had several late-night discussions to iron this all out, and we were so close. It hurts me the most that stbx is willing to subject his girls to this for a year or more, just to hurt me because I can't bend to his every whim and threat. Oh, and as he told me himself, "you won't have a car as of tomorrow" because his parents are going to come get it.
I wish I could just despise them outright, but I have to somehow keep my head up for the girls and not let them know how much I cannot bear stbx or his parents. I don't know how I can do this, I'm not feeling very strong right now. No, that's an understatement. I'm a wallowing heap. And I don't know what to do about the lawyer thing, because I keep hearing the one lawyer that I actually thought was the best saying that my parenting plan gave him ideas for his own. That doesn't seem like a great sign, right? But I also know that it could be hell (a lot of time and money) to find a lawyer in the nearest city (one hour away) because lawyers there don't like to take cases here because it's not worth their time or money. So if I do find one I'm scared that it would be a desperate one. What should I do? Should I just retain the one here, or should I go on a hunt?
post #36 of 131
Thread Starter 
Oh, and now I don't feel safe in this house, at all. I know I need to get out, and I'm on the waiting list for section 8, but they don't even know if they're going to get funding until after the first of July. My mom is hesitant -- and I don't blame her, considering -- to let me move in with them because she doesn't want stbx to bring my little brother into the mix in any way (stbx has issues with my parents and brother because my 9 year old brother can be very angry and mean at times -- though he does have a mild form of aspergers, so he's not all that socially adept, but stbx could care less about this, and has a dramatic take on my family)... I am not sure that I have any other options. Any ideas?
post #37 of 131
Why don't you feel safe? Do you need an order of protection? Get a lawyer. Beg, borrow, barter, but get a good lawyer. This guy either wants to get married or wants to hide money from you so you don't get the correct child support, spousal support, cut of marital assets. You must have a lawyer to help you. Call three law firms in that nearby city and ask who they would have handle their divorce if kids were involved. Get a bulldog, because he has his parents helping him and yours seem less on board. He has you thinking he has all the cards, but frankly if you are a good and caring mama he is not going to get everything he wants either. That is the thing about going to court, it can go either way but rarely the way either person really wanted it to. There are standard agreements that most judges follow though, except in exceptional cases. I think this wait is a blessing in disguise, I doubt in reality you would have gotten that ideal parenting plan in any real enforceable way.
post #38 of 131
Thread Starter 
I don't feel safe because the house is in stbx's parents' name, and they have keys. I don't expect them to respect my privacy, and I feel that they would walk in and take things or look through my stuff. I can't even really be sure that they haven't already done this, but I haven't caught them at it, so.......... as far as them physically threatening me, no, I'm not concerned about that......
post #39 of 131
Emily, I have no advice, but I couldn't read without giving you a . Listen to the ladies here, they are very wise.
post #40 of 131
I'm sorry you are going through this.

I have to tell you though that my EXDH did the same exact thing to me. It had to be signed on *this* day if I wanted him to pay for it, if I wanted the parenting agreement we came to...heck, I wanted anything it must be done on the day he chose. I was foolish and did it.

2 weeks to the day that we signed the divorce papers he filed for full custody. Since November of 2006 we have been in a court battle. I've spent over $25,000 on lawyers, mediators and custody evaluators and we are still going strong. There is no sight to the end. As soon as I think we are ok and that he has calmed down and came to the realization that he won't get full custody he files more court papers.

I will say that having the first parenting plan done and signed showed the courts that he agreed to it 2 weeks prior but that still hasn't stopped him. We have court next week for the contempt charges he filed on me.

What I'm getting to is be careful and think really hard before you do this because of the parenting plan. And make sure you think that the parenting plan is something that he will live with for a LONG time b/c if not you will be in court anyway.
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