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Financial Issues This forum is for discussing any of the financial issues involved in your divorce.

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  #11 (permalink)  
Old 01-22-2012, 11:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Chris2008 View Post
I have a pitbull of a lawyer. His attitude is that just i would prove to the judge she is an unfit mother, she would need to do the same with me.
She will try to do this to you ... but you MUST NOT ATTEMPT THIS. Unless there is a whole lot more to the story i.e. running a crackhouse, brothel in your house, DUI convictions, proven physical assaults on your son. There needs to be failry extreme proven physical harm being done for you to even consider this.

Your lawyer wants you to believe he is a pitbull so that you will keep giving him money, hence feeding you this line...

Or maybe he was just making a point that the only way she can keep you out is to prove you an unfit father? Unfortunately... that is not correct. She can easily delay proceedings for over a year, while allowing you only a few hours a week of access (been there).... and then at the end of a year or two, you will be so desparate for more access time that you will give up and settle for much less than you should.
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Old 01-23-2012, 01:13 AM
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How would she do that? Delay proceedings. I mean technically aren't automatically assumed shared parenting from the get go?

So what happened with you in the end? Did you get shared parenting? and what was your timeline of events after court started? delays and all?
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Originally Posted by dinkyface View Post

Your lawyer wants you to believe he is a pitbull so that you will keep giving him money, hence feeding you this line...

Or maybe he was just making a point that the only way she can keep you out is to prove you an unfit father? Unfortunately... that is not correct. She can easily delay proceedings for over a year, while allowing you only a few hours a week of access (been there).... and then at the end of a year or two, you will be so desparate for more access time that you will give up and settle for much less than you should.
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Old 01-23-2012, 06:44 AM
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Quote:
"No judge would keep a mother and her breastfeeding away from her baby at night"
Unfortunately, this will only hold up until the child is a year old. Haven't heard of a judge agreeing to that past the 12 month mark myself. Limited benefit, should be on solids by this time/etc. By the time you get to court the kid will be over a year and that will be a moot point.

Quote:
running a crackhouse, brothel in your house, DUI convictions, proven physical assaults on your son.
The first two only count if you can both prove it, AND prove the child is being actively put into the middle. (ie. he's running a concession stand for the line up outside his mother's door or something).

You made a BIG misstep by leaving and staying away from the home. The first rule in family law is you NEVER leave without a signed court order. You put yourself at a severe disadvantage from the get go. (Essentially you are making HER the de facto primary caregiver)

Go buy yourself a PVR (personal voice recorder)...read

THE LIST

and get thee behind back into the damn house.

In the interim, start separating yourself financially if you haven't already. Is the cable and phone in your name? Cancel them. Buy a prepaid cell phone and use that.

Is she on your car insurance? OFF she goes. Are there any pre-auth debits from your account for her bills? Stop them or change the account info with the bank. Change insurance carrier's if necessary as most will NOT let you remove her without her signature.

Do you have joint accounts? Freeze them. Joint credit cards? Ditto. (If they carry a balance you WON'T be able to cancel them, but a quick phone call to the institution they are through will make it so they can't be utilized anymore).

Do you normally do the cooking? The laundry? Only buy (and cook) things YOU like, her hating them is a bonus. Only do YOUR laundry and your son's....her and her daughter's are HER issue.

Control your lawyer, attacking the mother is useless and won't serve anyone. (except the lawyer's bank account).
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Old 01-23-2012, 09:10 AM
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Get back in the house!!

a. it is your house, you are legally entitled to be there.

b. by leaving the child with your ex you are effectively telling the world that your ex is the primary caregiver to your kid.

NBDad gave you the link to The List. Read it, and do it.

Get back into the house and be a parent to your child. Buy a digital voice recorder and have it on at all times in the house and/or in your stbx's presense. Set yourself up in a separate room in your house, move your computer there so it is secure and you can DL the voice recordings each night. It will also be your place you can retreat to should you ex because aggressive or aggitated.

If you want to be more then a visitor in your kids life and get set up with the every-other-weekend-daddy-screwjob you need to show that you are involved in raising the child. Be superdad. If your ex tries to start drama, simply state that you don't want to discuss such matters at the moment or that you do not like her hostile approach, and then simply disengage. Walk away, go to your room do no engage her in any way shape or form. She has already call the cops once, so she isn't against make such claims.

This is now a business deal between you and your ex. Treat it like one. Communicate via email primarily and in a business like tone (as if you were emailing or speaking to the judge themselves). Do not respond to anything accusatory or hostile. She will probably claim you are satan and, to be honest, in her mind you are. And there is nothing you can say or do that will change her mind. So don't waste your energy bothering. Stick to matters related to the child and let the lawyers deal with the money/house side.
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Old 01-23-2012, 09:19 AM
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I also agree with NBDad, trying to prove she is unfit is useless. She'd have to be a crackwhore pulling tricks infront of the child with a beer in one hand and a needle in the other for her to lose custody with the position you are going to put yourself in. Plus, it is SUPER expensive and combative.

What is FAR MORE effective is being a dad. Being there for your kid. Journalling all of your involvment from getting the kid up in the morning for day care, feeding, changing diapers, putting to sleep, bathing etc. If you can show the judge (via your journal) that you've been involved as much as possible you are substantially more likely to get a favourable result, instead of trying to sling as much mud as possible, making you look just like the last jaded, aggressive ex that walked through the judges court house and are likely to be treated accordingly.

With regards to protecting yourself, well that is easy. A - the digital voice recorder, B - not engaging your ex in any manner (just be patient) and C - have a witness around as much as possible.

Put a lock on a room on the house, move your stuff in there and that is where you live. Be an involved father and let your ex do her thing. She cannot control what you do with the child. Should she leave the house, GREAT. Should she leave the house with the child, you file a motion in court to have the child returned to their familiar residence. She can move where she wants.....but the child needs to stay put until a custody agreement is in place.

Use your head and keep your cool. You will find it to be a much cheaper and more effective way of being a parent and in your kids best interests.
  #16 (permalink)  
Old 01-23-2012, 10:47 AM
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Quote:
I also agree with NBDad, trying to prove she is unfit is useless. She'd have to be a crackwhore pulling tricks infront of the child with a beer in one hand and a needle in the other for her to lose custody with the position you are going to put yourself in. Plus, it is SUPER expensive and combative.

What is FAR MORE effective is being a dad. Being there for your kid. Journalling all of your involvment from getting the kid up in the morning for day care, feeding, changing diapers, putting to sleep, bathing etc. If you can show the judge (via your journal) that you've been involved as much as possible you are substantially more likely to get a favourable result, instead of trying to sling as much mud as possible, making you look just like the last jaded, aggressive ex that walked through the judges court house and are likely to be treated accordingly.
I completely agree with this also.

I can tell you from my own experience...my ex got one of those "pitbull lawyers" who tried to prove me unfit. Considering I've done the large majority of the childcare over a long length of time...I don't drink...smoke...eat meat, etc...it was rather ridiculous. The last thing he threw out at court was that I was "obsessed over my appearance and worked out too much"....needless to say...the judge got pretty miffed. And his legal bill is outrageous.

Judges are geared to resolve conflict and encourage people to be good parents...and if you are geared that way too, you have a much better chance of doing well in court. This is becoming more and more true. Judges want to encourage shared parenting situations and if you can prove that you are reasonable...put the needs of your child first...and are solutions-driven, rather than conflict-driven...you will do far better.

Get a better lawyer because what you have right now is one that will drive up issues to drive up his bill. And unless she has some major, severe issues...you're not going to get anywhere this way. You just won't...you're wasting your time.

Find a way to work with her and take care of your child. In the long run, you want your child to have two communicating parents who love and parent their kid. Kids need two parents who aren't at each other's throats. There is no "winning" in divorce, people that think that are ridiculously misguided. The only thing you can be successful in doing is limiting the negative impact that your relationship breakdown has on your child.

Follow the advice on this forum...and whenever you say or do anything...think of your child. It makes things a lot simpler. Put yourself and your anger second and think of what's in his best interest before you do anything.
  #17 (permalink)  
Old 01-23-2012, 10:58 AM
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Thanks guys, that is a good point. My lawyer said the same thing. You need to show the judge why you are a good dad and why you are asking for nothing to change as you are already involved in his life. My affidavit should only really be about me being the father. I've listed everything possible to show that I have been involved in his life since the day he was born.

As for the attacking the character part, it was in response to her calling the police on me. It was showing me bringing forward evidence showing her errratic behaviour and putting her credibility in check if she was going to try to attack me that way. So in a way, this is a two pronged approach. Tell me if this makes sense. I have one part of it showing I am invovled in his life and waht steps I will do to do the shared parenting. The other part of just attacking her credibilty if she wants to start accusing me of things.
Quote:
Originally Posted by HammerDad View Post
I also agree with NBDad, trying to prove she is unfit is useless. She'd have to be a crackwhore pulling tricks infront of the child with a beer in one hand and a needle in the other for her to lose custody with the position you are going to put yourself in. Plus, it is SUPER expensive and combative.

What is FAR MORE effective is being a dad. Being there for your kid. Journalling all of your involvment from getting the kid up in the morning for day care, feeding, changing diapers, putting to sleep, bathing etc. If you can show the judge (via your journal) that you've been involved as much as possible you are substantially more likely to get a favourable result, instead of trying to sling as much mud as possible, making you look just like the last jaded, aggressive ex that walked through the judges court house and are likely to be treated accordingly.

With regards to protecting yourself, well that is easy. A - the digital voice recorder, B - not engaging your ex in any manner (just be patient) and C - have a witness around as much as possible.

Put a lock on a room on the house, move your stuff in there and that is where you live. Be an involved father and let your ex do her thing. She cannot control what you do with the child. Should she leave the house, GREAT. Should she leave the house with the child, you file a motion in court to have the child returned to their familiar residence. She can move where she wants.....but the child needs to stay put until a custody agreement is in place.

Use your head and keep your cool. You will find it to be a much cheaper and more effective way of being a parent and in your kids best interests.
  #18 (permalink)  
Old 01-23-2012, 11:15 AM
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If you want to attack her credibility, you better have solid evidence to back you up.

You want to know how she will justify calling the police? She will state that she pannicked and was scared you would do something......she won't elaborate, she will just leave it open. When asked why, it she will probably say you raised your voice or moved in an aggressive fashion, and it will be very hard for you to PROVE you didn't. It will be her word vs yours.

Buy a digital voice recorder. Go back to the house. Be a dad. You will go far if you do.

Just know that the recordings are not likely to be used in court as a means of proving her unfit or whatever. It is to be used to prevent you from being convicted of domestic violence. Think of it as a shield and not a sword.
  #19 (permalink)  
Old 01-23-2012, 11:50 AM
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Good point. I actually have kept a personal voice recorder since last year, as she had attacked me the other time and have her on tape admitting to it etc. My only purpose is to use it as a shield as you said in case she tries to accuse me of anything.

The ultimate plan is just to prove I am a good father etc. I have brought up those "credibility etc character issues" with my lawyer and he said to me, we don't need to go there as things just get more complicated. The focus of your affidavit should only shows you are a competent and a good father to your son. That is all we need to go to court on this. The reason he said to stay away was because of that very reason.

I currently have lots of strong evidence I have been for him, I've journalized, taken pictures, document etc. So for me to go back was to put all that at "risk" if she tried to press charges on me. Then things would just get more complicated and as now my "good character" is in question.

To clarify things, I am not wanting to prove her unfit at all. She is a good mother to my son, she is just not very stable. (aka accused me of abusing my son as a reason for no overnights, apologizes the next day saying she made it up. Calls the police on me then tell mes 2 days later that she needs me to babysit him along with her daughters at my house *hmm if someone assaulted me, i would not have them near my children period. I have all this saved as text.) All I want is to have shared parenting with my son and will present the judge the reasons why I should continue this relationship with him. My son needs us to seperate, it's unhealthy to be in this type of relationship at the end of the day as he'll get older and start to see these patterns.

So you guys think I should go against the advice of my lawyer? My fear is that if I go back and she tries calling the police again, she will "hurt" herself and when we go to court for a parenting order, I now have an "assault charge" and anythign I've done as a good dad would be put into question now.
Quote:
Originally Posted by HammerDad View Post
If you want to attack her credibility, you better have solid evidence to back you up.

You want to know how she will justify calling the police? She will state that she pannicked and was scared you would do something......she won't elaborate, she will just leave it open. When asked why, it she will probably say you raised your voice or moved in an aggressive fashion, and it will be very hard for you to PROVE you didn't. It will be her word vs yours.

Buy a digital voice recorder. Go back to the house. Be a dad. You will go far if you do.

Just know that the recordings are not likely to be used in court as a means of proving her unfit or whatever. It is to be used to prevent you from being convicted of domestic violence. Think of it as a shield and not a sword.
  #20 (permalink)  
Old 01-23-2012, 12:03 PM
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Quote:
She is a good mother to my son, she is just not very stable when it comes to making decisions.
Concentrate on your own behavior only. Unless she's doing something outrageous or dangerous...how she parents is truly none of your business. There are a million parenting styles and its also a learned skill. Its foolish to believe you have any control over her or how she does things...you don't...you can only control yourself.

Quote:
So you guys think I should go against the advice of my lawyer? My fear is that if I go back and she tries calling the police again, she will "hurt" herself and when we go to court for a parenting order, I now have an "assault charge" and anythign I've done as a good dad would be put into question now.
I think there is a legitimate worry in false charges potentially being trumped up against you and I would take the advice of the people on this forum to try to mitigate that...ie, voice recorder, separating yourself in the house, keeping people around that are witnesses, etc. I lived in the same house with my ex for over a year and a half post separation and I can tell you its a very very trying time. And I am not the type to pull nonsense like calling the police in order to gain tactical advantage...so by all means, protect yourself as much as possible. But you have to be in the house in order not to lose status quo.

Remember, lawyers are fallible. They make mistakes alllllll the time. We treat them like they know everything when in reality you should deal with them with a healthy dose of skepticism. If your lawyer was a plumber would you believe everything he said or question things and wonder whether or not he was jacking up the price? You should set the tone of how your divorce is handled...and in my opinion, handling it with a level-headed, fair manner is going to work out for you far better in the long run.
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