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Make sure when you are wording your bullet points on why its best for the boy to stay in the home that it is carefully worded so that its only valid if you are there.
The Gal report in my case said the children should stay where they were at, in their home and school. OC tried to argue that I should move out and mom move back in. The GAL had to testify that it was my stability that the children needed and not just the brick and mortar of the home.
Thanks all for the assist. Everything to atty and I expect to sign in the next couple of days, and then STBX served. In a way, getting this officially filed will be a big relief....at least knowing that everything is now officially in motion. The mind games and "what if's" going through my head in all of this preparation have me mentally drained...and compounded by little sleep. But, I feel prepared, in large part due to everyone's input on this board.
Let the chips fall now. Will keep updated. Expect temp hearing 3 weeks from filing. I am still in the family home with my son. After the temp hearing at least I will have an idea of where I will have to live (in current home, or setup something else)...
Worst case, I am ordered out of he house with some sort of shared custody at the temp hearing. Any advice on if I should start tagging and moving some small stuff out now? For those of you who were ordered out of primary residence, how did you get some of your stuff out to live on (bed, furniture, etc)? My atty says an interim distribution, but I sure don't want to go back and forth with STBX for 4 months after I leave. I have already found 3 very good rental houses near my son's school and want to have a place ready to go for him...
Like The List says, take photos of everything in the house. That way, if it vanishes, you know what it was. If you retain residence, you have a good idea of where to start dividing the stuff. Anything that belongs solely to you though, I would find a secure place for that she can't ever get her hands on it.
I am a dad. It is not a simple title, nor a professional position. It is a aggressively defended FACT!
>>>>You seem to have your ducks in a row on this, get this over first cause it can be the most emotional part of the process, once thats decided and you get an agreement then move on to the financial side of things.>>>>
Thanks to everyone here! Bubba - I am finding the above to be more than true.
Well guys, it is done. Signed and STBX will be served by sheriff this weekend (that is the plan, at least). I am asking for primary custody of son and the residence. My atty did not pull any punches in the filing (STBX dating sites, anger issues, etc). He said I had put together some of the best "Dad" documentation he had seen...thanks to this board.
For the collective, I have to tell you, this is freaking stressful. NJ STBX cannot control her anger and it has gotten progressively worst over the past year. I feel like I almost have PTSD after the past 11 years. I am averaging 3 hours sleep a night, trying to keep job going, etc. I am told by my atty NOT to leave the house until a decision is made by judge on custody and residence. I have a VAR on self 24x7. I have documented all possessions in the house, and gotten copies of relevant documents.
HELP.....I know I need to “nut” up and not engage the NJ, but any other words of encouragement or examples of how you guys handled the first few weeks after D-Day would be appreciated. With the temp hearing at least 3 weeks out, it is going to be h*ll living in the house . 2x4’s appreciated. Thanks, guys.
I spent 5 months in that situation too, and even doing everything right it will be hell. I averaged about the same amount of sleep and was prescribed sleep medication. They only worked for 4 hours and I woke with a slight headache, but they helped. I could get to sleep but would usually wake around 1am and could not get back to sleep, so the pills worked to get me the additional 4 hrs a night.
You'll need to learn ways to not get cornered by your STBX, and learn to disengage and walk away from a converstation. I focused entirely on the children which helped avoid 1x1 convos with the ex. Don't be surprised if she brings over friends and family to bait you. Just stay civil and don't get cornered. This is a great time to pack up the kiddos and head to the zoo, museum etc any chance you get.
UPDATE - Well the service occurred about 10 days ago. The sheriff does it in my locality, and there was no guarantee of when they would do it -- just whenever they got it on their schedule. Talk about walking on eggshells. One downside is that it happened when I was NOT at home, but my S11 was at the house. I have spoke to him about what is going on, but he is still confused, and I think the cop showing up to serve was not a great experience for him.
Question -- I think getting my S11 into counseling proactively would be beneficial. Help him sort through what is going on. His feelings. His view of Dad (STBX is filling his head with stuff already). Any of you guys have any input on doing this type of counseling during a divorce? Experience? I have been to his school and talked to his teacher and principal about what is going on at home, and to let me know if any changes in behavior.
Temp hearing in a couple of weeks. Will determine who gets residence / custody. Meanwhile, I am still in the house, walking around with a VAR, and sleeping in a locked bedroom. Other than that, life is grand. Thanks again for all of the input on this board. I am sure I will have more questions as the custody and property division starts. My hope is that I can provide some input to others on here, as well, based on my experience.
One LESSON LEARNED -- I really struggled with whether or not I should sit down with my STBX before service and tell her what was going on (I know....this is anti-LIST speak). Well I did not, and I can say it was the right decision. She was surprised, and it put her back on her heels. She has come back with so much cr*p since then, that it reinforced her BPD behaviors. She wasn't going to hate me any less...no matter what I did.
My experience tells me that most counseling is a waste of time. However, if you do put kiddo in counseling to deal with his parents screw ups, make sure kiddo knows why he's going. Make sure he knows there isn't anything wrong with him and that he isn't being trundled off to weekly counseling sessions because he is screwed up but because his parents are.
maybe if you email her articles which illustrate that it is detrimental to child for parents to talk badly about one another to the child, she would stop doing it for the child. maybe also send to in-laws. this is kinna what i am thinking but i know there is no avoiding it.
I am not sure if there is time to work this into your temporary orders but I would push for inclusion of the "Child's Bill of Rights". There are several versions of it but the general theme is a list of items that keep the child out of the middle. It will be hard to prove if she were to violate it but it would provide the treat of contempt if she (or you) would. Ours included things like never discussing litigation or the other parent in front of the child along with things like the child's property belonging to the child with the child being free to take that property wherever they go.
One final note regarding an earlier post that you made... I would not recommend removing any property from the home as that could be considered hiding marital property. Make sure you document that it exists and the condition that it is in however don't remove it. The only variation to that would be perhaps something that it only yours and can not be replaced. For example, I had several firearms that I inherited from my grandfather. They couldn't be replaced if something happened to them and the removal of all firearms from the home also limited any potential that I could be accused of using them / threatening / etc. I placed them into the care of an FFL and maintained the documentation that they were in his possession. Just be very careful with anything that could be considered hiding or removing joint property.
"...it could be worse news then the fact you're going through divorce -- it could be as bad as you could continue to stay married to the lying screwing sleezebag" Thoughts?
TXex's wrote:I would not recommend removing any property from the home as that could be considered hiding marital property.
In my personal experience, removing something in order to prevent it being discarded, kept from you ("lost"), damaged, or given away, is much better than exposing it to these risks from a vindictive STBX. I would happily stand in a courtroom and say "Yes, your honor, I removed some of my personalty because I had legitimate concerns that the property would be damaged or missing. I took nothing of hers, and here is a list of everything I removed."
I removed my musical instruments because of this risk, but should have removed much more. Indeed, much of what was on my list in the property distribution ended up being shoved into a leaky storage unit, damaged, mildewed, and ruined completely. I tried to take her to court for contempt and the judge denied without explanation. They just don't care.
Another example was my CD collection...when I went to pick them up, the jewel boxes were empty. The cop shrugged his shoulders "oh well" and nothing could be done by then. So yes, things that you used exclusively, your golf clubs, your fishing poles, your personal memorabilia, your laptop/tablet, and duplicates/negatives of family photographs should be removed. Of course this doesn't mean furniture and appliances, but small things that might grow legs, heirlooms, etc. Don't take the kids' stuff either.