Want to divorce, but not sure it's the right play (MA)

Tips on divorce for men considering or starting the divorce process. Get marriage separation tips for men in this divorce forum and child custody forum.

Re: Want to divorce, but not sure it's the right play (MA)

Unread postby dadforever » Sat Apr 08, 2017 3:49 pm

whatever_works wrote:Criminal court RO's are probably worse for dads. I've had a criminal court RO for 2 years and I can tell you that the confusion is worse than the actual order. The probate courts don't know how to handle it. My custody was in a sense settled by the criminal court. The judge doing temporary order hearing in probate court said he does not want to step on the toes of the criminal court judge. My wife's attorney used to relish the confusion and my first two attorneys were clueless.

From my understanding, probate court RO's are easier to handle for men's divorce attorneys.


I have also seen this as the jurisdiction questions cloud the issue. For example, my exes restraining order, which she gets renewed every year despite the fact that I have not spoken to her since 2012, is out of criminal court. However, a part of the restraining order is that I cannot contact my daughter's school. Of course the criminal court tells me to go to the probate court when I complain about this, and the probate court tells me to go to the criminal court.

This is sadly very common. For this reason unscrupulous attorneys are now mostly pursuing restraining orders out of criminal court. It is very difficult to win these cases in MA. They can usually only be won on appeal.

Bottom line: those statistics are very deceiving, because a criminal restraining order 'not in the file' is just as deadly to Dads case as a restraining order 'in the file'.
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Re: Want to divorce, but not sure it's the right play (MA)

Unread postby whatever_works » Sat Apr 08, 2017 9:11 pm

dadforever wrote:renewed every year despite the fact that I have not spoken to her since 2012, is out of criminal court. However, a part of the restraining order is that I cannot contact my daughter's school. Of course the criminal court tells me to go to the probate court when I complain about this, and the probate court tells me to go to the criminal court.


Btw, I had the same school < parenting time > restriction as well. The way you are supposed to beat it is by having your divorce attorney ask the divorce judge to explicitly write that you are allowed to visit schools. My current (good) attorney told me that the divorce court's order overrides criminal court's order as the criminal court's order has been included in the divorce court's order. Every time we visited the divorce court, we had to request a fresh copy of the criminal court's restraining order by asking the crim court to fax the latest to the probate/divorce court on the day of the hearing. Lucky for me though, I was able to challenge the RO and get it vacated with the help of a good criminal lawyer while my divorce lawyer was working to get the school change incorporated. My wife hired a separate criminal attorney just to keep the RO.

I think you should take one of these two approaches. Not talking to her is not going to help - you will have to fight the RO with the help of a lawyer.
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Re: Want to divorce, but not sure it's the right play (MA)

Unread postby dadforever » Sat Apr 08, 2017 9:36 pm

whatever_works wrote:
dadforever wrote:renewed every year despite the fact that I have not spoken to her since 2012, is out of criminal court. However, a part of the restraining order is that I cannot contact my daughter's school. Of course the criminal court tells me to go to the probate court when I complain about this, and the probate court tells me to go to the criminal court.





Btw, I had the same school < parenting time > restriction as well. The way you are supposed to beat it is by having your divorce attorney ask the divorce judge to explicitly write that you are allowed to visit schools. My current (good) attorney told me that the divorce court's order overrides criminal court's order as the criminal court's order has been included in the divorce court's order. Every time we visited the divorce court, we had to request a fresh copy of the criminal court's restraining order by asking the crim court to fax the latest to the probate/divorce court on the day of the hearing. Lucky for me though, I was able to challenge the RO and get it vacated with the help of a good criminal lawyer while my divorce lawyer was working to get the school change incorporated. My wife hired a separate criminal attorney just to keep the RO.

I think you should take one of these two approaches. Not talking to her is not going to help - you will have to fight the RO with the help of a lawyer.


Great info, thank you.
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Re: Want to divorce, but not sure it's the right play (MA)

Unread postby Minerva » Fri Apr 14, 2017 10:00 am

Having been married to a BPD, I can tell you that the moment you cut her out of your life, you will forget how fun life was. You have no idea the toll that she is taking on your life because you're so addicted to her toxicity.

Also, as scary as not seeing your kids every day is, now that I've been doing it a while, I would say that having kids some days and not others is an amazing way to have children. Having kids every day is a grind that wears you down and you don't even know it. When you get a few days to be yourself you can really focus on the kids when you see them, and you don't get that stress of never getting a break. The downside is that trying to co-parent with a BPD is a < feces > show. You will be the devil to her for the rest of your life, and she will use the kids to hurt you.

Still better than sticking it out with her cordially for 10 years though...IMO.
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Re: Want to divorce, but not sure it's the right play (MA)

Unread postby SquirrelNinja » Sun Jan 28, 2018 2:51 am

It's amazing how perspective on life can change in 9 months since I originally posted. :)

Quick update: I stood my ground and demanded the wife either focus on our marriage or let's start the divorce. Naturally, she played the same victim game so, after going through another round with a new marriage counselor who clearly only saw her as a victim (and never as an aggressor) and learning first-hand how manipulative the wife was when she manufactured a situation so she could call the local police at 1am last June, I was done. permanently. Luckily, she only had me removed from the property and did not claim physical abuse (which I have never done; still its embarrassing to be forced from your property at 1am with 3 cruisers in the driveway in a quiet neighborhood with no history at all of violence. The cops seemed somewhat sympathetic "You're doing a great job cooperating with us willingly which will be reflected in our report, sir").

The short of it is, I stuck to my principles and refused to just give in while we met with a mediator to hammer out a divorce agreement. FOR THOSE IN MASSACHUSETTS: I learned that is IS a felony to record another party without their consent, even in your own home (MGL 272s99). Be sure you are aware of that as it flies in the face of the general recommendation in this forum.
So, I'm happily getting divorced (yay!).. STBX started moving out this weekend and I felt happy, excited even. I get to stay in my home which I worked my butt off over my career to obtain. While I am sad that I will only see my girls 1/3 of the time, I've made peace with it and in the long-run, I know her drama will drive them back to me in the teen years (when they really start questioning everything) and I will be the stable one offering them less volatility. The STBX has already gone through 2 partners since our relationship fractured with no strategic ability that I've witnessed. She lives for the here & now. (roll eyes). Over a 10-year period, my life will be far richer and she'll be stuck in the same place as she has no motivation for personal improvement. Overall, this is a blessing. Been spending as much time as I can lately with my girls to reinforce the strong dad/daughter bond and letting them know that I will always be there for them - whenever.

TL;DR: When you know something is wrong, fight it. Don't try to pretend you can just stay the course because in the end you will hollow your soul out - which is NEVER worth it.
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Re: Want to divorce, but not sure it's the right play (MA)

Unread postby SoxFan1986 » Sun Jan 28, 2018 9:34 am

OP thanks for the update.

We still recommend a digital voice recorder, the benefits outweigh the negatives. The law you site would never be enforced.

Getting on after a BPD marriage can be very tough. My I suggest a round of IC individual counseling for you. One of the tough parts separating with a BPD is setting boundaries. Some say BPDs can't co parent and recommend parallel parenting which is a form of co parenting. Those details would need to be spelled out in your parenting plan.
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Re: Want to divorce, but not sure it's the right play (MA)

Unread postby whatever_works » Sun Jan 28, 2018 10:03 am

SN, thanks for the update and good luck with your future. Thanks for sharing the law on recording too.

Please work on yourself and enjoy your new life before jumping in with someone else.

I feel sorry for your children that they will only get 1/3 time with their father. Something needs to be done about that. Probably we need to start writing to our lawmakers. But that is the subject of another thread, another time.
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Re: Want to divorce, but not sure it's the right play (MA)

Unread postby Havalu7 » Sun Jan 28, 2018 11:22 am

OP mind sharing the details of how the DAR was used in your situation?
"No." is a complete sentence.
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Re: Want to divorce, but not sure it's the right play (MA)

Unread postby SquirrelNinja » Wed Jan 31, 2018 12:12 am

Thanks! I have no intention of jumping into any relationships for at least 4-6 months, definitely nothing serious. In the divorced parents class I was required to take, they said that 80% of divorced people remarry... I find this to be high as I have no intention of ever remarrying. I just don't see the benefit to it - at all. I now better understand why friends of my parents years ago who had been divorced were in long-term live-in relationships but NOT married.

Regarding the DAR incident, it wasn't particularly interesting. Back in June, the STBX recorded me unbeknownst to me while I was.... venting about her poor life choices and her lack of motivation to get a job while she mooched from me. She went to pull it out to play during a counseling session the next week at which point I shared with her that she had committed a felony in violation of MGL 272ss99 (I tend to do a lot of research. I like to be prepared). She seemed shocked and said "But, I have the right in my own home" to which I replied "Nope. Look up the case law. People have been prosecuted for it." That's all. I had no intention of calling the cops unless she escalated with it. My biggest goal throughout this divorce has been to not cause my daughters unnecessary emotional harm even if it means sometimes I have to keep my mouth shut and vent later when I'm alone.

My wife is ill-equipped to deal with the complications of an independent life. I know that in a number of years one of the following will happen: (1) she will be unable to maintain an organized lifestyle and will lose everything due to her lack of spending control or (2) she will fracture the difficult mother/daughter relationships with both of our girls due to personality differences and the girls will start to see her for the head case she is (and the tawdry sex-focused lifestyle she chooses to lead). Either way, I end up looking great with a stable income, stable home environment, and good reputation in the community (I do a lot of charity work). I'm going to keep taking the higher road and I know that things ultimately will work out in my favor in the future.
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Re: Want to divorce, but not sure it's the right play (MA)

Unread postby Trevor » Wed Jan 31, 2018 12:47 am

Hold off on dating for a year past the judges's signature ink being dry on your orders. You'll need that much time.
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