Fighting, stumbling, falling, getting up to fight some more.

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Fighting, stumbling, falling, getting up to fight some more.

Unread postby WinAtLife » Mon Sep 11, 2017 12:49 pm

Hi All,

Dad of 2 here in MA (the dad-killing state), I've been a lurker for a little while on here (was forced out of the home in January). On my 2nd lawyer now. Had some excellent advice via PMs from other brothers here on the Forums - thanks Tom K! - but realizing that I should have been posting a LONG time ago. Better late than never, although I'm hoping it's not too late. Fighting hard for 50/50 custody.

So much to share, but the basics (apologies if this doesn't fit the usual template, but my brain feels like it's exploding every day):

1. 11 year marriage, two kids under 8. Separated right after year 10, she served me at year 11 (blindsided during "Try to work it out" period, served me DURING mediation). Superdad from kids birth (she's a "social media mom", snapping and posting the perfect family life while I do the work, addicted to the "likes")
2. Jan 2017 - Moved out only after court ordered (false DV accusation tossed by judge: lies upon lies in NJ's affidavit).
3. Both full-time employed, I earn 25% more than she does, both flexible jobs (in academia)
4. Feb 2017 - Given EOW screwjob + 1 dinner a week with kids, max child support. No alimony.
5. April 2017 - Countermotion to get more parenting time, failed miserably with lawyer. Fired, hired new one.
6. June 2017 - She just moved the kids to a different school district without my permission right before school year ended. Gutted the my kids emotionally with it, she just up and moved them. Coached by fellow psychopath NJs, trying to lock in custody.
7. I moved back into their school district to fight her on it. Went to court on motion, threatened GAL and contempt of joint legal custody...we settled by getting her to agree to additional parenting time (bumped up to EOW Friday school pickup - Tuesday AM dropoff, overnights on her Sundays) and her payment on approx half of her marital CC debt (which she was not paying on after we agreed to split it), in exchange for allowing her to keep kids in the new school district.

Now I've reloaded with a new lawyer since the failed countermotion, and aiming for 50/50. Planning to move to the town she's in. She has a 2br, kids sleep in one room, she sleeps in the other: can only afford to live there using my current CS payment (still calculated for base EOW).

So the big question for now: do I move to the same town, same school district, down the street from her, but the place is a large 1br with an office that can be used as a bedroom? One kid in one br, other one in the office, I sleep on the couch. Worth it? No 2brs at all right now in the district. Lawyer says it's a tough call.

Thanks in advance guys.
Last edited by WinAtLife on Mon Sep 11, 2017 1:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Fighting, stumbling, falling, getting up to fight some m

Unread postby WinAtLife » Mon Sep 11, 2017 1:16 pm

Using the template of other dads here:

STBX filed Oct 2016 in MA
D5 and S7
Current Parenting Order is dad EOW Fri PM thru Tues AM since Sept 2017 (Settled on outside of motion hearing, was every 2nd and 4th weekend before that).
There is no money in any bank account (shared or personal)
Small retirement accounts
Major Debts (About 60k to CC and 4k in Cred Cards, she just settled via lump sum for $24K after not paying for almost a year, I took it since minimums were crippling alongside CS)
House Mortgage is 535k on an appraisal of 800k. Mortgage payment is 4000/month, she's paying with two co-owners of the home (completely different side of the story there).
STBX works, $77K salary gross.
I bring in $5000 net/month.
STBX wants primary custody. 50/50 or bust for me.

Let me know if you guys need anything else. Does it really matter if you're NOT living in the same school district, but right over the border and super close to school/STBX house? Is size of house more important than location when trying for 50/50 in MA?
Last edited by WinAtLife on Tue Sep 12, 2017 3:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Fighting, stumbling, falling, getting up to fight some m

Unread postby Chaos » Mon Sep 11, 2017 1:37 pm

Sure, move. That'll make it easier to stop her from moving the kids again.

I'm concerned that you have had too much conflict in a short period of time since you've finalized though. You lost at a modification, and then a couple of months later you mediated a deal. That's in addition to the dv case. Now you're filling another modification.

What's your change in circumstances since your latest parenting plan was entered?
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Re: Fighting, stumbling, falling, getting up to fight some m

Unread postby Outis » Mon Sep 11, 2017 1:43 pm

Chaos wrote:You lost at a modification, and then a couple of months later you mediated a deal.

A deal that gave up joint legal, no less.

What are your goals, OP?
What am I to do with all this silence
Shy away, shy away phantom
Run away terrified child
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Re: Fighting, stumbling, falling, getting up to fight some m

Unread postby Chaos » Mon Sep 11, 2017 1:51 pm

Outis wrote:
Chaos wrote:You lost at a modification, and then a couple of months later you mediated a deal.

A deal that gave up joint legal, no less.


I don't see that part, but if that's the case, that's problematic as well.
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Re: Fighting, stumbling, falling, getting up to fight some m

Unread postby Outis » Mon Sep 11, 2017 2:00 pm

Pretty sure the "contempt of" didn't precede "joint legal" when first posted.

Shrug.
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Re: Fighting, stumbling, falling, getting up to fight some m

Unread postby WinAtLife » Mon Sep 11, 2017 2:02 pm

Chaos:

Latest parenting plan with increased overnights was entered two weeks ago. I'm about to move closer for further change in circumstances, effective Oct 1. I want to be with my children 50/50 - my kids start to cry every last day with me, begging to stay longer. I've been that dad that takes care of them overnight, potty trained them, breakfast/dinner/baths/bedtime, pickups/dropoffs/med appointments, the only dad on the PTO, etc.

It's all I want in the end.

Outis:

We still have joint legal custody, according to the original orders. Goal is 50/50 custody - made my decision based on her voluntarily giving me additional overnights, and she wants to put down roots in this new town for the children and herself. Strategy is to move there, then ask for another overnight. If not given, then take it to the judge, based on best interests of the children and far better facilitation of shared physical custody. I could walk the kids to school.
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Re: Fighting, stumbling, falling, getting up to fight some m

Unread postby WinAtLife » Mon Sep 11, 2017 2:06 pm

Outis wrote:Pretty sure the "contempt of" didn't precede "joint legal" when first posted.

Shrug.


The contempt was her not paying on her CC bills - we rolled that into our second motion hearing to increase parenting time. You literally get 10 minutes tops in front of the judge during these things, so my attorney (at the time) thought it was a great idea to roll the two together. We came away with orders for her to pay (which she just ignored and didn't), and no change in parenting time.


Is moving closer to the kids not the right play here? Even if it's a smaller apartment?
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Re: Fighting, stumbling, falling, getting up to fight some m

Unread postby Chaos » Mon Sep 11, 2017 2:27 pm

I would to stop future relocations.

I doubt it'll be enough for a change of circumstances though. Nothing has really changed. I doubt this will even count as a substantial CoC. You already live really close, just outside the school zone, yeah? So what's the difference in miles?

It's not just the CoC though. You also have to prove that the best interests of the children aren't being met by the current arrangement. That you just signed. Two weeks ago. I would argue that constant litigation is definitely not in the best interest of the children, and it could backfire on you.

What's your co-parenting relationship like? Have you considered there may be a better way to get what you want?
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Re: Fighting, stumbling, falling, getting up to fight some m

Unread postby WinAtLife » Mon Sep 11, 2017 2:33 pm

Chaos wrote:I would to stop future relocations.

I doubt it'll be enough for a change of circumstances though. Nothing has really changed. I doubt this will even count as a substantial CoC. You already live really close, just outside the school zone, yeah? So what's the difference in miles?

It's not just the CoC though. You also have to prove that the best interests of the children aren't being met by the current arrangement. That you just signed. Two weeks ago. I would argue that constant litigation is definitely not in the best interest of the children, and it could backfire on you.

What's your co-parenting relationship like? Have you considered there may be a better way to get what you want?


Clarification: I moved to the town she moved AWAY from, in order to try and keep them in the school. Currently we live 30 mins apart. I'm trying to move next door to her (and the kids school). Having them live this far apart isn't in their best interests. Moving next door is definitely so.

We have it on file with court that she moved away without my knowledge via affidavit describing her actions. She won't do it again, since she's interested in keeping the kids at her school of choice. Pretty sure Mr. W lives in the same town hence her pick of the random town in MA to move to. I'm trying to move to close the distance gap... the only issue is that the place, while larger than hers in sq feet (1100 > 910), is technically a 1br with huge living room and an office that can fit a bed. I'm thinking I can have the kids bunk in the bedroom, and I sleep in the office on a twin size when they are with me. The place is across the street from their new school.
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