After 4 years of struggle and 12 years overall marriage my wife and I are apparently are both ready to give it up. I have been the sole breadwinner 9 of the 12 years and the last 8 exclusively because she wanted to be a mom; we have an 8 year old son. I worked from home for several years while she wanted to stay home but was not keeping up her end of the bargain as a housewife. I had all the crazy stuff pic'ed/journaled. (too much for this post > 60k characters) I finally moved to an adjacent state to take another job and get out of the disparaging situation because I couldn't take it any more but we still have a home in AL. We have been struggling to rekindle long distance for the past few months but yesterday she went to the bank in hometown without notice and withdrew all $40k of savings leaving barely enough to cover current bills. (she left $2K) Home/car/utilities in my name though house she wants to keep has her name on it also.
I talked to a female attorney that says I need to keep paying everything as-is from my $2k account + decent earnings to maintain 'status quo' so I have favor from judge until they can decide evenly months from now but considering she has had no income for years and just took 90% of our net worth ($20k of which was my recent severance check) that does not seem fair. Should she start paying mortgage payments out of the $40k or should I let default? I do have a decent 401k; What should I do with that now before it's too late? Should I cut all utilitites at the home that are in my name? Stop paying car payment or what can I do there without ruining credit? If I can't get back the stolen savings I see it as a form prepaid alimony for a few years but is this how courts see it?
I have no attorney here but I have my son for the holiday should I go Friday morning and file for custody somehow or just keep him since we haven't set a return date? Or should I pre-enroll him in school and try to establish residency? I'm now in an 'alimony for life' state so even though we haven't lived here together I'm nervous because that is the last thing I want..
The sad thing is I would've been more than willing to work out something fair but I guess by now you all know how it goes..
Last edited by Prox on Wed Jul 18, 2012 7:05 am, edited 1 time in total.
Normally I would say keep your kiddo and file but if you have not been active as primary and your son has been going to a school in another state, I don't think keeping him over a holiday and filing would work out for you. Your post isn't too clear. Maybe you could clear up what the custody situation has been like the last 6 months or so.
“The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.”― Mark Twain
Sorry for not being clear; I was trying to get 4 years of hell into two paragraphs late at night and it just didn't come out clear. Custody: Past 3 months my wife has been taking full care of my son while I worked in another state. Prior 4 years to that I worked from home and took care of him just as much as she did but you're probably right son just visiting here this week in the 'other state' wouldn't be enough to legitimately file for custody.
I guess my biggest questions are what to do with my home, car, and utilities in my name in said 'other state'. (and $401k) What financial burdens can I get out of now without screwing myself later. If I try to maintain status quo I will go broke (or have to borrow a load from my parents) and I'm sure the $40k will be gone. I don't get paid for another 2 weeks and my thinking was since the house is in her name also she also has incentive to make sure it doesn't default so she may pickup the mortgage.
1. Go find an attorney who specializes in family (divorce) law in your former state. Act now.
2. Have your attorney send her a demand letter on your behalf stating that she must return your funds immediately. In that letter, be sure to specify the origin of every dollar in that account. For example, $20,000 of severance pay. $3,000 from sale of your baseball card collection. $4,000 deposited each month from your payroll over the past two years. Make it clear that the money is yours and you expect to get it back.
(this letter won't do you much good now, BTW, but it might help you later on in court when you assert your rights to the money you earned)
3. Have your attorney file for divorce within the next two weeks.
That's about it. Seriously. Time to stop pu$$yfooting around and take steps to protect your long-term ability to provide for your kids' well-being.
You may not think it's convenient advice, but fleeing the scene and forfeiting full custody to your wife will kill any serious chance you have of significant custody or decision making about your kids. You've done the worst possible thing you could do...by moving out you send clear signals to the court that your wife is the best one to care for your kids and your primary concern is your job. You are making your wife's case for her...SAHM, distant Dad, wallet. Bad move.
Exactly how far away are you now living from your children?
THIS IS AN ATTORNEY ADVERTISEMENT. CORDELL & CORDELL, ST. LOUIS, MO. Attorney services are provided by licensed attorneys in every state where Cordell & Cordell offices are located. The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely upon advertisements.
Joseph Cordell, Principal Partner, licensed in MO and IL only. Michelle Ferreri licensed in PA and NJ only. Offices in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, PA. Scott Hamerslough licensed in CA and CO only. Jason Bowman licensed in KY and TX only. Chris LaFrance, Florida Resident Partner. Tampa, FL.