Who better to abuse the Family Court system and an ex than an attorney?
The story below belongs to Amber. Amber’s attorney husband filed for divorce and used the Family Court to abuse her legally and emotionally. #ChangeThisNow
My ex was a UPS driver when we met and married. I worked as an elementary school teacher. Three years after marrying we had a son and my ex decided he wanted to go to law school. We both knew that living on my salary alone while he was in law school meant tightening our belts and trimming our financial expenditures.
And that is what we did. We sold our 3-bedroom home and moved into a less expensive 2-bedroom apartment. We paid off our cars and set up a strict budget that meant no vacations, very little money for entertainment and counting every penny to make sure it went as far as it could.
He went to school, we lived frugally and once he graduated and went to work for a large law-firm I took a deep sigh of relief and thought life would get back to normal. In fact, I thought it would be better than before. He was now making 3 times as much as he did as a UPS driver and I had money signs dancing in my head.
Foolishly I thought about how much we would be able to save for our children’s college educations (I was now pregnant with our second). I wanted him to start contributing to a retirement account, something he hadn’t contributed to during our 6-year marriage. And, yes, I wanted to relax and not worry about money any longer. I wanted a vacation, too!
He wanted a divorce.
Within a year of graduating from law school, he served me, in my classroom, surrounded by second graders with a divorce. No notice!
He had an advantage: He worked at a family law firm so, he had free representation.
I start the process at a disadvantage: I had to hire an attorney and the pickings were slim because most family law attorneys in our area had either worked with or played golf with my ex. Can you say, “conflict of interest?”
I ended up with a lawyer fresh out of law school who had set up practice the next town over. She and I both learned a lot about family law during my protracted divorce.
I’ve never been one to play the victim. My thinking was, “if he wants a divorce, that means he no longer wants me and why wouldn’t I give someone who no longer wanted me a divorce?”
He, on the other hand, and much to my chagrin, no longer wanted me but, for some reason, also seemed hell-bent on destroying me financially.
Whoever said, “You never know someone until you divorce them” was damn right!
I found out he had “fallen in love” with his 24-year-old paralegal. And I guess he wanted to be free to live the life we had dreamed about and planned for with her.
He did many things during our divorce that not only cost me thousands in legal fees to defend myself against but, also delayed him and his new love from starting their lives together. My Dad said, “the man doesn’t want a divorce, he wants a fight.”
What did my ex do?
1. He filed paperwork with the court falsely accusing me of abusing our children.
2. He filed paperwork with the court falsely accusing me of running up debt on his business credit card. He was spending money on the new girlfriend…vacations, a new car, clothes and paying her rent. For some reason, he thought he could convince the court that I had access to his card and was living the good life.
3. He filed for full custody of our 2 children. Can you say, custody evaluation, guardian ad litem, psychiatric evaluations? If it were something that would cost me money, he insisted we go through it.
4. He ended up with 50/50 custody and then never saw the children. He would go months at a time once he was remarried without visiting the children. He called me out of the blue on Friday night demanding to see “his” children.
He had not seen them in 2 months but, I was supposed to drop what I was doing and cater to his desire to spend time with them. When I didn’t he took me to court for “parental alienation.” He lost that battle. It’s now been 4 weeks since he has seen the children and it isn’t because I’m barring him from doing so.
5. When our oldest started pre-school I had sent several emails via Family Wizard attempting to get him to work with me on finding a good pre-school. He ignored all requests by me to work together on what I thought was an important issue. So, I found a good pre-school and off our boy went on the first day of school.
Within a week, I was served with paperwork from the court where he was objecting to the pre-school I had chosen. I’m not making this shit up.
6. When he was a child, his father took him to a local bank to open a bank account. The bank gave away piggy banks with the bank’s name on them to all children who open an account. For some reason, that piggy bank was one of his most prized possessions. Four years after we divorced, he lost his piggy bank. How did he respond to losing it? He took me to court and accused me of stealing it and keeping it from him. I had to pay my attorney to help defend myself from this man/child’s accusation that I had stolen his piggy bank. Wah, wah, wah!!
7. We were both Jewish. Not practicing Jews but, Jewish none the same. When he met his new love, he decided to become a Catholic. He took me to court in an attempt to force me to raise the children in the Catholic faith. I’d never stepped foot inside a synagogue with this man. Had never heard him say religion was important to him in any way and now he wanted to raise his children as Catholics?
That is the short list!
Ninety percent of the time we spent in court he walked away losing the battle he started. But, that isn’t the issue. The issue isn’t who won or lost. The issue is the Family Court allowing someone to use them in frivolous ways to abuse another person.
The key elements of abuse of the legal process is the malicious and deliberate misuse of the family court process that is not justified by the underlying legal action, and that the abuser of the process is interested only in accomplishing some improper purpose such as causing financial harm to another person.
The mind-boggling thing to me is, we have been divorced for 9 years. We’ve had the same judge for every trip to court. A judge who, unless stump dumb knows exactly what my ex is doing, and he allows it to continue. Don’t tell me the Family Court is interested in protecting my children or me!
Oh, yeah, we have another court date next month. He wants me to pay for and give him school pictures of the children. Instead of contacting the school and requesting his own package of school pictures, he wants me to pay for them and deliver them to him. And, we’ll be going before the same judge.
How much has my ex spent on legal fees in the last 9 years? $00.00
How much have I spent? $48,321.00