Saturday, January 15, 2005

Great news!

Well, over the last few days there have been immense changes, almost all of them good for me. I’ll give a basic sketch of the rest of the narrative to get to this point so that things won’t seem too confusing.

I was lucky to have a couple of friends I could stay with after I was forced out. I don’t know what I would have done otherwise, though I would have found something. I stayed there several weeks until I found a place to live and had the money to actually move. I took the Liaison’s advice and found a place that was a little over an hour away.

When I moved to the new place (it is a furnished, very small apartment) my wife went ballistic. She sent me a strange email, making accusations of me moving in with a woman and some kind of strange accusation regarding having two phones (I have a cell phone and had arranged to hook up a home phone). She seemed to not understand that I could not stay with friends forever, but that I had to find a place to live.

Over the course of the next few months we had little communication regarding the divorce, it was mainly on my visits with my son, such as when I’d be picking him up etc. One of the most satisfying things I’ve ever seen was my attorney tear apart her attorney in the hallway of the courthouse. We were trying to work out a visitation schedule for my son and my wife was trying to minimize the amount of time and put restrictions on it. I guess at some point somebody told her that her abuse allegations were not being believed, so she switched tactics and now said she felt I was a danger to my son. She wanted all of the time I spent with my son to be supervised. Whenever we asked for more information, she would just say that “she was afraid”. She wouldn’t elaborate. My attorney finally had enough and took her attorney off to the side for a “private” conference. This private conference was held in the hallway outside the courtroom, where about 200 people were sitting and standing, waiting for their turn. It started out quietly, but then got louder, and my attorney made some things very clear to him because he obviously didn’t know what he was talking about. You see, for some reason, still unknown, the first firm my wife hired to represent her was a business firm, not a family law firm, and they had never been involved with a divorce. To this day I have no idea why she hired them, and my attorney just shakes her head. Anyway, her attorney had no idea what the rules and laws really were, and my attorney gave him a bit of an education in front of a large crowd of other people. My wife hired a real divorce attorney the next week. It ended up that I got much more time than my wife wanted me to have, and it was unsupervised. We wanted more, but my wife was looking for something to fight over and we decided we’d gotten enough for the time being.

One of my biggest worries through all of this is the possibility that my son is not my biological son. There is strong evidence that my wife had an affair. I explained this to my attorney and told her that it was a possibility, but that I did not want to lose him – as far as I’m concerned he is my son. I’ve been assured that even if it is true and my wife decides she wants to try to have my parental rights terminated the chances of her succeeding are extremely remote.

So, for the last several months I’ve been giving my wife half my pay as support and living on my own. One thing I heard early on from several mutual friends was that she was under the impression that she was going to get a lot of money in alimony, which is ridiculous if for no other reason than our marriage was not that long. She has struggled to find a job for the last five months or so, and I am very empathetic. I can imagine what it must be like to keep getting turned down time after time.

As I mentioned earlier, things have taken a turn for the better. First, my attorney and I had a long discussion one day and she explained my position, which is very good. First, she went over the results of the false claims my wife made regarding me to get me out of the house. She looked at all the paperwork and said it was clear that nobody believed my wife, so nothing of significance would come out of it. She had spoken to my wife’s new attorney and found that he had straightened out her ideas of what she was going to be getting out of this financially. From what my attorney said, my wife now realizes how generous I’ve been, which is nice to hear. One thing I found particularly funny was during their meeting, her attorney said that my wife was suspicious of why I hadn’t tried to expand my visitation schedule with my son. As you recall, she fought visitation at all and lost. My attorney explained to him that I had been very careful not to cause any problems because I was afraid that she would make up more stories and try to have me arrested again. She went on to tell him that we had tried for more time, but that my wife had fought it. Apparently, my wife never told him this. In trying to improve her financial position, she told her attorney some things which are easily proved false, and in at least one case, was impossible. I think they are going to have to have a long talk about some of the “facts” that she’s been providing him.

The results of this meeting were very positive for me. I’m soon to have expanded visitation with my son, which to me is the best news. Also, within the next week or so my payments to my wife will be seriously reduced. Both attorneys agreed that I had been very generous and done far more than I needed to and it was time to go to more realistic arrangements. She’ll also have to explain to her attorney why she cleaned out the bank accounts the day she had me served (a violation of the rules set down by the court), and also explain why she took a large amount of extra money out of the bank account in the time it took to get the direct deposit changed. She had told her attorney that I had cleaned out the bank accounts, but it’s easily proved who made the withdrawl. She had never told him about taking the extra money, so he has to ask her about that. I also found out that my wife has finally found a job.

As it stands now, it looks likely that I’ll have pay child support and half of the daycare expenses – no alimony. I sometimes wonder about what the interactions between my wife and the women’s group that convinced her to do all of this must be like. It’s certainly not turning out as she thought it would originally.

That’s a lot of writing – time to post this