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  • #1269
    dadda
    Participant

    Hi. I have been trying to cope for a while. I think on one level, however, I have given up.
    I’m divorced, as of 11/2012. Ex filed and that was after his affair with married nurse discovered. Whether it was "a bluff" or not, he told me he is going to marry her … he filed in October 2010. She is getting divorced now … started last summer (2012) for her, I think. Sha and her former husband have a child. My few interactions with her and the contents of the 14 page letter I found in November 2011 struck me as she has some psychological issues of her own … blaming her husband because her life was not a "Harlequin romance". My own ex, with the pathological gambling problem, has never admitted to having a "problem" or being part of it … all blame is placed squarely on me for ALL problems. Anyway, I guess she will be the new source of funds and his "self-esteem".
    All my bills are WAY behind. The attorney representing me withdrew once the hearing was over; refused to file a motion to clarify the decree. The house is supposed to be sold, but it is listed at the high end of the appraisal. I just learned recently that he sighned a one year sales contract with the selling agent. If the house is ever sold, both attorneys get the first cut, then there is an "equalization" due me before proceeds (if any remaining) are split between us. I have no money to go anywhere and moved 2000 miles from my relatives. My credit is now destroyed, as he refused to pay a judment due for support until garnishing kicked in on his wages … just this past summer … and the high legal fees for a hostile divorce. I’m still trying to catch up on utility payments. Our younger daughter (20) and I are facing bankruptcy …  she has over $10k in school and medical fees … that are OUR (his and my) responsibility, technically, but as she was 18 when incurred, they are in her name.
    Her car broke down last week. I’m so sick of repairing cars … and my brakes are starting to sound. Yesterday, I calculated I had to drive about 100 extra miles, just so that neither of us lose our picayune little jobs …
    Anyway, he started harassing me after a protective order granted during the divorce expired, in June. He told our daughters he is going to get me out of the house. Less than 8 hours after expiring, I came home from work to find a "demand form" for possession and payment of "back rent" in the amount of $7000. Various texts, phone calls also ensued … and he petitioned (twice) to the divorce Court to have me thrown out … which they did not order any hearing. So he has now filed in Small Claims Court against me ($9000) … which I "think" I can have dismissed, although I need more info …. and I cannot afford any attorney … and the pro bono services never take on my case … I know too, they are swamped more than ever. I understand precisely what HE is trying to do … eliminate settlement to me and get me out of the house, no money, destroyed credit and no recent professional job history.
    I’m tired of dealing with Courts. We already were divorced in 2000; I received a paltry "settlement" and our house, for example, should be nearly paid off … it is nearly at the same level as when we bought it, 16 years ago. I was forced to quit claim it to him to receive ANY funds back when, he keeps emphasizing it is HIS house, though when we refinanced it in 2009, he told our mortgage broker he wanted to put it back in both names … but he never did.
    There really seems to be no point to going to the Court, if there is only going to be more lawsuits against me, til I eaither die, break down or give up and be homeless. There is no reasoning whatsoever with him … the only "agreement" is to give him his way. The last time I saw him was on the 19th … when he had just filed the Small Claims. He came here, walked right in without knocking and started demanding I get out … our oldest daughter was in the back of the house and came out, hearing the commotion. They started yelling, and it came out that he recently loaned him $50, which he spent on lottery tickets … right in front of her. He left and later returned while I was alone. I taped it, after I saw him walking around the back of the house … the nurse drove him here and as they were pulling out, he was yelling legal and other threats … the police won’t take reports, because they are always telling me it’s "civil". I tried to get an extension on the protective order; the Court refused. I also learned he added himself back to the auto policy in March of this year, after the divorce was over and a week after he was convicted of "Invasion of privacy", for violating the protective order (He is on probation, but I went to the Court later that day and he is NOT ordered to leave me alone as a condition of probation. A call to his probation officer never was returned …). Anyway, he added himself back to the car insurance (our home and auto still under both names) and I can’t "spin him off" as it would affect our daughter, whose car is in his and her name. Since I couldn’t pay his share, we lost the "pay in full" discount … he hasn’t paid a dime toward it … and the final payment for this portion will leave me short again, when it comes out next week.
    I am wondering about the whole Court thing … if they looked into the records, they would see the patterns and what is and has been going on. Is there any way anyone knows of to "make them aware" and how his behavior of legal and other harassment … is just pulling me and our younger daughter, in particular, down the tubes? I have no motivation, in general, because for every positive, he is there in the background, undermining it. I would have left, gladly, two years ago … particulaly as during this divorce, the gambling was uncovered … and I have found EVIDENCE that it was a major factor going way back and affecting previous Court action … where I was seen as "the bad guy" but had no idea WHAT was going on … now I KNOW, and could even show how the Court and other professionals were in error, how I was wronged in past because of the unknown of the gambling affecting everything … but the one thing I NEED is some form of firm foundation … some stability … unless the Court KNOWS, this will just go on and on, far as I can see …
    … I just can’t take too much more … still grappling with the issues … of how I had a breakdown and yet, recovered, too from PTSD … and have been stronger since … how most of the debts I have are actually related to the unlawful settlement and particularly, his previous hostile legal actions after the previous divorce … as he tried to make it impossible for me to EVER see our children … and the more recent realization that PROBABLY, he "loved me and wanted to remarry" BECAUSE of his Court actions in past … he must have received a copy of the parenting eval done (as he discharged his attorney right after; legal represeentative may receive a copy, but I had attorney, so was never allowed to see the actual report) and feared that I would be able to have the custody changed … now I am forced to watch my life be stripped of every asset from the last 20 years, other than experiences and memotries … and am lookig at, WHEN this is over, being homeless or just a step above, nearly 50 without recent professional job experience … no money, no credit … and the hostage of him and the Courts for the past 15 years, though I committed no crimes and never knew about the gambling, other than that he bought (I thought) about $20 – $30 a week in scratch and lotto tickets … which I thought too much (I’ve spent maybe $5 gambling in past ten years) … but people waste money on stupid stuff in general, and I thought it a harmless though pointless activity … but no worse than spending the same on a restaurant meal or the like … a sports ticket … I didn’t do anything WRONG, and yet, 9 months after the divorce, I’m still a hostage of someone who wants to destroy my life, credibility and all else … and Court orders based on total ignorance of what is and has been going on … and how that is merely allowing additional damage and impossible to "move forward".
    Is there ANYTHING I might do?

    #1270
    monique
    Participant

    Dear Dadda
    I don’t think I can answer much of your questioning, but I wanted to let you know I have read your post (and I am sure others have too) and that you are being heard and thought about.
    If you were in the UK, I might ask if you have had any help from the CAB (Citizens Advice Bureau), which gives free advice on lots of things, including legal and financial.  Do you know if you have a similar organization in Indiana?  I have looked under Resources above, then Indiana and Financial and Legal services and a few things came up.  Is any of this useful?
    You do deserve to be protected from the emotional pressure (*********?) and physical harassment, as well as the financial and legal hounding you have been receiving.
    There are so many different issues here and I can feel the desperation and exhaustion in what you write.  Is it possible to SLOW down your thinking and consider ONE thing you can do to protect yourself today?  There is a long way to go, I know, but there is a saying about the long journey begins with just one step …  And sometimes the serenity prayer (whether or not you believe in a divine being) can help.
    Monique
    God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change
    The courage to change the things I can
    And the wisdom to know the difference.
     — 01/09/2013 13:25:34: post edited by monique.

    #1271
    twilight16
    Participant

    Dear Dadda,
    My heart aches for reading how still your ex is just hounding you. His behavior is inhumane and I believe the sooner your cut ties with him the better you and your daughter will be. There is always a way to make due with what you have. Is there a way you can live somewhere that has transportation? When I took my father to court I didn’t have a lawyer.
    I presented my case with all supporting documents and I won both ***** and when it seemed like the judge was overlooking my evidence. I bought it up again by holding the document up
    In plain view.
    Judges are there to listen to both sides, however the more supporting papers you have the more they will listen. I wish there was something I could say that would change your situation, but I believe when you start looking past the hurdles you ex has been dishing you will find the road out of this madness. Take care, Twilight "Forget what hurt you but never forget what it taught you."

    #1272
    velvet
    Moderator

    Hi Dadda
    Unfortunately the US divorce laws and courts are not part of the territory for me.  
    Twilight has experience of courts in the US and as she has written she had successfully represented herself.  I do remember Twilight’s posts before these hearings and I think she was feeling as helpless as you are now but she came out fighting and as you can read – she succeeded.    
    You are trying to cope with so many different angles and I can only suggest that you take each problem separately and deal with just that one before moving on to the next.   Taking one step at a time is a well-known expression on this site and it does make a difference.  
    I am not opting out Dadda.   I hope that by bringing you back up to the top of the forum that maybe some of our US members might have some answers for you but your problems are legal and this site has to deal with what it knows and that is the addiction to gamble. 
    I wish you and your daughter well
    Velvet
     

    #1273
    dadda
    Participant

    Thank you all for your replies. It does help somewhat to know that others have come through "to the other side". I know some of my anxiety stems from past experiences … with the Court and all other systems. Now, I know some of it is from having more understanding of what is going on and what has gone on … and the fact that "professionals" never caught on/catch on.
    LOL the US Court system is pretty screwed up, particularly Family Court. I thought I was "the only one" but since the internet came alive … well, basically, I’m scared to some extent because it doesn’t always seem to matter what the facts OR the law is.
    Every time I thought I might get ahead a little, he does something … like dumping the utilities, adding himself back to the insurance … or my car has broken down. My phone broke a couple of months ago, THAT was when I got a job call … but it was too late once I got the message.
    So I have no money saved … and bankruptcy … even if I wanted to, I can’t afford to file. I asked around … because he blatantly told me he was going to bankrupt me … apparently, it is "totally legal". So my credit is destroyed …
    I’m intelligent and have had numerous career oriented positions in past … but am stuck in the middle of nowhere. Every time I think of having to start again, from scratch and with nothing, it just makes me want to cry. If I could only have gotten out of here, two years ago … my attorney said, "trust me" and I did, though I asked questions and tried to limit costs. The attorney bailed out after the hearing, refusing even to clarify matters in the decree, so I wouldn’t be going through this now.
    I was hoping to change realtors, as I had gotten no feedback from his (we are to sell the house, using a "mutually agreeable realtor") and we have had only 4 showings, now. Normal people sign a selling contract for three months, to keep realtor on their toes/motivated. He signed one for a yar. I’m "not allowed" to see the contract, per the realtor, but about two weeks ago I spoke with him (he did not answer e-mails) and he reiterated that the house is to be sold at the top of the appraisal … "because the judge said so".
    I’m not sure whether to go to the Divorce Court AND Small Claims, file a Motion for Dismissal, based on jurisdiction … or go  and try to show the judge that he is trying to circumvent the Divorce Court’s authority, by showing he has twice filed to have me "evicted" and had that turned down. He is basing all this on some "agreement" he claims was reached the day the divorce was finalized. I’m not really expecting answers, so much on the legal issues … although it burns me up that I am bankrupted ONLY from having to protect myself against this lunacy that should not even be.
    Right now, my daughter’s car is broken down, so we’ve been playing hob to get to classes and work, for her and work, for me, timely and all. I put 100 extra miles on, Friday … that gets expensive, too … but I can’t afford to pay for repairs, nor can she, yet …
    I guess I am not understanding the COMPLETE hostility and animosity he is and has been displaying. I know, from past experience that the only way to "get along" with him is to give him his way … he truly believes he has the RIGHT to "punish" me if I do not yield … and this time, I refused to back down as I was reamed in the previous divorce and thereafter. I’ve come to the conclusion, not too long ago and having examined more Court records of various cases we’ve had, that he actually wanted me to come back because he read the parenting report done while he was trying to exclude me from our daughters’ lives … and come to the conclusion I might be victorious in a custody challenge. I know he terminated his attorney right after; normally, parents are not allowed to see or get a copy of the report, but legal representatives are … and he started representing himself shortly after … although he rehired his attorney, later. And he was receiving from $1000 – $1440 a month in benefits for them … it is a God-awful mess.
    What I guess I am wondering … my whole take, particularly since he yelled at me a while back, that he was going to "keep on" until I "don’t have the right to walk the dirt" is how to understand this … I know, from reading some gamblers’ stories, that often, they do things that are quite unsavory, in the grip of addiction. I’ve done things I am not proud of in past, myself. But is this intense and continued hatred, particularly toward a former victim/target who now "knows too much" (while they remain in public denial) … is this normal? Is the behavior more indicative, would you think, of gambling pathology itself or his own personality traits/disorder?  I have found some good information, but very limited to date.
    It has sort of "blown my mind" that in past, I even questioned my own sanity and believed I might be crazy, because of what he put me threw … and the fact that I was viewed as a mentally ill **** addict and troublemaker, all on his say so … and believed, by professionals … scares me.
     

    #1274
    dadda
    Participant

    I just found some information that has helped to put my mind at ease … a little bit. Apparently, I can appeal, even if he "wins" and that could give me additional time to work on leaving in a rational fashion, or trying to get this house sold. Or maybe getting a bit more useful information from the Legal Aid resources.
    How I merely wish for some "solid ground" under my feet! This anxiety is making things worse than anything, other than what he is doing
    If anyone has any links or ideas … how to view his behavior and how to respond (best) I think that would help. Pretty much, I have avoided contact with him. I have learned there is absolutely NO point in discussing things with him … as I mentioned, the only way to "get along" is to give in. I’ve also learned that "trying" to communicate when there is no chance of "healthy" communication occurring merely ends up dragging me down … as the only option is to resort to unhealthy.
    When I have had to communicate with him (as when he bounded in the other week) I try to remain calm, factual …. he demanded I get out; I asked if he has a Court order. Then, when he and our daughter were yelling at each other, I tried to calm her instead of addressing her … but he was getting "in her face" and saying none of us have "the right to be in his house". I KNOW our daughters’ benefits financed the bills … while he played with money, for years … trips, gambling, cars … so I did mention that. Don’t know if that is a good or bad idea  … guessing it probably depends on what their (underlying) problems are.
    And I just want to say how much I appreciate all of you … I haven’t been on here for quite some time; but just to have posted and several replies … I really don’t have words. I’ve been spending some time contacting people in the gov’t, even reporters, cause it is also crazy that the gov’t permits, regulates and supposely, oversees gambling operations … and of course, they bust the "illegal" ones … it really makes me angry that, learning how much damage has been done to me … and our daughters … and the only "resource" for family members being … therapy … at our own expense … that just burns me up. And I know, I think Velvet, you told me something about not spinning my wheels on that sort of thing. I’ve just been saving all the info … who replies, who doesn’t … how they reply … maybe at some point, I can use the info or pass it on to someone who can do some good with it. I hope so!

    #1275
    monique
    Participant

    Dear Dadda
    It is good to hear from you again and that you have found encouragement in the replies you got here.
    I’m glad you found something positive to hang on to amongst all the ‘battles’ you are facing, too.  The whole ‘system’ nationally (in your country and over here) can indeed make us VERY angry.  However, I think I agree with Velvet that we probably can’t afford to use up our energy on being angry with the system, while we have so much to do to survive well ourselves. (Not her words, but my understanding of what you are probably getting at!)  There IS a role for campaigners for reform, and they deserve our support, but we need to be safe and strong ourselves, as a priority.  Being angry all the time can sap our energy, which we need to survive and rebuild.  (Having said that, I know some people are energized by campaigning, but it sounds like you need to look after yourself and your daughter, taking one step at a time.)
    So I hope you can find your inner calm and hope to move forward safely and steadily.
    Again, I send you my warmest wishes,
    Monique

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