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Old 10-06-2004, 12:40 PM   #1
Auburn Annie
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I put this in "Small Talk" because it's non-Gord but would everybody here think positive for my sister Mary in Atlanta? She's going to court tomorrow morning, 9 am, for her divorce hearing.

Opposing counsel is nasty, her husband has 58 affidavits on his behalf testifying to his being a fine upstanding citizen. My sister just got notice for affidavits last Friday. You think he might have been working on this for a while?

Meanwhile he's asking for a psych exam for my sister, full custody of their boys, home exam etc. When asked by her attorney what my sister thought he wanted out of the divorce, she told her "he wants the boys, he wants the house, he wants my money, and he wants me dead."

My sister is disabled from neurosurgery - limited mobility in neck and shoulders, chronic pain which requires daily medication, nerve damage in the extremities making walking difficult, plus other health issues. But she gets the laundry done, grocery shopping with help from the boys (13 and almost 15), schlepps them to appointments, talks with their teachers - they're A students - and is the one who does what she says she'll do. All with numb feet and blinding pain.

Their father has snowed everybody for years, and continues to do so to the outside world. He's emotionally abusive, using my sister's illnesses against her, having multiple affairs, cutting her off financially (he makes 6 figures, she gets Social Security disability checks monthly.) He hasn't paid a dime in repairs on the house in the 2 years since she kicked him out ("not my problem") pays his bills but not hers, and she has to ask for grocery money each week to feed the boys. He tells her between obscenities that she's twisted, bleeding him dry, unloveable and stupid (she was an attorney and administrative hearing judge.)

But everybody thinks he's Mr. Swell. He's a corporate attorney with a big telecom company. He's set himself up as the concerned parent who looks after his boys because their mom just can't manage it.

Sorry to rant, folks, but this narcissist has devasted my sister, tramatized my nephews, and is likely to skate away unscathed from the whole mess. So keep a good thought for her but if a telephone pole up and hits his car, there'll be no mourning in this house.

[This message has been edited by Auburn Annie (edited October 06, 2004).]
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Old 10-06-2004, 01:46 PM   #2
BILLW
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Annie,
My first thought is to go and kick the guy's butt. It's my thoughts that get me in trouble. So I'll keep your family in my prayers instead. Good luck to her and please keep us posted.

Bill
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Old 10-06-2004, 03:12 PM   #3
violet Blue Horse
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I'm sorry Annie. I will think good thoughts.

[QUOTE]Originally posted by Auburn Annie:
[B]I put this in "Small Talk" because it's non-Gord but would everybody here think positive for my sister Mary in Atlanta? She's going to court tomorrow morning, 9 am, for her divorce hearing.

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Old 10-06-2004, 05:23 PM   #4
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good luck to her..i have af riend who had a narcissist for a husband and an obsessive compulsive disorder as well. he was verbally abusive...he fooled everyone and it cost her a fortune....he also stalked her and bought a house across the street from her with his girlfriend....my friend sold immediately and moved....He stalked her there too. Yet he had her charged with stalking HIM because she would come into this neighbourhood where she had lived for 25 years and where her friends and the kids friends lived! she can't come in this neighbourhood now! nobody can believe the stories she tells because he was so "wonderful" to everyone...I wish your sister well...and luck - she'll need it..
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Old 10-06-2004, 06:08 PM   #5
Auburn Annie
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Described him to a T, Char. When she kicked him out (he used their home for a tryst while Mary was hospitalized) he rented a place 5 minutes away. He's still trying to get back in the house; Mary changed the security system - the boys don't know the code because he could weasel it out of them. He turns up parked along the road, walks around the yard at odd hours; she called 911 a couple of weeks ago when he came screaming across the lawn at 10:30 at night, banging on the door, cursing, etc. Throws the whole house into chaos, the boys crying and yelling at both parents, then slipping away before the cop gets there. Calls 8 or 9 times later that night, continuing the tirade. And she can't get a temporary restraining order; in Georgia you have to be in the ER or worse before they'll consider it. The judge wouldn't even consider hearing from either my sister or he attorney. He figures he's untouchable, and unfortunately he's probably right.

We've had several offers from old friends to shoot the b*****d; personally I'm hoping he'll wrap himself around a tree (maniac driver - thinks he owns the road). I'd feel bad for his boys but the champagne would be flowing here.
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Old 10-06-2004, 06:09 PM   #6
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I'll pray.
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Old 10-06-2004, 06:24 PM   #7
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and I thought my ex was bad. Good Luck to her, She will be in my thoughts and please tell us what happens. I hope the boys are able to tell the court what life has been like. Judges like to listen to the kids and they are old enough.
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Old 10-06-2004, 09:10 PM   #8
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My thoughts are with you and your sister Annie! That guy will screw up sooner or later and be revealed for the lesser person that he really is.

Your sister's situation is similar to a plotline I saw on that new series "Boston Legal" last Sunday. On that,the wife has divorced her husband and has gotten a job opp. in another state and her husband is doing all he can to hurt her chances of custody for the boys. He too is the master of the snow job,claiming he has his boys' best intrests at heart.

One of the lawyers spots him picking up a prostitute and snaps photos of the encounter and shows up at the guy's work with the photos,threatenig blackmail if he doesn't back off. He does of course!!!

I wish it were as easy for your sister in real life. One can only pray that the right thing is done and that justice isn't blind in this case. Tell her I wish her all the luck that exists in the Universe.

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"A knight of the road,going back to a place where he might get warm." - Borderstone
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Old 10-07-2004, 06:58 AM   #9
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Keeping good thoughts for your sister certainly evokes bad thoughts for the soon to be ex.
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Old 10-07-2004, 11:08 AM   #10
Auburn Annie
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Update: the judge immediately ordered both parties into mediation to work out a settlement, if possible. Her attorney is guardedly optimistic since she has many examples of his poor financial mismanagement (hundreds in overdrafts, cutoff notices etc.) And my sister is sounding much better as the flu that's been dogging her since the weekend is easing up (as she described it, she hasn't "urped" since this morning.)

There may be any number of meetings to come, and they may still end up before the judge, but it's a hopeful sign, the first in a long time. Will update as I know more. Thanks, gang!
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Old 10-07-2004, 06:58 PM   #11
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YAY!
yes, please do keep us posted. We'll continue to keep good thoughts and prayers. oh justice.....be a friend
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Old 10-07-2004, 07:30 PM   #12
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What a relief, I bet you were on the edge this morning. Good Luck to her and do lets us know how everything goes.
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Old 10-07-2004, 08:05 PM   #13
Auburn Annie
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Sigh .. not good.

After several hours of mediation the judge called them in, gave her attorney less than a minute before cutting her off and letting his lawyer praise the scumbag for a full half-hour. The judge never looked at 4 boxes of documents, affidavits, etc., that Mary's lawyer brought, listened to a neighbor (who admitted she didn't really know Mary) praise Bill to the skies. Himself then proceeded to lie his ass off - he works from home 2-3 days a week (he could but never has) is home by 5:30 every night - try 8-8:30, and does 90% of the cooking, cleaning and laundry - try closer to 10%.

In the end the judge gave Bill final decision-making over the boys; Mary gets them the 1st, 3rd, and - if there is one - 5th weekend on the month (Thursday - Sunday). She can only call him one time per day, for any reason. Financially he's only responsible for the two mortgages on the house, no other bills. As primary parent, he also gets the boys' Social Security check (they get $303 each per month because of their mother's disability, even though he makes $150K plus stock options etc.)

She's crushed, but not surprised. He's always been about control and money, and now he's got both. For all practical purposes he owns the boys. We think she should negotiate a cash settlement in exchange for the house (which he's been trying to move back into for two years) and take the money and get the hell out of Georgia. Leave him with 2 teenage boys 24/7 - though God knows what will happen to them, and that's her worry. We all would like to show up with a couple of great big moving vans, pack her up and take her home to Auburn. And then head for a much needed fun trip to Vegas. She hasn't had a week to herself in years.

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Old 10-08-2004, 09:13 AM   #14
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even in a "family" court up here the two boys my friend has never had a say although they were 13 and 14.they had been in mental health counselling for 3 years each, one was suicidal and taking valium to sleep. the other had anger control problems like his father and was violent with his mum and brother. they were ordered to see their father every other weekend for overnight visits and every wed.night for 3 hours. even tho neither wanted to spend a second with him and their own lawyer, social worker, doctor and psychiatirst all had their say in court. what a farce...after a couple of years they stopped going to see him-that's when he had the restraining order put on HER to keep her out of the neighbourhood although he was following her all over-she had the boys in the car and friends and neighbours as witnesses. he was seen looking in her house windows, he was seen sitting on a dark street in his car several times, a block from her home..on and on...yet HE gets the order against HER!
shameful...
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Old 10-09-2004, 11:38 PM   #15
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Annie, so sorry about your sister. There really is little justice in this world. If you have the funds, you get more justice. As for this "person" your sister was married to, well, he will get his justice in another time and place. They say, "all things come around" and I believe that - just not necessarily in this lifetime!
My thoughts and prayers are with you both,
Sean
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Old 10-10-2004, 09:34 AM   #16
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Annie,
I am so sorry for Mary. I have a friend going thru a similar divorce. Sometimes, it feels like the law is there for the bad guys!
I wish her better health and peace of mind.
Can she appeal?
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Old 10-10-2004, 10:21 AM   #17
Auburn Annie
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Thanks, everyone. She is, as she writes, "walking around dazed and dejected." She has no money - he's been taking cash advances against their joint accounts for paying his lawyer, so in effect she's pay both her attorney and half of his lawyer's fees. Georgia is screwy and archaic when it comes to women's rights. He can keep on opening up joint accounts without her say-so until the divorce is final but she can't get herself off a card without his okay. There are both a first and second mortgage already on the house - that's she's put $10K in repairs on this past year to keep it from falling down around their ears - so I doubt there's much left for a loan for her. I'm sure his plan is to make her house poor so she'll have to just give it to him (she can't sell without him saying yes, and gettting half the proceeds, if any.) She can't leave Georgia at this point without the court considering it abandonment, which opens the door to him getting full and complete custody.

I know what goes around, comes around but his father was a mean alcoholic, physically and verbally abusive (and sexually towards his sisters, possibly him too though that's never been acknowledged) and he lived well into his 80s. She's fearful for the kids. She's seen her husband's rages, as have the boys, but he keeps his outbursts well hidden from anybody else, so there are almost no outside witnesses. My niece DID see one - she was the target, along with my sister, last fall when she was visiting - and is filing an affidavit with the court but that assumes the judge even looks at it. She just cannot abandon the boys when she knows that they are vulnerable. They've both been in counseling for about a year and a half; unfortunately her younger son's therapist is hospitalized for weeks with blood clots on the brain - and his office has no back-up!! As I said before, without divine intervention, this goes from bad to worse.
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Old 10-10-2004, 08:04 PM   #18
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I can empathize to a certain extent with what your sister is going through.
When I left my first husband, Ry's biological father, I was young and had no $$. Ry used to go for weekend visits. One weekend,my soon to be ex just refused to give him back. Ryan was five at the time. I won't go into all the gory details of crying everyday, and hearing Ry cry through the phone, suffice it say I took him two months later on Christmas Day. It was a bit scary. Thankfully, the divorce went through soon after, and WA is a pro-mother state. That's not to say I ever really saw child support, but that wasn't the important thing to me, my son was (and is).

I have a tendency to agree with Watchman on this one. His true colors will eventually show.Something or someone, sooner or later, will tumble his house of cards. I will continue to pray and think good thoughts for your sister and her sons Annie.
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Old 10-11-2004, 03:23 PM   #19
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Eh, can she do the same? Can she take a cash advance and place that money somewhere else somehow. Yes, that will put her/them deeper in debt, but she sounds like she going to need an emergency stash soon. Are there any advocacy organizations, a women's foundation in the area, anyone who can at least give her some guidance? I am sorry. What goes around never seems to come back around quick enough or strong enough to do any good.

quote:Originally posted by Auburn Annie:
Thanks, everyone. She is, as she writes, "walking around dazed and dejected." She has no money - he's been taking cash advances against their joint accounts for paying his lawyer, so in effect she's pay both her attorney and half of his lawyer's fees.



[This message has been edited by violet Blue Horse (edited October 11, 2004).]
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Old 10-11-2004, 05:56 PM   #20
Auburn Annie
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We're not counting on the judge seeing through anything - she has one of the worst reputations in the state (her husband served federal time for fraud); she once gave custody to a suspected serial child molester, then stymied out-of-state law enforcement trying to help. The woman appointed as guardian ad litem in that case was the judge's own divorce attorney; the G-A-L's husband was assistant for former Georgia Attorney General Mike Bowers who resigned - ostensibly to run for governor - when his 10+ year affair with a woman he put on the payroll was uncovered. The kicker? Mike Bowers is my sister's former boss, who eventually saw to it that she was removed from the payroll when she became disabled. Nice guy. You think maybe the fix is in?

I fear my sister is unravelling, sending her husband lengthy emails pointing out his failures to follow court instructions (which have not yet been issued in print) - and shooting herself in the foot in the process. But she has no where else to direct the anger, fear for her children, frustration, etc. There was an article in the September issue of Oprah's "O" magazine, "She's Come Undone" which exactly describes her situation. Nobody believes this "caring" man is the control freak she says he is; they see her as unhinged (one of the techinques of an abuser is to tell the victim - and family, friends and neighbors - she's crazy.) People get tired of hearing her complaints, don't want to talk to her or listen, start avoiding her, complain she's being a drama queen, which makes her more desperate to be heard and believed. No bruises, no fractures, no torn clothes - if it can't be seen, it's hard to believe. Add to this the very real physical disabilities and her life is out of control, or so it seems to her.

She called me the other afternoon telling I had to talk her out of doing herself in because she thought she'd accidentally sent an email to her husband that had her private email password, phone numbers, strategy issues, etc. She is NOT computer savvy. I went into her email, checked the sent messages and could reassure her that she had NOT done so, just a short innocuous question about the kids' schedule. The one she shot off came to me. I told her to take a deep breath, check the header and think twice before ever hitting send, to anybody.

I don't think she can see beyond the day-to-day at this point. There is no light at the end of the tunnel (unless it's another train headed for her head on.) She really needs *something* good, however small, to give her some perspective.
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