As i think I previously indicated in the blog, the wife has taken my 17 year old 3 1/2 hours away from where we lived when married. She lied in court that she was moving in with her sister and instead, moved in with her boyfriend and his two 20 something daughters. I fought this in court and obviously lost as I don’t have custody. (Please, please parents, don’t confuse visitation with custody. If you don’t have custody, you have nothing).
So I hired a Private Investigator to prove she was living with him and then filed in court to remove alimony. In my state there’s a line in the divorce decree that states re-marriage or cohabitation can eliminate alimony. I am scheduled to pay a fairly large sum of monthly alimony for 11 years from 2013. Over the last year I paid more money to the ex then went into my pockets. All for the privilege of her living with her boyfriend and alienating my kids from me. I filed for the removal of alimony in December. And here’s the reason for my post today. I just found out the date for the “removal of alimony” trial. June 10. Six months after I file, I finally get to see the judge on this.
I do believe the judge will be pre-disposed to be incredibly frustrated with my ex. The judge remembers the case very clearly and how many times she has been trapped in a lie in open court and had to retract stuff. She also was very clear with her at the last appearance regarding cohabitating if she was granted the move. I think she knew exactly what the ex was going to do.
But, the ex’s first response to the filing was to rehire the original divorce lawyer and file for an increase in alimony. Using her boyfriends address as the return address. How does the judge not look at this and say: “Are you kidding me? You’re brash enough to fight the cohabitation and alimony elimination while using your boyfriends address and asking for more alimony? Rule for ex-husband. Get out of my court room. Garnished wages till everything is paid back to him from August when you began this fraud. I’m not wasting one more second on this farce and if I see you in here again, you’ll be charge with perjury and contempt of court. You’ve taken exhorbitant amounts of this Dad’s money, alienated him from his kids and now you dare file this pile of excrement?”
A guy can dream, can’t he? That would be justice. Only for whatever reason, that never happens in the courts here in my state. No judge wants to find a single mom in contempt of court, or garnish her wages, or even rule against her. For whatever reason, the default here is that the Mom gets the benefit of the doubt.
So meanwhile, I’m being subpoenaed for every bank statement, every investment statement, every tax return, every employee contract and employment record for the last three years. I sat through a 90 minute deposition where I was asked every question imaginable about money. Always, always, its just about the money. Never anything to do with the kids from her, never any kind of discussion about how we can parent better. I’ve been completely eliminated as a parent in her mind. I’m only a cash cow. Reality was, that was who I was for much of the last few years of marriage.
Now my lawyer says I can go back retroactively and make her pay me back for the alimony paid between filing in December and July (when we will probably finally get a ruling). I won’t be doing this. I will not be the dad that garnished his kids’ moms wages. I will not be vindictive. It’s about the kids. It’s not about the money. No kids wants to hear that his mom became financially destitute because Dad sued her and garnished her wages. Her income will obviously drop dramatically after the elimination of the alimony (and the child support, too, in June as my son graduates high school). But, then again, she’s got two incomes coming into the home from her boyfriend and her new job, so she’ll be fine.
All this to say — nothing is a slam dunk in the world of divorce and alienation. I’m confident I’ll win this case in June, but who knows for sure.
I told a friend struggling through divorce today, “We can’t always control what happens to us, but we do have control over how we respond to what happens to us.” I believe this. I will live this.