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wemble

my husband filed for divorce today

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because he doesn't want to deal with my bipolar anymore.

i'm completely stable. have been for a long time. haven't been hospitalized in well over a year and even then it was only that one time.

i think he was just looking for an out. things were ok between us until i got that diagnosis (which i was so happy about because i got treatment - yay!) and then it was like he was immune to everything. everything suddenly became MY fault and a symptom.

the worst part? he took my daughter from me. he said he wanted her in a more "stable environment," so he went to his mom's - the woman who, the last time he stayed there with her (while i was in the hospital) called him an abusive asshole and tried to hit him and chased him out of the house, screaming at the top of her lungs. she's insane. he filed a restraining order against me - i can't drive with her, can't go to her school. can only have limited supervised visits - all based on these ridiculous claims. i started on topomax about 2 months ago and had trouble with word recall, in the legal papers he's calling it psychosis. aside from it being wrong, for 2 months it wasn't an issue but now it's grounds for divorce. it makes me so angry. and then there's the neglect. my daughter has a slight speech delay that is almost gone at the age of 3. it somehow got into his head that i neglected and abused her because i'm bipolar and that's why she has this delay. this from the man who has never missed a minute of sleep during his daughter's young life because i was the one up with her every hour changing diapers and doing feedings. i'm dumfounded. at least our couple's counselor seemed a little dumfounded too.

now i haven't slept all night. things have been going so well. i thought we were going so well. literally 5 weeks ago we were going to stop couple's counseling because we thought we were doing great and now this. he hasn't mentioned anything - smiling, sweet to me - then the nastiest thing ever. i told a friend i feel like he's set this up to be just a nasty divorce and as hard on our daughter as possible. he could have sat down with me in that session and said he wanted a divorce and after the initial shock, i probably would have agreed. he's not nice to me, i'm not happy. we could have worked out a division of things - i don't care about stuff. and we could have figured out how to handle things with our daughter until we finalize it with lawyers. but instead he sits down, says he's done because of my bipolar, that i'm unsafe for our daughter (with nothing to back it up, not even when asked), that he's done talking, and he leaves the room. then there's a stranger there serving me with papers. not only has he made this as degrading as possible, he's backed me into a corner, my daughter can't see me, and severely damaged any relationship we could have had with each other for the sake of our daughter.

i have no job, no money (he had the gall the take this month's bill money to pay for his divorce attorney and then blame me for it not being there - that i had miscounted. i actually believed him. i think he has our take returns too), i can't afford this apartment by myself even if i did have a job, and i can't afford the rest of the payments for my classes because i have no job. i don't know where to go to get a lawyer and can't afford one. this is his city - i moved here for him. i know him, his family, and his friends (who i am luckily very close with and very supportive through all this). but i can't leave. my daughter's here - otherwise i'd go back home to new york, but i'm here.

if you've gotten this far, thanks for reading. just need some support.

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I have no constructive advice for you, but I'm so sorry you are going through this. I guess one thought I have is to perhaps see if there are any MI rights or women's rights groups in your area who can steer you towards a pro bono attorney. Also check online for groups who offer free legal advice to low income people - I know our state has one that has a lot of lawyers who work with them. Lastly, check with student services - they may have some resources for you, too. I guess I did have some constructive advice -- I hope it helps.

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I am so sorry to hear that this is happening to you. It must be so frustrating being stable and having your daughter taken away because you're bipolar.

When my mom got a divorce from my dad, he took her to court for custody of me, which he won because she is bipolar and that right there deemed her unfit to be a primary parent (this was in the early 1980's). Things like this make me SO MAD. Turns out she was a much better parent than my dad turned out to be. Anyway, i empathize with you 100% and hope everything works out ok for you.

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I'm so sorry you have to deal with this right now. Do you have a lawyer? My friend recently got a low cost lawyer through the state because her husband was filing for full custody and saying she was unfit. She got pretty much got 50/50 custody with her lawyer calling him on his shit. Maybe your doc can speak for you?

Edited by wj74

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aah, fuck him. he's being a wimp. when the dust settles, life will get better...

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Holy shit, I'm sorry. What a shit move to pull this out of the blue, not to mention all the claims he's making about you because of your diagnosis. Sounds like he has no balls to me. I don't know how this shit works, my parents divorced when I was eight and I was graciously given the choice as to who to live with.

Again, I'm sorry. I hope that you can manage a lawyer somehow. I really wish I had something comforting to say. I just hope that it ends up looking a lot less bleak than this further down the road. I can't imagine a blow like that.

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I am sorry this has gotten so ugly. Especially when there is a child involved.

My sister also got 50/50 custody with a bi-polar dx so don't give up.

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Can you call in some mental health clinics for low-cost lawyer referrals? Maybe even make a couple of phone calls to some lawyers yourself and get some referrals from them?

I'm so sorry about the restraining order. That's completely horrible. As is taking all your money. Do you work? If not, you are entitled to having him support you through this ordeal and afterward.

There is a lawyer here on the board. Maybe she will have some advice for you.

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I would suggest trying to contact a legal aid office. They do pro bono work and I'm sure you would qualify since you currently have no income. Just google legal aid and the city you are in and something should pop up.

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This is one of my worst nightmares. I am so sorry you are going through this. I would definitely look for a mental health advocate to help argue against the excuses for custody and restraining order.

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I'm so sorry you are having to deal with this. Shortly after my Dx, my husband and I decided to get divorced. It was mutual, but then some nasty people started counseling him to make sure to get full custody "for the safety of the children" even though I had never done anything slightly harmful to them (I'm actually an awesome mom). He also knew that if he got full custody, he wouldn't have to pay child support. At the time, I was very ill, and he was threatening to keep the children from me *permanently* if I didn't agree to what he wanted (full custody, the house, the car, all the money). I couldn't get through the the free legal aid people because of my work schedule, so I went to court on my own and agreed to everything he said. The judge actually wouldn't grant the divorce because I was being screwed and gave me three months to get legal help. I wasn't able to, so it went through like that.

HOWEVER, as time went on and I continued to have the kids at least half the time and be a great mom, I was able to convince my ex of how unfair the situation was. Without getting a lawyer, I was able to get him to agree to change the custody to 50/50 shared, with equal parenting responsibility. If I had been able to get a lawyer at the beginning, I probably would have gotten that result immediately. I think every state has some kind of free legal referral system. If you are able to take the time to keep calling until you get through, you really should. If there are no grounds for the claims your husband is making, a lawyer will be able to prove that. Getting a letter from your pdoc, as someone suggested, is a great idea.

Good luck!

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aah, fuck him. he's being a wimp. when the dust settles, life will get better...

Did you notice the part where she said her husband is trying to get full custody of her kids, and vindictively using her diagnosis against her? What will be going on with her kids by the time the dust settles?

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update: i got a lawyer who said (in addition to other things, obviously) they'll be asking for living expenses and attorney fees for me and hopefully we'll get something. he thinks i have a really good case because of obvious reasons and explained that what my ex is doing is actually illegal (keeping my daughter from me).

my parents said they'll "mortgage the house" if they have to so that i can pay fees and have access to my daughter. i'm feeling more confident now that things will work out and figure i'd rather live with credit card debt for the first time in my life to be with her than not. hopefully a job will come through soon.

thanks for the support guys.

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glad that things are heading in a better direction from the first post. sorry I couldn't chime in until just now...was out during the day when you posted. I agree that having a lawyer in this mess is really the best way out--baseless accusations can hopefully be shown to be just that in a courtroom setting. Or maybe he'll back down once he realizes that you're going to fight it. he can't just throw around things without proof--or well, he can, but the idea is that you'll be able to show that they're false and/or he's full of shit.

my best suggestions were going to be ideas for where to find low-cost legal help, but it sounds like you've tackled that issue. i'm glad it worked out.

it sounds like it'll be nasty. I'm really sorry. though sometimes they start out really nasty and then end up settling when the other side realizes they aren't going to get what they want.

I hope your lawyer helps you get an ability to see your daughter again. that does sound fishy.

Edited by dancesintherain

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Im so sorry :( my husband and i just seperated because of my illness so i understand your pain

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I feel for you. I have been there minus the child. Right now is the time to get ANGRY so as not to feel sorrow and mourn for the past. This was a horrible thing for him to do. And he did it to YOU. And he's doing it to YOUR DAUGHTER. Fight him for everything.

Don't worry about your daughter. I am not a lawyer, but from what I've seen and read, no court in this country will keep children away from their mother unless there are extraordinary circumstances and having bipolar is not one of them if you are being treated.

I'm sorry that you were hurt by what was written in the divorce papers about psychosis and such. They will put anything in those papers to try to gain the upper hand. It is basically meant to scare you. The truth will come out in court. He would have to prove that you have psychosis. Right now it is an allegation and a lie. You should have seen what my ex put in the divorce papers. (worse than that)

This is a very emotional topic for me because, as I've said, I've been there.

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I am so sorry wemble

that is just heartbreaking

Look carefully to see whether it is a restraining order or a petition for a restraining order

and if there is a court date set for the restraining order

he really is playing an ugly hand of cards, isn't he

I don't think it will be easy for him to prove you unfit because you state only one hospitalization,

and no wild manic behavior such as DUI's

he just will not have the evidence for that though I suppose he will lie, based on your post

hang in there

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I'm so sorry you are having to endure this, you are a fabulous mama and I know your daughter wll one day appreciate the fight you put up now. Make sure you get a lot of support and we will do what we can for you.

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FWIW, is there NAMI in the area where you live? I haven't been through a divorce and have no kids, but do know through my mother (who leads part of NAMI at times) that there are a lot of avenues to turn to for any type of MI help.

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