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05/04/2012 10:13 PM

Ok...has he or hasn't he?

SetmeFree
SetmeFree  
Posts: 400
Member

I answered my discovery questions truthfully and my lawyer never asked me to edit out the abuse ....I saw his discovery answers and the only negative he said about me was that I don't discipline...I deal with waking up for school, homework, bathtime and bed time for two boys who are competitive.... I discipline all day long). And I submitted those months ago. I outlined a good deal of the abuse (which my lawyer now doesn't want to bring up)in my discovery answers...stuff that should have set my abuser off in a big way and he hasn't said a word about it...he recently dropped my cell phone from his plan..or at least says he did...I haven't thought to try it, I told him to e-mail me in regards to the boys and those have gotten friendlier lately and he has managed to get me on the phone twice in one week and sounds like he sounds when he thinks he has the world by the balls...but I know he went out of his way to sound happy to irk his first wife too...so it most likely is a head game.

We have a temp custody/support hearing on Thursday and it could just be confidence on his part...he does have a good chance of getting his 50/50 now that my lawyer is flaking out on me and taking away all of my argument against 50/50...but it is kinda concerning me that there has been no reaction to the abuse allegations in my answers from him, the GF or his vast circle of friends...and yes a small part of me was hoping he would do enough to justify a restraining order...like threats of bodily harm or getting too close and showing his gun to intimidate.

So here I wonder if his lawyer never forwarded a copy of my answers to him or he is playing it that cool.....or if his lawyer told him it doesn't matter what I wrote.

By the way I hate that I am sitting here trying to figure out his game....

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05/04/2012 11:09 PM
Izzy87
Izzy87  
Posts: 2731
VIP Member

I'm pissy with your lawyer, sorry...what's his reasoning for leaving it out?

05/05/2012 07:14 AM
SetmeFree
SetmeFree  
Posts: 400
Member

I should mention that she is legal aid, in another forum on another site regarding child custody they are telling me bad things about legal aid. My lawyer said if it wasn't mentioned in the initial filing it doesn't count. She is also now claiming that I never mentioned the abuse until after we filed. In my initial consult I told her what he said to me when I asked for the divorce "If I can't inflict pain, the marriage isn't worth saving." And then I told her that I was going to start therapy over at Peace River(they run the local battered women's shelter as well and a mental health center) to try to figure out if I was abused or not. She did not press or ask questions about the things he did, she just said she would take my case, I realize she isn't a professional therapist but at that point I was still looking for confirmation and all she had to do was ask a few more questions to know it was abuse when I didn't.

My abuser also sent some texts admitting to one of the rapes from several months earlier where I was asleep and he held a pillow over my face ...but he downplayed it, he had also been lifting his shirt showing me his gun during drop offs and pickups and she was wishy washy about going after a domestic violence order of protection, said I would need to feel that I was in immediate danger otherwise she felt his lawyer could show I was trying to manipulate custody with the DVOP.

A few weeks after she shot down my DVOP my 9 year old came home from a visit with a large bruise on his upper arm , from his adult half brother(21) because he would not give up his seat...per the kids the GF watched it happened did nothing and later told the kids to call it a 'woobie' to this day my husband refuses to acknowledge or discuss what happened. So the next day I dropped off ppwk with my lawyer's assistant and because I was now wary of looking like I was manipulating custody decisions I asked if I should call in DCF...I was advised to document it and report if it happened again. The assistant also said she would leave a note for the lawyer about the incident and she never followed up to tell me otherwise. Now my lawyer says I can't mention it because it will look bad that I didn't involved DCF immediately.

The only thing she will let me talk about is emotional and financial abuse as it relates to my abuser hiring the GF after I asked him to end it, and bringing her around the children as often as humanly possible and then I can talk about not feeling how I could do any more than ask him to end it because of the amount of money he made knowing he could afford better lawyers. And this would tie into the argument that he should not have 50/50 because he and GF are actively seeking a 'sister slave' to join their relationship(I have printouts of the paid personal ads started months after the separation with their pictures..GF naked in a dog collar)and he will not make an effort to shield the children from their lifestyle choices since he forced the almost daily presence of the GF during our marriage from 2008-on. At least on the weekends they have friends dropping by all day long and any 3rd person in their relationship might blend in...I am still not sure how to explain that and not sound crazy myself...I have asked about supervised visitation a few times and she hasn't really gotten into it.

I am just upset with myself, I allowed myself to believe my custody case was an obvious decision in my favor and worked on sorting through the abuse...now my lawyer and this stupid 50/50 parenting plan in FL have me afraid for my kids....I would have a much better chance of killing 50/50 if I had the DVOP because any documentation of DV charges have to be referenced in the custody ruling here in FL. If it was in my initial answers to his filing it would have counted for something...now it's just hearsay.

sorry really mad at myself right now.


05/05/2012 08:06 AM
Meg1129
Meg1129Posts: 14598
Group Leader

I understand where you are coming from and for anyone who is reading your story, I hope you will take away this lesson from it ... DOCUMENT EVERYTHING! Call the police, take photos, keep a journal of every incident, save those texts, those apology letters or cards or e-mails. You never know when you will need them for evidence.

As for you, Setmefree, I think it would be a huge mistake not to bring up the abuse stuff and it's not something you can go back later and correct should things not go well with your case. You've got one shot at this.

I have a couple of suggestions. Can you call your local domestic abuse shelter and ask if they have any legal resources? I'm thinking they might have someone you can contact who will give you advice on this or perhaps even the names of a couple of law firms that specialize in abuse. Then, you can call them and ask for a consultation just to get their opinion.

My other suggestion is can you ask for a different legal aid lawyer? I realize this is legal aid and you are probably constricted in ways that you wouldn't be if you were going with a private attorney though, but it might be worth a shot.


05/05/2012 08:28 AM
SetmeFree
SetmeFree  
Posts: 400
Member

I was also allowed to believe that I was on track on the custody case this entire time....including praise via email about my discovery answers relating the abuse from my lawyer....now she doesn't want to talk about the abuse. So even if you are being told everything looks good continue to research.

05/05/2012 08:47 AM
Meg1129
Meg1129Posts: 14598
Group Leader

That almost sounds like whatever they call lawyer malpractice. I mean that's just not right, IMO. Lundy Bancroft has co-founded the Protective Mothers Alliance and they have a really great website. I think you should check it out. I put a link to it below. I know they have a tab for Resources and when you click on it, it brings down a menu listing therapists and attorneys, etc. There is one listed for Florida, but she looks to be a general attorney. I'm not sure if this website vettes the people they refer or just accepts advertising from anyone.

There is also reference made to PMA chapters throughout the U.S., but I don't see any info on them. It kind of looks like the site may still be under construction. HOWEVER, if you click on the Contact Us tab, you will get a phone number and e-mail address for Bancroft and the woman he co-founded PMA with. Maybe you can get in touch with them and get some answers or direction. At least find out if there are any chapters in Florida ... women who have gone through the same thing and can give you the benefit of their experience.

Oh, it looks like they also have a Facebook page. Maybe you can get more info or contact other people who have been through this or have some recommendations for you in Florida.

http://www.lundybancroft.com/?p=117

http://www.lundybancroft.com/?page_id=391

http://www.protectivemothersalliance.org/

His website does have the following which may be helpful to you:

Strategies for Locating Other Protective Mothers in Your Geographical Area

The first step to building a chapter of the Protective Mothers Alliance is to locate other women who have experienced abuse of their rights in family law proceedings. This recruitment will be an ongoing need for your group. Here are suggestions for how to find each other:

Ask your nearest program for abused women to refer mothers to you that are having bad experiences in custody proceedings.

Put a notice about your group on bulletin boards and in your local newspaper.

Sit in at court to observe hearings, and approach mothers during breaks who appear to be dealing with abusive ex-partners or who are being mistreated by court personnel.

Ask local therapists and community mental health centers to refer protective mothers to you.

Create a brochure about your group to circulate locally.

Mothers can face a tough decision about their own safety when working to form a the Protective Mothers Alliance group. On the one hand, you need to put your name and phone number on flyers and notices, so that other mothers can connect with you. On the other hand, judges and custody evaluators sometimes retaliate against mothers who are known to be taking their experiences public or becoming activists, by doing even worse things to the mother.

Although there is no easy way to resolve this bind, we have a couple of suggestions; 1) See if an ally, male or female, who does not have a court case, is willing to be the initial contact, who then funnels calls to you; 2) Use an email address that is not obviously connected to you, and have mothers connect to you at that address first, before giving them your name or phone number.

Strategies for Surviving Your Own Custody Litigation

Find women whose cases are in the same court as yours, or even before the same judge, and attend each other's hearings for support and to let the court know that it is being watched.

Find community leaders who are sympathetic, to be influential allies, and to be present at hearings when possible.

Form a chapter of the Protective Mothers Alliance for Justice.

Bring at least two people with you to each hearing if possible.

Find an expert witness if possible. The expert does not necessarily have to be a person with tremendous academic credentials, if you cannot afford the expense of that kind of expert. The Internet is your best bet for tracking down possible experts, but also try your local battered women's program, your state coalition of battered women's programs, and some of the other phone numbers listed in the “Child Custody, Divorce, and Child Support” section of the Resources page of this website.

Look for ways to keep your case out of court.

Build a network of emotionally supportive allies.

Keep working on having the best possible relationship with your children, and keep reaching to be the best parent you can be.

Think long-term about the strategy for your case and about approaches to keep your children emotionally well and strong.

Listen carefully to your intuition (even when it means not following the suggestions above). When you find it necessary to take risks (such as to ask for a trial), reflect on what timing is best for taking that step, and try to be sure that you have the necessary support to take it on.

Post edited by: Meg1129, at: 05/05/2012 08:48 AM


05/05/2012 10:20 AM
mem7205

Setmefree,I would encourage you to go to www.WomensLaw.org. Use their resources and search information to get information to help yourself.You can also e-mail them legal questions.Get the abuse on record.That needs to be a point you insist upon.Your lawyer works for you.

As far as his having you on his cell phone plan.Bear in mind that as long as he does he has complete access to whom you call,when etc.Abusers have also been known to put GPS tracking devices/video surveillance on cell phones so that they can stalk you and spy on you.So be aware of that fact.He can also of course shut off your cell service at any time.

Lanna


05/05/2012 11:53 AM
SetmeFree
SetmeFree  
Posts: 400
Member

I only used the cell phone to text him in regards to the kids and field bill collector calls..I never go anywhere beyond usual errands...post office, grocery, Dr's appts ...maybe he dropped my phone because I was so boring. I expected him to drop it at some point so I got the free assurance cell phone early on.

I had e-mailed woman's law a couple months ago...never got a response, but I think they were having tech issues since they had the option to ask a question blocked for a few days prior to me sending my question....I just chalked it up to being another crack to fall through and forgot about it.


05/05/2012 01:34 PM
mem7205

Setmefree,You might want to try them again.

Lanna


05/05/2012 02:58 PM
SetmeFree
SetmeFree  
Posts: 400
Member

I sent another e-mail to woman's law.

The other site I found this week there is a poster that from what I understand is a law student or recently graduated and has gone through a divorce custody battle herself in the state of FL...seems to be a trusted member.

She is telling me my lawyer is "full of S H I T" and the abuse can be brought up at anytime in the process and she feels my attorney is just being lazy/covering her butt. I just reviewed my discovery answers, the info is already out there, if my abuser's lawyer asks I have to answer per my discovery answers anyway to maintain credibility(not that his lawyer will bring something up that will highlight the abuse), from my google search it doesn't look like the judge will see discovery answers unless it seems like my answers are changing.

So yes I am strongly considering going 'rogue' up on the stand.

The other issue my lawyer is stressing out about is time. This judge only allows 1 hour, 30 minutes per side to plead your case...now I am wondering if she is trying to censor me to keep from annoying the assigned judge.I don't know anymore..I am praying for good results on Thursday morning and well directed lightening bolts if I lose. I have also read that in most cases whatever is ruled in the temp hearing sticks to the final order.

Also interesting to note the dads on that site who told me in the beginning to suck it up on 50/50 cause I live in FL, are now noticeably absent from my thread now that I am getting into the abuse that I've been through.

Post edited by: SetmeFree, at: 05/05/2012 03:01 PM

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