Divorce of verbally abusive husband

Liz - posted on 08/12/2010 ( 16 moms have responded )

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I'm going threw a ugly divorce with my 1 year old daughter's father. He was verbally abusive with me, and with his oldest daughter from a previous marriage. He has never been alone with my daughter or spent more than a few minutes with her. He has never showed any interest at all in her. Since I've left he is trying to act like father of thwe year and trying to say i'm keeping him from his daughter and when i would be nice and let him come see her, he would only spend a few minutes with her and spend the rest of his time trying to get me alone with him. He threatened to beat me the night i left and i'm horrible uncomforable with him being anywhere around me. I got a restraining order last week because he was harrassing me. He has a criminal record for assult and a previous wife had to get a restaraning order for family violence. I am horrible worried about my daughter's safety if she were alone with this man, he doesn't know anything about her and has never tried to get to know her. He doesn't really care about her at all he just wants to bother me, he knows thats what gets to me. I'm really scared because he can afford a lawyer and i can't, and the legal aid in my town doesn't offer help with divorce or child custody and i have applied at 50+ places and haven't even gotten a call back yet. I'm also planning on moving to New York to be with my family, and up there i will have more job opportunities and a free full time babysitter i can trust. Has anyone else been threw something like this? and what was the outcome at the courtdate? i am so worried about my daughter being alone with this man, he never hit us, but he scared me enough to think he would. He calls his other daughter horrible nasty names when he gets mad over stupid things, and i don't want my daughter going threw that as well. He also has a little boy he had supervised visitatin with and he didn't make but 1 or 2 visits and lost regular visitation to him. can anyone help me?

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Lisa - posted on 03/26/2012

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Hi, you don't know me, I am British but have an American ex (a good friend) and have lived in the states also. I am recently separated, about to go down the divorce road and believe me, I know what you are going through. My advice is simple - hire a damn good lawyer. If you don't you daughter could be a risk here, her life could be at risk if she has to experience having him in it and he is NOT a suitable father. It will cost you yes. But I am a mother. There is no amount of money on the world that I would part with, no lifestyle or deal that could be offered, for my life and her happiness combined. Id rather be living okay than minted and she is safe, we are hapy than having to see some horrible man on a regular basis. If you really want shot of him, you could find a nice man with a good safe job, or inheritance, who really loves you you both and who will protect you. If you are on your own and want to stay that way then do the lawyer option. I think in america you also have single parent rights to legal aid. Check it out with a family lawyer. Dont leave it, he will be checking it out too. Most importantly, don't give up. You can do this.

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Jody - posted on 04/12/2012

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I am in an almost identical situation. My son is 8 months old and special needs. My ex is a crazy...in fact we split up and I filed for the divorce after calling the cops and he was arrested for assaulting me and threatening to kill me. We go to court Tuesday (5 days) to see where things will go, but I also have a protection order. I don't have a ton of time to read through forums, but message me if you want to talk.

Mommy Under Pressure - posted on 04/10/2012

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Get out and stay out. Don't be like me and stay in a relationship like this for 18 years and have more children with him. Trust me, he won't get any better. And don't let him bully you. Request that the courts apply the restraining order to protect your daughter as well. With that record you shouldn't have a problem at all. DOCUMENT everything!!! Record everything, save every text, etc... He'll give it up eventually. Don't listen to his bull, because it is ALL bull. He can't get custody, no way. You won't need a lawyer but, you may have to pay court costs. Find a way to do it and don't give up!!! Do not let a child grow up exposed to this crap. Trust me, you will be sorry. I now have a 19 year old son who thinks he can talk to me any way he wants because he learned it from his dad. I finally left a year and a half ago when our daughter was 6. No way was she going to grow up thinking it is okay to be treated that way.

Nancy - posted on 08/25/2010

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nothing can help him. i had a similar situation and now my 9 month olds father wants nothing to do with her and calls her awful names. god gets to judge them in the end. be strong for your kids and forget him. Easier said than done but I am trying to do it also!!!

[deleted account]

Well done for getting out of the relationship and managing to get a restraining order against him. That means that you've got some sort of legal protection for you and your daughter. Keep strong. At the end of the day you and your daughter have to put your safety first and if that means moving to wear your family is, then so be it.

It could be worth talking to his other children's mothers to see what they've done in the past and see if you do anything together. If you manage to put a case history of his violance (physical, verbal, mental etc.) then it may hopefully help you during any court procedings - how much I don't know, but worth investigating the options.

Document anything and everything that relates to you and him, from phone calls to visits. Include how you felt, his interest levels in your mutual daughter (from your point of view) etc.. If you keep a record then this should help you if and when any court cases come up and it gives you a record of things that have occured. If there's anyone with you at the time ask them to write down, sign and date what they've seen, so that there's a third person's account of any incidents.

Traci - posted on 08/19/2010

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I am glad you were able to get out of the relationship. I was verbally abused my ex husband also. I would document every thing when it comes to the visitation with your child. I did this and my ex tried to take me back to court for not letting him see his daughter. Well he looked really stupid when I pulled out the documentation of every time he canceled. Documents dates and times of these interactions whatever they may be. Also if you have a restraining order against him, you can request that he have supervised visitation. he would not be able to be with your daughter without someone present. I would try to see if you can get an attorney that will work with you as far as payments or work for you for free. I wish you luck in this divorce and hope everything works out for you. My ex moved out of the state and doesn't see my daughter much at all. Maybe he won't make an effort if he knows that he doesn't get to you anymore.

Megan - posted on 08/14/2010

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You poor thing, I really think you would be wise to get yourself back to a place where you have support and are away from this man, If he wants to see his child he can travel to you and in order to keep the peace you can offer to go him halves in the cost of getting to the child.
I also suggest you dont have any more conversations with him and just use texting,and or E-mailing. That way there is always going to be evidence of his abuse if he choses to rant at you.
You can use the people you trust to help supervise his time with her, so that you dont have to have any contact with him.
Once he gets the idea that he cant get to you emotionaly or physically, my money is on the bet that he wont bother coming at all.
Good luck and dont back down, he can never be good for you, you are making great decisions for the both of you.

Liz - posted on 08/14/2010

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thank you everyone, its so nice to know that my mom isn't the only person that thinks i'm doing the right thing. Before i got the protection order he kept telling me all these things like he could win custody of her and i'd never see her again and stuff like that, and even though i know he was just lying it still makes me afraid. i don't know why i let things like that bother me because i am a good mom and i've never done anything wrong with my life and he is a liar and abuser. I don't want my daughter growing up thinking that its ok to let a man talk that way to a woman. As sad as it sounds i more than likely would have been sucked back in if it wasn't for her, i don't want her living a life filled with nasty words and lies. I live in Georgia and herethey have it set up where if the father didn't hit the child he gets visitation no matter how many other horrible things he has done. I can more than likely get supervised visits but that scares me just as much b/c he will make them all just to make me mad and then he will be able to be alone around her and i can't have that. I am trying hard to find a lawyer, but i'm not getting anywhere. I've called every lawyer in the phone book to see if i can find something pro bono and every one of them either told me no, or their secretarys keep giving me the run around. I have no money, I've applied everywhere, even the places that aren't hiring and i still have nothing. I am so ready to get this done so i can move to New York with my daughter and start our new much better life. I know i can get sole custody of my daughter based on his past, but i'm really worried about what kind of visitation they will give him. I left because i want my daughter to have a good, anger free life, and if he is in it at all she won't have that. He will take his anger out on her since i wouldn't be around. thank you all so much for reading, i have been so scared and stressed out, and it makes me feel a little better that there is other people out there who have gone threw this and made it out ok.

Emily - posted on 08/13/2010

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Your situation sounds almost identical to mine, except that my baby was younger when I left.
In Alaska, there is a law that anyone with two or more DV orders against them cannot have custody. Look into the laws in your state. Either way, multiple DV orders will absolutely help your judge see the reality of who he is.
Write down all the details you can about dates and events. Did he ever break anything? Did he threaten violence on other occasions? Can you identify the cycle of abuse in your relationship, and seemingly sweet things that were actually an abuser's attempt to enter the honeymoon period with you? Be as thorough as you can. Did friends witness the cycle - you trying to leave, you getting swept back up in his romantic appeals, you starting to fall downhill again?
I wouldn't recommend going without a lawyer if you can help it, but from what I have seen in courtrooms, judges will try to talk you through it if you are representing yourself. They don't expect you to know everything a lawyer knows.
Stay strong. You gave your daughter the most important gift you could by leaving. You kept her safe, and you kept her from witnessing abuse. You protected her from learning that men treat women abusively and that women accept it. I am proud of you!

Ashley - posted on 08/12/2010

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add me to your friends list so that we can talk my situation is simuilar to yours

Kimberley - posted on 08/12/2010

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This guy is a train wreck. wow! I wouldn't worry. Get an attorney for free. Call around. Some attornies will work for you for nothing (it is a big write off for them at the end of the year to the govt).......plead for assistance if necessary. I recommend staying positive, document every single thing, and of course fight for your rights. DO NOT let her go to his house. Make sure SHE is on the restraining order as well. Tell the judge you are afraid he will take her (kidnap) because his behavior is not right and make sure the judge knows you are not comfortable with her around him do to his threats and mental abuse and verbal abuse towards you and that you are afraid he could take it out on your child. Judge will consider this believe me. I have been in your shoes. It was many many years ago but I understand. You have to protect your child at every cost. IF he lost his visitation with is other child then it is obvious to a judge what will happen this time with your child. He must be held accountable................I hope this helps. If you want just send me a message and we can talk. I am not sure what state you are in, but I would like to help you if I can with finding someone to assist you. Let me know if you would like help. take care.

Meghan - posted on 08/12/2010

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This really sounds A LOT like what I am going through. It's been a year. The only difference is I don't really worry about my son-I know he wouldn't purposley hurt him.
From what I understand (and have expierenced) they really try to get both parties to work things out themselves and try to keep it out of court.
My only advise is a. If you are genuionly worried about your daughter's saftey, apply for court ordered supervised visits (and make sure you have proper evidence which ties into...) and b. DOCUMENT EVERYTHING. Save text msg's, emails, record phone conversations if you can, have a 3rd party there to oversee exchanges before/after his visits.
Stay strong and do what you need to do in order to keep you and your daughter safe! Good luck

Judie - posted on 08/12/2010

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Good idea to get out of that relationship. I have been through a similiar situation. Take care of yourself and be safe. Hope it all works to you and your childs benefit.

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