Does anyone have experience with a SAHM being court ordered to work after a 16 year marriage?

Susan - posted on 05/03/2012 ( 16 moms have responded )

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I have 4 children and have been a SAHM for 16 years. That was our marriage agreement. I have given up my college education to support his career advancement. He has asked the court to order me to work because all of our children are in school. The court has agreed. I have an 8 year old for whom I have home-schooled for 2 years due to severe food and environmental allergies. This child just started back to school in January. In March I discovered that my husband had been cheating on me...at least three times now. Any ideas as how to fight this?

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Carol - posted on 05/04/2012

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Getting a job isn't the end of the world and would probably help you emotionally as well, knowing that you don't have to rely solely on this scumbag. My parents were in a similar situation and I wish to God that she would have gotten out when you did so she could have gotten on with her life more. Instead she stuck it out for 34 years then HE left HER! There were enough affairs that we noticed them as kids but he always pushed it off as none of our business and my mom's naivity in the "real" world because she was lazy and didn't work (4 kids 24/7 - not a job???). Most of the trash he slept with he met at work. Once he even had the nerve to have my mom drop me off to babysit while he went out with the tramp. He called her stupid for even suggesting there was something going on. We found out later they were an item. He married his last tramp. Do yourself a favor and get as independent as you can. Maybe the same judge could order him to pay for your college so you'd be better able to support yourself and your family. Your marriage agreement went out the window the second he decided to sleep around. It's not fair and it's not your fault. Be the better person and try to be fair for the kids sake. Take what's fair and nothing more, but don't settle for less than fair. Your kids WILL notice!!! Maybe not now, but when they get older. My mom had a great life after him. She passed away suddenly last year. I almost feel guilty for asking my dad to meet us at her house before the wake. I wanted to show him her nice little house and all the great pictures she had up of us kids and grandkids. She went everywhere for all 4 of us. Thank God she went to France just a few months before she died with my sister. The pictures showed a full life and lots of love post him. His house is bigger and the tramp looks great with her skinny little legs and tan, but there are barely any pictures of our family as adults and only maybe 1 of him with his grandkids because he's not in our lives. He blasted our mom after she died and said she was a terrible wife and mother. He blamed her for badmouthing him and turning us away from him for our whole lives. I don't know about the wife part, but you couldn't ever ask for a better mother. She never bad mouthed him to us until a couple of years ago. Her mother died and he wanted to bring his trophy wife to his ex-mother-in-law's funeral! The wife was the last affair! She let a few things slip of what a loser he was after that. We already knew he was a loser. His comments after she died severed all relationships with all 4 of us. My point with this whole venting thing is that you are much better off. You are free! You will not be hoodwinked like this ever again - not all men are pigs though. You will feel stronger and stronger as time goes on and you get out from under his power (financial power too). If you are fair, your kids will realize it, if not now, then eventually, and they will respect you for taking the high road. Sorry you're going through this.

Nadine - posted on 05/05/2012

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Since when could a divorce court order you to get a job especially in this economy to someone that has not worked in 16 years? I have seen them suggest it in cases like this but only ever seen it ordered for people getting out of jail. I would defintily try to get a different judge and I agree try to make him cover your college now since you made the sacrifice for him.

Marylou - posted on 05/04/2012

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Oh wow, I would fight as much as you can with this. Definitly get advice from another lawyer. See if there is work that you can do out of your home so you can be home. Life is busy enough. When you add working out of the home to the mix, it get's crazy! That's just my personal opinion. I have so many friends that I see who work and they are so stressed.

I worked out of the home for over 7 years and finally decided to get my own business to bring income home and be there for the kids.

Good Luck!

Michelle - posted on 05/03/2012

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I would get letters from your child's doctor explaining the allergies and that it's safer to home school him/her. It would also be more economical because if he goes to school and has a reaction you would have to leave work to get him. Your employer would get very frustrated with you having to leave a lot of the time as well and may possible fire you for being unreliable.

Gather all the evidence you can to support staying at home and home schooling and show the court it's just not viable at this time. As your child may get better maybe come up with a review schedule to show that you're not completely against the idea in the future. Maybe every year or 2.

Good luck.

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Krista - posted on 05/06/2012

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Me too! What is wrong with him?! You need a very good lawyer. I would remind him again and again that he will have to pay more if you are working as you have 4 kids in childcare, he will have to do the laundry when he has the kids as you will be working, etc. Paint a really bleak picture so he can envision you working. I mean, you can always get a job where you work 2 days a week for 4 hours each time or something just to make him quiet, if completely necessary. You may actually like that, but only if necessary.

Susan - posted on 05/06/2012

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Yes, he took care of all the money. He even controlled how much I spent on groceries. His lawyer said that since the kids were in school I had nothing to do all day so I could get a job. I am assuming he hasn't told his lawyer many things. Tonight he informed me that "we need to be flexible and that this summer I (me) can be with the kids during the days he is in charge if I don't have a job." I informed him that he would need to make child care arrangements during his days. He told me "what kind of a mother are you if you don't want to spend time with your kids if you aren't working." I hung up on him.

Katherine - posted on 05/06/2012

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Wow, I have never heard of this! It seems insane to me. What a jerk. He's been cheating? He can dole out the child support and alimony too then. I can't believe there's a state unsupportive of SAHM's.

I'm just floored. You need to divorce him. Step one. Step 2, child support and alimony. MAke sure you get a good lawyer. So I assume HE took "care" of all of the money? Sounds like my ex. He never cheated (that I know of) but he gambled our money away.

Krista - posted on 05/06/2012

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Omg...this is so crazy and so scary! First of all...just bc your kids r in school does to men your full time job as a mom is over. Who is going to be ther after school? How bout all summer? Is your husband prepared to pay you a large amt of alimony AND child care and summer camp expenses? And, is he going to go shopping for the kids clothes, do their laundry, carpool all over the place while you are at work? I don't think he has thought out the consequences for himself ( since he sounds selfish) and his kids now. Food for thought. Good luck!

Brianna - posted on 05/06/2012

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if i was u i would get a job save some money in a private account for urself and DIVORSE HIM! if he actually took u to count over this PLUS hes cheating on you have no reason to stay. when u devorse him u could try to get alimony (dunno if i spelled that right) adn it could be enough that u may not need to work.

Susan - posted on 05/05/2012

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I am from Wisconsin which happens to be the least supportive state for SAHMs. People keep telling me that this is going to turn around and he will have to pay out eventually. For me it's not even about all the money. It's about keeping my kids placed with me. Their stability is the most important to me. My kids are 16, 11, 9 and 8. The oldest has a choice. The younger three will have a GAL assigned. Mediation should be coming soon. That will result in failure because he is unwilling to budge with placement. He wants 50/50 so he doesn't have to pay more. He doesn't realize how much more it will cost him when he has to buy his own food and clothing for the kids. Very frustrating.

I do so appreciate the conversation.

Leigh - posted on 05/05/2012

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Where do you live? I am in Georgia and when my ex tried to order me back to work the judge said " you give her a certain amount for child support and if she can live on that then she doesn't have to work. You are no longer married so you don't get to make decisions like that anymore" that was the long and the short of it.

Sarah - posted on 05/05/2012

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He sounds like he doesn't want to pay alimony. He would have to pay more if you aren't working, right? I would be fighting tooth and nail. You sacrificed and raised his children and were faithful and he's out doing a host of other women? Heck no!

Gemma - posted on 05/04/2012

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I'm amased the court commissioner is allowed to be someone that is know to either you or your husband, that sounds like a conflict or interest to me. Good Luck.

Susan - posted on 05/04/2012

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Thank you for your response, Michelle. I do have all the medical information documented and have given it to my attorney. My son just re-integrated back in to school after two years of being out. The teaching staff has been wonderful at documenting his behaviors for me. Although this is dangerous because he is on the borderline of being expelled due to his outbursts. I continue to document everything. I was court ordered to provide all of my recipes and food lists to my soon to be ex-husband because he had no idea how to feed him or even which medicines to give him. I am also suspicious that the Court Commissioner is biased. She is married to one of my husband's bosses. I am asking for a new one. Any ideas would be helpful!

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