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Divorce [in an abusive marriage]


Separation and Divorce Considering ending your marriage? Going through a divorce? Let us know!

Old 29th September 2017, 1:41 PM   #1
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Divorce [in an abusive marriage]

Been married a very long time, I'm in an abusive relationship, I have CPTSD from childhood abuse (sexual/physical/neglect) so I would get into unhealthy relationships with others, poor attachment skills, and the thing is, I cannot afford it. Some people say this, but I really do mean it, I don't have friends to turn to, my mother (who was my initial abuser) won't help me, not even to help loan me the retainer. Fine, I'll do this alone.

My husband has controlled all the money so despite him making six+ figures a year, he overdraws the account every paycheck within 2 days. I'm living off a small disability payment. I lost the use of my legs in 2009, and have had multiple surgeries (including getting diagnosed with breast cancer 3 years ago), but as a personal trainer (former), I beat the odds and am walking again, and even working with Coaches on a regular basis.

I am in therapy 2 x week, I've been to women's shelters, I have a dog for my CPTSD, but I cannot afford to just move out into an apartment if I can't even afford a retainer. State help won't step in until I move out and we're not under the same roof. Then again it's being put into a pool to see IF a lawyer would take me pro bono, and the state housing waiting list is 7-9 years.

I was going to ask a friend about doing some type of fund me or something to help with divorce costs. I just want out. I need to vent and talk to someone other than my therapist.
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Old 29th September 2017, 11:44 PM   #2
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Hmm...tough one. If I were you, I would look into renting a room from someone as a roommate. Your disability check might be able to cover just renting a room and your soon to be ex husband will have no idea where to look for you. You said that the state will step in and help once you are away from him, and this will get you that far at least.

I don't know much about fighting for a divorce because mine was cut and dry. I do know that a lot of lawyers will give a free consultation. I took advantage of this myself. I actually learned enough in the free consultation that I didn't even need to hire a lawyer. During your consultation, ask about your options. Maybe that lawyer would help you out, or if not, at least point you in the right direction for a pro bono.
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Old 30th September 2017, 10:26 AM   #3
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hi there My Ophelia,

Oh dear, what a sad tale, I mean that in the proper original sense of the word, it's really really sad to hear things like this because it's usually sensitive, caring people that get taken in like this and have elements of their lives screwed over by people that are just out for their own agenda's and self interests.

....but the good news is that the story doesn't have to be over for you and that you are already starting to realize that and have already found some inner strength (the determination you've found to walk); is something that is within you and is a chance and demonstration of the strength that you should think about and draw from in the future moments and put downs when others strike at your vulnerable side again.

the sad thing is that you have trusted people who you thought would naturally love and be supportive of you; but now you have begun to fight back (quietly as you are) then it is important that you empower yourself even further by going to seek help from the right people, people that will be able and supportive in a completely professional capacity and an environment that will not threaten your confidence and let you say how you really feel good and bad in complete confidence.

firstly I would suggest you go into the C.A.B. and talk to one of their advisors; they are very busy, so you will need to be prepared to queue and get up with the lark to wait in a first come first served appointment system; but I believe it will really HELP YOU!!!!!

you'll be able to outline your personal story and then ask for professional legal and financial advice concerning a divorce (or at least what that involves and the "realities" of what will happen in your particular circumstances should you decide to separate or go for the full divorce).

the advice won't cost you anything and they will treat you with the respect and dignity that you need right now!

I would see C.A.B. first as a starting point and make notes so you don't forget what has been said (as you might be emotional and may have a headache in just releasing so much personal stuff) - so if you can take it down you can refer to it at a later date if you do decide to involve the solicitors, also the C.A.B. could represent you if you need help with communicating the legalities of your situation.

there is no harm in asking them about the idea of friends funding etc; but I wouldn't go down that route just yet - before you have spoken to professionals because the last thing you need is other financial worries if friends pull out, you don't raise enough money or people want money back or you can't raise enough for deposits or enough time for the proper advice etc...friends and money can be problematic, and if you are struggling for money now; you shouldn't be entering into legal things with money you can't afford (especially if you have signed your name to things where other peoples money is concerned, and also...couldn't that affect your benefits and bring real hardship if someone said anything or if other unforeseen problems came up!!!!!!) not to mention any other responsibilities by law if you fail to understand or look into the small print of a contract or where you stand if problems come along!!!

...like I say. C.A.B is free and they are experienced in all manner of areas. but they are volunteers, so if you do go just remember that if you feel jarred or not that satisfied, it may just be that you need to see another representative there, but they are established, caring and professional. they are not there to upset you obviously (your counselling will let you know all about the rawness of looking at the private side of yourself!!!), and it sounds as though you need all the experienced help you can get from a confidential source too.

everyday enjoy the unconditional love from your dog , they are great companions, and loyal like no other. also enjoy the opportunities to walk in the fresh air and in nature which can help you clear some negative thoughts for a short while, (and give something back to your dog); just be safe in the dark nights.

shelter, is another charitable housing advice centre, and again they are professional and specialize in housing matters so get in touch with them after you have seen the C.A.B. so they can talk to each other if they need to about your situation.

my final thoughts on this: you know about the benefits of exercise and rehabilitation of movement being a former trainer etc, so all I can say after that is to look after yourself, throw a few small treats into your life here and there and chose calm environments and healthful people where you can; but I think you can and will only get stronger the moment you talk to the people I've mentioned and can see for yourself the professional and proper way out of this. Once you have the knowledge and know where you stand, what you will lose or have to sacrifice or change then you will feel the strength to fight for what you know ought to give you the happiness you deserve.

you have put up with this for so long, but you don't have to keep putting up with it any longer. JUST GET ADVICE FIRST AND BE ARMED WITH THE FACTS AND THINK ABOUT YOUR OPTIONS and be clear in your mind; before you start to share this with the toxic people in your life.

I don't believe you will be able to fight this until you have the knowledge and empowerment of the professionals to turn to if things start to go sour or get worse, or until your mind is actually DOING SOMEHITNG PRO_ACTIVE to deal with things PROPERLY.

a counsellor is good and so is therapy, so keep going there, but just remember they are limited to time (that you are paying for!!!!!) and will probably not have the specialties and legal skills or resources or advice that Shelter or the C.A.B will have!!!

in between that, if you are struggling with your esteem you can always phone to speak to the Samaritans helpline for free and again they are confidential and have heard so many personal difficulties over the years, so your story won't be a shock to them!

this can be the start of something more positive for you, just be discrete in your seeking help, because I feel that the people you have turned to for love, will not want you to recover, they won't support you getting stronger and taking control of your own life again, they will resent you or could even try to stop you speaking to them or getting help!!!! IT HAPPENS where controlling people try to keep others down, they are using your weakness to empower their inadequacies, guilt, they fact that they can't love they have to control and force and manipulate!!!!!

speak to and find out as much as you can in a quiet and honest way, but without involving the people that are bullying you.

only involve them if / when you have to and not before! they will try to bring you back to their control and then probably punish you for trying to rise up out of it.

GOOD LUCK, you can do this! and you MUST DO THIS FOR YOURSELF AND YOUR FUTURE HAPPINESS.

a new year is coming soon, you can be part of that and have so many wonderful things to look forward to without seeking permission and begging for money from a partner!

once you get your independence back and can get away from your partner, you will feel stronger and happier than you could ever imagine possible. but unless you make the changes then you will be giving them your control and in return for unhappiness and well being.

you want to be happy again don't you? you must do (otherwise I don't believe you would have written in!!!!!)

GO FOR IT and keep things to yourself for a while (even online) so you can give yourself the chance to heal and for your self esteem and control of your own life to return...and it will return...I PROMISE YOU.

once you get the strength you used to have and enjoy, no one can touch you, (so make sure you get advice on protection too, if you fear any sort of attack or revenge). these people have only a certain amount of power, the law is a very powerful force!!!! and that is why you need to get professional advice so your therapy will work in a more effective way.

OK, that's it. ITS TIME TO LOOK FORWARD, NOT BACKWARDS (well, if you do look backwards, make sure it's with professional advisors so you can move forward); but use your faith and spirituality if you are that way inclined, if not take care of your mind, body and spirit...it's kind of the same sort of thing in that it will over you a sense of immediate healing and peace.

TAKE CARE....maxi and remember, you are a lot stronger than you think you are, it's just that you have allowed too many OTHERS to dictate so many areas of your well being that you no longer believe in yourself anymore or what you are capable of.

you have already shown us and yourself that you have desire to change this, courage to look for help as you identify there is a problem that needs to change and that your heart also knows that this situation (and relationship) is NOT and was probably never right for the person you are inside!!!! so GO FOR IT. you have the tools (and in reality they were always there for you to use!!!!) so hopefully now you will find the support and encouragement you need to change things for the better.

happiness is just a few months away!!!!! so whatever lows and tears you have to go thorough before you find happiness, go with it and keep quietly hopeful and get as much information you can so you know how to get where you need to be safely and professionally.

now that really is it from me!!!! lol best wishes. XXX
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Old 30th September 2017, 11:15 AM   #4
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Go to the self help desk at the courthouse and ask for them to assist you.

They will walk you through the paperwork that needs to be filed if you intend to divorce.
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Old 30th September 2017, 11:35 AM   #5
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The sooner you file for divorce, the sooner you will get your share of your husband's money and belongings. I can't believe some attorney hasn't taken you since the atty will be paid out of your husband's money, not your own. You need to just get out. Check with other women's shelters and the Y as well. I know in lawsuits attorneys will often front you rent money until they get paid. It doesn't have to be pro bono. You are owed money as half of the marriage. You should keep talking to the women's shelter because they should know the best way for you to get benefits and stuff but do what they say.
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Old 30th September 2017, 2:16 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MyOphelia View Post
Been married a very long time, I'm in an abusive relationship, I have CPTSD from childhood abuse (sexual/physical/neglect) so I would get into unhealthy relationships with others, poor attachment skills, and the thing is, I cannot afford it. Some people say this, but I really do mean it, I don't have friends to turn to, my mother (who was my initial abuser) won't help me, not even to help loan me the retainer. Fine, I'll do this alone.

My husband has controlled all the money so despite him making six+ figures a year, he overdraws the account every paycheck within 2 days. I'm living off a small disability payment. I lost the use of my legs in 2009, and have had multiple surgeries (including getting diagnosed with breast cancer 3 years ago), but as a personal trainer (former), I beat the odds and am walking again, and even working with Coaches on a regular basis.

I am in therapy 2 x week, I've been to women's shelters, I have a dog for my CPTSD, but I cannot afford to just move out into an apartment if I can't even afford a retainer. State help won't step in until I move out and we're not under the same roof. Then again it's being put into a pool to see IF a lawyer would take me pro bono, and the state housing waiting list is 7-9 years.

I was going to ask a friend about doing some type of fund me or something to help with divorce costs. I just want out. I need to vent and talk to someone other than my therapist.
You've been dealt with some bad cards. But you are not weak and you will beat this, too.

Do you have a prenup? Would it be possible to find a lawyer willing to help you in exchange for a cut of what you are entitled to in the divorce? Do you know anything about your husband ran your money affairs?
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Old 30th September 2017, 2:34 PM   #7
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I'll second the family law self-help, presuming it's offered in your jurisdiction, and they can also assist with mediation referrals and filing for financial waivers for an impoverished spouse as appropriate. As example, a waiver of the filing fees to file the lawsuit and have it served on the spouse.

In our case we used self-help and, being amicable, used a referred 3L for mediation to prepare the MSA and I had a family law lawyer go over it and, good to go, we filed everything and done and done. No problems after, zero, now seven years down the road. I kinda sneaked in the back door on the lawyer stuff since I was doing a court action on an estate trust and retained a law firm for that for a much lower retainer than a divorce attorney would require, and simply used one of their internal family law attorneys at the firm to review the MSA and paid him his hourly rate. I think the total cost of the D was under a grand in legal and filing fees directly related to the divorce. I had plenty of other fees planning for it to minimize my exposure including court time but that wasn't a result of anything my spouse did during the divorce.

Your problem is the apparent abusive spouse. There is help out there for that. Organizations which assist battered women can help, as can social services and law enforcement. They all deal with that stuff every day and know the tricks and processes. You don't have to spend money to gain knowledge. It does take time and diligence though. Good luck!
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