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New trial date has been set

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barcher144 posted 8/10/2020 18:02 PM

I emailed my lawyer last week, letting her know that I have a new address (I've moved in with GF).

She responded by saying that we have trial scheduled for Sept 24. Nothing more than that...

I figure that I might as well start a thread now.

leafields posted 8/10/2020 23:26 PM

Are you doing ok? I hope things go better for you this time.

Catwoman posted 8/11/2020 07:24 AM

Did you ask your attorney if moving in with your girlfriend will have any bearing on your case or give you exposure you don't need?


tushnurse posted 8/11/2020 08:56 AM


I hope you can get this thing done and over with this time.

thatbpguy posted 8/11/2020 09:39 AM

September 24th will be here before you know it. And then it will be gone before you know it and all this goes away.

Forgive me for the semi t/j, but as much as I have read so many of your posts, what has become of your wife's AP? Did his wife ever find out? Are they living together?

[This message edited by thatbpguy at 9:51 AM, August 11th (Tuesday)]

barcher144 posted 8/11/2020 10:03 AM

Are you doing ok? I hope things go better for you this time.

Yes, I am doing well, if not very well. I've learned that I suffered a shit-ton of trauma from my marriage (that goes beyond the infidelity) and I am slowly recovering from that. I tend to trigger over weird things, unexpectedly, but even those events are becoming less frequent and less strong.

Thankfully, my GF "gets it" and we manage it all well. She's describes me as a "rescue puppy" and that works. It also helps that I reciprocate the support (her ex was an alcoholic, so we're both rescue puppies).

Also, I am now fully off of antidepressants and I am doing well. I don't have any scheduled appointments with my psychiatrist.

I still talk to my therapist once a month, but that will probably stop once the COVID-pandemic ends... meaning, I am seeing her because it's easy (Zoom meetings) but I'll stop doing these once they require that I drive to her office for a session. Mostly, I pay my therapist to gossip for an hour, once per month. The sessions are "here is what happened" and here is how I acted appropriately or here is how I acted inappropriately and here is what I should have done (or here is how I should have prevented the incident entirely).

Did you ask your attorney if moving in with your girlfriend will have any bearing on your case or give you exposure you don't need?

Yes, this was cleared with my attorney long ago. This is not a full divorce trial, but rather a trial to determine the amount of money that I will have to pay for alimony and for child support.

We have already divided our possessions and determined custody amounts; these parts are signed by both of us and by the judge (so, I often joke that I am 2/3 divorced). I might be bringing up the fact that STBXW has repeatedly violated the parenting agreement already, but I doubt it (based on my knowledge of my attorney... she'd just say these are minor issues and not worth fighting about).

The main issue with me moving in with my GF would be my budget. One aspect of the alimony argument is that STBXW needs to demonstrate that she cannot afford to meet her budget (so, as you might guess... her budget is INFLATED) and then after that... she needs to demonstrate that I can afford to pay alimony. So, moving in my with GF would reduce my expenses and thus make it possible that I could more easily afford alimony. However, I needed to buy a car and so I now have a car payment, so my expenses did not change (FYI: my old car had 200,000+ miles on it... my new car is a Prius... so this "new car" will not seem frivolous).

The other thing, and my lawyer agrees with this, is that STBXW's request for alimony is pretty weak. She needs to prove that she has sacrificed her career trajectory for the sake of the marriage and the children. She literally has had the SAME JOB since before we got married, albeit with two large promotions in the interim.

The main issues, to be honest, are going to be misconduct by STBXW's attorney and a mistake made by the judge in his temporary ruling from last year.

Both my salary and STBXW's salary are murky. My contract is similar to a teacher's in which I get paid for 9 months of work, but I can take on extra work voluntarily (like coach a sports team, teach summer school, etc) to get more money. I have done this for much of the last decade to make STBXW happy. So, what is my salary? Is it my 9-months of guaranteed work? Or is it the 12-months of potential earnings? The judge ruled last year that it was on my 9-month contract. STBWX and her attorney refuse to acknowledge the judge's ruling for negotiations, insisting on my 12-month salary. Similarly, STBXW has worked only 30 hours per week for the past decade and she thinks that should be her salary for computing child support and alimony, whereas the law is CLEAR (as far as I can tell) that absent special circumstances... voluntarily underemployed individuals should have their salary computed on their full-time equivalent. I've offered to go with STBXW's 30-hour salary and my 12-month salary, but they have refused.

The other two issues are related to the temporary ruling. (1) The judge ruled that my 9-month salary is appropriate and STBXW asked for 55% of my salary... which he awarded, but he awarded 55% of my 12-month salary. So, I estimate that I have been over-paying her by about $1200 per month, which now totals more than $15,000. As a result, I have had to take a second job as a handyman to not drown in debt (I'm still massively in debt). (2) In his temporary ruling, the judge penalized me for failing to sign over my mental health records promptly and made me pay STBXW $1500 to compensate her for unnecessary legal fees. In his ruling, he cited that I had hid my treatment by XXX Mental Health Clinic, according to STBXW's attorney. The problems here are that I never have received any treatment from XXX Mental Health Clinic and I never included XXX Mental Health Clinic as one of my providers. STBXW's attorney went to the judge the week prior to the temporary hearing and complained about this and she even mentioned it at the hearing (and I found another provider this week, which he has hidden!). So, we need to revisit this (with a letter from XXX Mental Health Clinic stating that I never received treatment there)... and ask for the $1500 back plus probably more to compensate me for wasting my money to fight this BS). I'll also be filing an ethics complaint against STBXW's attorney after this ordeal is over with the State bar.

I hope you can get this thing done and over with this time.

Ha! STBXW is a narcissist. This won't be over until all three kids emancipate. She will still try to be in my life after that, I'm guessing.

September 24th will be here before you know it.

I am way too excited about the end of this nightmare. I feel like Mel Gibson at the end of Braveheart: FREEDOM!

[This message edited by barcher144 at 10:17 AM, August 11th (Tuesday)]

ZenMumWalking posted 8/11/2020 10:24 AM

Good luck with it all barcher!!

little turtle posted 8/13/2020 13:18 PM

Thanks for the update. Please keep us in the loop as things progress.

barcher144 posted 8/13/2020 22:05 PM

A mini-update:

1. I sent my lawyer a long list of things that I would like addressed at trial, including evidence to support my positions.

2. Unrelated, DD13s cell phone died today.

This is somewhat pertinent because STBXW and I purchased cell phones for our daughters for Christmas 2018 (after we had filed for divorce). Our verbal agreement was that we would split the cost of the cell phone service. HOWEVER, STBXW has listed BOTH girls' cell phones on her budget submitted to the court and then refused to pay for EITHER of the girls' cell phones (they were on my plan).

So, I talked to both kids and negotiated a reasonable solution. I got DD13 a new cell phone, which is her early Christmas 2020 present from me. I then found out that I can shift DD14's cell phone service to STBXW. She has 14 days to accept the transfer or DD14's cell phone service will be cancelled. DD14 knows this, so it's STBXW's corner to be a decent human being or not.

I feel very very good about this. First, I managed to show STBXW for the fraud that she is (I caught STBXW *yelling* at DD13 about the situation). Second, I disentangled myself from another vine of STBXW's BS.

Westway posted 8/14/2020 09:59 AM

Good update Barcher, and I'm sorry things are moving so slowly. But at some point... man... you need to try to let go of the anger and just accept that your STBXWW is juts a lost, broken person, and that what she is showing you now is just going to be the norm for her.

Maybe I'm reading you wrong, but you set yourself up to let her piss you off.

barcher144 posted 8/17/2020 08:20 AM

STBXWW is juts a lost, broken person, and that what she is showing you now is just going to be the norm for her.

I have accepted that, more or less.

However, I've spent the last 15 months being rather poor, diving deep into debt because of two bad lawyers (not counting her unethical lawyer), parental alienation, and an endless stream of bogus allegations by STBXW.

My lone opportunity to state my case is trial. I'm looking forward to it (or to watching her capitulate, either way).

barcher144 posted 8/19/2020 08:23 AM

An unofficial but optimistic update...

My lawyer emailed me a short response to the information that I gave her. She let me know that some of it was far-fetched/legally not possible. No surprise there... I told *everything* that I wanted in the divorce, which is very different than what I think is fair/reasonable/likely.

She did say that I have a very strong argument against paying alimony. Which, to be honest, is my primary goal. With the amount of money that I am likely to be paying for child support, I can manage my finances just fine as long as I am reasonably frugal. So, I am optimistic of a reasonable resolution (and I am dreaming of the day when I can quit my second job as a handyman).

99problems posted 8/19/2020 09:30 AM

Nice! I hope you get to quit the handyman gig.
I just finished 2 kitchen remodels for 2 different friends as I'm looking for steady employment and it's making me realize that I really like working with my hands again(my dad was a contractor and I worked with him ages 16-29).

barcher144 posted 8/19/2020 21:28 PM

Nice! I hope you get to quit the handyman gig.

I actually *enjoy* the work, but it's not healthy for me. My regular job is 50+ hours per week as it is. I've struggled with depression (mostly related to STBXW, but overworking is definitely an issue too) and it's not healthy for me to work this much.

Besides, I have *plenty* of handyman jobs on the GF's Honey-Do list anyway.

Bleu posted 8/19/2020 21:39 PM

Good luck!

In my state, infidelity is a defense to an alimony request.

I'm hoping the mother rises to the occasion for your daughter's phone. Sheesh!

barcher144 posted 8/22/2020 09:38 AM

Another small update...

STBXW works only 30 hours per week with her job. Historically, she did this because she wanted to have more flexibility to do things with the kids at school (which she used quite nicely to help her get more custody) and to do household chores while we had fun, as a family, on the weekends.

According to the laws in my State, though, alimony and child support are to be calculated on her full-time equivalent salary as long as she is voluntarily underemployed. We have some evidence for this already... and she refuses to capitulate... so...

This week, we are going to subpoena her boss (the only other person who can speak to whether or not her employment is voluntarily underemployed or not). STBXW will be FURIOUS when this happens (for those who don't know, she's a covert narcissist, so she doesn't want her true self to be shown).

I am hoping that it will trigger her to settle. My guess is that she will settle or pull some other amazing stunts. Stay tuned...

barcher144 posted 9/4/2020 21:42 PM

Nothing substantive as far as an update, but some minor stuff....

1. I had an in-person run-in STBXW yesterday. My parenting time began at 4pm, but she didn't get our youngest home until 4:20. I was parked in her driveway waiting when she arrived. She was miffed that I wouldn't move my car so that she could park in the garage immediately.

2. I had a conversation with my attorney yesterday. She thinks that STBXW's attorney is nuts and doesn't get why they refuse to negotiate. She thinks that our case is rock solid. We aren't asking for the moon... just child support as determined by the State's calculator. Our math is that she does not qualify for alimony because she must demonstrate a financial need *and* that I have income beyond my needs. There is admittedly some arguing about our incomes, but under virtually all scenarios... I either cannot afford alimony or she does not have a need for alimony. We will have a CPA testify on my behalf as an "expert witness."

3. We depose her boss on Thursday afternoon. If he admits that he would hire her full-time whenever she asks, then their case is completely sunk.

4. Apparently her attorney is threatening my attorney on a regular basis. One threat is they will seek permanent alimony. Another threat is they are going to force me to pay her legal fees. My lawyer says that STBXW's attorney is nuts. She told me the standard for having a spouse pay another spouse's legal fees and I don't fit. I'm already giving her more than half my salary, so her "need" for financial assistance is not valid. They are claiming (I think?) that I don't respond to requests quickly... but that's simply not true at all.

5. We think that we can get a reversal on the attorney's fees that I was required to pay last year. The judge ruled that I should have turned over my mental health records for a specific provider named by STBXW's attorney. It's pretty easy to argue that I wasn't required to do so because I had never received treatment from that specific provider.

6. And not related to the divorce per se, but STBXW has been claiming that I have been negligent in paying my share of the kids' medical bills. What happened was... DD13 went to the hospital in January. When the bill arrived for ~$700, STBXW paid it immediately. She then requested that I pay for my half (this is all fine so far). When I looked at the bill, my insurance company had made a mistake. The entire bill should have been $170. I called the insurance and they agreed and said not to pay. Because STBXW had already paid, I told her to let me know when she got the final bill and I'd pay then. Since then, she has refused to discuss whether or not she had been reimbursed. Today, I called the provider and STBXW had a credit sitting in her account for ~$530 and I sent STBXW a check for $85 as promised. Somehow, STBXW has not found it in her heart to thank me for saving her $275 or so.

ff4152 posted 9/5/2020 18:26 PM

Jesus Barcher, are you ever gonna be free from this woman? Do you have any inkling when the D will be done?

gmc94 posted 9/5/2020 19:41 PM

Barcher - I can attest to how completely effed up it is when the other side's attorney is a dimwit. Hang in there.

barcher144 posted 9/7/2020 12:33 PM

Jesus Barcher, are you ever gonna be free from this woman? Do you have any inkling when the D will be done?

I asked my attorney this question via email late last week. She has not answered.

Barcher - I can attest to how completely effed up it is when the other side's attorney is a dimwit. Hang in there.

STBXW's attorney is not dimwitted. She's a sociopathic narcissist, just like her client. She is rude to me... she is rude to my attorney. She openly has disparaged me to all three of my attorneys, without provocation. With attorney#3, she has typically lied about past events to make me look bad. STBXW's attorney has done an excellent job of bilking her client out of many many billable hours.

(Attorney#3 has ample experience with STBXW's attorney and has handled her well)

I will be filing an ethical complaint with the State bar association once this divorce is over. Actually, I will be filing multiple ethics complaints after this divorce is over. My guess is that STBXW's attorney will survive the ethics complaint under the general guise of "aggressively representing her client" but I'd hope that fabricating evidence would be frowned upon. My ethics complaint against Attorney#2 is pretty iron-clad, for not adequately representing her client and for allowing her paralegal to provide legal advice to me.

I also think that there is a good chance (25%?) that I will win attorney's fees from STBXW based on something that my attorney mentioned. Basically, one mechanism for being awarded attorney's fees is to stall and obfuscate rather than settle. The judge made a key temporary ruling last summer that STBXW and her attorney have intentionally ignored during our minimal negotiations to date. Given that ruling, we have literally offered her the BEST POSSIBLE settlement offer, which they have refused to consider or counter-offer.

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