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New trial date has been set

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ZenMumWalking posted 9/24/2020 21:55 PM

aww barcher, that sucks.... but as for the support, if that gets reduced by the judge is there any chance that the new figure can be made retroactive?

These issues will get ironed out soon enough, and I am hoping that the judge has the wisdom to rule in your favor.

Catwoman posted 9/25/2020 07:08 AM

My attorney also scored a victory when she asked for the duration of alimony of only 7 years (down from the 11 years that they had been demanding all along).

I thought your calculations indicated that you would not owe alimony (unless you're seeking to have part of your payments classified as alimony for tax purposes, although I have heard that this may be phased out).

The biggest victory was over the kids' tax exemptions. My attorney asked her what she thought the tax exemption should be and STBXW literally said that we should alternate the exemptions, which (for those of you not memorizing my story) is what we were requesting (they were officially requesting all three). My attorney IMMEDIATELY spoke up and asked the judge to make that permanent...

This is good. Make sure the final agreement indicates tax years, vs alternating years. It's a lot more difficult to fudge, and if you're truly dealing with a narcissist, they fudge. A lot.

The final piece of good news is that STBXW and her attorney failed to request that I keep a life insurance policy with her as the beneficiary. This is significant because I have had such a policy in the past and I think that she could have easily requested it (and been awarded it), but her attorney sucks for reasons beyond my personal opinion of her.

The judge could still order it. It's quite customary, and it protects the kids. You can ask that she have an insurance policy with you as the beneficiary for the same reasons. I had to carry one, even though I was awarded support and alimony.

After that, my account/expert witness came in and basically described the math of the child support and alimony. It has me paying $1500 a month less than they are requesting, pretty much no matter what assumptions you make. This, I think, is the entire case because they have not presented any calculations and I don't know how you can justify a number without following the law. Opposing counsel was pretty much a dick to him and accused him of cooking the books, which I think cost her points with the judge. Dude was fantastic on the stand, literally a perfect witness.

This is encouraging.

After that, things went sideways. We brought in the HR person from my job. She explained many factors about my jobs really well and I thought that she was solid. Then, cross examination got really funky in which opposing counsel basically asked her to prove that I was doing some harebrained scheme to get reduced child support and alimony. I was basically accused of hiding salary for nefarious purposes. The HR person was asked to look up pieces of information on the spot and the judge went to recess. By then, we were out of time... and court was adjourned.

This is the risk of putting someone on the stand vs. a sworn statement. Was there a reason you had to have someone from your workplace testify vs. a sworn statement and tax returns?


[This message edited by Catwoman at 7:11 AM, September 25th (Friday)]

tushnurse posted 9/25/2020 09:18 AM


I know it's a been a very long hard road for you since you joined here.

You are about to come to the end of this one, and embark down a new one though. Think of all the trials and tribulations you have gone through just to reach this point.

You will get through this. You will find a new sense of peace. You will gain the respect and love of your children again, as things settle into the new normal.

Hang in there my friend.

barcher144 posted 9/25/2020 10:00 AM

I thought your calculations indicated that you would not owe alimony (unless you're seeking to have part of your payments classified as alimony for tax purposes, although I have heard that this may be phased out).

Correct. I was asking that the court rule that there would be no spousal maintenance awarded. She had been planning to ask the court for either permanent spousal maintenance (a recent threat) or for spousal maintenance for 11 years.

So, now the court must decide between 0 additional years and 7 years, with one year for time served (i.e., 6 additional years; the money that I have been paying for the last 14 months).

So, this is better.

This is the risk of putting someone on the stand vs. a sworn statement. Was there a reason you had to have someone from your workplace testify vs. a sworn statement and tax returns?

Yes, there was a reason. Opposing counsel was alleging that I was hiding, deferring, or someone not reporting income. The easiest way to do this is to bring in someone from HR who honestly testifies that these are impossibilities.

barcher144 posted 9/25/2020 10:01 AM

Thanks Tushie!

I am doing well and continuing to do better.

My relationship with my kids is good these days, although STBXW testified that they basically hate me and they don't want any extra time with me ever.

gmc94 posted 9/25/2020 10:20 AM

Barcher- forgive me for not remembering, but did you have a guardian ad litem appointed for the kids' stuff?

barcher144 posted 9/25/2020 10:54 AM

did you have a guardian ad litem appointed for the kids' stuff?

Not literally, but yes. In my state, we do a full-on custody evaluation by an independent, third-party neutral.

I think the custody evaluation was just fine, more or less. It's obviously complicated, but I think that 50-50% physical custody would have been recommended except my older two kids asked to be with their mother.

Anyway, for legal purposes, I have the children 110 nights per year. That part is decided. In theory, this part of the trial should be no fault.

barcher144 posted 9/25/2020 12:22 PM

A small, unrelated update. It is kind of in response to a different thread about how to deal with your STBX.

Yesterday, after trial, I need to go pick up two of my kids (GF picked up the third) from the athletic event. Somewhat surprising, STBX was there were her BF. I have met BF once, I think before COVID. It was when I was dropping the kids off or something like that and he was in the garage, using the grill (presumably making dinner).

I went up to him and introduced myself in a super friendly way (You must be NAME, I'm barcher144... so nice to meet you!).

So, anyway, STBXW/boyfriend and I crossed paths... I ignored her completely, but was like "Hey BF, how's it going?" Friendly but terse. Later on, I commented that I liked the mask that he was wearing.

Nothing really to comment on here, but I am trying to keep the chaos to a minimum...

nekonamida posted 9/25/2020 13:13 PM

All I can say is good luck to her new BF. I hope he's okay with having an open relationship.

barcher144 posted 9/25/2020 14:21 PM

All I can say is good luck to her new BF. I hope he's okay with having an open relationship.

I don't know if you are being snarky or not, but this is literally true.

I don't know if she is cheating on him now, but I do know that she was cheating on him until at least July 2019 based on her cell phone activities (that's when she finally got her own cell phone plan).

My best guess is that she slept with dozens of guys while we were together. There were so many red flags that I missed and they started almost immediately after we started dating. I was trying to be flexible and trusting, which is EXACTLY what a narcissist preys upon.

The good news about all of this chicanery is that I don't ever ask what was wrong with me that led her to cheat. I was irrelevant... she would have cheated on anyone.

[This message edited by barcher144 at 2:21 PM, September 25th (Friday)]

BrokenheartedUK posted 9/25/2020 17:35 PM

Wow Barcher I'm sorry that this hasn't fully resolved, I know how long a process it's been for you and that sucks.

You have made some progress and it sounds like you're nearly there. Hopefully one more court date and you're done. Fingers crossed for you.

I was irrelevant... she would have cheated on anyone.

And this^^^ perspective is invaluable. She would have, she will and it's no longer your problem. There will be pieces of the puzzle that you will continue to put together in the coming years but it won't hurt nearly as much because you've internalized the fundamental truth about your Ex-it wasn't you. It never was. (((())))

barcher144 posted 9/25/2020 18:42 PM

Thank you BrokenheartedUK for your kindness.

A funny follow-up to yesterday's trial. My attorney and I retained an expert witness/CPA to explain the math behind child support and spousal maintenance. I had two zoom meetings with the guy, so we had had a couple of short, pleasant conversations but nothing much.

He arrived a little early to court and so he got to watch the last 10-15 minutes of STBXW's testimony. When he testified, STBXW's attorney was an ass to him (no surprise, she's an ass to everyone). On at least occasions, she asked him some ridiculous question (like, is it true that your calculations are biased because your were hired by opposing counsel?) and he carefully listened to the question... waited about three seconds... put a look on his face that said "what the fuck?" and then he carefully and calmly said "no." It. was. priceless.

Apparently, he was sufficiently annoyed at the entire ordeal that he called my attorney this morning to chat and he revealed two things.

First, he noted that my STBXW seemed exceptionally bitter to the point where he literally asked my attorney if I had cheated on her or something. He was quite surprised to learn that, in fact, the marriage was dissolving because she had cheated on me.

Second, he found some case law that was particularly relevant to some crazy ass allegation that STBXW's attorney made. It turns out that she's completely wrong and we are completely right. My attorney sounded almost giddy about it.

barcher144 posted 9/29/2020 08:39 AM

After getting disparaged in court and pretending to be a happy dad all weekend, my mental health crashed yesterday. No suicidal ideations or anything, but a shit-ton of self-loathing.

Something similar happened after mediation, so here's to hoping that I recover in another day or two.

tushnurse posted 9/29/2020 08:51 AM

Hey Barcher... Make sure you are taking some time for self care. Let go of the loathing. That serves no purpose.
Go for a long walk w/ some good tunes blaring in your ears, notice nature around you, the subtle changes in the leaves, how life is all around you, and it is good.

Then make sure you are not allowing yourself to get the negative self talk out of control.

barcher144 posted 9/29/2020 09:40 AM

I usually just let the negative stuff flow until I get tired of it and remember that it isn't true.

ZenMumWalking posted 9/29/2020 09:44 AM

I'm sorry you're feeling this way, but you don't need to listen to that disparaging voice. She's completely full of shit (and in your mind you know that).

You know the Charlie Brown teacher? Wah wah WAH wah wah WAH wah wah WAH wah. Turn her voice into that.

Think about it - why are you D'ing her? Cuz she's a lying full of shit NPD cheater. So why should anything she says have anything to do with you? Oh yeah - IT DOESN'T!!

Glad you came here to post about it. And I hope that these thoughts will pass sooner rather than later. Substituting the Charlie Brown teacher's voice should help.


barcher144 posted 9/29/2020 12:36 PM

Thanks ZMW and Tushie. Your support, as always, is greatly appreciated.

I am already feeling better. I did a normal work function this morning (just powered through it) and doing normal is just what I need.

It's pretty much certain that I will never stop the self-loathing. It started with my mother verbally abusing me throughout my childhood... and now I have clearly decided to marry different women who do the same thing (i.e., they were familiar, but not healthy for me).

I am going to do some handyman stuff for the rest of the day.

Seriously, after all of the therapy, I am well-equipped to handle a bad day or two (or five). If it gets really bad, then I'll go back to my psychiatrist and get back on antidepressants.

devotedman posted 9/29/2020 13:03 PM

I used to suffer from a lot of mom-induced self-loathing, too, and for what sounds like some of the same reasons and more.

I pretty much got over it, and here's how:
1) What someone says tells you far more about them than it does about you.

If you were to see someone screaming at a kid that the kid is bad, whom would you believe is really the bad one? The adult, or the kid? Who does that screaming say more about, the adult, or the kid? (Also, would you believe that the kid is at fault here? If you wouldn't about another person, then why believe it about yourself?)

2) Given that 1, above, is true - your mom had issues because she was talking that way to you. Somewhere, she learned that screaming at kids was okay and never learned any differently.

So why listen to someone who thinks that screaming at kids is okay? Why internalize a message from such a person? Who the hell does that person think that they are, anyway? God? (Note - this realization is one that makes me angry. As if you couldn't tell, right?)

The fruits from these realizations didn't blossom overnight. It took a lot of thinking, ruminating, internal discussions about, and re-framing for these realizations to bear fruit in my mind. Once I started realigning my thinking, however, it grew quickly.

barcher, I'm ok. You're ok. I make mistakes at times, and that's ok too because I'm human and human is a wonderful thing. You make mistakes at times, too, because you're human and human is a wonderful thing.

Good luck, barcher.

99problems posted 9/29/2020 17:59 PM

I suffer from some pretty intense self-loathing at times myself. My go-to is a hot bath and a book.
It doesn't always work though, and it can be hellish.
Sometimes writing it all down helps. I don't even read it after.

barcher144 posted 9/29/2020 19:56 PM

devotedman and Idiotmcstupid... thanks for the support.

The problem with what my mom did... is that it is now part of me. I know that it's not logical but it's just how I feel.

My usual trick to deal with it is to go out and be super nice to random strangers. That's kind of hard to do some of the time, especially during this pandemic, but I got some of that this afternoon being handyman. I helped a couple of random strangers and that helped me.

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