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Mother with majority custody is upset that father isn't disclosing past cheating and his new girlfriend's wealth


Your Question:
I have been going through a divorce for almost one year. When I filed for the divorce, it was on my long-time suspicions that my husband had been cheating on me. Of course, he always denied it. He left the house one night and did not come back, I asked my attorney what to do because I was scared of catching a disease with him sleeping on the same bed. The attorney advised to change the locks. He then stated that I ousted him. A few months after the filing, I did find out that he was sleeping with someone in our own home, so it was somewhat confirmed. This has been a very long litigation. I am a great mother: my son is my life, I have the best career, I have maintained the home and our son by myself since he has been gone. Not a cent from him. We went to court various times: visitation, child-support, mediation and so forth. Well, recently after the child support was set, I found out that he has his girlfriend living with him. This is the same person who he cheated on me with, I found out through old addresses, jobs and investigator. The thing is, he never told me anything about having our son sleep in the same household with this woman. This woman is playing mommy for him while he is with his dad. I am happy that she has treated our son right, but I think that I had a right to be advised of this first. Also my husband never diclosed her great income in court. Only disclosed his, and also cried during the hearing. The judge was very sympathetic towards him and also the judge use to be partners with his attorney. He comes to my house with this woman's car, he comes with her to my house and leaves her at the corner. He also wants me not to move a half hour away which means another county. he is trying his best to make my life miserable. What can we do with the undisclosed girlfriend, the additional income, and my rights as our son's mother.

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My Answer:
Hi,

Thanks for writing.

In a separate email (not posted), you advised me that you have approximately 70% custodial time of your son. I asked you the worst thing that the father has done as a father, and you responded that the WORST THING he has done is ask for sole custody.

The questions you ask me about child custody (i.e., this IS a child custody website) are pretty simple. I'll address those later.

But first, I'm going to turn on some violin music and respond to the bigger issues that are ruling you.

I think you are your own worst enemy in terms of refusing to accept your situation and getting all worked up. I'm sorry that your husband cheated and lied (and may still lie). That's why you're getting divorced, right? I'm not sure why you expect him to be a different man after the separation. You know what he's like.

I sense that you're a very dramatic person. Not wanting to sleep in the same bed out of fear of catching some disease? Drama! Driving his girlfriend's car? Drama! Doing his best to make your life miserable? Drama!

I purposefully asked you the worst thing he has done as a father, and the worst thing you could come up with is that he dared to asked for sole custody. Not abuse, not neglect, not bad parenting.

You even acknowledge that his girlfriend treats your son well. I know it's a tough pill to swallow to see that your ex is with some new woman (i.e., in your eyes, she's a home-wrecker), who is also spending time around your son.

The big challenge you face is nothing legal. It's learning how to co-parent and live after separation. This means that you have 100% control over your son during 70% of the time. It also means that you have 0% control over your son during 30% of the time (i.e., except in a case of abuse or gross neglect, where you'd have to intervene).

This means that when your son is with his dad, his dad has as much obligation to inform you of their activities and arrangement as you do with his dad. The obligation is pretty close to zero.

If you really want to irritate your attorney and the judge, you should continue to harp on his cheating, his undisclosed girlfriend, the girlfriend's money, and his mission to make you miserable. And to irritate others, tell everyone else about it (i.e., your family, your friends, your religious leader, etc). However, I wouldn't suggest this route... it doesn't accomplish any positive outcome.

The only legal matter that is relevant is the child support. If you think your ex is earning less than his capacity, you can argue that in court. But if child support is based upon his true earning potential, then you're done with that.

All you can do... and this is the most important sentence... is be a good parent for 70% of the time. During the other 30%, pursue hobbies, socialize, or work.

I suggest that you find a book called "The Four Agreements". Let it be your guide through this. Your biggest work is nothing legal... it's finding a way to come to terms with your life situation. It ain't a fun situation, but it's what you have. So, when you find peace with it, you'll be a much happier individual.

Good luck with everything.

Eric





This website gives common sense advice that is not intended to act as legal guidance nor psychological guidance. The author is neither an attorney nor licensed psychologist. For specific legal guidance or specific psychological guidance, consult with a licensed professional.


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