Friday, April 2, 2010

What Divorce Law is Doing to Marriage Part 13

I will briefly paraphrase the next few pages. Your ex wife has a new lover (in this book his name is John) and many times he will stay overnight, or he will rent videos for the kids to watch, while he and your ex will go out do errands and leave the kids unattended.

Here is a small excerpt

As you drive them to a new pizza place for a parting snack, your children will say you just passed Dr. Karl’s house. They’ll say they don’t like Dr. Karl. Dr. Karl asks them a lot of questions. She asks them to draw pictures. She takes the pictures away and won’t give them back. She makes them play with dolls. The dolls are naked. Your children will giggle when they tell you that Dr. Karl asks them to tell her which of the dolls looks like Daddy. You will giggle right along with them. You won’t ask them what they answered.

The next page will talk about the father not being able to have meeting with school officials because his ex has sole custody of the kids and not him. In the meantime the grades his children are getting in school have fallen and they are having behavioral problems.

Now to continue with the word from Jeb Abraham

Your lawyer will call you with the latest development in your case. Your wife’s lawyer has subpoenaed your tax returns and served you with “interrogatories”-written questions-for you to answer. The interrogatories explore your finances and your fitness to have custody of the children.

Your wife’s lawyer also wants to depose you after she has reviewed your answers to the interrogatories. She expects your deposition will take at least three hours. She said, however, that in exchange for sole title to the house, 50% of the remainder of your marital property, permanent alimony at the rate of 20% of your gross income, no more visitation beyond what you already have, and, of course, child support at the guideline rate of 25% of your gross income, plus dollar-for-dollar add-ons for day care, medical coverage, orthodonture, and miscellaneous extraordinary expenses such as summer camps and private schools, your wife might just agree to settle this case.

Your lawyer had hoped he could to negotiate a reasonable settlement without going through formal pretrial discovery. He suggested to your wife’s lawyer that the custody issue be referred to impartial mediation. At mediation, you and your wife would sit down with a mediator trained in family dispute resolution and together try to work out an acceptable time-sharing arrangement for the children. Your wife’s lawyer would have none of it: your wife is still possessed by the abuse business. So your lawyer has no choice but to formally interrogate and depose your wife in return.

He will also petition the court to appoint a mental health expert of your choice to examine your wife and the children. Your wife’s lawyer will probably ask the court to appoint Dr. Karl as her mental health expert. Dr Karl will want to examine you, too.

Your lawyer could alternatively ask the court to appoint its own mental health expert, without cost to you. While this procedure might appear to be more objective and impartial, everything would depend on whom the court appoints. The court will tend to follow its expert’s advice. If the expert finds against you, that’s pretty much it.

So in your case, it would be better for the court to have two opposing reports, each one probably a little biased. That way the court could choose to ignore either or both. You’d still have a shot to convince the judge directly, rather than only through an expert’s opinion. The downside is the cost. And speaking of cost, your retainer has run out, and you’re behind on my bills…

More on the next summary When Your Wife Files for Divorce.