While I am not in the same position you are in my husband has been with his ex and his two children who were 6 and 9 at the time. His ex left him for another man, and still expected him to pay her way as he had always done. She seemed not to realize that while she was out partying and dating, he was at home with their children and was processing paperwork to divorce her after a year. Their oldest son even accused her of only caring about how much money she could get from their dad, instead of about their marriage. Even the part about the attorney sounds familiar…
I also know the pain of having a third party involved in your relationship. [:(]
Please change the locks on your home. If she is staying somewhere else then you are separated and she has no rights to come to the home unless you give her permission. She has no right to take anything from the home unless you give her permission.
Please protect yourself. Get a recorder for your phone, try to put it where the children will not see it and start recording ALL phone conversations with her, even if you never need it. It is legal to record conversations in NC as long as one person (you) in the conversation has knowledge that they are being recorded. Contact the bank where the children’s accounts are and find out what you need to do to put them in your name alone.
You have equal rights to physical time with the children until custody is decided in court but keep detailed accounts of when she visits or calls the children, how often they stay with her out of the home and ANY other pertinent information. Keep all receipts of anything you pay for for the children and anything that is said or done. Keep accounts of things you do with the children, such as daily routines you mentioned. Take pictures of your home, the children’s rooms, neighborhood or community they live in, and their school. This will help the courts “see” what life with you is like.
Keep your anger in mind but do not let it run your life. The hurt will fade with time, but you will NEED that anger if you want to fight for your children. You may have to get really mean towards your STBX if you plan to show the courts that it is in the children’s best interest to be in your primary care and her to have visitations. Most women think they get custody automatically, but in some cases that is just not so. Especially, if she doesn’t realize that she is could lose her children and straighten up before court date. Have your attorney file for temporary primary physical custody and child support from her. When/if it goes to court it will look very good that you already have primary care of the children.
Keep your children foremost in your life until those feelings lessen some, and you can start to focus on other things. Do everything in your power to make sure that they know you love them and are there for them. You are not a fool! Not all women are this way. Try not to let the children see you angry or hear you talk badly about her because they will remember it. If you argue, try not to do so in front of the children. Remember that the children are going through the same loss you are but are not old enough to understand or deal with the emotions. Take care of yourself and your children first.
Hopefully, some of the men have opinions and suggestions on this also.