Domestic Violence, Division of Property, and Custody

I’ve been married since February of 2009, have been putting up with domestic violence and a bipolar man for 4 years now. We have a 2 1/2 year old son.

In March, I finally had him arrested for assaulting me in front of our child. He did 2 nights in jail, then emerged repentant and sorry (as he always had in the past. An act I never bought.) He started receiving mental help yet again and started taking his meds (something he would take just to get out of other court charges. Every time he gets arrested for various things, he manipulates his way out of them.) He kept telling me he was sincere about changing (something I knew in the back of my mind was a lie, as he is a pathological liar.)

Well he got his case for assaulting me continued, and then come to find out that this Friday, I was supposed to be in court apparently, and he got the case against him dismissed, and the order stating that he must stay away from me dropped. Now there is a show cause warrant on me, which is ridiculous because I was told by him that it was continued until August, and I’m the victim in this, and once again he’s got away with it scot free.

There is a vehicle he bought with our tax returns earlier this year that he would not let me drive most of the time, because he is controlling, in fact the night I had him arrested, I finally got the “privelege” of using the Jeep, and went to my mom’s, and because I didn’t come back when he wanted me to, he beat me up. Also he’s just freely moved himself back in our house, which is actually a rental, and he’s buddies and business partners with our landlord so I know eventually I’ll have to leave.

Why has the justice system failed me? How can I get the Jeep in court, or the money from the sales? How can I keep custody of my child? He did the same thing to his ex-wife, and then ran off with the child and sued his ex (who he controlled and beat like he does to me) and ended up getting his controlling mother involved, and they lied about his ex wife saying she was abusive and his mother ended up getting full custody.

My questions are: How can I get the Jeep? I don’t want alimony, just the Jeep, he got it with tax refund, and he got a child credit for our son who he didn’t even take care of. I feel it’s owed to me. (We separated shortly after marrying and for 6 months, I was at my mother’s with my child, so why does he get to benefit from the child credit?)

Secondly, how can I manage to keep custody of my child in this situation when he’s proven time and time again to be a manipulative sociopath who seems to be able to get away with everything? He got away with his domestic violence, just like he got away with assaulting his stepdad the year before, and assaulting my friend (also a female) the same year, and shooting his gun in a neighbor’s yard last year! My mother is a sergeant at the jail and she told me he was up there trying to get his gun back from the gun charge, and he’s going to end up killing me all because of the justice system.

You will need to file an action for Equitable Distribution of the marital property in order to have the court distribute the car and the rest of the marital estate.

As for the child care credit, the court may award you the amount he saved if the courts finds such an award to be equitable…

As for custody, I suggest you file an action for the same, and be prepared to testify, and have other’s testify about his violent behavior.


First, God bless you. I am in the middle of dealing with a manipulative, abusive STBX as well and we are still under the same roof as well. I cannot and will not leave because right now, even though I make money, he takes most of it and I have nowhere to go and no money to go anywhere. He has a 401k that he was able to have because of me (and it would be more had he not been fired from his job for sexual harrassment).

What you haven’t been told, however, is that the timeline for the processes that Erin stated that you should follow tends to be a lengthy one. We began this dance in FEBRUARY of this year. It is NOW JULY and I am STILL stuck in this house with this sociopath, with him verbally and emotionally and mentally abusing me and trying to turn it around as if it’s MY FAULT!! I called the police on him one time and they told me that they could easily have us BOTH ARRESTED and the kids taken away by DSS!! I don’t understand how the justice system has failed us either but there HAS to be a light at the end of the tunnel that isn’t a train for a change!! Pray!! Pray all the time as I do. This HAS to be a test because I can’t imagine God allowing us to have to endure this horrible life without some kind of “reward” of freedom at the end.

I wish you the best of luck and I truly, truly hope that you (and I as well) are able to escape this situation with everything that you deserve.