Domestic Violence - False Accusations


#1

I want to leave as soon as possible, but heard I shoud have a Sep. Agreement first. My Wife refuses. I want out due to my wife’s mental/verbal abuse against me. She has turned our 13 & 7 yr old daughters against me. I have NO fatherly authority/say in our home. She loses it, if I do not do exactly as she commands. She recently called the Sheriff’s Office on me for Verbal Abuse against her, when all I did was tell her “no, I will not bow down to your demands”.

I fear her next step to humilate me. I’ve heard she can call the police, claim I’ve hit her, and even without any evidence, I’d get hauled away in cuffs. I am concerned that she could get our girls to say anything about me. She has purposely brought our girls into every fight, and shares everything about our broken 15 yr marriage with our kids. She sleeps with them both.

What RIGHTS do I have or how should I protect myself from her madness ?


#2

Well, regardless of what else the attorneys may say, one piece of advice is for you to record all conversations with her, especially when you discuss the idea of getting separated.

You also might want to Google the web for “Borderline Personality Disorder”. I believe there’s at least one website out there which discusses what precautions to take when leaving someone afflicted with that disorder and how to bulletproof yourself as much as possible. Whether or not she has the disorder, given her behavior, the advice would still be applicable.


#3

I also suggest recording conversations. I would also find someone to talk to. A friend…someone who is concered about you and will be on “your side” so to speak. Make sure that this person can understand the legal stuff and will also be able to testify to her behavior and treatment of you.

If you feel that your children are being alienated from you, you can seek custody. Though you may not want to do this, I suggest that if you are intending to separate, you make her aware of this in writing, make arrangements for your finacial responsibilities and that you leave the home. Have a friend help you move so that there is at least one other person there. Have the friend bring a camera or recorder, in case something gets said or done that could be brought back up later. Once you leave the home, do NOT go back for any reason. If you are picking up or dropping off your children, do not park in the driveway, stay on the street. Do not put yourself in the position of looking guilty of spousal abuse. My suggestion of leaving the home is to make things easier on you. If leaving the home is not an option and you do not intend to separate, you should at least seek counseling. The courts will not normally talk to the children in a spousal abuse hearing or custody hearing.
Get together a list of people that you could call to testify on your behalf. Maybe someone who is there for children. Someone who has insight into your interactions with your spouse and the children. A neighbor that may have witness some of these arguements…a relative that is around frequently or who has witnessed her behavior over the years…

As far as your rights…I’m not sure what you mean. You have the right not to be verbally, mentally or physically abused. You have equal right to time with your children unless there is a court order stating otherwise. You have the right to equal half the marital assets and responsible for half the marital debt if you leave.

Keep this in mind…in a disfunctional family there is always a power struggle. If you quit struggling and seek help, begin to heal, your daughters may see that things do not always have to be chaotic. Your daughters love you regardless of what they say or how they behave. They see their mother is the one in charge at this point and they are going to “side” with her. Please, try not to take this too personal. It’s not about you, it’s about their survival. They are adapting to a situation that they believe is normal. It’s your job as a sane adult to show them that this is not normal behavior and that your life can be better. Please, whatever else you do…seek counseling.


#4

Ideally you should have a separation agreement in place before you move out, but this is not always possible, especially in cases like yours where your spouse refuses to discuss anything in an amicable manner.
In order to protect yourself and to protect your children from witnessing the strife between the two of you I would suggest you go ahead an make arrangements to move out. Keep in mind that once you leave the residence to live elsewhere you may not return and your wife may legally change the locks. It is important that you take all of your personal effects, and anything else you will need for the next few months as your wife will likely refuse you allow you to retrieve additional items after the separation. You are entitled to take the items you need, including up to one half of the furniture, family photos and other important items.
Given your wife’s behavior I also suggest you ensure you have credible witnesses there to help you move and to ensure she does not accuse you of any wrong doing or abuse.
Once you move out you will need to initiate and action for Equitable Distribution and Child Custody. You may also wish to have the court order a psychological evaluation of your wife and the children in order to determine the emotional state of your children, and your wife.


#5

Erin - I tried pressing my wife in 2007 to get one…even had a lawyer retained…but her eval (not through the courts, but a private one) came back “invalid”. Doctor giving her the eval, said it was due to her lying or guarding her answers…have you ever heard of “invalid” results to a psych eval ?


#6

I have not dealt with that issue, however it could be useful to have the doctor testify in court that he could not do a proper evaluation due to her lies and failure to cooperate.