Harassment by first wife & her husband, a lawyer


#1

I will not comment on the legality of reporting the husband. I do not have enough knowledge of how to go about something of this nature to do so…Keep all original copies of everything you get. Hopefully an attorney will answer this one soon about the Bar Association and how to report an attorney for unethical behavior.
I will say this: Unless there is a history or claim of child abuse, there is nothing that she can do to keep you away from the children. You are allowed to go to appointments with them if they are in your care since your husband shares custody. I would not suggest going when there’s an appointment during her time…but you probably knew that. She is in contempt by keeping your husband away from the children simply because you are around. You are not in any way, shape, or form under any type of legal contract/agreement with her because she and your husband had a separation agreement. The separation agreement does not involve you.

As far as the children are concerned…do not under any circumstances allow them to see that this bothers you. You need to make sure that they know you love them, are there for them and that they will be taken care of. If this subject comes up during conversation with them, you let them know that this is NOT something that they should concern themselves with. Do not put the children in the middle any more than their mother already has. The children will eventually see that the things their mother has said are not true. Trust me…children see and understand more than we think. It’s terrible for their mother to put them in the middle and it will come back to her. Do not let her draw you into an arguement. Do not sink to the level that she has stooped to…please, for your own children’s sake.
I went through a year and 1/2 of the same type of harrassment. I looked into getting a “No Contact Order” since my husband’s ex felt the need to follow us if she happened to see us somewhere, scream, yell and curse me, threatened me with physical harm and vandalized my vehicle. I spoke with a friend of mine at the local police station who said that yes I could do that since that is considered stalking and harrassment, which is illegal in NC. I chose not to because I came to realize that since my husband and she share custody it would only make the situation more volitile and the children would see this as me taking action against their mother instead of protecting myself. Basically, what it boiled down to is did I really need this court order for her not to talk, contact, follow, harrass, touch, or in any sense, stalk me? Would it really do much good after she beat me to a pulp? To me that would be like taking a knife to a gunfight…it would be not be worth the paper it was printed on. This may be different sitaution for you and would be worth looking into.
Good Luck and keep us posted.


#2

Thank you. I have considered a non-contact order & the reason I have not done it (yet) is because as yopu say it could make things worse for the children and she would certainly use it against me,presenting it as me being unreasonable/unfair to their mom rather than a simple act of self-protection.
Believe me I never involve the children & never stoop to her level, but that is what leaves me so powerless - her weapon ios the children, I refuse to do that which leaves me "weaponless) & just having to take this week after week.They hear a lot from her & then I have to deal with their upset emotions when they are here - that’s another problem. Often they worry it’s their “fault”, I just keep saying they’re not to worry about it, I’m not upset by what she says, so they mustn’t be & they mustn’t worry about me.
A couple of times thio I havve let my emotions show. Once when after a pearticularly nasty round of allegations, she made a particularly nasty threat. I was “OK” until one of the kids asked me, “Has Mom told you she’s going to…” & repeated the same threat - it was the fact that they knew/guessed, (& they definitelt hadn’t heard anything about it at our house.)I was shocked, taken unawares & burst into tears, making it ov=bvious that yes she had…
The second time was this past couple of weeks. It was a really bad time - 2 close relations & a friend’s husband all died within the space of 10 day & I myself was in hospital, she decided to accuse me of unspecified child abuse & keep the kids away from my husband during that time. This is the same time she sent the letter about me to the Dr, sent the email about me to the kids. I think she knew I was low & unwell. It was just to much, & I was not strong enough. Lots of tears. Luckily since she was “witholding the kids” from us I didn’t see them as much as usual so they didn’t see the tears. But my own 2 did & I feel bad about that. They are the other reason I want this stopped. They seee their mom being attacked by this woman & her husband, they know I’m a good mom & it’s all totally unfounded, but like me they can’t talk about it cos she is their brothers & sisters’ mom.They are starting to show signs of stress & I just have to protect them also.
Sorry to write so much. Thanks for your input.


#3

Is it possible that she “hacked” into her husband’s comapny email? I do not know if you are in direct contact and it doesn’t seem that you’d be comfortable discussing her with him anyway. Unless he is a lawyer who works independantly, you can also bring this to the attention of the senior partners in his firm. I have a friend who is an attorney and they have strict ethics in reguard to the handling of personal business with company strength, which is what he did when he used company letterhead. A law firm is only as strong as it’s reputation. This is why I would consiter that she used his credintials without his permission. No self respecting attorney would slander (and that is what making unfounded accusations is) to another professional like a doctor without having the facts to back up allegations. But this is for a lawyer to answer. I am glad you are putting the kids emothional well being as the top priority. Good luck.


#4

In this situation your husband should look into contempt charges on her for “withholding” the children. Without a formal complaint to DSS and actually even with DSS involved she has no right to keep the children from their visitations. As I said, her husband should be able to tell her that. He would be within his rights to represent her in court but I’m sure a judge would take into account that they are married…
I would get the e-mail, the letter the doctor received and if it’s possible to record phone conversations without any of the children knowing, I would look at doing that also. You need to be able to show that you are not provoking any of this, in case it does go to court. Document as much as you can including keeping a journal. I still keep one for my own reasons and possible future reference. Past actions and parenting skills can be looked at during a custody hearing to gauge how a parent will act in the future. If a parent “cleans up” their act just for court, a past history will show that and may show the court that the changes made are not permanent. You just never know…
I told my husband that if the situation escalated and I did end up injured, that there would be witnesses, there would be photos, there would be a police report for assault, she would pay any medical bills and I would not drop the charges. He would never have let the situtation come to that but he agreed if it ever did, that was the ONLY way to handle it. My situation is 100% better now. She and I still haven’t ever spoken but she got on medication for her bipolar disorder, started going to counseling, and her and my husband talk on a regular basis and work together to raise the children. If she still talks about me to the children, I never hear about it. The children had their say to her about me also. It came down to the youngest, who was 7 at the time, screaming at her that he was tired of hearing her talk about me. He told her that he loved me and I loved him and that I take care of him when he’s at his dads and he didn’t want to hear her ever say another bad thing about me again. To my knowledge, she hasn’t.
Check out this site for the attorney complaint thing: www.deltabravo.net. From the home site, click on “Resources by State” and then NC. There’s a form that can be filled out and some more information on what to report and how. Hopefully an attorney will still respond on this but in the meantime, do some research of your own.
Good Luck!


#5

Here’s the contact information to the State Bar regarding complaints:

Attorney-Client Assistance Program (receives complaints from clients)

Visit the Non-Lawyer website for information on the ACAP.

  1. 828-4620
    Luella Crane, Director
    Debra Holland
    Diane Melching dmelching@ncbar.gov
    (Ms. Melching receives all email inquiries, which she forwards to ACAP staff)
    Sandra L. Saxton
    Krista L. Bathurst
    Melanie Kincaid

#6

You have not mentioned specifically what your Husband is doing in regards to this situation. Are you and your Husband still living together? Based on your post I would assume that you are.

Without specifically reviewing the allegations his ex Wife’s lawyers has made, it is impossible for me to comment on them. I would recommend that you schedule an initial consultation with a lawyer and have them review the correspondence with you.

If you truly feel the correspondence is abusive you can report this lawyer to the bar, however that will increase the level of animosity in this case and I do not think it would solve your ultimate goal of decreasing the hostility and improving this situation.

Helena M. Nevicosi
Attorney with Rosen Law Firm

4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 500
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607
919.787.6668 main phone
919.256.1665 direct fax

10925 David Taylor Drive, Suite 100
Charlotte, North Carolina 28262
704.644.2831 main voice
704.307.4595 main fax

1829 East Franklin Street, Bldg 600
Chapel Hill, NC 27514
919.321.0780 main phone
919.787.6668 main fax

ROSEN.COM

The response posted above is based upon the limited factual information made available and is not intended as a full and complete response to the question. The only reliable manner to obtain complete and adequate legal advice is to consult with an attorney, fully explain your situation, and allow the attorney sufficient opportunity to research the applicable law and facts required to render an accurate opinion. The basic information provided above is intended as a public service but a full discussion with an attorney should be undertaken before taking any action.


#7

My husband is basically not doing anything about this. (don’t mean that to sound too critical, but he is so scared of her & so scared of the way she ‘witholds the kids" from him every time she is angry with me.) The lawyer we showed some of the lawyer husbands emails to couldn’t believe how "belligerent’ ( his word) & unprofessional they were. I firmly believe this womnan is a bully & will not stop until we make it plain we won’t put up with it. My husband wants to appease her & not do anything that will make her angry again or escalate things. The trouble is I don’t have to do anything to make her angry. Me being here is the problem, & she is also irrational, probably bipolar, definitely fits the profiles of abusers & bullies I’ve found on the internet & at my support groups. Her own children have told me that “Mom is a bully and X (the lawyer husband) is her henchman”. My councellor says she (kids Mom) is a classic abusive personality, the probably emotionally abused my husband for yrs while they were married, continued to control him after divorce & now needs to attack/evict me because I am weakening her control of him as her victim. I’m the new victim/target,but he remains so scared & so incapable of telling her to stop attacking me because he’s a victim of abuse, & victims get to where they feel powerless.
I was so glad to read of that 7yr old telling his Mom to get off the step-mom’s case. Don’t think that will happen here as my step kids are scared of their mom (they’ve told me so & she even boasts about it - she thinks it’s good to have your kids scared. Confuses prowess as a bully with respect & looking powerful). Between bouts of accusing me of being abusive she’s told me I should “scream & yell at them more. I do. They don’t mess with me!”


#8

Your Husband is the one that needs to take control of the situation here. If he unable to do that because he has been a victim of abuse in the past, there are many great resources available to him. He should certainly seek counseling so that he can help himself recover from what was obviously an intense emotional ordeal. I think if he works on getting up the courage to stand up to her, she may back down. I wish you the best of luck.

Helena M. Nevicosi
Attorney with Rosen Law Firm

4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 500
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607
919.787.6668 main phone
919.256.1665 direct fax

10925 David Taylor Drive, Suite 100
Charlotte, North Carolina 28262
704.644.2831 main voice
704.307.4595 main fax

1829 East Franklin Street, Bldg 600
Chapel Hill, NC 27514
919.321.0780 main phone
919.787.6668 main fax

ROSEN.COM

The response posted above is based upon the limited factual information made available and is not intended as a full and complete response to the question. The only reliable manner to obtain complete and adequate legal advice is to consult with an attorney, fully explain your situation, and allow the attorney sufficient opportunity to research the applicable law and facts required to render an accurate opinion. The basic information provided above is intended as a public service but a full discussion with an attorney should be undertaken before taking any action.


#9

I have been harassed by my husband’s previous wife for almost 2 yrs. She has made threats, stated explicity that she will “do everything in her power to make my life miserable”, several times told my husband he cannot see his kids (they have joint custody) unless I am elsewhere. She makes constant false allegations against me to myself, my husband, the kids, the school etc. This includes telling the children I have a drug problem, am mentally ill, am abusive (none of this is true). Most recently she sent emails badmouthing me to all the children.I hoped when she married a lawyer he would caution her to have more self-control & be more careful what she writes about me. Instead he seems to have joined in the harassment. Allegations are now sent from his email address at a law firm. A letter with false allegations on his legal letterhead was sent to a Dr saying I must no longer attend appointments with the children. I am unsure whether it is ethical for him to be sending letters about me for his wife apparently representing her as his attorney. I find the tone of emails sent to me to be belligerent, aggressive & unprofessional. One recently told me I was in breach of my husband & his ex-wife’s seperation agreement & ordered me to sign up to that agreement immediately. I was never married to my husband’s wife & cannot understand a lawyer claiming that I am in breach of an agreement I was never party to.(i’ve done nothing wrong/in breach of it anyhow!) I doubt this man’s ethics, professionalism & competence, & I strongly feel he/his wife are using his status as a lawyer in an attempt to intimidate.I want the harassment, false allegations & manipulation of the children to stop. I have been attending counselling & a support group for victims of abuse/domestic violence because of this. I and my biological children are living in fear & stress becuase of this woman’s threatening & malicious behavior, & he rlawyer husband is aiding & abetting her abuse of me. I think this is a breach of my rights under the Human Rights Act. I have been advised I could report him to the State Bar Association & ask for an investigation of the material he is sending to me & about me. Please advise if this is a reasonable course to take to end this abusive situation