Unemployed, Custody, Alimony, & Legal Advice


I’m seeking some clarification. I am an unemployed dependent spouse with two children by my soon to be ex husband (the divorce judgement summary goes in this week-married 7/2004, separated 7/2011). My soon to be ex had me served with an absolute divorce complaint on 1/2013 & I sent in a counterclaim for custody & alimony with the assistance of a legal firm on 2/2013. We have ongoing custody requirements going on this month, although our two young elementary children have lived with me for over 20 months and for the most part I don’t believe that will change. We both had already separated property & lived at two separate residents since July 2011, he has furnished his entire apartment and child support enforcement order temporary child support amount as of 12/2012 until I am able obtain full time employment. However, he did submit an extension to answer the counterclaim on 2/22/13 so he can find an attorney & it was granted through 4/7/13, but the divorce will go through this week. My first question is does he still have an extension if the divorce goes through this week and if so does he simply answer my counterclaim answer or can he change the terms of his filing the divorce?

Secondly, the alimony claim is in regard to his ongoing cheating both before and after the separation, me being the dependent spouse based unemployment/underemployment, his substance abuse issues, etc. He is now wanting to try to negotiate the alimony, but I refuse without legal representation because he barged in my house approx. two weeks ago & I begun to call 911, but as he proceeded to leave I hung up the phone. Our two children were witness to the incident and I asked him to no longer come to my house & that we would transfer kids at the local grocery store parking lot to prevent any more incidents like that. That being said, I have already begun counseling and wait listed our children to help deal with some of the issues that happened during the marriage & in this transition period. In addition, to turning on my ADT services. Long story short negotiating with him alone does not appear to possibly be a safe situation for me (although most of it appears to be intimidation, but I don’t want to chance it). Since that is not working, now he saying well you talk to someone in the separation so that makes you an adulterous too. I informed him that it was 16 months into a separation and that it was not against the law for me to talk to someone, which later I apologized for to him for even talking to the guy although he gave me permission to, and that the reason we separated was because he was constantly cheating and that I did not engage with anyone while we were together throughout our marriage. His current girlfriend situation has caused so much extra pain, because up until she got involved our separation was not so much drama nor was he even seeking a divorce. As a result of meeting her prematurely two months into his relationship our son has had some behavioral issues at school, he is receiving counseling services at school but anytime she is brought up he acts out. He cut my health insurance, when I needed it the most. Closed our joint account & allowed me almost face eviction with our two children, but he had funds to file a divorce for his girlfriend. I was blessed to borrow money to pay the rent difference & attorney divorce response fees, and file taxes but had to use most of it to pay individuals back and ongoing bills. I really don’t know how to proceed with all of this, because of my unemployment status I don’t have the funds to pay for legal representation, but I don’t want to cave and give up either. Any suggestions?

Also if we are able to legally mediate, can it be legal and binding if submitted to the judge for the May 2013 judgement settlement hearing?

Whether the divorce goes through will be up to him. Since it is his claim, he can decide when to proceed with it.

As for your claim for alimony, if you do not have the ability to afford an attorney and negotiations are not working, you need to proceed with a hearing. You should do your best to follow any local rules and present your evidence.

Mediation is non-binding.