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Emotional abuse a factor in divorce?

barcher144 posted 12/5/2018 11:12 AM

I am about a month away from my first session of mediation for my divorce.

I'd like to argue that I was a healthy, normal, happy person prior to D-day. After D-day, the emotional abuse inflicted on me by my STBXWW caused a major decline in my mental health.

I am likely going to be in a custody battle for my children. Do any of you know how to go about documenting emotional abuse with respect to a custody battle?

I am genuinely concerned that my STBXWW's narcissism will adverse effects on my kids as they grow up. I'd like to mitigate that as much as possible by getting as much custody as possible.

Please help.

SuperDaddy1027 posted 12/5/2018 11:21 AM

No real advice but others will chime in who are much more knowledgeable than me. But I can tell you although I was never officially daignosed with depression Iím convinced I was depressed due to XWW always telling me I did things wrong.
I kept trying to impress someone who was never impressed with me. She was very controlling and I never put my foot down.

Sorry you are going through this. Youíre a great Dad and I hope it all works out for you in the end!

Ripped62 posted 12/5/2018 23:11 PM

If a medical provider or treatment professional will provide a letter or documentation that the depression or medical issues were associated with infidelity that would aid your case tremendously in my opinion.
Your MD, psychiatrist, psychologist, or counselor should be able to help.

I know it is obvious or intuitive but evidence (medical notes or records) or 3rd party collaboration very likely will help.


k8la posted 12/5/2018 23:51 PM

I would only use it to substantiate that you're a healthy parent, when you are apart from her.

Ripped62 posted 12/6/2018 02:18 AM

Thanks k8la, your comment brought up the need to also address other issues first. barcher144 please review the following for application to your situation. As with anything of this nature take what you need and leave the rest.

Your wayward wife is going to use your depression (situational or clinical) and use of antidepressants and possibly anti-anxiety medications to try and obtain custody of your children. She has stated as such and is using your depression as leverage or a ploy to get the upper hand in the divorce.

She is essentially saying that you cannot properly care for the children because of your use of prescription drugs or otherwise and because of your mental state.

Your depression wonít necessarily bar you from getting primary or full physical custody or the amount of custody you would be entitled to absent depression. Still, your spouse can make it an issue and attempt to use your illness to gain the upper hand. Therefore, stop her in her tracks.

The judge will likely desire additional information. Ultimately the judge will be attempting to ascertain whether you are responsible and will care for yourself and your children.

Besides linking your situational or clinical depression to your wayward wife's adultery and emotional abuse, Other key areas you should focus on and be prepared to demonstrate include the following:

* Your prescriptions were prescribed by a doctor,

* You are taking your medications according to your doctorís directions,

* You are not abusing prescription drugs or illegal drugs (e.g. taking a prescription without a valid prescription),

* Your medications are not adversely affecting your behavior,

* Your depression is not preventing you from taking care of your children.

* The depression has been mitigated or has responded to treatment or if you are still depressed your symptoms are controlled such that you will be a good or suitable parent.

* You presently parent satisfactorily.

If you can prove the above, then your depression and use of antidepressants should not adversely affect child custody. Remember, you are your childrenís father and your spouseís allegations should not be enough to make you lose your children. As their mother or father, you have parental rights, and judges are not in the practice of severing such rights without good cause.

Do not let your wayward wife bully you in mediation because of an illness.

If you cannot resolve that your spouse is using your depression as ammunition against you or she is saying that you wonít get the children because youíre on medication or too depressed to care for your children, it may be time to mediate the property and other issues and then visit with an attorney concerning litigation to address custody issues.

Hopefully with the information you provide the mediator and how you conduct yourself during the mediation he or she will see you as the wonderful father you are.

[This message edited by Ripped62 at 6:59 AM, December 6th (Thursday)]

CatsEye posted 12/6/2018 08:58 AM

If you have an attorney, please consult him. If it is legal where you live and your phone has that capability, download an app that will record your conversations. There are free ones out there. Then turn it on whenever you expect to be dealing with your spouse. If it is legal where you live to secretly record your own conversations and you can get examples of her emotional abuse recorded, that will probably go a long way toward convincing a judge that SHE is an unfit parent. But again, make sure it's legal where you live.

Best of luck.

barcher144 posted 12/6/2018 14:21 PM

Note: I did a bunch of reading on the internet yesterday. I have abandoned my plans to claim that she was/is emotionally abusive, more or less. Instead, I am going to focus on demonstrating that I can be an excellent parent/co-parent.

If a medical provider or treatment professional will provide a letter or documentation that the depression or medical issues were associated with infidelity that would aid your case tremendously in my opinion.

My therapist has agreed to write a letter stating that I was in her care from November 2017 until December 2018. That I took an intensive skills class (2.5 hours per week) and that I graduated from the class and that I no longer need to attend therapy because I am seemingly healthy.

I see my psychiatrist next week. I will talk to her about a letter too. I will basically ask her to state that I have seen her regularly since January 2017 and that I plan to continue seeing her for at least the next year.

* You are not abusing prescription drugs or illegal drugs (e.g. taking a prescription without a valid prescription),

I have used marijuana regularly throughout the last two years of our marriage. My lawyer says that this will not be an issue as long as I don't smoke pot in front of the kids, which I don't. I am a *very* responsible stoner (e.g., I keep my weed locked and in a safe).

That said, I expect that she will bring this up at mediation. Ergo, I stopped using marijuana a month ago. I plan on bringing drugs tests to mediation in a month. As a minimum, I'll be able to pee clean... my wet-dream is that I pass the test and that she fails. She's been known to get high on occasion; she has a couple of big-time stoners as close friends.

Otherwise, I am one of the most boring and wholesome people that you would ever meet. I literally went to therapy for people who are excessive rule-followers.

* You presently parent satisfactorily.

After reading some stuff on the internet, it is seems this is slightly off. It is best if I can demonstrate that *we* can *co-parent* satisfactorily. That is, we can handle the parenting in a way that is not hurtful for the kids. I have been having numerous discussions via text message that demonstrate our co-parenting ability.

Furthermore, I am going to do some other stuff, like invite her to a bowling night on Saturday. I am taking two of the kids bowling... they haven't seen their mom in a few days, so I've invited her along. You know, to demonstrate that we can co-parent.

If you cannot resolve that your spouse is using your depression as ammunition against you or she is saying that you wonít get the children because youíre on medication or too depressed to care for your children, it may be time to mediate the property and other issues and then visit with an attorney concerning litigation to address custody issues.

I have not had depression symptoms since May. I am healthy as far as depression. I have literally finished with therapy (we're on a call-me-if-you-need-me basis) and I will continue to see my psychiatrist for another year or two, until I have full tapered off of my medication.

We have mediation scheduled for January when we are planning to discuss both custody and financial issues. I am actually hoping that my STBXWW will agree to terms on both before then, but she's pretty unstable... so who knows?

Do not let your wayward wife bully you in mediation because of an illness.

Somehow, I give the impression that I am a doormat on this site. There is precisely ZERO chance that my ex will bully me, ever. Manipulate, sure. Bully? No.

If it is legal where you live and your phone has that capability, download an app that will record your conversations.

I already have a voice activated recorder. I live in a state where one-party consent is all that is required.

If it is legal where you live to secretly record your own conversations and you can get examples of her emotional abuse recorded, that will probably go a long way toward convincing a judge that SHE is an unfit parent.

I don't think that there is a legitimate chance that I can demonstrate that she's an unfit parent. Ergo, my new strategy is to simply try and co-parent with her.

[This message edited by barcher144 at 2:24 PM, December 6th (Thursday)]

homewrecked2011 posted 12/6/2018 14:32 PM

I think 🤔 co-parenting doesnít mean you both attend functions (bowling) together.

nutmegkitty posted 12/6/2018 17:43 PM

Yeah, it could be extremely confusing if you continue to invite her along and play "family".

Co-parenting means working together to make decisions in the best interest of the children.

WornDown posted 12/6/2018 22:00 PM

Get and read the book "Splitting" it'll help you a lot.

barcher144 posted 12/7/2018 09:21 AM

Yeah, it could be extremely confusing if you continue to invite her along and play "family".

The kids are not and will not be confused. They are fully aware that we are splitting. I am, at least, making it repeatedly clear that their mom and dad, both of us, still love them and that we will take care of them.

Co-parenting means working together to make decisions in the best interest of the children.

In this case, I think that having her along is a good idea. They haven't seen their mom since Tuesday morning. They asked if she could come, so I said yes.

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