Sunday, March 26, 2023
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Divorcing a Lawyer

I 31(f) want to divorce my husband badly. He’s hurt me too many times to count. For example tonight our 1 year old has a 102 degree fever, I asked him for help during the night since she was up all night last night and I have a big work presentation tomorrow. He’s never slept a night with either of our kids. His response “make as much money as me and I’ll help with the kids.” Then just leaves .

Mind you, I make $140k plus provide all of the benefits. I’m 8 years younger than him. He makes $400k+ bc he runs his own law firm that he started 2 months before the birth of our oldest. I returned to work 2 weeks after giving birth to support him building his business while he was making nothing.

Here’s the catch… he’s an attorney and has threatened if I leave him he’ll do anything to take the kids from me. Which is interesting because they’re here now and he rarely sees them. My remote job is flexible and allows me to raise them and work with a part time nanny. What does he have against me? Nothing. Im a damn good mom and my kids are my life. I had a drinking problem when we were dating. I have been sober for over 5 years and never had a drink in our marriage or as a mother. Unfortunately this is why I married him, I was frequently drunk and didn’t see who he really was because I masked it with alcohol.

Our oldest daughter has autism and so stability is especially important for her. Also, I’m her main care taker and routine is everything to people with autism. I know my husband wouldn’t get full custody of the kids as he threatens because he has more money, connections, and power than me. But even 50% of the time would kill me because at this stage of life I know it’s not what’s best for them. I want them to have a relationship with him. Despite being cruel to me, he loves them and has a lot of good qualities to teach them. Perhaps as they get older and can communicate their needs, I’d feel more comfortable with 50:50.

Question is: what’s best for my kids? To have their parents apart through a nasty divorce or to have their mom with someone she despises? I feel like by staying with him, I am showing them it’s okay to let someone treat you this way.

I will say despite him I’m still very happy in life. My children are the center of my world and everything I need. I just really need advice from an unbiased source. Thank you.

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  1. WTF?!?! He really said that!! Make enough and I’ll help you with the kids?!?! WOW

    Than threaten if you’re going to leave him sheesh…

    Hey you are human too! You deserve you own happiness.

    I would start collecting evidence.. That you’re actually the one taking care of the kids and not him. Picture or recording…. Voice recording too. If he’s going that far.

    Jeez.. sorry this happen to you. Your kids will understand the reason why when they grow up.

  2. It sounds like he can’t even handle being a part time dad, let alone full time. He doesn’t think you’ll call his bluff. Family law courts tend to be very fair. The judge won’t just award your husband everything he requests because he’s an attorney.

    He is emotionally abusive and it’s sick that he’s ok with using your children as pawns. Hire you own attorney and divorce him. Your kids will eventually understand and be better for it in the log run.

  3. **You need to get the most shark lawyer, put the lawyer on retainer, and ask the lawyer to guide you as how to collect evidence and what evidence. Continue your life as always and don’t tell him shit. But you need to make sure the lawyer doesn’t know your husband.**

    The best for you is the best for your kids. And do you think he will want the kids? No, he won’t, because he doesn’t want to take care of them, particularly if one has autism. He is just using that as a threat but when it comes to the practical side, he would rather give you full custody. Do you think he will get several nannies to get 50% of the time with them? And he is never getting full custody. Who takes your kid to the doctor? You do. Who knows what your kids like to eat? You do.

    The kids won’t remember the divorce. They are too young. It’s worst to have your parents hate each other and grow up with the model of a dad that doesn’t do anything, and with a burned out mother.

    Some had said going to AA. I don’t think that’s good enough. You need a lawyer. The lawyer will tell you what evidence you need. He could ask you to take random tests. I don’t know.

    Some people are saying you should record him. Your state requires two party consent so it’s a waste of time. Talk to a lawyer!

  4. You need to start recoding everything he says it doesn’t matter. Every convo over everything you say to him and he say to you. Because this is not ok and you will have the upper hand regardless because looking at his schedule he’s not there.

  5. It will be way, way better for your kids even if you go through the nastiest divorce in history. Not only are you teaching them that this is okay, you are teaching them that this is the way they are supposed to be when they grow up.

  6. Talk to a divorce lawyer ASAP to discuss all your options and make a plan.

    Despite his blustering, I very much doubt he’ll follow through with half-time care of the kids even if he gets awarded joint custody. He’ll probably try to pawn them off on you as much as possible.

  7. You just get a better divorce lawyer. Sorry to say $400,000 is not a high salary for a lawyer. Middle of the road witch means there are better ones than him out there. Talk to great divorce lawyer and go at him is my advice.

  8. Start to make copies of financial records, tax returns, 401k records, Stocks & know where your/kids passports are. Look for any money he might have squirreled away (though with his arrogance about you being locked in, probably hasn’t done that yet).

    Hide them with a trusted friend or get a safety deposit box…at a bank you don’t currently use…which is also where you open your own “secret account”.

  9. Be careful with recording. In some states, it’s illegal to record someone without the other person’s consent. But you have in home help with the kids, so I think saying it’s a nanny cam is your out on this, although you really should check with a lawyer.

  10. Start a log of your kids’ days and how involved your husband is. Start keeping track of all the little things you do and he doesn’t do.

    I agree that, by staying, you’re teaching them that this is what a marriage is supposed to look like.

  11. Hi, I’m so sorry you have such a terrible husband. Here are my advice, taking into account your comments about him being controlling and checking your accounts and your phone/ computer :

    – get TESTIMONIES : from the doctor of your child, your parents, HIS parents, anyone you can trust that won’t say anything to him

    – get PROOF : get a nanny cam or a recorder that a friend buys you (you’ll reimburse them), hide them somewhere he won’t find it. I think there are some recorders that save the records on a cloud that you can put a password on, look into it. Talk about you abusive husband to multiple people, so that they can testify in court and support you when the time comes

    – separate finances, or if he pressures you into not doing that, draw money out regularly and hide the money at someone you trust

    – lawyer the hell up, and don’t mind the cost. You need the better one you can find on the market

    – prepare a plan : if he’s that controlling you don’t know how he may act when he loses that control

    – write and date : hide a notebook in your car or somewhere he won’t find it, or a note somewhere, and write EVERYTHING he says, with dates, context, everything (when he says something something wrong to you / your child, when he’s negligent, his threats, EVERYTHING)

    I guess redditors will complete my comment, but I really really hope you can get out of this marriage with your kids and a ex-husband that will pay a hellish amount of child support because lOoK I oWn My FiRm I’m RiCh

  12. You need to start documenting everything.
    All the time you spend vs what he does
    What he says
    What he does
    For everything that happened prior to now, if you have proof of it, then document that as well.
    Try to get people you trust who may have witnessed his behaviour to do so themselves as well.
    Try to record him (if you are able) of him threatening you re doing anything to take the kids from you.

  13. It’s much better for kids to have parents that are apart than with each other they hate. The kids will definitely pick up (if they haven’t already) on the animosity between you two if you stay together. Not just outright animosity, but he lack of care, concern, affection, etc.

  14. > To have their parents apart through a nasty divorce or to have their mom with someone she despises?

    As someone with divorced parents, I think 2 happy households are better than 1 unhappy households. Kids need stability and a stress-free environment to grow up in.

    > I feel like by staying with him, I am showing them it’s okay to let someone treat you this way.

    I agree 100%. If you sacrifice your happiness and self-respect, it can teach your kids that this is what a healthy relationship is supposed to look like. I think it’s important to be a role model for your kids.

    I think you’re making enough money to support your kids alone. I also just want to say that I’m very happy to have my step dad as a part of my life. He’s been a more important male figure in my life than my biological father. I wouldn’t have been able to meet my step dad if my parents never divorced.

  15. I am sorry you have to go through this, but please don’t let your kids grow up around a toxic relationship. It’s better to end it now. Speaking from personal experience here.

    So what if he is a lawyer? There are plenty of lawyers out there. Collect evidence on him. Store it in a cloud (Dropbox, OneDrive, etc.) that only you have access to, and maybe send copies to people you can trust. Find the best lawyers you can to help you.

  16. Get into contact with a lawyer and do your groundwork. Document how much you are the primary caretaker. And he is not.

    Divorce is bad for kids. But it’s worse for them to grow up with the parents in a bad relationship.

  17. I am very sorry for your situation, I can imagine how you feel.
    It is very hard to give you any advice. I would just suggest you to imagine the situation when you are divorced. There will be anyone who would help you with kids either, so that wouldn’t improve your situation.
    I am not saying you should not divorce him. If you feel that would make you happy, you should definitely consider this option.
    Maybe try to imagine yourself being alone and also try to talk to your husband about how you feel.
    Perhaps find another lawyer and discuss the issue with him.

  18. You need to retain a divorce lawyer in your community and make a plan. Divorcing or leaving a lawyer or a cop is not something to start on your own, otherwise you’ll find yourself with all sorts of emergency motions and allegations of abuse or addiction.

    You are being financially abused, and the taking your phone to delete things is pretty clear that you had collected damning evidence of it.

    Squirrel away money or borrow some, get a consult asap.

  19. He wouldn’t help with the kids even if you made 4 mil a year, he’d be out spending your money.

    Just because he is a lawyer doesn’t mean you can’t hire better lawyers. If he is like this to you, he may well not be too popular in the legal community so you may get very good representation.

    He is scared of having to pay you alimony. I think he is bluffing about the kids, but you still need to take it seriously if you go the divorce route, because he may act out of spite.

  20. He’s making a threat he won’t follow through on. He’s not the only lawyer in town. He may not be the best lawyer in town. Go for it. Let him do the math on how much child support and alimony will hit his $400k.

  21. You know the answer. Lawyers are trash. Your children don’t need this example of control and that money = more importance / voice means more. Its controlling bullshit and you have plenty of money to afford to care for your kids. I’m sure a better man is waiting for the opportunity to help you raise your kids, anyway. Some men are just raised wrong and don’t understand the complexity of life.

  22. Talk to a lawyer that specializes in getting women out of abusive relationships, cuz that’s what you’re in. Maybe find a organization near you that can assist you for free. Do you have family to reach out to?

    First off: try to leave with the kids first!!! Dont mention divorce for now. Tell him you want an open relationship, that he can date all he wants and you two will work on things, or that you just want to visit family/ try a new area, anything. Whatever gets you living alone with the kids and him not suspecting divorce. Keep it that way as long as possible, maybe a year? That will establish custody out the gate. If he tries to say you’re an unfit parent then the court will think badly of him for letting you have the kids all this time, it’s a lose-lose for him. FYI you can already shoot down any claim he makes against you with that same defense. Just believe in yourself because the judge will see that he’s lying, they do this all day. They know what it looks like to come after your kids to spite your ex. He doesn’t care squat that your ex is a lawyer, and if they’re friends it’s a conflict of interest.

    As the primary caretaker they almost certainly won’t be taken from you. You already give them all their care and the judge will aim to keep it that way. The court will ABSOLUTELY be biased against him if he uses his power or connections as a lawyer over you. Even hiring a lawyer at all if the other party doesnt have one looks bad. It’s abuse of power and they see it for what it is. They aim to keep the kids lives as “same” as possible. My ex fought me tooth and nail. My lawyer didn’t do squat, and my ex only gets every other weekend. Why? Because I was a SAHM and he works. They won’t allow him to take the children and give them to a nanny, that’s not healthy and they know it. Do you have a criminal record? Drug use while parenting? Mental health issues?(suicide attempts ect) If not he has nothing on you. He will get weekends at most, and not every one because the court knows this is also unfair. probably won’t even want that much since he won’t be able to go out on dates if he’s taking care of the kids. You can demand that he contact you for childcare on his parenting time before anyone else, it’s in my divorce ruling and it is standard. If you’re in a conservative area the odds are even more in your favor that the kids remain with you.

    You don’t need as much proof as you think. A therapist willing to testify for you is a great tool. And again here’s the biggest thing, if you can, take the kids and live separately. The longer the kids live with you and not him, the better. Let him visit as much as you’d ideally like in a custody agreement. Dont keep him from the kids intentionally because thats a bad look, just try to make it seem as friendly as possible. Dont do anything that would make the kids uncomfortable (him having overnights with your neurodivergent child when she is only used to you is a hard no) If you can get that going for a few months the court will almost certainly reject any other agreement if the current one already works for the kids. As long as they’re healthy and mentally thriving the court will want everything kept the same. They are on the lookout for parents playing tug of war just to hurt the other parent and they DESPISE it. Also, don’t admit to anything. Your drinking habits in your 20s are irrelevant, and he has no proof you were even drinking unless there’s arrest records? Just act like you don’t know what he’s talking about if he brings it to court(which he won’t because they will get pissed at him for wasting their time, they know what you did 10 years ago doesn’t matter one bit) Let it go, stop believing him when he points out your flaws. Everyone drinks when they’re young he was probably just as wasted and made you think you had a problem because he’s a fkin abuser and that’s what they do.

  23. You need to start keeping records of what you do and when. You also need to keep track of what he does and doesn’t do. You could care for the kids without him. Like he could care for the kids or make the time to. I cannot imagine a judge giving him full custody. Maybe contact his nemesis and tell them you need help sticking it to him in your divorce? If he always acts like that, why are you there? Good luck OP.

  24. As a child of parents who despised each other.

    While I’m sure it’s true that a healthy mariage is better than a divorce for the kids, I know from experience an unhealthy mariage is seriously damaging even if the mum can find can find other reasons to be happy, even (especially?) her kids. That’s a lot of weight for kids to carry, even when your mum has the best of intentions (ask me how I know). And I know from friends that it’s possible to be happy with divorced parents.

    The fact that your husband is trying to blackmail you by threatening with a nasty divorce is, IMO, a reason to get a divorce, not a reason to stay in an unhappy mariage.

    Rip off the band aid. If you don’t do it for your own sake, do it for the kids.

  25. I’m sorry, he watches your finances, has access to all your electronics and emails, deletes things, and threatens to take your children? This man is insanely abusive. I would seek outside help from friends. So sorry for what you’re going through and remember, no matter what you have to go through, once you’re on the other side it’ll be worth it

  26. **Start collecting evidence.**
    Start discretely recording conversations like this.
    Start a diary and track notable events, dates, and times.

    Don’t stay, you know what staying is doing to you, and to your kids.
    Your husband sounds absolutely fucking awful.

  27. Soooo…let me get this straight, he’s 31, at 8 years older, making you 23. You had a drinking problem when you were dating and have been sober for 5 years….making you at least 18 when you started dating, and him 26….or was it sooner? It’s really common for this kind of age gap (when the younger person is in their teens or very early twenties) to devolve into an abusive situation, where the older person is the abuser. All of his threats and financial control over you are classic abuser behaviors. Divorcing him Is going to bring out a lot of ugly in him, but it won’t be impossible. Don’t tell him you’re planning to divorce him, and don’t call him out on any of his behaviors.

    You’re going to need a lot of support in this process. If you haven’t already, secretly find a therapist to help you deal with this emotionally and keep you strong. If you feel that your therapist isn’t on your side, don’t be afraid to look for another. Sometimes it takes a few to find the right one. What about family and/or friends, or your colleagues? Tell them what’s going on. Are you and him from the area or did you both grow up somewhere else? If he’s from somewhere else, his legal network might not be as strong, but when you find a lawyer to talk to, you need to make sure it’s not one of his friends. Also check out the domestic violence resources in your area. They will definitely help you. If it’s a really conservative area, you might have to do some research and find one that is more receptive to your needs. There is no harm in calling around.

    Document everything he does and says. When you get a chance to talk to a DV advocate or your lawyer, ask them the best way to do this. Get a little burner phone and hide it somewhere he can’t find it and use that to make all of your calls that help you get out of this situation. If you’re really worried, you can delete all of the logs and take out the sim and hide it after each use, but I don’t know your whole situation, so it might not be necessary.

    I saw in one of your comments that he monitors all transactions. If you need to find a way to get some money for yourself, you can buy things on debit, and then return it for cash. I’m not totally sure if this works still—I’m in Germany now and haven’t been in the U.S. for a few years, but it’s worth a try. I only found out by mistake and maybe there’s a limit on the return (I think I bought a shirt or something). If you ever need to talk, feel free to PM me

  28. The threatening had me. You need to leave. Maybe it will be very hard with a job and children, but you know you will have your children, no matter what. You love them, they will love you. This guy is an asshole, let him have a wife with 400k earning and you let yourself have a person who respects you and values you, most of all appreciates you for your efforts. You earn, you have children, the perfect situation to leave am asshole. You don’t need him at all, he needs you lol, that’s why the manipulation.
    I would say leave as soon as you can, you will survive the custody battles. Let’s hope for that.

  29. I say spend every dime he has on providing for the kids and yourself. Hire nannies, cleaners, chefs, get the kids to the top schools, go to the spa every week. If he’s not going to help, then at least his money should. And if you divorce him, you’ll have to do that without the money and you don’t get to see the kids as often.

    The adult thing to do is to have a talk with him. Tell him he’s belittling you and being disrespectful and it’s uncalled for. And if he’s doing it in front of the kids it sets a terrible example for them. You’re not a rug, don’t let him walk all over you.

  30. Here’s what your kids have: an asshole dad, and a hard working mom. If you stay, they have a hard working unhappy broken mom setting an example that it’s ok to be treated that way. If you leave, they have a hard working happy mom who might have to struggle to keep the plates spinning, but won’t be taking shit from anyone. Either way, they still have an asshole dad.

    Threatening to take the kids if you leave is emotional abuse. Back up those voice recordings any possible way. Email them to yourself. Email them/text to someone you trust. Also, his threats are bluster. Sure, he’s an attorney. But that doesn’t mean he’ll win in court. You’ll have you own attorney.

    Yes, this will be disruptive in your life, especially in the near term. But that too is part of life, part of growth. Again, do you want your kids to see you just sit by, or do you want to lead by example? Do you want to show your kids that if you are in a bad situation, you can get out of it?

    Personally, I saw my parents go through a hell of a divorce. And I couldn’t be any more proud of the badass my mom was to get out. She’s a stronger person for it. Wouldn’t have it any other way.

  31. Have you considered a separation?
    Moving you and the kids out of the house, (not telling him before hand) and forcing marriage counseling and then giving him visits with the children where he Is the only one taking care of them.

    I had a friend is a similar but same situation. She moved out into an apartment, signed a 6 month lease, took the kids and told her husband, while not divorcing, there were things that needed to change for her to come back. She stuck to her word. Allowed him 50/50 custody of the kids. Asked for no child support. And just went about her life for 6 months. They did counseling, and he realized how much SHE did and how under appreciated she was. He couldn’t even do 50/50 because of his work schedule and she told him, “we’ll it’s your time, figure it out like I do” long story short , They ended up working out. At the end of her lease , they moved back in together and it seems like they are doing well.
    There was no infidelity so that was a huge thing.

    While I see a lot of great comments on here, I just wanted to throw in another option.

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