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Hello, Amy.

My name is Rob. I am writing you on behalf of my girlfriend Stacie. I will try to make a long story as short as possible. Stacie was married to a man in the military who routinely abused her mentally and emotionally. He was also unfaithful for most of their marriage. After 17 years and six kids later, she finally got the nerve to leave him.

Well, he essentially coerced her into signing a divorce decree that benefits mostly him. She never worked during the marriage and her ex was the breadwinner of the family. Somehow he managed to talk the legal firm he used into putting in the decree that Stacie should pay child support and that she could only have the kids for six weeks out of the year. There were some religious requirements in there, like she had to take them to church every Sunday or else all bets were off and she couldn't get the kids.

The story is much longer and I could go on for days but the bottom line is that her ex is an angry, manipulative monster who want to punish her for leaving him by taking the kids away from her like they are some kind of possession. It's tricky because her ex is VERY manipulative and has pulled the wool over a lot of people's eyes in terms of what kind of a person he is. I have personally seen him go into a rage at his 16-year-old son, forcing him to answer a question in a certain way. Essentially, he made the kid lie to him so the he could get the answer HE wanted to get. Then when the kid finally answered, he threw a bigger fit since the kid admitted to doing something wrong (which he didn't do).

Bottom line is that this guy is a psycho but he is a Captain in the army, almost a Bishop of his church and has a degree in...you guessed it, Psychology. So, in the "public eye" he is a wonderful, accomplished and value oriented man but he has tortured and tormented these kids to the point that they are becoming like him. My girlfriend is so afraid of what he will do that she won't fight him in court.

What I want to know is, do you know of anyone who can help in a situation like this? Since he pretty much threw her out of the house with no alimony or anything, she can't afford a lawyer, etc. There HAS to be someone that can help. Thanks in advance for any advise you can offer.


Rob --

Thanks for your note and that's a terrible story. Sadly, it doesn't surprise me. I have heard very similar stories before. Judges just aren't fair to mothers -- especially when fathers choose to have an opinion/say. Every state has different laws and really every county has different judges and the latter is often what it comes down to.

In general, I sounds like your girlfriend got a very obvious rough deal, plus I imagine that some of these kids are old enough to have a say and judges are suppose to operate with the kids best interest. It doesn't sound like that was considered. I highly recommend that she get someone else to look at this or to file her own motion to change -- it should be obvious to any judge.

You might try Equality in Marriage.

Good luck,

-- Amy

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