Advice needed on a divroce

My wife and I have been married for four years, two of which was apart. She has always had a problem with authority and other peoples concerns.

After she got her second DUI in 2006 and had a suspended license she still drove her car, even with our New born son at the time. After she finally got her license renewed after the suspension period she got another DUI in 2008, and with our son in the car. The child endangerment charge was nol prossed recently. A week before she got that DUI she got arrested for simple battery and went to jail for attacking me.

This January, she got her fourth DUI, (only third due to non reciprocal state), again with our son in the car. After her last DUI she voluntarily went into rehab for treatment and spent six months there. During this time I have been caring for our son. Well, last week she wanted to see him and I made the arrangements. Figuring since she was still in out-patient rehab there would be no way she would take him with her to where she is still in her program. She also got a full GA license because her temp. SC license was revoked and her latest DUI has not shown up yet in DMV records. So she has free reign to drive him around like nothing happened.

I have tried everything short of getting a divorce due to money problems. I have filed ex parte orders, temporary protective custody orders, and an order where she took him out of my care. I have tried taking him out of daycare that she placed him in, and was not able to get him because she didnt add me to the release roster. All have failed because we do not have a legal custody agreement signed by a judge. Basically I have been told by judges and other legal authorities that since she hasn’t done anything detrimental to our son lately they will not be bale to help me.

I have applied for legal aid and other pro bono legal firms and got nowhere. Legal aid has lost thier federal or state funding and is no longer doing divorce cases. Dept of Family Services cant do anything because there is no evidence of her harming our child lately. I cannot afford a divorce, but my wife’s wealthy parents are paying for her new condo and legal fees while she works at JC Penny’s making $9 an hour.

She will no longer let me see my son until she serves me with divorce papers and gets an order to share custody with me. She is still going to apply for permanent physical custody too. I have never harmed our child and she has nothing bad to say about me as a parent, and I have all her records, and she still thinks she is the more responsible parent.

I have contacted both State Senators and Congressman to see if they can help me in any way. My lawyer says I have a great case to get permanent phys. custody but he needs a large fee down, that I dont have.

Anyone have any advice on this matter?

Here is what I would do if I were you.

I would beg your friends and/or relatives, borrow or steal (figuratively) the money for the legal retainer. I would determine if I had any assets whatsoever that could be sold for quick cash. I’d quickly sell them (even at a loss) to raise cash for a lawyer. It just may be that the longer she has the kid the more it works in her favor. If you do nothing, she may accuse you of abandonment, never mind that you COULDN’T do anything. Depending on what jurisdiction you’re in, it has been my experience that the two genders are treated much differently ( meaning, “she gets the goldmine, you get the shaft).”

You NEED a lawyer now. This may be the fight of your life - take it to her. If you can’t fight hard for yourself, fight hard for your kid.

In the meantime, remember that you will survive this. Take care of yourself (eat right, exercise, get adequate rest.) Read some inspirational books to keep your mind at ease. Learn as much as you can about the process - knowledge is power. You’ll get through this even though it may seem like insanity right now. Quit drinking completely if you do drink. Don’t be out chasing and stay out of the bars. No trouble, (not even a speeding ticket) and, for Heaven’s sake, no violence. Give complete cooperation to the authorities, even if it pisses you off. Be a model citizen, if you will. You can’t do much from jail. If she has resources in her parents, she could hire a PI to try and get some dirt on you. Don’t let them find any. All this may not be necessary, but it can’t hurt.

Good luck, friend and remember: you are not alone - many others have been through this and survived. Some day, you will laugh at all of this. Trust me.


Dude not to harsh on you but…GO OUT AND MAKE SOME MONEY. Society does not look kindly on able bodied men looking for hand-outs. Months ago I gave you the blue print for buying and selling used phones as well as gave you a detailed breakdown on why your current ebay business plan would not work. Here is a short list of some things you can do to start earning money right away.

  1. Sell Blood Plasma (not pretty but you can earn money right away).
  2. Sell some of your stuff. Craigs List can put money in your pocket immediately.
  3. Get a job waiting tables.
  4. Merchandising Job

If you want your son back you need to start working at it now. You can go to a local book store and buy a book that has all the legal forms to file for divorce with or without custody papers. File for divorce yourself. Have her served. The judge will assign temporary custody orders while the divorce is going on. It does not sound like you and your wife have a large estate to divide up. Chances are your wife does not have an attorney and is just calling your bluff. If you are serious about the divorce then money should not be an issue. Filing yourself and having her served should be very inexpensive.

I did exactly what I have just described when I got divorced in 2004. I did not have children at the time but I know the book I bought came with instruction for both divorces as well as a disk with all the forms that I need.

If you decide not to follow that route then get out the phonebook and call every attorney in the book and ask what they require to start a divorce with children involved. Find the cheapest one and get started earning.

To be honest though is it really money stopping you from getting the divorce? Or is it the stigma of DIVORCE? Being a single dad? etc… Whatever it is you need to just accept that you have to move on from this woman and protect your child.

I am not looking for handouts. I am asking for advice. I have just started working for a company selling heating and air systems and I am a full-time student receiving my GI Bill. All of the lawyers I have contacted say I have a great case, but I am unsure if I will be the one to recive permanent physical custody while letting my wife get 50/50 visitation.

Honestly, No I do not want to get a divorce. However, it is in my best interest and my son’s.

The lawyers retainer is $5000, I do not have this much at this time.

Thanks for the advice and inspiration Rawbertson.

Buy the book and file it yourself. Save yourself the 5g’s…

My concern is not the filing of the divorce it is the custody issue. Her parents are very wealthy and I cannot afford my lawyers retainer at this time, if their high price lawyer and I are in a courtroom, I will get destroyed and she will get custody.

It is very unlikely that you are going to get permanent physical custody of your son. Forget about that. Courts are loathe to take custody away from a child’s mother. The best you can probably hope for is joint 50/50 custody.

You don’t need an attorney to file for divorce. Your wife most likely does not have one either. However once you file for the divorce you can pay to have her served. Once that is done you can request the court to assign temporary custody guidelines. then you can at least see your son.

It sounds like right now she is just using your son as a pawn to force you back together.

Here is a link to a company that will handle almost everything for you for $149.00.

If I remember correctly you are in Pennsylvania.

I know of other fathers in my area that do have permanent physical custody while thier ex wive’s has visitation. They are in the same situation as me.

I was in a similar situation back in 1995.Wife was bi-polar,alcoholic and drug addict.The only difference your wife got busted drunk with your child in the car on more than one occasion.That is child endangerment. You have a good case,but judges dont like to rip kids away from mothers. That is a fact.
My lawyer at the time,told me i had better have snapshots of my wife in bed with farm animals if i was to get full custody of my kids.

The custody battle will drain you both mentally and physically and financially.Take one shot at if you must,but prepare to be let down it is an uphill battle.

What my divorce taught me is that i could live on less money than i thought.It taught me to stay out of debt.It taught me that i could work two jobs for a while and it did not kill me.

It also taught me to choose battles i could win. I won in the long run as i ended up with one of my sons who is now finishing colledge and is great kid.

Awesome. That is really what I want to hear. If people have been done the same road and won…and how. That is not all of the criminal conviction my wife has. She is known to mess up at the most crucial times and I currently know more information.

Even the most pro-woman judge in a divorce case will tire quickly of being slapped in the face by repeated offenses. Your wife has two choices clean up her act permanantly or she will lose custody.

Be patient,it is hard when kids are involved and emotions are high.This too shall pass.

A lot of how this plays out depends on where you are (where the divorce will take place). In some states, she could be an axe murderer and would retain custody. In others, you have a fighting chance.
I am an active duty military member and got custody of my two kids. It is not impossible. It can be done. It was a long and drawn out fight, but I came out on top of every battle I chose to fight. You must document everything. You must stay squeaky clean and continue to support your kids even without a court order in place.
You have to decide how important this is to you. Are you ready to be in the fight of your life? Are you ready to put it all on the line if that’s what it takes? Are you willing to sell everything to pay for this? You can find the money if you want it.
Way too many details and such to be posted here, but if you’d like more info - PM me and we’ll work something out.
The other aspect to think about is that this is a really rough time in your life. You may feel like there is no hope. I was there. I am now very happily remarried and have thrived since the divorce.

You are getting some expert advice here. I agree with the other posters. You can NOT afford to do nothing. This is where you need to sell stuff, borrow from relatives, get an extra job—just get the money for that attorney. Get one who will accept payments, but will aggressively pursue your custody case.

How will you feel if your ex-wife drives drunk again, and your child is injured? She is going to do it again; there is a pattern of behavior. You need to have done everything to prevent that.

Your most valuable asset is not that failed marriage. It is your child.

Last year we spent 6K to get custody changed on a FUTURE step-grandchild. Not even a blood relative. But her condition was so dismal that we had no choice. Now she is in the family and thriving. Out from a horrible living circumstance. Best 6K we ever spent, makes me feel good knowing we changed that child’s life.

Good luck, and keep us informed. The people here can be your moral support. We care.


Thanks for your support