Hi everyone :)
Ok where to start.. My husband and I have been married 9 years and we have a 4 year old son. I'm originally from England and moved here in 2004, I have a green card and will be getting citizenship. Before moving, my father passed away due to cancer and left me his assets. My husband and I purchased a house, I put down $71,000 of my inheritance money and bought the furniture and our car. My husband is very controlling and mentally abusive but he is almost like dr jekyl and mr hyde, in that he can be really charming and can promise the world, but he also has a bad side too and can get verbally abusive and can take back everything he has promised depending on his mood.. which I have seen a lot of. He doesn't even realize he is being this way and feels he is always right. I have been a homemaker for many years and my job experience is very limited. I am going to school full time this Fall to become a certified medical assistant. I pretty much got kicked out of my own house with the reasoning that he has a stable well paying job and can pay the mortgage/bills, plus he can fix up the house to sell. My son and I are now living at his parents house. The custody arrangement for the time being is that I have my son monday-friday and my husband has him friday-sunday afternoon. Often he will ask his parents to babysit on one of the days, so he can go out with friends, or he will call and say he needs a break after just 1 day, yet claims that he spends just as much time with our son as myself.
He said he wants 60/40 custody with unlimited visitation for me. He said its because he wants to make it financially easier for me and he wants to claim our son on his tax returns. He refuses to even consider spousal support in any way and gets angry, saying I have no morals and I have no right to ask for it, if I even mention it. Since he wants physical custody of my son, he doesn't see any need for child support. He promises that when the house sells, he wants to give me back all my inheritance money, furniture and car and says there is no need to go to a lawyer about it because he will never screw me over. I would like to believe this because he has never done anything malicious to me, but I know I would be a fool to take his word for it and hope he goes through. He refuses to sit down and make a parenting plan with me saying "we don't need that, we can just play it by ear" If i try to discuss childcare and the cost of it, he says "I'm too stressed to think about that right now"
I have no income currently, mainly due to the fact that my husband has the car and my inlaws are reluctant to add me to their insurance until they get on top of their finances. Once I am able to drive around, I want to find a part time job that I can do while going to school. In Feb, my husband gave me $500 from the tax return and that is all I have been living on. He makes over the State average as far as income goes, is saving money to go to Japan to see his new girlfriend but yet he does not help buy things for my son and my inlaws have pretty much have to buy everything that he needs. Clothes, food, medicine etc. He claims he is always broke from paying bills but yet his paycheck is almost as much as my inlaw's paychecks combined. I used to take care of the bills, so I know that they don't take his whole paycheck. We have a joint account but if I use any money from that he throws a fit and holds it above my head saying I need to pay him back. He feels that since its his paycheck, its his money. I mentioned him giving me some kind of "allowance" nothing major, even just $30 a month would be fine and he got angry saying that he's already going to give me the money from the sale of the house. That may be so, but the house may not sell for a long time and in the meantime, I have no money in which to support myself, especially since I'm going to school to get back on my feet and become more independant. He pays for my medical co-pays and any medications but that's it.
I find it very difficult to stand up to him because I fear the repercussions. Any little thing can set him off and since I am living with his parents at the moment, this makes things a little more complicated. I would like to have an amicable divorce, for the sake of our son, but he will not see things from any other view except for his own. I don't want to take him to the cleaners but I want to make sure that I do this right and I don't want to be walked all over.
Initially we had papers drawn up by Legal Zoom, even though I was sat next to him, he filled it out with everything he wanted. Since the parent with the least custody has to pay child support, he put in $100 a month and swore that he would just give me the money back and he didn't want any child support. When we got the papers in the mail, it said that the estimated child support that was calculated, was $286 a month, to be paid by him. He feels that this is an error and wants us both to see a mutual lawyer to get the papers fixed. Is this even possible? I thought there needed to be one lawyer for one party and another for the other party.
I am going to see if I qualify for legal aid since I have no income, and try to find my own lawyer to see what my rights are. My husband said he will agree to 50/50 custody as long as I do not go for any spousal support. He threatened that if I do, he will contest and try to get full custody of my son, even though I have always been, and still am the primary caregiver. Could that even be considered by the judge? If the papers specify that I don't want spousal support, can the judge go against that and order it to be paid if he/she feels that it is needed? or do they usually just go by what the papers request? I have no friends or family here so I am pretty much alone in this. Any advice or help would be greatly appreciated.