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#756382 - 11/17/12 04:05 AM help please, in uncontested w/domestic abuse
patientRN Offline

recently joined

Registered: 11/17/12
Posts: 6
Hi everyone.

I'm towards the end of the 6 month waiting period of an uncontested (summary dissolution) divorce in CA (San Diego). We were married for just under 3 years. For the past year and a half to 2 years, he's been abusing me physically (hitting & shoving) and mentally. I've never filed any police reports or have ever had to gone to the hospital due to bruises or injuries from the abuse. The only "evidence" I have of the abuse is a typed word document of all the abusive things he's done to me (with dates & times) and going to a local women's shelter, going to 2 free counseling sessions there, and seeking free legal aid advice at the same place. The divorce won't be final til the first week in Dec (Dec 4th, I believe), and I now wanna revoke the summary dissolution because he almost never gave me half his income while we were married. Most of his income has been unemployment that he's gotten for almost the whole marriage; he's gotten a little self-employed income over the last couple years but nothing really substantial. So I'd like to revoke the summary dissolution & file regular divorce papers so I could get spousal support.

I have a few questions.
1. When I revoke the summary dissolution, he'll most likely be really pissed off. Should I file the summary dissolution & regular dissolution papers at the same time? And should I also file a retraining order as well, or should I wait til he gets pissed off to do the restraining order? Do I need more evidence to get the restraining order?
2. Since I don't have much evidence regarding his abuse towards me and it'll most likely be a "he said vs she said" case in court, should I represent myself in court, or would it be better to get an attorney? And if I do end up getting an attorney, and if I'm able to get an order for the attorney's fees to be paid by my soon-to-be-ex (who still has a very limited income and has been unable to get a full-time job for 3-4 years), if he's unable to pay the fees, is there a chance that those fees would come back to me for me to pay?
3. What are some divorce tactics/strategies that are commonly used in cases like these? I know each divorce is different and unique, but there must be some common strategies out there that may help me out.

Thank you in advance for any & all input and comments.

patientRN

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#756383 - 11/17/12 04:29 AM Re: help please, in uncontested w/domestic abuse [Re: patientRN]
BeachBabeRN Offline
Carpal \'Tunnel

Registered: 01/17/06
Posts: 3236
Loc: VA for 21 years, NC forever!
Why would he have to give you half his income while you were married? That makes no sense.

Apparently you're an RN -- able to make a good living. Let the dissolution go through, you're well rid of him, there's no money for any spousal support and in fact, since you're an RN, might find yourself giving him temp spousal support.

Let it go and move forward instead of making some attorneys rich for nothing.

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#756384 - 11/17/12 04:49 AM Re: help please, in uncontested w/domestic abuse [Re: BeachBabeRN]
patientRN Offline

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Registered: 11/17/12
Posts: 6
I see me asking for spousal support from him 2 ways, that it's a) standing up for myself, and b) getting what was legally mine during the marriage.

Also, I'm a new grad and having a hard time getting my career started, which would be another reason for the spousal support. And since he's been the abuser, I hope I don't have to pay him spousal support.

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#756385 - 11/17/12 04:53 AM Re: help please, in uncontested w/domestic abuse [Re: patientRN]
patientRN Offline

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Registered: 11/17/12
Posts: 6
Forgot to add that, in my opinion, marriage in general is a partnership. Income earned from one or the other should be shared and should be treated as such. Morally speaking (and maybe legally too), that's how I see it, anyway.

Thank you for your response and input. I do appreciate it. :)

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#756386 - 11/18/12 02:29 AM Re: help please, in uncontested w/domestic abuse [Re: patientRN]
finz Offline
Carpal \'Tunnel

Registered: 06/17/08
Posts: 6756
Morally speaking, someone who wants to end an relationship quickly, and needs to end it quickly for their own safety, would NEVER even think of prolonging it for some perceived financial gain.

You have said this is an uncontested divorce. Then you don't need a lawyer. Getting one, just to stick him with the fees SHOULD backfire on you. Spending money on something that is unnecessary in the hopes that he will have to pay for your decision is selfish and foolhardy.

Married couples don't "have" to give each other half their income. Upon dissolution of the marriage, you should both be getting half of any assets that you have as a couple. It sounds like you have been unemployed while a student. He has been collected unemployment. How much in assets do you have left ?

As far as spousal support, most will not see a short marriage such as yours as "deserving" of ANY spousal support. If there were to be any, it would be based on each spouses ABILITY to pay. You have said yourself that he has been unable to retain steady work. You, on the other hand, hve a decent earning potential. Spousal support would be figured based on what each of you should be making. That means a full time starting RN wage for you....and unemployment wages for him. Which is greater ?

Spousal support has NOTHING to do with what you think he owes you because of the abuse you took.

Straighten out your head, end this marriage, and get to work ! You might not want to hear that now, but it will be better for you in the long run if you head that advice.

Good luck moving on.

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#756387 - 11/18/12 02:32 AM Re: help please, in uncontested w/domestic abuse [Re: finz]
finz Offline
Carpal \'Tunnel

Registered: 06/17/08
Posts: 6756
Oh, and morally speaking......if he supported you while you went through school (even if you paid your tuition or have student loans, if he paid for your home and food for the past few years), he can argue that he deserves a piece of your future earnings for supporting you during your education, especially if he doesn't have an education himself. Finish this thing and move on !

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#756388 - 11/19/12 03:06 AM Re: help please, in uncontested w/domestic abuse [Re: finz]
javajunkiee Offline
Carpal \'Tunnel

Registered: 06/02/08
Posts: 3200
Loc: SC
Ditto to what everyone else has said. Your opinion on what he should be paying doesn't count. You won't get payback for abuse because in the eyes of the system you were never abused. A short marriage doesn't merit spousal support, and as others mentioned, you have good earning potential and he can't hold a job. You could've been married 10 yrs and you still wouldn't collect from him.

If your counselor is advising you to stick up for yourself and take back your power, then cutting the strings that tie you to him and moving on to an abuse-free life, and having a successful career is the best way to stick it to him. The toxicity of an unemployed abusive loser is not something anyone should have in their life.
_________________________
Marriage doesn't come with a money-back guarantee.

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#756389 - 11/21/12 12:37 AM Re: help please, in uncontested w/domestic abuse [Re: javajunkiee]
patientRN Offline

recently joined

Registered: 11/17/12
Posts: 6
First of all, thank you all for the input you've all given. I appreciate all your feedback.

I should reiterate the main reason why I feel I need to revoke the summary dissolution. It's not for my personal financial gain. I'm not in it for the money. It's more about being treated fairly, which my abusive ex has never done. We currently live in his in-laws house, and whether I lived here or not, he would've paid his parents monthly rent anyways, regardless, because he's been paying them rent for most of his life. Also, the second I got a job, he forced me to give him at least half my paycheck when he never gave me half of his. So, that's why revoking the summary dissolution is standing up for myself, and is also trying to stop the same thing from happening to future women he may meet and/or marry.

And lastly, no, he didn't HAVE to give me half his income when we were married. The point is though, if he was a decent human being, he would've done that anyways just to support me because he cares about me. But I've learned in recent months that he doesn't care all that much about me because otherwise, he wouldn't have the abusive mentality nor would he utter such words as "you're the one who's making me resort to violence cause I don't know how else to deal with you" and "it's your job to obey me."

Also keep in mind that here in CA, the general rule of thumb for spousal support in marriages under 10 years is that it's generally awarded to whomever for half the length of the marriage, and the order is good for forever. In other words, the spousal support order can be paid whenever the person can afford to. I really don't want to make life harder for him, but I also don't want him to get his way this time, which would mean me going away quietly in the shadows. I would rather set an example so future ladies don't get hurt by him again and end up in my shoes.

Thank you again for all the comments.

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#756390 - 11/21/12 12:40 AM Re: help please, in uncontested w/domestic abuse [Re: patientRN]
patientRN Offline

recently joined

Registered: 11/17/12
Posts: 6
I forgot to add one important thing. The previous 5 months actually count towards the 6-month waiting period for the divorce. So, once the summary dissolution is revoked & regular divorce papers are filed, then we'd have just a week or so left of the whole waiting period.

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#756391 - 11/21/12 12:52 AM Re: help please, in uncontested w/domestic abuse [Re: patientRN]
patientRN Offline

recently joined

Registered: 11/17/12
Posts: 6
What's the best thing I can do at this point so future abuse won't happen to the next woman? A couple books I've read mentioned that if I get a temporary restraining order, that the abusive spouse would also be required to go to a batterer's program and might have to move out of the house.

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