I am divorced as of 3-29-10. It was a special setting trial after a nearly year-long divorce. At the preliminary hearing I was given some very bad advice by my attorney to just deal with that month in regards to child support and that at trial in 30 days we would get everything done. The wording on the order because of the fact that I was taking over one of the many businesses my husband ran (this one was in my name and therefore liability was all mine), that would be my source of income. There was no wording about status quo, but according to him, his attorney and the judge, that order negated status quo. My ex put the bills way behind on that business before I took over and did a couple of other things that would ensure I would NOT be able to collect an income from it. After the preliminary hearing he stopped paying all of my bills, including a substantial amount of credit card bills I did not even know existed. He cleaned out the bank accounts and refused any more help than diapers and very small food purchases "just for the children".
I have been struggling to make ends meet for seven months now. I had to sell one of my two vehicles in order to move when I could not make rent where I was living. I could not afford daycare on my own, nor could I find a full time job. Mostly due to the fact that I would be making less than I would be paying out for childcare for my now 1 and 2-year old babies. I also have a 15 year old to support, he is not my ex-husband's child.
I had fired my attorney after the above problem plus a few other issues with him, and had to defend myself in court against a very expensive and cocky local attorney. I did reasonably well all things considered, but in the end, even after proving that my ex-husband was having an affair with another woman and that he was living with yet another woman who is around my children overnight (at the time he had them three nights per week, with her there). She still granted him the house, which I cannot afford at all. She granted us both a house that was supposed to sell, and granted me a house that is foreclosing and the debts associated with it. My ex makes a large amount of hidden income through his several business ventures, but I was unable to afford a forensic accountant to prove this... so the child support he will be paying will be calculated from the only $36000-$48000 per year income that was provable. He says he only makes $4000 per month. That is a lie. What I am going to get in child support will be less than he was paying for his leased Mercedes Benz last year. Plus he has been paying all these months all of his mother's bills, including rent in the rental home he and his new girlfriend were living in before he starved me out of our family home. My remaining car is about to be repossessed, so I cannot drive it. I have no way to make up payments. I have no vehicle. I have no internet at home. He has been vacationing, buying brand new furniture and appliances, going out to dinner, bought himself and his mother a car. I have no idea how I'm going to make ends meet this month. He has been putting off paying for any type of daycare until the divorce papers come in, which is putting the one part time job I am working in jeopardy... and hindering me from making the headway I need to in order to find another job and be able to afford to work without losing money. I worked for and with him for the past 10 years, so though I have a terrific resume, I have no previous employers to verify my work history. That hurt me too. There was NO alimony granted, and even still she told him he could keep his IRA and any stocks we had because I cashed in my IRA of the same value. I did that before the divorce was even filed. That money went to my divorce attorney.
Please, I don't know what to do from here. If I file a motion to appeal her judgment it will be very expensive and most likely I will have to take the case all the way to Montgomery. I can't even survive right now, let alone pay $5000+ in attorney costs to pull all of this together. I have no support here in the way of family, and due to my now destroyed credit, which is about to get worse with a car repossession and a foreclosure about to hit my credit as well... I have nothing to draw on at all. I am really in a bind.
Do I appeal the decision?
How can I do some of the footwork myself and subpoena his financial records on my own? Can I get child support readjusted once I have evidence that he lied about his income?
The home that is foreclosing has been rented all this time, the renters were behind, but catching up by paying extra every month for the past six months. It is only foreclosing because he was using $500 to pay the home equity line in both of our names, and putting $1000 of the remaining rent with back rent in his pocket. This is more income he did not claim. I am afraid he will do the same with the other house, now that it is not selling and new renters are entering the situation. If he pockets all of that money for the next six months, he will have drawn out his share of the equity and left me with nothing but a foreclosing house. This is the way he thinks... I would not put it past him.
I don't even know what else to ask... what should I do? There are places I can go away from here where I would have family and friends to help me and far more opportunities to work and maybe go back to school... but then that puts me in the position of having to fight him to be able to go. As it is I am so afraid he is going to use my current financial situation (which he has been largely responsible for as well... he can support his mother but not help the mother of his children get back on her feet????) to take custody of our two youngest children. Not because he wants them, just to hurt me at this point. He is hell bent on destroying me, rather than giving me just a small amount of help so I can get back on track. I don't even know how I will get a car, I will probably have to go to one of those pay weekly type of easy credit car lots where you pay them directly for the vehicle. I have no other choice. It also is frustrating because the vehicle I own that is about to be repossessed has a few thousand dollars of equity in it, which I will lose when I lose that vehicle.
I am also not a US citizen. I am from Canada. When my son and I came here he signed documents with the government that stated he would be our "sponsor" and keep us at a certain limit above the poverty line. This is something else I could take him to court for... he is responsible for us. If I end up needing any public assistance he will be responsible for paying that back.
I've been in survival mode for so long now and it is taking its toll. I need some advice and guidance desperately so I can figure out what to do from here. I have been working nonstop for months trying to get back on track and handle the divorce and a business that is not quite back on track yet. With two very small babies and a teenager at home to top it off. What do I do? I'm running out of answers!