MEDIATION V. LITIGATION - DIVORCE SOLUTIONS SERVICES
Hi, I guess I could be one of your horror stories. I'll try to make my story short.Answer:
We got married with my husband three years ago and have a beautiful 2-yr old daughter together.
My husband comes from a divorced family and so, he acted towards me accordingly Ė lack of respect, kept me under control, used me literally as a punching bag to practice karate, denied excess to his finances and spent more time with his local Rabbi than he ever did with me. We also lived in terrible conditions, in the mold-infested basement. He refused to move, and only after pleading to his parents and Rabbi, he let me find a new place.
Unfortunately, that apartment wasnít any better Ė mice, mold, gas leak, 2nd hand smoking, and when the baby came I was terrified and especially upset by the fact that his parents decided we could live there for another 3-4 yrs. Among other issues, my husband showed no remorse and the more Iíd get agitated, the more he grew with resentment towards me and set forth on a quest to portray me a bad mother. Oftentimes, I overheard his conversations with his sister and fatherís side of the family in my regard; constant lecturing and verbal put-down coming from his step-mother was overbearing.
Our intimate life was horrific, as he would simply exploit me for his pleasure while I was crying of pain. He would quietly drive me crazy and asked his sister to come over almost every day to ďhelpĒ. Not to mention that he would leave to Temple at 5:30 am and come back from Karate and the gym late at night and force me to keep our daughter up till 10 p.m. Sometimes he would scold me for calling while he was on the treadmill that I desperately needed help with the baby.
I grew to hate him more each day as his emotional abuse only escalated. He was extremely conniving, whispering something nasty and offensive to me, farting in my face, biting nails and spitting at me. I would scream for him to leave me alone, or call him a name and he would say I did it in front of our daughter, even when she wasnít there. He called and questioned my friends and family behind my back if they noticed how Iíve changed since the birth of our baby. Meanwhile, I was cooking and cleaning and had his friends and relatives over for Shabbat (with no help from him). Heíd still call me crazy and so did his sister.
At some point I confronted him that he was just raping me and he got scared that I might report him and later set up a spycam in our bedroom and started taping our conversations. The more he did it while denying he was doing it, the more I just wanted to leave, but nobody would ever believe me and I didnít have any money for the attorney. Then he went to a social worker(CSW), a member of his community, and told him that I was the one to abuse him sexually. Then he went to some officer and told him that if I call, they should know that Iím crazy and delusional. Then he hired and attorney and after months of torturing me emotionally, served me with papers on the grounds of cruelty. In addition, his Rabbi and the scial worker wrote pretty disgusting letters, that Iím a sinful woman whoís been touching her husband inappropriately and sexually abusing him.
Despite everything that happened, I tried to understand that my husband was afraid to loose his license and go to jail, and I had tried to save the marriage for our daughterís sake and we went to see social worker of his choice. Of course, he didnít like the fact that she was taking my side, especially when he was the one paying her so much money.
I expected genuine love and support, while he just wanted to get rid of me. So we tried mediation, but we couldnít agree on visitation schedule and the mediator wasnít really helpful. So he went to seek out a lawyer behind my back but I found out shortly after because she is also a member of the same community, and my husband has been a friend to her husband for quiet some time.
So, after he practically kicked me out of the apt, my previous attorney told me to take the baby and run and so I did and, immediately after that we set up visitation schedule. Of course, his attorneys claim that I just packed up and left with our baby unilaterally, (as if my life was so peachy and sweet that one day I decided to make trouble and take off with our daughter).
This is just a small part of what they have to lie about to represent their client and make opposing party so miserable. And how fast did she transform from being a friend to the role of his attorney. A friend would probably suggest to treat the mother of your child with respect at least.
And so, I left to Brooklyn from Long Island, got a job, rented an apt, and wish I could spend more time with my daughter and canít wait to have more kids. But do you think my ex is happy that Iím content and confident that I can stand on my feet and that now Iím with my friends and family and donít have to put up with his familyís abuse? NO! And his lawyers are trying so maliciously make me a crazy woman and to take the baby away from me.
You are absolutely right, they helped my husband hate me even more, and heíd refuse to discuss our daughter with me and made my life living hell! And you would think, his lawyer, a religious woman, be compassionate and understanding, or at least investigate what really is going on, but she decided to play it so nasty and what really hurts is that most of the time my husband lies and twists my words or tries to purposely exasperate me while on the phone to see if I loose it and say something that sounds crazy enough to later use as supportive evidence.
She also offered mediation and we tried to settle the case, but she and her partner were so mean, cynical and aggressive at the meeting that the only thing I wanted to do is to walk out on them.
Right now we have a case pending in court, which was moved from Brooklyn to L.I. and this is only a beginning. At some point I wanted to see justice and proceed with litigation but I didnít realize how stressful it was going to be and how unfair the system really is.
So, definitely, if couples could agree between themselves, they should go for professional mediation.
But the big question for me is, when it comes to visitations, how does the mediator really know whatís in the best interest of the child when they donít evaluate both parents and their interaction with the child?
I hope I didn't bore you with my story, but it's one out of many that shows how exhasting and overbearing divorce procedure becomes when two people are taught to hate and ignore each other.
With the right mediator, mediation can work even for you and your husband if you
are both willing to think of the best interests of the child instead of yourselves
and are ready to move on with your lives.
Please call me at 212-370-1660 to discuss the matter at greater length.
Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions