Divorce Solutions

Question #37

I live in Brooklyn, NY. I served my husband with divorce papers last February 15 in court for my husband’s appearance regarding a Family Court Order of Protection I’d gotten on him. After this, he broke that order, as well as the Criminal court order of protection given me for breaking that one. I was advised to plea bargain him by both my lawyer and the Brooklyn DA on the case, for the breaking of both Orders, to save his NYC Fire Marshal job, which I did do. I am, however, extremely worried now if that was the right thing to do, as I thought my lawyer had intended on our bringing the real charges against him later on, as he kept telling me one step at a time when I would explain to him my fears. The new threats I’d discovered my husband implemented. I’d only found out other charges were not brought against him when the DA told me the night before I was advised to plea bargain him, that there weren’t any additional charges (even though I’d explained everything that happened to the precinct detectives and D A on a couple of occasions. The DA kept telling me I should bring him my evidence, yet never allowed me to by just stringing me along till the night before he was to be plea-bargained for breaking the Orders. My husband was, however, made to go into a batterers program by the judge. Now my lawyer seems to think it is ok to settle the visitation aspect of our divorce with unsupervised visits after 90 days of supervised visits with my sister. My kids fear him, as well do I, but I am told I could always go back to family court if somethings not working out concerning his
doing anything… I am also advised that I need not worry about my Order of Protection as if he does anything, I should just call the police. But that scares me because he likes to sabotage my house and cars sneakily, or follow me, etc. and so I cant catch him that easily. I am told that he had also stolen an FDNY surveillance camera from his Fire Marshal job to use on me (as I had suspected he had in the past). Another unsuspecting female came to me and told me he drugged her to video having sex with him, without her knowledge, I assumed he did it to get back at me because I discovered his recorders. He had his police buddy edit it and put it on an official NYC police DVD, which just happened to all fall in my lap. I hadn’t even known what I had at the time (this time last year) because he told me it was just another of the tape recorders he had on me at first. After all my complaints to the civilian complaint review board ( as his threats to throw away his job by doing something crazy, or to use it against me and other’s, as well as to kill people, forced me to seek help because people were following me and trying to get what I had found. I went for my order of protection out of sheer fear, even though he kept changing his mind back and forth as to whether he wanted it back or not. Investigators from OCCB did come to speak to me twice regarding the cop’s involvement, as well to look at the DVD …yet no one ever came to talk to me about my husband ..the main culprit, even though I was told they would. My husband had been extremely physically, mentally, and emotionally abusive to me for years right in front of my children, having hit me, choked me, and punched me on numerous occasions., as well as breaking things in the house directly and sneakily. I thought he’d lost his mind from when he worked as a corrections officer (as he’d often grab me the way an officer would grab an inmate), or from 9/11, or alcohol. I thought

He didn’t know what he was doing when he’d get so abusive and threatening and crazy. Which is why there are only three police reports since 2002. I was always afraid to call the police on him. He would gaslight me and make me think I was crazy and that he could read my mind as he often had tape-recorded the house, cars, and phones on and off for years…all of which I now happened to have him on tape admitting. But my lawyer never wanted even to hear any of it and now advising that I give the FDNY camera back to my husband, who told me he had bought another to replace it until he returned the one with serial numbers on it, His lawyer had told mine six months ago that he had to get the camera back then to save his job…But I knew they’d never fire him just from all he’d already gotten away with. I’d found out just before plea bargaining him last June that the FDNY is claiming they know nothing about any missing camera now….yet my husband is threatening me about it still today. We’re not even supposed to talk because of my Order of Protection, but we have been because I am trying to settle our divorce case without us financially losing everything, of which I feel like I am on trial. After all, I seem to have to prove truths and disprove his lies to my lawyer continually. Its been since last February and today was the first meeting ever with him and his lawyer to discuss things, as depositions have been constantly canceled and pushed ahead ( by his lawyer…my lawyer says…by my lawyer, my husband says) my lawyer tells me that I do not want to go to trial. Implying that it will cost more than we can afford, as my husband showed up last February after the order of protection with a high priced lawyer. I even have my husband admitting to forcing himself on me and threatening to kill people and have them arrested on tape, as well as breaking both Orders of protection. When the police came each time he broke the Orders of Protection to arrest him,
they changed their minds once they saw who he was, as he knows many in that precinct because its where his Marshal base is. Had I not persisted and gotten cameras around my house to video him breaking the order, or tape him breaking it, he wouldn’t even have been arrested for either of those. He’d deliberately put himself in rehab for alcoholism three times before all this just because he’d attacked me in a candy store, and the police were called by patrons who pulled him off me (all because I discovered he had a date). He was arrested for breaking through our rental property not long after his third stay in rehab (and the third time he was thrown out of the sober houses the FDNY made me force him to stay in, instead of allowing his home which at the time I thought only angered him more towards me but was just a way to afford him the ability to come here sneakily and begin taping me and videoing me again (as after his third, thirty day rehab stays, when I caught him cheating with someone he met there, he came home being abusive and then urged me to find someone else because he didn’t want to hurt me anymore he said and wanted me to be happy and for us to do our own thing, as he’d done before.) But Right now my biggest worry is that my lawyer is urging me to settle without supervised visits of my three kids who won’t even pick up the phone to his court scheduled times to call daily, and fear his temper, and drinking, and haven’t seen him since the last January because the one time a supervised visit was even scheduled with my sister as a supervisor, he ended up having to work he said afterward. When he calls, they won’t get on the phone, and he tells me not to force them. The anger at me for even talking with him for fear he will “trick ” me again, they say. I am trying to settle our issues so as not to hurt either of you

If you fear that your spouse will physically hurt you or your children, you should insist with both your attorney and the court that his visitation be supervised and done at the precinct where he can be monitored. Your first and foremost duty is to protect yourself and your children.
Leonard M. Weiner, Esq/Divorce Solutions