I was joking with the file clerk that the court is my “home away from home”. I still remember the day that I went to file papers for divorce on August 18, 2009 and my X was there standing in line– two spots in front of me! He didn’t know that I was behind him so I had a full five minutes to hear his bizarre, manic ramblings that made me want to go behind the counter and hug the poor clerk. I can still picture her face staring at him in shock as he began to show her pictures of my “indiscretions” while telling her, “She’s been with four men in four months and I just found out”.
The truth was, he downloaded photos from my Facebook. Any man that I was photographed with became a target of his anger– one of them was engaged at the time, one had a girlfriend, one was the friend of a friend who was visiting from Australia and one was someone who just happened to be in a group photo. I was in disbelief. What was he talking about? He looked like a crazy person and I couldn’t believe that he was describing me this way to someone.
We had been separated since January/February of 2009 and verbally agreed to not file anything formal until we figured out my health insurance and a few other things. Unbeknownst to me, he had been plotting to take everything that we owned while I was out of town. It was like a theatrical performance that he staged– he cleared our house of every piece of furniture, art and valuable and then went straight to the courthouse to play the victim. Technically, he took everything while we were married so I didn’t have a lot of recourse and then tried to blindside me by filing for divorce.
This “staged performance” gave him the starring role as the victim which Narcissists need so desperately to thrive. It gave him a story to tell to anyone and everyone who would listed while I sat back wondering when his horrid performance was going to end. We argued in court back and forth about our date of separation- he said tomato, she said tomato….he said August, she said January. I stopped arguing over this silly issue when I realized he was fighting to pay spousal support for several months longer than if he would have simply spoken the truth. Notice that I didn’t use “Narcissist” and “truth” in the same sentence?
Here we are three years later and we are still battling about his lies. This was my opening statement on today’s declaration: Since 2009, the Respondent has struggled to provide financially for her daughters. During this same time period, the Petitioner has maintained a luxurious lifestyle despite his child support arrears growing to nearly $40,000. The Respondent has been hesitant to bring this issue to the court’s attention because any motion to secure child support results in (The X) attempting to secure additional parenting time.
My greatest fear in holding him financially accountable is that he will seek a higher “percentage” of custody. I feel confident that I have enough information about him (and declarations on standby) to know that he won’t be awarded any additional time. It comes down to this: It isn’t about seeing his daughters, it is about lowering his out of pocket costs which can be adjusted with more parenting time. For me, it’s about the principle but I would walk away from $40,000 in arrears or $4,000,000 in arrears if he would walk away and stop damaging my daughters. If that offer were submitted to me, I would sign it in a heartbeat.
“Like” One Mom’s Battle on Facebook or Follow me on Twitter @onemomsbattle.com
To Purchase “Tina’s Tips”, click here.