This is the story:
When I first told him that I wanted a divorce his response was to point his finger at the door and sneer at me;
"You can go, nothing is stopping you- there is the door, and you can leave right now, but remember that you will be on the streets and on your own. I will give you nothing and I promise you that I will make sure you never see any of the children again!"
I reached rock bottom before I attempted to leave a second time.
This happened one year ago.
Since then things did not go exactly according to his prophecy, but I had to fight hard to get away from him.
I got an order of protection, and then once he was out of the house I served him with divorce papers.
The court gave me a free lawyer and I met my husband in court.
He lied to the judge and told the court that he makes very little money ( a ridiculous amount for the many children we have) and that we have never owned our home and therefore he could not support me or the children.
In reality we own our home, we have been paying the mortgage for over 15 years. It is a large house and it is worth three times the amount of money than when we first bought it. His salary is much more than he said it was, and he has many side "businesses" that he owns.
Case in point is that every year he would take me to Florida, and he would blow more than a thousand dollars on a two day vacation. I know its not an enormous amount, but if we had no money the way he always claimed, how could he so easily spend that much in two days?
I could not give in and allow him to leave me and the children destitute. I am not 20 years old any more and I have a responsibility to my family.
So I fought him.
And with the help of a few amazing advocates I was able to threaten him into giving me some money.
He agreed on giving me some child support- which is no where near a normal amount that I can successfully support our children. He then agreed that he would evaluate the house and he would give me half the amount of the estimated sale value.
He came up with an amount that is much lower than its actual value.
I went along with it anyway. And I searched for a small home that I could put a down payment on and get a mortgage.
He kept on playing games.
Anything that needed to be signed he refused to sign.
Any agreement we wanted to make, he refused to cooperate and everything took so long. I accrued a $15,000 attorney fee because even the smallest details had to go through the lawyers.
The interesting part is, that after making me believe for 20 years that we were so poor that I had to accept second hand clothing for my kids, all of a sudden he was coming up with cash because he was scared that I would go to the IRS etc.
We kept on going back to court and Judge Morgenstern asked him numerous times if he gave me the get. He always said yes that he is planning to very soon...... another lie....
The next thing that happened was that I found a house at a very reasonable price. I would have some money for a small down-payment and I would take out a mortgage, get a job, and struggle to support my family. He ignored my requests to get things moving and sign the agreement and give me the money for the house.
He schlepped and schlepped for so long that I eventually lost the house.
In the meant time, my husband and his brother were putting tremendous pressure on me to get out of my house. But where was I going to go?
I stuck it out, and tried to ignore the pressure and harassment from his family. Threatening phone calls and [scary] messages through my kids and family friends.
He kept on giving me dead-lines.
First he wanted me out before Pesach. Then it was May 1st. The next date is mid August.
But every time I found a house to purchase, he failed to come through.
Finally right before Peasch I found a property, and I managed to get the money and the signatures before it was too late.
I figured out the finances and hoped that I would be able to make ends meet and support myself.
A few days ago I got a call from the mortgage broker saying that instead of the original down payment, they are now asking for 50% of the sale price.
If I give fifty percent, I will be left with no money to live on. Even with a job and child support I may be able to pay the mortgage and some bills, but there would be no money for food and clothes.
I feel defeated.
I have tried so hard to pick myself up and begin anew.
My husband has made every step I have taken a living nightmare. And now when I am just begiuning to see the light at the end of the tunnel I once again feel as though I am falling into a black hole.
Why do I have to leave my house? The children refuse to live with him and they want to stay with me.
In a few years when housing prices rise he will sell the house and make over a million dollars.
He has a job with a high paying salary, the house is very nearly paid up and he is giving me a measly amount for child support.
He gets away with paying very little tuition, because he cries poverty due to his profession in Chinuch.
He receives all kinds of government programs (I dont care if anyone knows any more, I am so fed up and sad).
His family are giving him an apartment that is rent free.
We have a tenant who lives on the first floor and pays rent but he gets the money of course.
His family feel sorry for him and they are constantly giving him money.
He went upstate now for the summer where he has a good job and where he will stay for two months.
In the meantime I am in the city with all the kids, trying to get a job and trying to make the food stamps last until the end of the month.
I am not complaining I am just scared and angry that he can get away with all of this, and there is no one who can help me.
I want to get away from him and his horribleness.
I wish I could just stay in the house where my kids have their bedrooms and their stuff.
I agreed to move out, but I didnt expect him to fight every step of the way.
I am tired of struggling for every penny.
I am so tired of worrying how I will buy clothes for school and how I will pay the electricity bills.
I go to sleep worrying.
And I wake up worrying.
When will it all end?