Some people are just rotten, and that's no exception for this man who is putting his family through h***. He is pulling all the sleazy stops and no one can believe it!
This is how it all went down:
HI- they told me in r/relationships that this is illegal, and that you guys would have advice. We're in Ohio. I need a divorce lawyer. On Wednesday, I bought him a f******* Christmas present. On Thursday, I found out he gave me a STI. On Friday, he admitted he's been cheating. Yesterday, he drained our accounts. He says I need to be out of the house by Christmas Eve.
We have four kids, 8, 6, 5 and 2. I haven't worked since the oldest was born. Our relationship has been bad since before my youngest daughter was born - we hadn't meant to get pregnant. This week, I tested positive for an STI.
I investigated, confronted him and he admitted it. We had a huge fight, he stormed out of the house. Yesterday, my credit card was declined at the grocery store, and I couldn't get cash. He has EMPTIED all of our accounts. I was in charge of the bills and finances; I know exactly how much was in our checking, savings and money market account. He's changed his password for his 401(k). He didn't respond to my frantic texts all day, but just sent me an email saying I had a week to get myself and "my kids" out of "his house", and I had better get a job or go "back to my parents" if I expect to feed them. We bought the house together, before the kids were born and I paid half of the down payment. I have no money or credit cards, so I can't even get a lawyer. I am sitting here staring at a Christmas tree, crying and wondering if I'll have to return my children's presents for food.
I have no idea how this happened. I live two hours away from my family, so even if I got a job, I'd have to pay for day care. Should I sell my wedding and engagement rings? Do I make a resume and apply for a job in my old field (accounting) or just get a job at Starbucks or McDonald's? Can he do this?
He simply can'tGiphy
Do not move out until your attorney tells you to or a judge orders you out. That house is likely as much yours as it is his, and, if so, he cannot evict you for any reason.
Some important things to cover!
Sorry to hear your SO is doing this, couple of non-financial things to consider:
- change your passwords to your email / private / and social media accounts
- change security questions to your email / private / and social media accounts
- back up your text messages / contacts / pictures from your phone now, in the event SO turns off phone / locks you out of account, disables phone
- consider changing passwords to any child accounts you have ( Facebook, Imgur, etc...)
- I personally recommend taking inventory of household items (pictures and upload to gdrive or Dropbox), in the event they do something stupid like donate everything to homeless shelter. When you have to determine replacement value, you can say: 52 inch Vizio Tv instead of big screen tv
- items that are of sentimental value (like family bible or what not) store offsite if you can
- if you have neighbors who you are friendly with, ask them to keep an eye out on things at the house. Call you if you run to the store and SO shows up and changes locks real quick. Also make sure they have your family friends contact info and under what scenarios you'd like they to call on your behalf
- Always keep your personal identification on you (SSN, birth certificate, ID, passport, etc...), don't let them hijack your identity
- NEVER EVER EVER sign any document without it being reviewed by a lawyer first
- as hard as it maybe, try not to bad mouth your SO, discuss situation openly in front of kids.
as far as getting back into the workplace, some local library systems have online learning access that can help give you a last minute boost to your resume (word, excel, power point online courses)
His timing makes fighting back difficult
The good news: In most every state (if not all) what he's doing is against state statute.
First things first
You need to get an attorney. I'm sure there is some kind of program to help women in your situation. If not, then there is some attorney out there who will be able to help you.
I highly recommend you file for divorce promptly and get temporary orders for child support, maintenance (alimony), temporary payment of the bills (mortgage, utilities, credit cards, etc), and temporary possession of the marital residence started asap.
The odds are against himGiphy
He can't just kick you out. But if you leave you may give up some rights to the house. Also the court will not like him draining the account.
Go to an attorney tomorrow. Borrow money if you have to.
Cover all your bases
OP I hope you already have, But also be sure to change all of your email / social media passwords and back up your texts. You need to be able to save every form of communication that he sends you.
Think about the kids
Reach out to the schools your kids go to as well in regards to food payment. See if you can temporarily get them on a low income food plan so they do not go hungry if you cannot refill their accounts
Credit card to the rescue
In the short term, you absolutely do not have to leave; and will eventually get access to the money that was in the joint accounts and likely an equal split to the equity in the house. In the very short term; I would recommend getting a credit card in your name alone or asking for help from your parent (putting it into a new account that is only in your name at a totally new bank) to tide you over until your court hearing. The court can also order temporary alimony to help you pay legal costs.
Look at the detailsGiphy
Define bought the house together. Are you both on the mortgage, or are you both on the deed to the home?
Unfortunately with a joint account, you both have equal access to the money within it.
Back it all up!
If I were you, I'd take screenshots of literally everything and back them up in at least three different locations, your computer's hard drive in a password protected folder, on some cloud-based service like Onedrive (it's free), and a USB flash drive that never leaves your person. If he deletes it off of your computer AND the cloud-based service, you still have the flash drive.
The mom had an update for us
Let's find out how she put everyone's advice into action:
"First, I want to say that I logged out of this account that evening, and didn't come back until now, and I was BLOWN AWAY by all of the people offering food, gift certificates, or just good will, and I started crying.. again. I will respond to each of you individually.
So, to recap: My STBX is a cheating ass, and he panicked and tried to erase his family.
The update: This all happened on a Sunday, so there wasn't a lot I could do right then. I put the kids to bed, and called my mom and cried. Then, I called my mother in law, who was horrified.
My inlaws came over that night with $200 in cash and a check for much more. My father in law is didn't say much, but he did fix my bathroom door (which is how he shows affection), and muttered that he would "fix this".
I opened a new checking account at a new bank (THANKS FOR THIS ADVICE) with the check my in laws gave me.
I opened a new credit card in my name.
My mother deployed a niece to help with childcare for the next week, I called in a lot of childminding favors, and with the cash my inlaws gave me, I was able to pay the babysitter while I worked this out.
I met with two divorce attorneys- both of them told me about what you had said, that he was legally screwed. I chose one, and we set the process in motion to get an emergency hearing, but by Tuesday, my old checking account had most of the money back, and my husband was asking to "talk".
On the advice of my lawyer, I took half of the checking account money and put it in my new bank, and kept records of everything.
I pulled our credit reports- He has over $40,000 in credit card debt. I also found out, that he received a raise last year, and funneled this money out of our shared accounts. I would have figured this out when I did our taxes, and this led to him panicking and trying to "erase" us.
Keep in mind, this asshole gave me gonorrhea. I am an accountant by trade, and I'm afraid of CC debt the way some girls are afraid of spiders, so I was horrified about this, but my lawyer thinks it's likely that he'll have to have this debt on his own, as my name isn't on it, and it seems that most of it was spent on his side piece.
We have started mediation, which he agreed to when he realized that he would need to pay for BOTH of our divorce attnys.
My goal- which my lawyer thinks is reasonable, is to ask for alimony until I either re-marry (not likely) or my 2 year old is in school full time, and to have a reasonable amount of child support until she's 18, and then we'll split college costs for all of them. When all the kids are in school, I can concentrate on getting back to work.
I also plan to sell the house and buy a smaller house in a less elite section of town. The kids can share rooms, and I can live mortgage free.
So, I'm heartbroken, and diseased, but there's also an incredible weight that his lifted from me. Our marriage has been bad for so long, and I didn't even realize how unhappy I was, and how.. absent by husband was. It took my 5 year old almost a week to realize that Daddy was gone."
Save all your text messages. Print them out, give a copy to your attorney, a copy to a trust family member or friend, and keep a copy. Communicate only via text or email if you can help it until you get a lawyer. (Get a lawyer asap on retainer)
Put your best fighting foot forwardGiphy
don't leave, seek legal help even if you can't afford it, fight tooth and nail for you and your kids' rights to the money you've earned together.
Cover all your bases
Save everything that he has sent you via text or email about taking your kids and getting out. See if your state requires both parties to consent to phone conversations, if they don't and only require unilateral consent, tape any conversations you may have.
You will eventually have to get a job (in most states, I haven't seen what state you live in). Look at your resume and maybe reach out to some friends that are also professionals to review it for you.
Don't sell anything yet, you need Temporary Orders where the Court will tell you what to do. You probably can open up a checking account in your name only, so if you have cash in the house you can deposit it there. I may think about getting all vital and important documents and giving them to a close friend for safekeeping.
Karma is not nice
that dude is so effed, bet he looses the house and has to pay enough child support to cover the mortgage.
Question his mental stability
it may be wise to limit his alone time with your children completely, or at least as much as possible. There have been a number of cases recently of parents killing their children to spite the other parent, and given the level of spite he's already demonstrated, I wouldn't rule anything out.
Given, it's thankfully an extremely rare outcome, and it's most likely just me being paranoid, but I urge preemptive caution all the same. There's no reason to let it be a possibility, and his mental health doesn't sound especially stable.