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Advice Needed - Wife cleaned out the bank, house and left

All,

I just need some advice.  8 months ago my wife got pregant, 6 weeks later she gave up doing anything at all, to the point where if she ate a chocalte she dropped the wrapper on the floor.  This obviously caused problems and we went to a counsellor at my bidding.  A couple of months ago I sat down with my wife and put place a budget because I noticed that we (she) were spending large sums of money.  2 weeks into the budget my wife had withdrawn over $1200 and I asked her about it with no real answer.  The following Monday she took the car, cleaned out the house, withdrew about $4000, locked the mortagage accounts and disabled the credit card.  Leaving me with no transport, no house goods and no money.

Major Issues that I had raised with her were that got to this point:

1.  Spending.
2.  Toliet training (she would not toliet train him) and with me at work I was not home during the day I was unable do get it done.
3.  The fact she lets him play/run with screw drivers unsupervised.
4.  She lets him play at sinks unsupervised and I was concerned if he fell in (laundry) he would drown or scold himself on the hot water.
5.  She was only feeding him baby food or those squeezy yoguts (never cooked him a meal).
6.  General hygene.  I moved into the spare room and eventually I noticed she had not changed her or my sons sheets for 5 months (I have been doing it since).
7.  She lets my son play with small batteries which I explained to her if he swallows one he could die.
8.  General cleaning.

and the list goes on.  The counsellor advised me she may be suffering depression and Hysteronic/Narcistic personality disorder.  She now stays with her month who is also mentally ill (major OCD).

She is due to give birth next week and she refuses to speak to me (Staying at her mums) and wont let me see my son.  Questions I have is:

1.  Do I have any legal rights to see the birth of my son 2nd son.
2.  Do I have any rights to recover some of the house hold goods.
3.  I have concerns over the care of my son, but I also do not want to ruin any chances of fixing my marriage as I do believe my wife is sick.  Any advice on what I can do?
4.  I also dont want to stress her out 6 days before the birth.
5.  For the above reason I have no lodged an application for custody yet, however I want to see me son.

Thanks
From the commentary I assume you have a son somewhere in the picture who is older? and a baby coming.
necroyp said
She is due to give birth next week and she refuses to speak to me (Staying at her mums) and wont let me see my son.  Questions I have is:

1.  Do I have any legal rights to see the birth of my son 2nd son.
You have no "Legal Rights" to attend the birth.

Can you get a court order to force her to let you attend in some sort of capacity? well probably not easily due to the time constraints you are under. Can you attend the hospital in the capacity of father? well yes, but you need to be very mindful that if the mother says she doesn't want you there then the hospital can ask you to leave and if you don't leave the security staff will deal with you. Will the mother receive all the paper work from the hospital and probably put father unknown on the birth registration documents I would suggest yes. It is important you let the hospital ward charge know who you are when you arrive as she may well have advised the hospital there is no father. The hospital is not involved in the registration of the child and only provides the paper work and "Blue" book etc. They completely abdicate and extricate themselves(conveniently) from all registrable activity in relation to the naming and registration of the birth.
necroyp said
2.  Do I have any rights to recover some of the house hold goods.
The first step before thinking about courts will require some sort of mediation either private mediation or through the Family Relationship Centres. There does not appear to be family violence so you won't easily shortcut that first step.

What household goods do you need to recover and where from? Are you going to rock up the the mother-in-law with a truck and march in and take back any relocated possessions. I don't think so. You will get into all sorts of strife, the Police will get involved and you will get an interim AVO ordered. From here on in you have to be very careful to avoid any harassing behaviour or any threatening behaviour or any sort of behaviour that would give the mother any reason to feel intimidated or harassed or fear for her safety or fear for the safety of her children and or other persons involved in her life.

As regards the activities around the bank accounts and credit cards it is not unusual behaviour so you can be relieved that you are not the only one it happens to. I have dealt with numbers of cases and reports of this type of behaviour especially early on in the separation and often it is the first sign that there actually HAS been a  separation. A couple of recent cases had amounts in excess of 32k taken from joint accounts or 60k drawn down on a mortgage account that had equity.

Are the credit cards in joint or your name. If in your name you can claim there has been fraudulent activity. If the card is a subsidiary card then you are responsible for the expenditure. You will need to ensure cards and or accounts in your name or that you have guaranteed or have been a party to any contractual arrangement will need to get paid. You will need to continue making mortgage payments.
necroyp said
3.  I have concerns over the care of my son, but I also do not want to ruin any chances of fixing my marriage as I do believe my wife is sick.  Any advice on what I can do?
You need to take some control here because if your wife is sick she needs urgent care and attention from those that can resolve the issues. In the first instance contact the FRC's. They can refer you to other health related services but get some mediation under way as a starting point. If you have serious concerns you need to contact the relevant care agency and in NSW it is DOCs.
necroyp said
4.  I also don't want to stress her out 6 days before the birth.
You won't get into an FRC inside of a couple of weeks at best. Do you have a family friend who could talk to the mother in law and get some sensible dialogue going? If you do nothing then the mothers health is at risk and she needs appropriate attention.
necroyp said
5.  For the above reason I have no lodged an application for custody yet, however I want to see me son.
You can either start the mediation process as quickly as possible with a  view to getting something worked out and if not take court action following on from there. There is little alternative if the mother refuses to speak you or have any dealings with you. This will all take an extraordinary amount of time to get resolved. Firstly at the moment you need to get the financial situation sorted out as you will not be able to operate and live without any funding. You need your salary going into your own account and making mortgage arrangements etc You need to cap the mortgage and close any joint accounts although the mother will possibly have FTB going into one of the accounts so you need to see what is being deposited and taken out before you close any joint accounts.

It is a long journey and nothing will happen overnight. The mother has complete control here and you will need to be patient and calm throughout a situation where you feel your son has been effectively abducted from your life. If you have any good "Mates" now is the time to talk things over with them and get alongside a confident whom you can share your situation. It may not result in any real action but will help you deal with the many issues that are yet to come up.

Executive Secretary - Shared Parenting Council of Australia
 Was my post helpful? If so, please let others know about the FamilyLawWebGuide whenever you see the opportunity
 
Hi Necroyp

I am sorry for what has happened to you and your son.  Unfortunately you are not alone in having to deal with a partner with a mental illness.  I would like to suggest a website which you can learn about personality disorders and find support.  It is not legal support but emotional support and advice as to how to deal with partners with personality disorders.  Its main information is about Borderline Personality Disorder but the two disorders you mentioned are in the same 'cluster' as BPD and often people have behaviours of more than one of the personality disorders. I think you may find that your wife is similar to other people's partners.

I am on the site and have gained much support and information and techniques to deal with my ex.

BPDfamily.com and in particular the message boards

Hope it helps and maybe I will see you on the boards

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.
larissap said
… I would like to suggest a website which you can learn about personality disorders and find support.  It is not legal support but emotional support and advice as to how to deal with partners with personality disorders.  Its main information is about Borderline Personality Disorder but the two disorders you mentioned are in the same 'cluster' as BPD and often people have behaviours of more than one of the personality disorders. …
Thank you for the reference to that particular US site. I was staggered at the number of topics and visitors to their forums. It certainly seems a hot topic.




Executive Secretary - Shared Parenting Council of Australia
 Was my post helpful? If so, please let others know about the FamilyLawWebGuide whenever you see the opportunity
 
If you have a reasonable relationship with her mother I suggest you give her a call and see where she is at re the birth and perhaps offer to look after your son whilst she is going through this.

Just so you are aware she has probably already applied for Parenting Payment Single plus 100% of family benefits for your son and then baby bonus and benefits for child to come. You might also be receiving a call from C$A very soon.

We've chatted before and I think you have other children from a previous marriage. I admire you for wanting to make your marriage work. You will only know if you hang in there.
Secretary SPCA said
larissap said
… I would like to suggest a website which you can learn about personality disorders and find support.  It is not legal support but emotional support and advice as to how to deal with partners with personality disorders.  Its main information is about Borderline Personality Disorder but the two disorders you mentioned are in the same 'cluster' as BPD and often people have behaviours of more than one of the personality disorders. …
Thank you for the reference to that particular US site. I was staggered at the number of topics and visitors to their forums. It certainly seems a hot topic.
 
Secretary, I believe that there are many many people suffering from a personality disorder that go undiagnosed.  It is actually part of the disorder to believe that there is nothing wrong with you and that everyone else is the one with the problem.  Many of us with partners or exes who fall into that category (undaignosed but demonstrating behaviours of a personality disorder) struggle daily with having to deal with numerous problems caused by the behaviours.  It is very hard for other people to understand because many disordered people appear to the rest of the world to be quite 'normal' and it is only those of us who have to live or coparent with the person who can see the problem.

As you are probably aware, as far as family law is concerned, there are a number of studies and professionals that believe that most of the high conflict divorces and custody battles for children have one or both partners with a mental disorder. 

Advice such as trying to reason with the person, or trying mediation, appealing to their better nature, suggesting therapy, parenting classes or asking them to think of the children just do not work with someone with a personality disorder.  They are not 'normal' and do not think like the rest of us.  It is a no win situation unfortunately.  I have learnt this the hard way and have received much validation and understanding from the site I mentioned.  I hope others find it useful too.

I am sure that many people who end up on this website have a partner with a personality disorder or have one themselves.  I am sure many will find the information and message boards useful.

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.
necroyp, there is a good chance your wife is suffering from ante natal depression going by the description you give of behaviour change during the pregnancy, particularly in regard to lack of self care.  If that is/was the case putting pressure on her to keep the house clean/curtail spending/toilet  train child will mostly likely make the situation worse.  She needs support during this difficult time.  Ante natal depression is often associated with post natal depression.  Your wife needs relief from stress in order for her to move forward if she is suffering ante natal depression.  Don't put legal pressure on her at this stage she needs to focus on the baby instead.  the rest can wait until she is well again.   
Hi All,

So I was not at the birth but she has allowed me to come to the hospital to see my son.  We are also talking about access to my 3 year old which to date she has not let me see him.

I also just recieved a letter from a lawyer outlining that she is claiming 75% of all money, house etc.

I am hoping to see my son tomorrow which she has agreed to.  However it would not be the first time she has said yes and then backed out.

Question I have is how do I respond to the lawyers letter? and is she entitled to 75% (married for 5 years with a 3 year old and a newborn).
Hi Necroyp - well it sounds like the real deal with a lawyers letter. Generally speaking a 5 year marriage is short term so what was brought to the marriage may have some bearing on the final outcome, but it really comes down to future earning capacities and who will be looking after the kids thus forgoing earning potential. I guess 50% plus 10% per child for the asset pool, plus a super split order for 5 years worth of your super will be in order.

This is your second time round isn't it?

So I wonder if one can argue having to support a first family to reduce the loss through a property settlement of a second family?
yes second time around.

And I don't want to loose it all again.

My income is about $190,000 and I currently pay ~$40,000 in child support per year which ends up being about $22,000 after my discounts for custody.

My wife can earn about $60,000 per year, but quit her part time work about 2 years ago.

I am still trying to work things out.  However the lawyer is advising her not to let me see the kids without a formal parenting plan in place, because if there is no parenting plan in place I dont have to return my son and there is nothing she can do about it.  Therefore she is deneying me access.  When we met we both brough about the same to the marriage.  The current house has a large amount of equity in it and we have a rental property that is a huge debt.
How do you get discounts on child support?

With a decent income you have a good chance of recovering from a large loss in a small time. That is how the court will see it.

I guess you have to work out how much you are fighting over and decide if it is worth the legal costs or not. Might be better to agree at 75% and save on not having the lawyers bill.

Perhaps you can respond that you are seeking legal advice and perhaps ask for their proposal re child matters in the mean time?
Never except the first offer to settle.

Contact the FRC in writing, explaining that you have been denied contact of your children and would like an urgent date if possible. Write to your wife's lawyer stating that it is your understanding that you have advised her to stop contact. Ask them if this is correct.

Do not mention anything about their offer in this letter. Do not put 'without prejudice' on this letter. The last to points allows you to use it in court.

Executive Member of SRL-Resources, the Family Law People on the site (Look for the Avatars).   Be mindful what you post in the public areas. 
Thanks Monti - Great advice. Do you really think her lawyer will admit they advised her to retain his son?
thanks guys I will respond to her lawyer asking the question.  At the very least it might get them to rethink there postion.

I spent the weekend at hospital helping her with the new born baby (6 hours thur - Sun) buying what she needed.  I asked numerous times to see my 3 year old.  She kept putting me off until she admitted that her lawyer had told her that if she let me see my son that I could potentially not return him as there was no parenting order in place.  I tried to explain that I would not do that, I even sent her a sms stating the time I would return him and where.  She still put me off and I am trying to see him today.

The gut renching part was while I was there her mother called and put my son onto the phone to her.  His first words were "I want my daddy, wheres daddy".  She let me speak to him and he told me he loves me.  It was the first time he has been able to say the word love clearly.  Broke my heart.

I am trying to be civil and work through things.  But not having seen my son for coming up to 2 weeks is really killing me.  At least I got to see my new boy.

Finanically we are looking at assets worth about $500,000.  The lawyers letter has listed a compensation payment that I have not even recieved yet (the settlement has been discussed but no final agreement reached).  I believe that since I have not recieved it, the decision has not even been made yet and it was made after seperation she is not entitled to any of it?  As per usualy she has not listed any of the value of the items she took just stating it was an even split of house hold goods (I dont consider $40,000 vs $6,000 to be a equal split).

She spent the weekend telling me she wants me in the children lives and then in the same sentance telling me I could not see them now because its too early or it would upset my sons routine.
Do you mean 500,000k or 50k assets?

As you had a short term marriage I think the court will be looking to see if your ex has made some sort of contribution to justify a claim against your compensation payment?

It sounds like not seeing you is what is upsetting your son or is she implying he has to get used to only seeing you every 2nd weekend?
its $500,000 I wish it was 500,000K :)

If so I would be retired.

She states it was because it might upset his routine as she had just moved out, in other words no real reason.  However I have spoken to her last night and I am seeing my son overnight on Friday.  She has also called off the blood suckers for 2 weeks for us to discuss reconcilation.  I also saw him last night for 3 hours.
That does sound much better than before but be aware that she may be deciding to stay with you to ensure her share of your compensation payment.
Necroyp

It sounds good but be very careful.  I don't know if you have had a chance to read the BPDfamily site but if you were to post this there the advice would be to be very very very careful.  Don't be alone with her and get a voice recorder which you can keep on at all times when discussing things.  If your wife has a personality disorder she may well just be setting you up for claims of abuse or for some other manipulation or deceit - you can't trust her.  Sorry.  That is life with person with a personality disorder.  Be very careful what you say and do.


God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.
Agree - proceed with caution.

Executive Member of SRL-Resources, the Family Law People on the site (Look for the Avatars).   Be mindful what you post in the public areas. 
wow what u pay in child support i take home in my wages..... i pay off a mortgage, run a vehicle and pay child support myself....
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