Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Sheer Logistics

My wife I believe has anonymously posted several times about wanting 50% custody and being equitable and I have my own reasons against that, being in the position that I am however I may just have to accept it. Thinking about the situation logically though for her even to begin to have an argument our residential commuting bubble would have to be reduced to under 5 square miles and it would have to remain that way forever. If either of our jobs or prospective careers would lend us to have to leave our current location then the custody situation would have to start all over again. So realistically I would be looking towards a custody battle every 4 years if I am able to continue in the Military. Currently we both live close to this main road that connects two counties. We are 14 miles away from each other. The arrangement that she would like to work out is I take the kids to school each day from Friday to Friday. I pick them up on Friday after school and I drop them off on the next Friday morning ideally both parents never have to have contact with each other ever. Seems fair enough right? Ok. On her weeks this does not pose a logistical problem because the school and the daycare is 2 minutes away from her house, on my weeks however it does because I have to be to work at 0630 in the morning. Currently I leave my house at 0545 to get to work on the weeks that I have the children I would need to get them up at 0430 in order to get out of the house hopefully by 0500 in order to get them to the police station close to her house by 0530 for transfer in the morning for 5 days a week. I will have to drive out of my way considerably to perform this feat, but I would be willing to do it if that is what it came down to. Then consider gas, keep that constant in the back of your head. On the flip side if she lived closer to me then on my weeks she could just come by my Mom’s house and pick them up and drop them off on her way to work at a decent hour. So that is the one thing. It is workable, tedious but workable.

The second thing, because the schedule is so tedious any sensible judge would say that it isn’t in the best interest of the children seeing as how on my weeks there is a greater logistical risk and traumatic for the children’s sleep and what not the chances of her getting primary residential custody are significantly greater especially with a domestic violence charge in the picture. So her chance by default getting more custody than she is asking is substantial. She has already placed the children in school and the courts want the children to be stable through the divorce so all of that plays in her favor or against her desire for 50% custody however you want to look at it.

An anonymous commenter said that I burdened her with bills amongst other things, let’s look at the bills for a moment. The way that we mutually agreed to divide the bills in the family was this when we set out to buy the “farm house” we call it that because it is way out in the country that I would pay the two mortgages and she would pay everything else. That was the agreement. She swore up and down that she would do whatever it takes to make it work, in reality however it was really whatever it took to stay afloat, but Alhamdulillah our bills were kept current. I’m not complaining not even now because ultimately it is a test from Allah. Our bills before she moved out totaled monthly approximately $7500 give or take a few bucks since she has moved out that figure is closer to $10K a month so we are already $2k in the hole MONTHLY.

Our income is about equally matched as far as take home salary about $4,000 a piece. So our normal bills and this is a modest estimate come out a bit higher than this figure quoted here, but the $7500 is what I am currently trying to carry by myself. Now to add to that we both have to pay rent. I’m at Mom’s paying $600 all utilities included, plus cable and internet. I’m paying the internet phone of about $65 bucks it is vonage. Then there is gas I have downgraded to a little Saturn station wagon that gets great gas mileage about $80 a week compared to the van which at the current prices total about $180 a week. She is paying rent also at $1250 plus all the money she had to put down from where it came from nobody knows. Plus the light bill at $50, and water and cable, cell phone at $65. Then there is groceries for a family of 4 regardless of where they stay. Now for the legal matters, I retained an attorney at $1500 to handle the divorce from open to close which could have been partially refunded had she only said two words to my Mom of “I’m sorry” and listen to the ensuing lecture. Now I had to get another lawyer to handle this domestic violence nonsense at $2000 plus the Bail bond of $3500. Now through the grapevine I hear that my wife is getting an attorney to handle the domestic violence case and is planning to throw the book at me and he will handle the divorce case where she is prepared to ask for everything and then nitpick the rest. OK We are still legally married mind you so these are now OUR BILLS. Fun fun. We never really cared about the STUFF it was really all about the kids. So as you can see even PRIOR to this Domestic Violence nonsense we were in the Red so was moving back with my Mom Helping us or Hurting us? I’ll do anything she says often, but that however was not the case, because if it were true she would have gotten a job any job when she got here instead of doing other things which are hinted at on her blog. Nor would she be complaining about the need to do so. You tell me which is easier to stay at Mom’s and suck it up for four months get a few extra jobs in which you would practically never see Mom due to your sleep schedule and move out debt free in a few months or work like a dog with extra bills and never go anywhere? Ah yes we and haven’t even grazed the area of now necessary child care and the bludgeonous expense that will impose.

The bills now considering the new added legal expense hopefully will just be split right down the middle as it appears we will be bickering back and forth. That will save time and money. Supposedly. Oh yes how does this all play in? I have a security clearance and if the Domestic Violence nonsense doesn’t violate it then the fact that I obviously can’t pay my bills will. It is ok though because when they mandatorily retire (if I make it that far) me she can just collect my retirement if I can make it that far and not get discharged before that, which they are already talking about. That will cover child support, but I may have to file some sort of Alimony or something because it will be bad enough at that point, but what good would that really do as there is only so much money that isn’t there to pay for the stuff that we’ve got. So I have no idea how that will work out. She said she wanted it this way so that no one pays child support so maybe since my career will be destroyed the best that I can ask for is “the Right of first Refusal” Basically if she has a hot date or has to work and needs a babysitter she has to call me first and if I can’t or won’t do it then she calls the sitter. It is possible that will be the case. We can wait the mandatory 10 or so years before we can rebuild our credit and start over again at 50? Ok That will be nice.

After the divorce her bills will still come out to a minimum of $2900* a month as listed above more than that if we have to split everything in half, plus child care, plus rent and groceries and the other assorted stuff associated with being alive. Mine will be the rest of that little amount plus Child support the only really big problem is if she doesn’t pay any of it. I will still have to pay all of it because it is in my name. Yay. This no doubt will jack up my clearance and of course that will eliminate my ability to swing one of those cushy contractor jobs that people get when they get out of the military. So on to flipping burgers and cutting grass, hopefully not that bad, but you see where I’m going. So the chances are pretty good that she will get full custody of the kids, and she really doesn’t have to push. The crappiness of this situation is that I will probably have to try for 30 years in the military if I can and that means I will have to leave in 4 years so most probably she will have them all to herself, especially if I have to go to a boat.

My reasons for not wanting 50% have nothing to do with logistics but every reason to do partially with what she hinted at on her blog. It has to do with some other things too, but I will continue to cover those faults. Like I said this matter is solely between her and Allah. She can decide what she wants and then ask for it. If she gets 50% then I will make it work, if she gets it all then I will make it work. I know my kids love me and they know that I love them and sometimes that makes all the difference. I don’t know all the lessons that Allah has for me in this, but I am willing to learn them and move on to a brighter future. Insha Allah my faith will be increased and I will be able to handle the truly difficult tasks that lay ahead.

I realize that I have been focusing on her and over the last couple of days I have been doing a lot of self reflection and when Allah closes one door I know that He opens another one. Me losing custody of my children may not be bad all around. This free time without them will give me the opportunity to study and go to school and finally finish out that degree. The possibility of losing my job may be a door opening to using all of those ideas that Allah sends my way and really taking the time to stay positive in the midst of trials and focusing on the mercy and blessings of Allah and really perfecting my Deen. I am in a position where I can’t get married again (at least not responsibly) I know there are sugar mamas out there that would just love a loving and doting husband, but I think maybe this is Allah’s way of telling me to stand on my own two feet. Maybe this is the time to get off my butt and losing custody of my children may just be that incentive. The thing that I have really been coming into focus with is I need to stop looking at her and finding fault and then just look at myself and seeing what I can improve.

I know there are some improvements that have already taken place. I am not horny anymore and I have much more control over that side of me. It is possible that a great desire was removed from me and it only took this much pain to do it. However what this insha Allah will allow me to do in the future is the ability to take the time to fully evaluate the person without the desires of my lust clouding the process and that will be a first in my life, a time where I can genuinely learn and love the person for who they actually are rather than what pleasures that they can provide. Losing custody of my children will allow me to explore business opportunities and educational opportunities that would have had proved difficult had I had them with me all the time and it will allow me to fully engage them when I have visitation with them on the court mandated every other weekend once throughout the week schedule that will probably be mandatory in this type of logistical situation. This will allow me to build business and friendship relationships that I probably would not have formed if I was awarded custody. I will be able to be active in the Masjid and political activities, I’ll be free to volunteer and lend a hand at a moments notice so it isn’t all bad. Maybe I will also be able to run out watch a sunset and sip a midnight Vanilla Frappacino at Starbucks mostly whenever I want to without having to worry about the kids, but I will worry about them though. I am free to go and watch VIOLENT MANLY movies and stuff at my leisure. I would give it all up for my kids, but it doesn’t look like that will be happening.

So I’m focusing on the future and learning the lessons of this endeavor and mapping out where I will go next. I don’t know what my next move is, I suppose my first step is getting back on my feet financially and then I can move on to the next step. The most important thing is to learn the lessons of this experience and move on with trepidation. I’ve finally been put in a place where I can’t pay bills at all so insha Allah in the future I will be able to take it in stride. Just write my creditors let them take what they will and go on about my business living life one day at a time. So that is something different. I can’t really stress about them because there is totally nothing that I can do to pay them so I will pray for the best and then do what I can and leave the whole affair to Allah.

So I am silent, reflective and patient waiting for the help of Allah.

3 comments:

  1. I don't know if you two can work it out, probably at this point not, but one thing you said jumped out at me, that this whole thing could have been averted if only she had said sorry to your mother. Its my own sensitivities, but on that one point, I do see your wife's side. Your wife may have disrespected your mother somehow, but MIL and DIL relationships are very fraught. I'm sure you feel that an apology is warranted and moving in with your mother is worth the huge cost savings, but, especially now that you are fighting, your wife likely feels that your mom is completely on your side (and as your mom, she should be), and is the absolute last person she wants to eat crow for or live with. Yes, living with your mom makes a lot more financial sense, but you should try to remember, its YOUR mom, not hers. I know the issues are a lot deeper than that, but maybe just this one is worth letting go.

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  2. ASSALAM O ALAIKUM

    BROTHER, I THINK DIVORCE IS ALWAYS NASTY SPECIALLY LEGALLY IN AMERICA. ITS GOING TO EFFECT KIDS MORE THAN ANYTHING. FORGET YOUR FINANCIAL SITUATION HER FINANCIAL SITUATION YOUR EGO, HER EGO. IT CAN BE STATISFY ONE WAY OR OTHER, YOU BOTH CAN EARN MONEY BUT IT'S GOING TO MAKE YOUR KIDS FEEL WORST THAN ANYTHING. ONE MORE THING THE WAY YOU AND YOUR SOON TO BE EX WIFE EXPOSING YOUR DIVORCE SITUATION TO EVERYONE IS GOING TO MAKE IT WORST. TOO MANY COOK SPOIL BROT. ANYWAYS IT'S NOT ISLAMIC WAY TO LET EVERYONE KNOW ABOUT YOUR SITUATION. I THINK YOU BOTH CAN SIT TOGETHER WITH IMAM AND COME TO CONCLUSION ABOUT YOUR DIVORCE, YOUR FINANCIAL SITUATION, YOUR CUSTODY PROBLEM. THIS THINGS CAN BE SOLVE WITHOUT BEING DRAGGING KIDS INTO IT. BECAUSE IN YOUR FIGHT KIDS FEEL THEY ARE BEING TORN APART THEY DON'T KNOW WHICH WAY TO GO. THEY WANT YOU BOTH TO BE IN THEIR LIVES. SO TRY TO SOLVE YOUR PROBLEMS IN CALM MANNER WITH YOUR WIFE AND YOUR WIFE SHOULD THE SAME. ALLAH IS ALWAYS THERE FOR BOTH OF YOU.

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  3. I can understand that you see my wife's side, and at first it was just apologize. It was only after another incident of the straw breaking the camels back that I insisted that she move back to my Mom's. At that point I was fed up. It isn't about ego any more. It isn't about anything at this point as it appears that all my cards are played and I am only putting my faith in Allah to see how they are dealt.

    As far as putting all of my business out there, this may be a bit but it isn't nearly anything substantial. I still try to cover the faults of the Muslims. If I went there then Allahu Alim, but I'm sure things would get tons uglier really fast.

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