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AlexiaEsq., Managing Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 13566
Experience:  19+ Years of Legal Practice in Family law matters.
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I have been divorced since 1984. I was a victim of domestic

Customer Question

I have been divorced since 1984. I was a victim of domestic violence: alcoholism, emotional abuse, sometimes physical, extreme jealousy/obsession, control, and contiued threats for going to Alanon. When I filed for divorce, I was extremely afraid of what he would do to me and our two kids. While we were selling our house (I still don't know if my ex withheld money from the sale & its second mortgage with the buyers), my son (age 8 at the time), told me his father was showing him his gun (from his days in the SF police force). I knew in my gut that his gun was meant to kill our kids & me (and probably himself). Even after the divorce, he controlled me through our kids, stalked me, manipulated my family & friends against me (had sex with some of them), & never remarried. I just remarried two years ago to a wonderful man (I had been against marriage-as you can imagine). My ex has now permanently turned my kids against me (through jealousy) and I no longer see them or my two grandkids. I am more furious against him now then ever!

My question is this: We used a paralegal in Santa Clara county (we didn't have the money for a lawyer. I never asked for alimony or retirement (but now I want it) because I was afraid (and mistaken) he would think he still "owned" me. Looking back, I should have hired a lawyer anyway to protect my interests and provide counsel for me that was badly needed in my situation at the time. It has taken me a lifetime to feel my own power and honor myself. In light of the terrible situation now with my grown children, I want what's owed to me. Is there a lawyer who can help me? My email is [email protected] com and phone XXX-XXX-XXXX

Thank you for your time!
Nancy JH
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  AlexiaEsq. replied 5 years ago.
*Due to rules of your state bar or mine, nothing herein is intended as legal advice, only intended as general information to better help yourself.

Hi, what is your question, exactly, with regard to these unfortunate events? Are you asking if you can reverse your divorce decree and now ask for alimony or a different distribution of the marital assets? If so, how long ago was your divorcew?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
My divorce was in 1984. I do not know what is the best course for me. This is why I am writing to you for suggestions.
Expert:  AlexiaEsq. replied 5 years ago.
Unfortunately, the time for appealing that order has long ago expired. The courts typically can not re-open a case based on remorse later. That is because this was a final Order. Now, if you could show that the divorce decree was not legal somehow, or that your ex is in contempt of some part of the Order for distribution, if any, that could perhaps give reason to re-open, but thus far I see nothing to suggest that. In a remote situation, however, if you agreed to the agreement to take nothing you were entitled to BECAUSE, say, you were under duress or threatened or coerced, in theory, you may be able to argue that the agreement was voidable or void, and that the case should be re-opened. But proving this can be very, very difficult, particularly after so many years. The fact that you were self-representing would help support the contention, however, that you lacked the requisite consent to this agreement - particularly if HE had an attorney. The biggest suggestion I can make is that you would want to consider taking ALL of the pertinent divorce paperwork and any documentary proof you have of hte abuse, fear, threats, etc., to an astute divorce attorney in your jurisdiction, so he can review all and see if the matter could be re-opened, based on the agreement never having been valid from the beginning.

I hope this helps clarify for you.

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