Judith and Robert have been married 17 years, with two small children under the age of 8. They live in a beautiful neighborhood, and Judith is a stay-at-home mom, who loves her job…her children…but not so much Robert!
Robert has a very good job, as an executive in a company headquartered in Columbus, Ohio. He travels extensively for his job, but doesn’t mind this. He brings home quite a bit of money, and the family has every comfort imaginable. He doesn’t worry about the children when he travels, because he knows that Judith is a terrific mom and that the children are always well cared for in her presence. Life is good! But, what Robert doesn’t know is that Judith really could care less about him. She enjoys it when he leaves town, for weeks sometimes when he travels internationally. In fact, he doesn’t know that when Judith hears the garage door open, signaling Robert’s return from a trip, her heart sinks. She would prefer that he just stay away…
But on the night that Robert returns from a trip, Judith puts on a fake smile, helps him unpack, and organizes his clothes for the dry cleaners the next day. Judith is miserable.
The last time that Robert was traveling, Judith secretly met with a divorce attorney. She explained her situation. She explained that nobody has cheated. Nobody has committed financial misconduct. Nobody did drugs or drank to excess. But she told the attorney emphatically that she wanted the house, and she felt that Robert should move out as soon as she told him that she wanted a divorce. Judith was distraught to hear that the court would be reluctant to make Robert move out. In fact, hadn’t Judith just said that the only issue with Robert was that she just didn’t like him, nor did she want to have to live with him during the divorce process (which of course would be VERY uncomfortable).
Judith asks the attorney, “You mean I have to LIVE IN THE SAME HOUSE WITH HIM until the divorce is done??!!!
Attorney, “You don’t have to share the bedroom with him, of course…and possibly he will agree on his own to move out. But unless the court hears that there is some domestic violence that he is committing the court may be reluctant to order him out”.
Judith leaves the attorneys office and thinks about this. No, she thinks, Robert has never harmed her or the children, nor has she felt in reasonable fear of imminent harm. But, this isn’t fair, she thinks.
The day after Robert returns from one of his trips, Judith decides not to help him unpack. Nor does she put on the fake smile. Instead she informs him that she wants a divorce. Robert is stunned. Then, she informs him that he should not unpack, but instead he should pack more, and move out so that she and the children can live alone in the house, while they proceed with the divorce process.
Robert refuses. He grabs a pillow, a blanket and some linens, and heads downstairs to the den. The den is now his new bedroom. Robert tries to wrap his head around what just happened.
Judith goes to bed but she can’t sleep. She can’t believe that Robert is refusing to move out.
Then, she remembers the concepts of domestic violence. Alone in her bedroom, she hits her face with the phone, leaving a healthy mark. She then calls 911….
And yes, the police show up. Robert is confused. Why are they at the door? He answers the door, talks to the police for a moment, when Judith walks down the stairs sobbing, bleeding and bruised on her face.
Robert is taken away and spends the night in jail. Early in the morning before Robert can bond out, Judith has successfully received a Civil Protection Order, which orders Robert out of the house, among other things. In seven days, Robert will have the opportunity to go to court and try to prove that he had been set up by Judith, and that he never touched her.
Robert hires an attorney, who believes him. They have one week to prove that this was a set-up, and they are determined to win. Will this be easy to prove? No!! But once they prove this to the court, they will be demanding full custody. This was a very dangerous game that Judith played.
The attorneys at Joseph & Joseph, Co. LPA are experienced, knowledgeable and ready to assist you.
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