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Topics - Oblivious

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Father's Issues / Where do I start?
« on: Oct 07, 2007, 12:45:07 PM »
Hi everyone, this is my first time posting here and my first time nearing a divorce and I'm all new to this.

My marriage is rapidly dying, if it's not dead already, I'm not sure anymore. We've been together four years and have two wonderful children, but my wife frequently verbally abuses my children and me, and has on rare occasions physically assaulted me and my property. All trust and respect in the relationship has been destroyed over time and it's getting to the point where I start having panic attacks the moment she enters the room or says a word to me. I can't deal with it anymore.

We are very poor, I am getting individual counseling through the state's health care program: it doesn't cover couples counseling. I cannot afford a lawyer, I can barely afford to provide a home for my family, and my wife is a constant drain on our resources.

I am at my wits end and cannot live like this anymore. If I weren't supporting my wife I could probably afford an inexpensive lawyer (if there is such a thing) but the information on this site says not to live separately while going through a divorce so I'm very lost, confused, and don't know what to do.

Meanwhile I've tried to talk to my wife about the situation. She acknowledges that she's got problems and has made an appointment to go to individual counseling, but refuses to talk about what will happen if we cannot fix our problems and need to split up. This includes discussing what we will do about custody. I suspect she feels that talking about the "what if"s of the end of things will bring that end about. I feel that ignoring the issues at hand will not fix them, and I want to be ready if or when we get there. I'm soooo frustrated. In short my wife doesn't want to talk about the end because she thinks we will fix it. I think it's already over.

I do not want to leave my children in full custody of an abusive mother. I cannot give them a stable, happy, healthy home while I live with her. The only solution I can see is true 50/50 joint custody until they start school in which case I will want them with me during the week. My wife is spiteful and vindictive and I can fully see her being the sort of woman who would push for full custody with supervised visitation only merely as an act of retaliation against me for leaving, regardless of the negative effect it would have on the kids.

In any event, this is what I need: I need to find a cheap or free lawyer in Oregon if there is such a thing. I also need to find a source of information about Oregon law regarding divorce and custody, preferably including precedent for father custody or joint custody. If anyone has any information that could help please let me know!

Thanks!

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