Custody & alimony battles took the life of a good friend.
This site is dedicated to a friend, Tom, who in 2004 was separated from his wife explaining with a smile in confidence that his “divorce is going to be an amicable.” Their plans were to use a mediator and it would never go to court and would be over in couple months.
However this was not the case; the brutality I watched over seven years brought down on him from his ex-wife, the mind games, and her lawyers turned a Silicon Valley multi millionaire, who was an amazing father, and a pillar in society into a hermit, battling severe depression and in time succumbing to drinking to numb his pain. By the end, the once incredibly active athlete (Tom was awarded the California Triple Crown twice, an honor to participants of more than 3 double centuries on a bicycle in 1 year) was too weak to even leave bed, refusing to eat.
In 2012 Tom passed away, his main organs shut down from being so weak due to the depression, tired of the pain of fighting his ex wife for multiple years to no avail.
Tom left behind two children in their early 20s he loved, he fought for and cherished. I would listen to him blame himself for his children’s internal pains the divorce caused them wishing they had a better mentor than their mother.
Throughout the six years of their divorce, I watched his ex-wife:
• Take him to court for child support while both the children lived with him for almost a year
• After following through with mediation, she violated an agreed upon contract, and moved his children an hour away
• Throw her daughters belonging on the street having strangers take them thinking they are a free for all when her daughter decided she wanted to see her dad more
• Fraudulently change court documents adding a zero after one judge sign off on it and a second Judge needed to sign off on it so she can get more alimony.
• Steal items from his home after their belonging were split up from the courts
• Stop talking to her teenage children because they wanted a relationship with their father
• Call the cops anytime he was in his car making false acquisitions, he is drunk, driving irrationally so they pull him over
• Drain his bank accounts because everything he made went to her and anything he had left over went the IRS.
I don’t think the above hurt him as much as watching what his children went through from the divorce and the feeling of helplessness he had to not be able to make it better for them. All Tom ever hoped for was to be a great dad. I believe he succeeded, the little time he spent with his children has made them forever stronger and brighter.
Tom rest in peace.
For the children, let’s avoid mean, brutal divorces and stop custody battles that make people feel helpless.