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  1. I now have a backup of my old computer, and for $1,500 or so I can have a forensic examiner search for evidence that she accessed my emails. She sent an email to my sister in which she references something from one of the emails, which I would contend she would not have known other than searching my emails. So, the big question is whether to spend the money to get the proof. My criminal defense lawyer isn't interested for the trial, and my divorce lawyer says people snoop each other's emails all the time and family court doesn't care. He also doesn't think the police are going to do anything to investigate a complaint like that. So the big question is this, if there is both a federal and state law that she is violating and I have the evidence and file a complaint is it likely to go anywhere or is the $1,500 spent a total waste?
  2. Thanks everyone. That is reassuring. She seems to take every opportunity to block contact with our child, so I'm trying to stay ahead of everything. It's exhausting.
  3. I'm in the process of divorce, and have settled in to an apartment, which is a renovated farm house. It is my understanding that the interior of the house was gutted to make apartments well after lead paint was no longer in use. Even so, there is a disclosure in the lease acknowledging lead paint in the home because of the age of the house. It is also my understanding that as long as there isn't peeling paint or a concern of a child eating paint, then it isn't a problem. It would actually be worse to de-lead and stir up lead dust in the process. Given those facts, I wasn't worried about the lead, but would keep an eye out for any peeling paint indoor or out. The problem here is that my wife is hinting that she will raise some objections to my living situation based on the lead paint disclosure in my lease. We don't have a custody agreement yet, but if this will be an important factor I'll look for another apartment. I can't find much about lead paint laws or how this might play in to a custody issue. Can anyone give me some clue on this? Thanks.
  4. I can access the emails, but I want to know what she is reading from my email. Those files are downloaded onto the computer, and the only way to know what has been viewed from that computer and when is to physically inspect the computer or perhaps to have a physical backup (not sure the backup will work) It is those stored emails that I don't want her to be able to access. I want to be able to compel her to allow me to inspect the files, collect evidence of what she has viewed, then to delete the files from the computer and the back ups. Civil charges would be for her false allegations and my related costs. It may not be something that will be practical, but it really depends on how the case goes. If the restraining order doesn't hold (it seems extremely unlikely that it will hold) then you can look at all the weeks that she has barred me from my child, my home, my possessions, my home business, and all the damages related to that. In that context I think it is relevant if she violated the Unauthorized Access law in VT and the Federal Stored Communications Act to sift through my emails including my testimony and communication with my lawyers (I'm assuming that's what she was looking for) or to look for evidence to use to get a leg up in custody and divorce where she has already used false allegations. Both the VT and Federal laws carry civil and criminal penalties, so even if the police won't pursue it I thought I might be able to use it in a civil action. The request for production makes sense, but I suppose that gives her the opportunity to alter or delete the evidence before producing it. I suspect that if she realizes what I am looking for she will destroy the evidence and I won't be able to prove that she has done so. I wish there was some way to serve her with papers and collect the evidence (of have police collect it) and not give her an opportunity to tamper with it. Thanks for your input.
  5. How can I compel my wife to turn over our jointly owned laptop for me to make a backup or to have it reviewed for evidence that she accessed my email account? My emails are stored on the computer and the backups and includes confidential information related to our divorce case and her criminal accusations against me. The emails are my property, and she is not authorized to view them. There must be some way of removing her access and/or compelling her to let me review that computer for evidence. Email provider shows repeated attempts for that computer to sync, and manufacturer says that would only happen if the computer was open and mail program was on. She hasn't used this computer in 3 years (it's been replaced) and it had my mail on it, not hers. What can I do? I do want to position myself to be able to bring civil charges (possibly, depending on how other things work out) after I get her false claims exposed for the BS that they are. If things go well for me I would consider suing for damages, which are significant already, and will only get worse. Here are the laws that I'm looking at State: http://legislature.vermont.gov/statutes/chapter/13/087 Federal: https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/2701
  6. That makes sense. Since we moved to Vermont I have become more aware of her parents' negative influence on her mental state. Her mother has become more involved in our marital issues as my wife leans on her more, and it has become very obvious how sexist and aggressive her mother is. We went to a psychotherapist and couples counsellor who advised my wife to 'build a wall around the family' and keep her mother from interfering. Of course this was not honored for more than a week. My wife had a total mental breakdown a few years back spurred on by her parents' actions, which the ER doctor (we ended up there after a suicide attempt) described as "sadistic". Two doctors advised her to "love her parents from afar" stating that she would probably be better off if she limited her parents' involvement in her life. I think they threw out the idea of seeing them a couple times for holidays, but perhaps keeping a distance otherwise. For weeks I had to babysit her and run interference to keep her parents from contacting her during her most vulnerable period after the incident (doctors orders), and her mother refused to accept this. In the most recent incident where my wife made some accusations against me she stated in her own police report that she did not want to have me arrested. 2 days later (after her parents had been with her for a couple days) she filed a restraining order keeping me from any contact with our child and claimed that I was a danger. She also has been insisting that I will kidnap our child (baseless) and her accusations have continued to become more wild. This is the influence of her mother, and it happens time and again. She fans the flames and drives her further and further from reality in situations like this, and that is very scary. Definitely not good for anyone (especially our child) who is in a household with her. So, that's what has changed. I could not witness this dynamic until we moved here, and having a child only amplified the issue. Thanks again.
  7. Yes, the half baked assessment is fair, and that's because I have no idea what my options are. I'm looking for ideas and understanding here. Hopefully by the time I'm making actual decisions about this stuff I will have a better understanding. That's why I'm asking about things a bit farther down the line. The problem with my wife's disorder is that her mother is a narcissist and that actually makes the symptoms of my wife's borderline personality disorder worse. What happens is my wife begins to dissociate from reality, and her mother fans the flames because it helps her get closer to her daughter. The fallout is someone else's problem, and neither she nor her daughter will take the blame. Life has been increasingly hard for us because of this dynamic. My wife has had at least 2 psychologists tell her that she is better off 'loving her parents from afar' and our marriage counsellor cited the negative impact of her mother's influence on our marriage and told my wife to 'build a wall around the family' to keep her mother out of our relationship. Without my attempts to moderate my wife's mood swings I fear that she will lean even more on her mother, and it will have disastrous consequences. This has already been proving true in the divorce process, and she has made increasingly wild claims and has been very aggressive. Nobody there to reign her in anymore. I don't know if she would move, and I know she doesn't want to live in my home state. I have several siblings all close together with many cousins, several of which are close to my child's age. These people have pledged a lot of support for relocation and child care. In comparison, in Vermont we only have my wife's parents. Prior to the divorce my wife and I discussed the issue that we are actually afraid to leave our daughter alone with my mother in law, but my wife insists on it because her mother wants to help and she doesn't know how to say no. My mother in law is very flighty and lacks any common sense. She has caused the death of at least 3 cats in the last 5 years because of carelessness. Things like getting lost, poisoned by pesticides on garden plants, carelessly cut one while grooming and the infection caused major health problems. If she has killed 3 cats do you really want her alone with a child? My wife insists she will be more careful with a child, I think she just doesn't have the mental capacity to 'be careful'. I've tried to insist that my father in law also be present if she is babysitting, but that isn't always honored. In any case, there are a lot of reasons why I hate the idea of being in Vermont, and it mostly is related to inlaws. I felt that way before the divorce, and even more so now. I just don't see a viable way to make it happen, so I'm grasping at straws. Thanks all for the feedback. It does help me get a sense of the laws and my responsibilities if I were to somehow be allowed to leave the state (I realize it is unlikely).
  8. Thanks. I do realize I'm way ahead of myself here. I have no doubt that the restraining order will go away next week based on the number of lies that I can disprove, and it was already a stretch for her to claim our child was in danger even if her story was 100% accurate. I'm also confident on the criminal charges, but I get the impression that there may be such a strong bias in favor of women in such cases that I may still be in trouble. Given her instability, hospitalization, working long hours, excessive work travel, and the fact that I did the majority of child care because of these issues, I think I have a very good chance in court. There is also the issue that there are numerous documented cases where she has taken my child away from me in an argument simply as punishment with no claims of abuse. I have evidence of her taking our child, and circumstantial evidence to support the fact that there was no abuse or claim of mistreatment associated with these events. As such, I think my prospects for primary custody are very good. Ultimately what I really want to know is what are the parameters that the state considers when allowing a parent to move. My intent is not that the other parent would be cut out, but rather that we would all settle in a place that is better for the support and development of our child in terms of family support and environment. There are also more job prospects in my wife's field in that general area. The reason I'm thinking so far ahead is that I feel like I'm really have to give it some thought and see what kind of evidence I can find to support what I'm saying. It's hard looking back so far, but if there's anything that I can document going forward I would certainly make that effort. Thanks for the input.
  9. Here's the short version: What does it take to be able to move out of Vermont when you have shared custody with an ex-spouse who does not want to leave the state? And the long version: I am in the process of divorce, and we have a toddler. My wife has borderline personality disorder (in denial and refuses treatment), and has accused me of assault and is preventing contact with our daughter. She talks about 'earning trust' and 'working up to overnight visits', but I think her narrative of assault is going to break down in court. She's lying about so many things that I can't imagine her restraining order will hold let alone the assault charge. Once I am divorced (and I know I'll have to work out custody first) I would love to move out of state. We are only in Vermont because of her job and her family. My family is 1,000 miles away. Her company is up for sale, and her job is uncertain. I made big sacrifices in my career to support her, but I have no job prospects locally and no support network. Her family has been very aggressive to me, particularly leading up to the divorce. My wife has had suicide threats in the past and at least one of them centered around her parents and they way they treated her. This is documented in a police report and emergency room visit. I have many siblings who have expressed support and offered free childcare, and space in their homes while I get settled. I think this would be a happier, healthy option for our family as opposed to me being tied to Vermont with these aggressive and unstable people. My job prospects may not be great near my family either, but there is a lot more family support and I think home life will be a lot better. With the family support I will be more likely to be able to settle well in the area, and the connections should really help in getting a job etc... Cost of living is also much lower there in comparison to Vermont. I do have a lawyer, but we haven't talked about these questions in detail because they want me to be focusing on the more imminent issues of short term custody, restraining order, and criminal defense. I can't help but also wonder about the long game, though, and how the heck I get out from under the boot of these people. It was a mistake moving to Vermont.
  10. Thanks. I also, I agree that it's not productive to fight with criminal allegations. The problem is that my wife has borderline personality disorder and it has gotten really bad in the last couple years. She is in denial and her parents are part of the problem, unfortunately she is relying on them heavily and made some criminal allegations against me already. I'm constantly bracing for the worst and trying to find anything that I can use as leverage against these attacks. Some of her claims are totally baseless, but it's still getting expensive and she's succeeded in barring me from the home and preventing me from seeing our daughter. Although I feel like I have a good case to refute her claims I am also very worried about the bias against men in custody issues and abuse claims. People with borderline personality disorder can dissociate from reality when they get really upset and see the world through a lens of their fears, so how they feel about something becomes more important than fact. A big problem if it's my word against hers, and I have no idea what she might say.
  11. Thanks Ted and Elle for the advice/explanations. I'm just sort of grasping at straws here. Tragically, her symptoms were not as bad before we bought a house and her job took a turn that made her miserable. Then the stress of having a child (of course she's wonderful, so don't misunderstand me here) can make things more difficult as well. I suspect that post partum depression really pushed her to another level, and that's how we got where we are today. If my assumption is correct, then treatment could prevent these sort of high peaks of emotion that create such a terrible situation. Divorce would be a permanent solution to some issues that are temporary or at least able to be better managed with more care. Not looking for a 'magic bullet', I realize that's not going to happen. I've been grasping at straws trying to find a way for her to get in to care, but it seems like there really aren't any good legal avenues. I'm not sure I'd want to stay even if she did get care, trust is really gone at this point. Either way, though, I'm really concerned about dealing with her as a divorced parent and really concerned for the wellbeing of our child. I fear that the emotional abuse will shift to our daughter once I'm out of the home. Thanks again for the input.
  12. She prevented me by standing between us, body blocking me, pushing or hitting me if I got close. Did not cause physical injury, but it doesn't I'm not going to let it escalate in to a physical altercation, particularly with a toddler under foot. I did call the police, but I did not initially discuss the fact that she was pushing and hitting because I didn't want her to get arrested or to escalate things, just looking for help to de-escalate it. In the second instance when she alleged abuse I called the police, and they were already on the line with her apparently. The fact that I tried not to discuss the physical altercation was viewed as suspicious, so it didn't work out well for me. I was thinking about trying to get a restraining order against her or find some other way to protect me from her taking our daughter away against my will. She has instances of suicide threats documented in at least a couple police reports. The most recent one was due to a fight with her parents, which did not involve me. I was just a supportive bystander trying to keep her safe. I realize it's out of context of the emotional abuse question, but in terms of why I think she is a danger to the family the big picture includes a wider range of irrational behavior. I suppose I phrased that poorly. The lawyer recommends the mediation process, but we did discuss it today and we'll only do mediation if their opening offer for custody arrangements is reasonable. If not, I'll skip mediation and deal with the court.
  13. I haven't heard back yet about the restraining order on her specifically. I'm still just brainstorming ways of protecting us from her. I feel like it's an up hill climb because she accused me of physical abuse. She attacked me and there is a mark on her arm apparently from where I held he back before leaving the scene. I called the police asking for mediation, but didn't want to make any accusation of violence, just prevent her from keeping me from our daughter. She called at the same time (from down the road) and claimed I grabbed her and tried to throw her on the ground. Kernel of truth to grabbing her and the mark (unless she did that to make sure I'd get arrested, who knows) as she was coming at me pretty hard. For now the lawyer wants to go through the mediation process and feel out where she stands on issues, then make decisions based on how she behaves. I don't have high hopes. As I understand it, though, a forensic psych eval is $10,000-$15,000 and may not even be admissible in court or of any use for compelling treatment. Involuntary commitment often doesn't work for BPD because people aren't motivated. I'm grasping at straws. Thanks again.
  14. Ok, that makes sense to me. Thanks. I realized this probably doesn't change anything based on your description. Just to be clear, though she consented to my taping, but she didn't say she had started recording anything. I suspected it when she grabbed her phone and stepped out of frame. The relevance here is that I was taping initially so I could have some video of my daughter through FaceTime since I haven't had time with her in person, and no videos. When my daughter wandered off and we talked briefly about the upcoming hearing she got a little cagy, grabbed her phone and left frame. I presumed that it's something she intended to play for her lawyer or who knows what. Perhaps thought she could get me to say something damning. I don't know. Either way I was a little annoyed. Didn't say anything that I would be concerned about, but I did wonder about the legality if a tape does in fact turn up. Thanks again for the explanation.
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