How does an involved, loving Dad get 50% custody and support his kids with no resources whatsoever?

My friend is a good man. His lifestyle is quiet and stable. Nothing weird there. I don't have other friends because I spend all of my time looking for work, working, or being with my kids. I'm a home body. My wife is anti social. She doesn't like to meet people and she gets mad if I'm not home all the time.

My wife cuts hair on Saturdays and walks people's dogs or boards them at our house. She makes very little money but spends 90% of it on fast food and expensive dogs. In the past year she's spent $4000 on Standard Poodles rather than contributing to the household finances. She has four dogs, three cats and a bird. She's turned our house into a filthy kennel.

I build and/or manage call centers. I lost a job I had been at for 12 years when the call center was moved out of state. I worked at a competitors call center for a year after that before it too was moved out of state. Then I built and managed a call center in a different industry for 4 years. Once that call center was established I developed another role for the company but was laid off when the economy went bad. By this time I had kids losing a job sent me into a panic. It wasn't just me anymore. Not being able to support my family terrified me. So my judgement wasn't at its best when I picked next company. I was desperate to work and took the first job that was offered. It was like working for the mob. They fired me after only 10 months and I think the 10k in severance is a pretty good indicated that they knew they had broken some laws with me. After that I tried to learn sales by getting my insurance license. I wanted to diversify my skill set to create more opportunities. I built a lead generating call center for an insurance company. My team produced a high volume of qualified leads but the agents wouldn't bother to try and sell them. Since the VP wouldn't let me help the agents sell the leads I felt it was only a matter of time before my role would be eliminated so I moved on when someone offered me another job. This was a straight b2b telephone sales job and I sucked at it. I own this one. I lost that job all by myself. Then I took a step back and re-examined my priorities. I started seeking work in an industry that inspired me, Solar Energy. While solar is a great product, not all solar companies are. I worked six days, 70 hours a week with no breaks or lunches just to prove to my wife that I wasn't lazy. I was cheated out of a lot of money, threatened and manipulated every day. But I stuck with it to prove a point. A week after my manager told me I was irreplaceable he fired me to cover his own backside when he got caught doing something fishy. I felt like I had ptsd after that and went straight to the doctor for help. I got on some anxiety medication, started seeing a therapist weekly to address all the issues you mentioned and I started eating right, getting more sleep, and exercising in an effort manage stress better. I've lost 30 lbs since early November and I feel much better. The last job was at a solar startup. I did a great job building their call center and I had a great relationship with the owners, but they failed to get the financing they needed to sell a viable product. They had to lay off every employee in every department and start over.

My wife is justified in being sick and tired of this. But it's not that simple. There's nothing wrong with me other than working in a volatile field (call centers) and making some bad picks along the way. I have received zero support from my wife along the way. She has behaved like a "frienemy" at every point. She beats m down whenever she can and demands a pool , jacuzzi, boat, and fancy vacations that we clearly can't afford. Of course I'm not dumb enough to waste any money on these things when I'm struggling to pay the rent and of corse she resents me for it. Imagine how I feel when she keeps bringing home pete after pet, some costing thousands of dollars.

I will continue to put my kids first, manage my stress, get my health back, see my therapist, and of course look for a job.

/r/Divorce Thread