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Want to be out, but will have to divorce & want to get custody

Discussion in 'Leaving Scientology' started by KitchenWitch, Sep 10, 2018.

  1. KitchenWitch

    KitchenWitch New Member

    I decided to leave a few years ago, but the fear of losing my minor children kept me in; my husband threatened to take them from me. I've been distancing myself more and more since then, and even read Leaving Scientology (and boy did I cry for days!), but things have really come to a head now and I just can't live with the fear and lies anymore, the low integrity I've been maintaining knowing the truth about the Co$ but not leaving or doing anything about it, the terror I feel when my husband tells me he was regged into paying for another action and that we're in even greater debt, the constant concern over my children getting involved and one day being shipped off to one of the Delphi schools and then some SO base, the nausea I feel when I have to go in session.

    I know I'm not the first person who has ever had to divorce and fight for custody when leaving. I'm meeting with several divorce attorneys over the next few weeks to accrue legal advice, but the likelihood of them understanding the depths of the complications Scientology presents is slim, so I'm here asking for advice and to read your stories! Has anyone reading this had to divorce over leaving Scientology? If children were involved, how did you handle legal custody and/or stipulations over religious practices? If you were already declared, did that help your case for custody? Were you declared because of the divorce? Did you transfer your funds on account to your spouse, did you get a repayment, or were you still responsible for Scientology-related debts? If Scientology wasn't a factor in your custody agreement, why not? Was religion disregarded by the judge as a factor in weighing his/her determination?

    Even worse for me than the possibility of my children wanting to disconnect from me when they're older is that one of them might be driven mad or into depression because of Scientology -- or just because life poops on us sometimes -- and not be able to seek actual mental health services; or that their father might reject them due to their "covert hostility" or try to audit the gay away if one of them turns out to be gay, queer, or trans. Any advice on these topics, even if it's not about divorce, would also be welcome!

    Of course I would love for my husband to come with me, but as you can imagine, I've spent several years trying to get him to "see the light," treading carefully so as not to set off red flags for him that would lead to him writing me up (not always successfully!). I really don't think it's going to happen. But maybe one day he'll wake up and get out, too! I won't stop hoping. In the meantime, I really can't keep losing my life to Scientology and risking my children's lives, too.

    Please don't hesitate to communicate; I could use all the advice I can get.
    Type4_PTS likes this.
  2. programmer_guy

    programmer_guy True Ex-Scientologist

    1. Why do you need to meet several attorneys? Just trying to decide who to pick? Just curious.

    2. For the parent issues (info) I suggest that you see internet articles and youtube videos on "Parental Alienation" to prepare for this.
  3. Wilbur

    Wilbur Patron Meritorious

    Presumably you're in the U.S.A., but if not, it would be sensible to say which country's jurisdiction you are under re. the divorce, as divorce and family law will differ by country. Advice that is useful in one country will not be useful in another.
  4. TheOriginalBigBlue

    TheOriginalBigBlue Gold Meritorious Patron

    Scientology insinuates itself into families and those families are then defined by Scientology. You have started to recognize this but my sense from your opening post is that you are still trying to work within that framework to avoid being declared. I think divorce is a terrible thing. Friends and family tend to be too quick to encourage it. But sometimes things happen for a good reason. The signs were there all along. Only you know the dynamics and personalities involved enough to make the right choices but I think you need to stop playing defensive with the Scientology influence. Define Scientology's many subtle and not so subtle influences on your family and educate yourself on the subject so you can express your concerns to your lawyers and the court in a rational cogent manner if you do decide to go in that direction.

    Courts really don't like to get in the middle of religious differences but if there is an abusive component they may want a court appointed psychologist to assess the children and how Scientology effects them. I'd add that although Scientology has always been abusive it seems to have become increasingly abusive and desperate to the point where I think one has to seriously question the nature of someone who gets into it and stays in it now. Before the internet we could claim naivete but that just is no longer the case.

    A good lawyer should know how to help you establish legal agreements limiting Scientology's influence on the children, especially since the general understanding of Scientology is much better now.

    Instead of demanding a refund you might be able to just put money on account on your husband's side of the assets and liabilities side of the ledger. He gets the money on account - you get the Harley.

    I think Disconnection has come to define Scientology more than anything. It is the Church of Disconnection. Disconnection is extortion. They use your friends and family to extort you. One of the hard lessons for an ex is that it isn't really possible to be friends with a Scientologist in good standing because by virtue of being in good standing their conflicting loyalties require that they turn on you. Ultimately we have to call it and it just becomes a matter of timing.

    Good luck, and I'm not a lawyer.
  5. guanoloco

    guanoloco As-Wased

    IDK about the divorce but I do know about the debt.

    If debt exists as a joint account then everyone on that account is responsible for the repayment despite what divorce decrees mandate.

    Divorce decrees are for those involved in the divorce. Divorce decrees routinely state who is responsible for what debt; however, that doesn't involve or have any binding on the institutions holding the debt.

    Often I have seen one spouse destroy another spouse's credit because of this misunderstanding. A spouse won't answer a creditor's summons because the decree states that the loan is the other spouse's obligation. That doesn't absolve the debt and this (and equity issues) are why many people refinance when becoming divorced.

    Am curious...divorce is fairly extreme...I'm not saying don't consult attorneys or prepare yourself but have you told him how you feel? In a perfect world that would occur.
  6. Leland

    Leland Crusader

    Get a lawyer that is going to fight! And as you say, understands what it is they have to fight...
    TheOriginalBigBlue likes this.
  7. I told you I was trouble

    I told you I was trouble Suspended animation

    I've been where you are and I wish I could help but unfortunately I can't tell you anything positive from my story because I did everything wrong.

    About the only thing I would suggest is that you follow your instincts and ignore anything and everything that any scientologist suggests or demands, just get them all right out of your life (and your children's lives) as soon as you can. I would also insist that the Father immediately ceases any cult indoctrination of the children and accepts that they will decide for themselves once they are adults if they want to be involved in the cult or not (and then cross your fingers and hope they don't).

    I hope everything works out well for you and your family.

    TheOriginalBigBlue likes this.
  8. Wilbur

    Wilbur Patron Meritorious

    I think that passing your account balances with the church to your spouse is a splendid idea. You will have the church on your side with that one, because the alternative is that you demand a refund from the church (although it seems that they don't DO refunds anymore, in which case they might NOT be on your side). Still, the church might prefer it if the balance is transferred to him. You get that deducted from the overall settlement that goes to him, and your spouse gets a bag full of magic beans. I'm not familiar with U.S. divorce law, but in the UK, money you pass over to your spouse pre-divorce doesn't AUTOMATICALLY get credited to you in the divorce settlement (I know someone who made the mistake of transferring assets to a pre-divorce spouse, thinking they would get it credited in the settlement), so check with your lawyer on the best way to effect this. In the UK, the best way would be to have the church account balance transferred to him AS PART OF THE DIVORCE SETTLEMENT (and it would probably be sensible to have the church's written agreement to that in place before the divorce hearing, though you shouldn't actually EFFECT the transfer until after the settlement). Again, this is under UK law, so check with your lawyer as to the best thing to do in your situation.
    TheOriginalBigBlue likes this.
  9. Churchill

    Churchill Gold Meritorious Patron

    pebbles and TheOriginalBigBlue like this.
  10. This is NOT OK !!!!

    This is NOT OK !!!! Gold Meritorious Patron

    Do you have extended family (parents, brothers, sisters, etc.) that are wogs? That could be a big help to you going forward to counter balance your ex's indoctrination attempts on the children when he has parent time. I'm guessing you won't be able to move out of state with the children, but hopefully, you could move a larger distance away and then your ex (because of CSI pressure) will miss some of his visitations because he has to be on course or whatever and you and your family can keep raising your children in a sane environment without cult-think.

    If you have to go it alone, get out anyway you can with your children. And fight, fight, fight the cult indoctrination as hard and as much as you can.

    And I'd consider (very hard) that you even tell the children that the "irreconcilable differences" you and your husband have is because he wants to remain in the cult and is blowing their college fund.

    Finally, as mentioned above, find a fighter as a lawyer.

    Good luck.
  11. TheOriginalBigBlue

    TheOriginalBigBlue Gold Meritorious Patron

    ...and has never sided with the COS or any similar cult.
    Enthetan likes this.
  12. TheOriginalBigBlue

    TheOriginalBigBlue Gold Meritorious Patron

    In the US, I think you will find that where a parent has primary custody all they need to do to relocate out of state is to request an exemption to any prior agreement from the court based on their job or other necessity.
  13. Enthetan

    Enthetan Master of Disaster

    I'm going to assume that you are in a US jurisdiction.

    First off, you must face that you WILL get declared if you do not consent to be totally screwed. Just accept that, up front. No getting around it.

    If you want out of the marriage, then Scientology will demand that you submit to arbitration with a Scientologist arbitrator. That arbitrator WILL find in favor of whichever party is most likely to continue paying for Scn services. So, if you accept Scientology arbitration, you WILL get screwed. He will demand that you accept a divorce settlement where the husband gets the kids and the assets, and you get nothing.

    If you reject Scientology arbitration, and go to a regular divorce court, then you WILL be declared.

    In the US, the courts generally favor the wife. The wife usually gets custody if she wants it. With custody, she gets child support. The husband WILL pay child support ahead of any payments for things like Scientology services, or go to jail. This is why the Org will flip out on you if you go though a regular, court-administered divorce. Just resolve yourself up front.
  14. wigee1

    wigee1 Patron with Honors

    I would probably run with this type of action, or similar, enroll your kids into hobbies , after school sports , theater , time consuming stuff its good for you too, he will miss the contact with the kids , and will see them change ,it will bug him eventual y,
    I dont like lawyers , and have always done things my way, never had to fight , if he is the bread winner , it puts you in a tricky situation , if hes in debt , he will lose any gains from scio, it will always be a PTP, If you love him set him free , but never fight, wrong flow.
    If you pm me I,ll explain how i did mine , Granitt.
    tesseract likes this.
  15. TheOriginalBigBlue

    TheOriginalBigBlue Gold Meritorious Patron

    I agree that if both parties agree to use Scientology mediation, a Chaplain, or Ethics Officer type service the party perceived to be least dedicated to Scientology will get a bad deal. Further, they can expect to have to sign some kind of waiver or agreement that may adversely effect their rights and recourse forever, even in a court of law.

    The party opposed to Scientology can expect to be declared for suing another Scientologist or publicly disavowing Scientology, etc. but I would expect that the COS would prefer to influence any divorce proceeding outcome at arm's length, through the Scientology friendly party, without creating negative legal or PR entanglements. If it can be demonstrated to the court that the COS is officially trying to influence the outcome I think that would not play out well for the COS.

    Knowing how they think, if I were the COS I would encourage the Scientology friendly party to use up or donate to the IAS any money on account before there were a divorce filing so it isn't subject to unused money refund policies and so it can be defined as a joint expenditure.
  16. Veda

    Veda Sponsor

    Others are better informed and more capable to offer advice in the legal area than I.

    Under truth about the Co$, there are some items that might help persuade your husband, when the time is right, to free himself from the domination of the Co$.

    There are no more OT levels, and David Miscavige has known this for thirty years and has withheld it from the membership. (The Bridge/Grade Chart does not lead to the state of Operating Thetan and offers only subjective "think" states that are transitory.)

    Scientology is selling something it doesn't have.

    There is no evidence that L. Ron Hubbard authorized David Miscavige to be his successor. There is a short stilted statement, probably written by Miscavige, that has Hubbard expressing his confidence in Miscavige, but there was never any authentic authorization by Hubbard for Miscavige to become the leader of the Scientology organization.

    Miscavige has only lower level tech training and has not received auditing in years.

    He was very jealous of the man who was Hubbard's personal auditor and research assistant, David Mayo.

    David Mayo, Class XII, and formerly the Senior Case Supervisor International for Scientology, is interviewed in this video from the early/mid 1980s. The video features people who were students or preclears or staff at his Advanced Ability Center in California.

    Most (probably all) have since (in the years that followed) moved beyond (outgrown) Scientology, and many would be slightly embarrassed by their naivete in this almost 35 year old video, but the video does show that people can leave the organization of Scientology and not be "evil" or "psycho" or "suppressive," and pursue the activities of training and auditing outside the organization.

    The organization of Scientology has lots of buildings, but the most highly trained and experienced auditors are no longer affiliated with the organization. Such people sometimes refer to themselves as "Independent Scientologists." Usually, this is a temporary phase, but it's a phase through which many people have passed.

    Sometimes it makes it easier to leave the organization of Scientology when there's an alternative (and much less expensive) version of Scientology available.

    There will likely be a time when your husband has doubts about the Co$. Hopefully, that time will come before the legal steps you are considering are necessary.

    Hope this helps.
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2018
  17. Leland

    Leland Crusader

    I suggest that you also figure out a way to end "joint accounts" of any sort. Checking accounts....Savings Accounts....Retirement Accounts...Insurance....Investment cards and such.

    If you are working and/or have income of any type.....stop putting any of it into any sort of joint account ASAP.
    Enthetan likes this.
  18. Enthetan

    Enthetan Master of Disaster

    Best yet, consult a lawyer first. Besides shopping around for a divorce lawyer, get ANY decent lawyer to spend an hour with you and explain how you can protect yourself from having assets stripped by husband pre-divorce.

    And, as TheOriginalBigBlue pointed out, sign NOTHING from any Scientology entity. Agree to NOTHING that any Scientology entity proposes. Do NOT go to any arbitration or counseling meeting at the org. Doing otherwise can adversely affect your legal rights later.
  19. screamer2

    screamer2 Idiot Bastardson

    "And I'd consider (very hard) that you even tell the children that the "irreconcilable differences" you and your husband have is because he wants to remain in the cult and is blowing their college fund. "

    That part quoted right up there, that's the part I disagree with here. This is likely to be a very long fight. Why make it about the money so early (even though it probably IS very much about the money and the value of the children's slave labor the children can provide to the cult) when the children (in the cult's eye just 'little thetans') have no real clue as to what money is?

    I have no real advice from experience to offer here. I can only offer good wishes. I think what ITYIWT said above:
    Sums it up neatly.

    I wish it were otherwise for me for your sake and for the sake of the children.

    Enthetan likes this.
  20. guanoloco

    guanoloco As-Wased

    This is a great post, Veda. Often times the path out isn't to attack the tech or Ron but rather to put the doubt on Miscavige. Many purists can then see it as their responsibility to leave the offical sanctioned Miscavige brand. Perhaps to a greater or lesser degree everyone takes that path.

    That being said here's a great bunch of data for the "Ron/tech good, Miscavige bad" path.
    tesseract and Enthetan like this.