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Putting Things Right - Is there a lawyer in the House?

Discussion in 'Stories From Inside Scientology' started by uniquemand, May 30, 2010.

  1. uniquemand

    uniquemand Unbeliever

    Hi there.

    Many of you know my story, but there are many n00bs, and many who might not have gotten it for whatever reason, or not much cared. Whatever the case, a synopsis:

    I was a staff member in 1989-90ishness, in Boston. I married a young girl there who I'd known from college and recruited to the org. The standard bullshit occurred on staff, and I became disaffected. The wife did not, and about this time, she was pregnant. I took off, and demanded she come with me. After some pushback, she eventually did. We tromped off to become parents under her mom's roof. Things got stressed, and we moved to be under my brother's roof. Things got further stressed, so I unilaterally decided to join the Army, and pretty much destroyed my marriage by doing so. By this time, my son was in the world, and I felt that whatever the costs to me or my wife, I needed insurance, and a real paycheck, and an education, and the same went for her.

    I went in the Army. Insurance was had. Things started to repair with the Church, because I was spending money on books and courses, and this was helping reestablish trust with the wife. We got pregnant again, and then the hedged bet was lost, and I was deployed to Somalia. While I was there, the marriage, what was left of it, seemed to evaporate. When I came home, the woman I had known seemed to have been replaced with a person who didn't like me, didn't want to know me, and was most definitely leaving, though I didn't want to admit it. My bet is that the Church worked her over very hard about being declared, herself, if she didn't leave me, while I wasn't there to talk to her.

    She left, taking the kids with her, while I wrestled with a rather intense case of complex PTSD, not much of which had to do with deployment, but some of it did. I wanted to follow, and put the family back together, but it was stipulated that I had to get my declare lifted before that was possible. I tried for about another year, was released honorably from the Army, and moved back in with the wife, in Boston, where, without telling me (nevermind asking me), she had signed onto a new, five year contract with the staff there. I started a business with some other scientologists, and kept taking courses, and appealing my declare, but as many of you will know, that carrot was only being used to keep me paying and hoping, and there was never any real intention of letting me back in, especially if I continued to hold skeptical and individuated opinions (which I did). Eventually, the ethics officer I had recruited called me in and told me I couldn't continue living with my wife and two children, and that I would have to leave. Since she was living with the head of HCO, who had the lease, I didn't have a leg to stand on, and left. I issued the wife an ultimatum (again), and this time she wasn't having it.

    I received divorce papers very shortly thereafter. Like an idiot, I represented myself, and she did not. I learned an interesting lesson. I lost my rights as a custodial parent, and then she basically ceased communicating with me, after a few months where I was paying support and she was letting me have my visitation rights. Then, my dad got sick, I got laid off, her mom got sick, and she stopped providing visitation, and I lacked resources to push the issue. I lost track of her, and my kids. Many years passed. I couldn't get any response from her, and found out later that was because she had moved around the country quite a bit to different org locations and jobs near them.

    Ultimately, she landed in LA area, and now I'm here, too. My son is an adult, in the area, and we are working on repairing our relationship. My daughter is seventeen in a few weeks, and won't talk to me voluntarily, right now. The ex-wife won't talk, either. I'm at a point where it's make or break, I feel, with my daughter. I'm here. I can put my resources and attention fully on this, now, and want to do so. That's WHY I moved out here and found a job and took a big pay cut to live in a higher cost-of-living area.

    Now, I need a lawyer. I have SOME money, but not that much. I need someone who is familiar with the Church and the way they act, and with family law. I need someone I can trust.

    I'm hoping there's someone on this site that matches that description, or someone here who knows someone like that, who won't try to rake me over the coals, financially. This is hard for me. I don't like asking for help. But I need it. Help.
  2. Dulloldfart

    Dulloldfart Squirrel Extraordinaire

    Have you tried Graham E. Berry?

  3. uniquemand

    uniquemand Unbeliever

    I've got a message to him fired off tonight.
  4. AnonyMary

    AnonyMary Formerly Fooled - Finally Free

    Hi , so glad you are talking with your son!!! :happydance:


    Why do you need the lawyer? To enforce visitation? To handle back child support issues? Unfortunately, many custody and support issues cannot be held out of the state from which they originated; so if you were divorced in MA, you may have to go to court there. This may be so for the county as well as the state, but there are uniform federal laws to de followed, as well as some state.

    Interstate Child Custody Law: 10 Things You Should Know
    " 1. There are both state and federal laws that govern child custody cases involving multiple states. Currently the most comprehensive law that governs child custody cases across state lines is the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA),(1997), 9(1A) U.L.A. 657 (1999). The text of the UCCJEA and other information, including what states have enacted it, can be found at All but two states, Massachusetts and Vermont, have made this their law. It replaced the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Act (UCCJA), 9(1A) U.L.A. 271 (1999), because the older law conflicted with the federal Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act (PKPA), 28 U.S.C. ยง 1738A. As you can see there are multiple laws that affect an interstate child custody case."..... Read on for more details

    Hope this helps.
    Last edited: May 30, 2010
  5. Type4_PTS

    Type4_PTS Diamond Invictus SP

    UM, I am currently in Massachusetts and if it turns out you need an attorney from *this* area I will check with some people I know.

    If you need an attorney out there in Cali I would think Graham Berry would be able to give you a good referral out that way. I know another possible source as well I can contact if it turns out you *do* need one from over there.

    By the way, I was at the Boston Org yesterday for the first time in 24 years for the Northeast Megaraid! :yes:
  6. Feral

    Feral Rogue male

    Try Barry Van Sickle. I find him to be a gentleman.

    Good luck.
  7. Smilla

    Smilla Ordinary Human

    Good luck with this. It's great that you and your son are in touch.
  8. Kathy (ImOut)

    Kathy (ImOut) Gold Meritorious Patron

    UM, You need an attorney. I don't think it matters if they understand Scn or not. Visitation is NOT a church matter. It is a legal matter. So you need an attorney that can kick ass, not one that can convince the church or your ex-wife that you have rights under the laws. The "laws" or rules of the CofS have nothing, and I mean nothing, to do with you having contact with your kids.

    I hate how parents that are Scn's pull this on their ex-spouses - if you don't stay in the CofS you can't see your kid(s). That is complete and utter BS and is against the law.

    I understand California custody laws pretty well. As long as you are making an effort with your kids to know that you are their father, you have rights.

    When my friend was getting a divorce, we took in proof that her almost ex-husband was a porn addict - no one cared, because he wasn't a convicted child molester. And until there was proof that he was endangering the child, too bad, he still had rights as a father.
  9. FoTi

    FoTi Crusader

    If I were you, I would join Prepaid Legal. It only costs $17.00 a month and you have access to attorneys in every state in the U.S. You can call and talk to them on the phone about any legal matters whenever you want without any further cost. They will do research for you and help to advise you. I belong to Prepaid Legal and have found them a very valuable service.