The CO was very gracious. I began by thanking him for anything he had done to enable Middlest to come home and see her dad after his stroke. STBX did not exactly “get in trouble” for sending her home the way he did [I asked, because it sounded a little fishy]; he did get spoken-to because he had not gone through channels to have his CO contact the Red Cross, who contacted the Navy/Marine Corps Relief Society [name of that organization still makes me giggle a little].
He emphasized that he had to protect STBX’s privacy. I told him that I quite understood that. I also expressed my frustration with the living situation. He explained that STBX is an E-5 and entitled by rank to live off-base if he chooses. He said he would look into the dependent allowance status, to see if that figured into where STBX was living, and he now knows that the woman who is living with STBX is not his wife but is pregnant with his child.
The chief asked if there is a separation agreement in place. I told him that I did not know if there was a formal one drawn up by attorneys but that there was something in writing, and that STBX was [thus far] honoring his promise to cover Middlest’s cell phone bill until the contract has run. And that I thought five years of marriage entitled her to something more than that.
He referred me to Fleet and Family Service Center. There is one at the JRB in Fort Worth, not far from where I live. And I am certainly willing to use some of my vacation time to get Middlest there to talk with them, and to help her meet with an attorney after we get a referral. And to help her ask the right questions. Somebody ought get the benefit of my hard-earned street smarts, acquired in the process of two divorces.
So: I have left a voicemail with legal services at the JRB, asking for a referral to a divorce lawyer. And Middlest called me after lunch to say that she had had a very contrite call from STBX, saying that he never said he wouldn’t pay to move her stuff out here, and that he never said he wouldn’t help her. [We have a text message that says otherwise. Smart girl, she has saved them all.] And that his CO said there was a distinct possibility that fraud charges would be brought against him for the dependent allowance, because it was meant to be a benefit for his wife.
He told her that he would be emailing her the separation papers last night. She will forward them to me. I will print them off, and one of my attorneys has already volunteered to look them over. [As of 5:05 this morning, there is nothing along those lines in my inbox. Liar, liar, pants on fire? It would be too much to hope that he is already in the brig.] Middlest told him that I will be standing right beside her until this is all over. She said that he sounded really, really scared.
Good. He should be. [Orange is so not his color!]
I am thankful for the blessings of Heaven. I am so thankful for the words that were put into my mouth, and that the CO’s heart was softened on behalf of my daughter. I was prepared to be like the woman with the unjust judge [in the Scriptures] who made such a nuisance of herself that finally the judge gave her what she wanted, just to get some peace and quiet.
And by the grace of Heaven, I didn’t have to.
In knitting news, 10 inches on the stealth project yesterday, but the proportions weren’t quite right, so I’ve frogged it back to the cast-on and will see how much I get done today. I’m keeping copious notes in another draft, with pictures, so you will get to see the whole redesign process when the project is done.
- Five years into widowhood, after one year of incredible happiness and nearly 14 years of single blessedness. Have given up perfect manicures and pretty hands in order to resume playing the soprano recorder and to see if I can figure out how to play bluegrass banjo. Singing in the shower. Still really, *really* love to knit!