Question: My wife wants to get a divorce because she says I'm lazy and I think she met another man at work. We've been married for 13 years and when our second daughter was born I thought it would be great to be a “house husband.” So I quit my job and stayed home with the girls. I did all the cleaning and cooking and I never really left the house except to go shopping and an occassional tennis lesson.
My wife had a job and she had to work a lot. I started to think she didn't appreciate all of my work as a “house husband." She'd never thank me and she never bought me any nice gifts like flowers or jewelry. She'd make comments that I was lazy or dumb in front of the kids. She even said I was getting chubby.
At night I'd have a white wine spritzer and some brie cheese and she wouldn't even want to talk to me. Our marriage was deteriorating. She had a bad attitude. Just because a man wants to stay home, enjoy a nice white wine, watch daytime T.V. and go out once a “blue moon” for a manicure and pedicure isn't weird at all anymore. I have friends that are just like me!
For the past few years I've been taking medications for depression and anxiety. And I go to a support group for battered and abused husbands. My wife actually thinks I'm gay! I don't know why she'd say something so wrong and hurtful.
She said that if we get divorced then I can't get any alimony or have custody of the children if a judge thinks I'm gay or depressed. Is that true? It sounds so unfair.
A.V. in Milton, Georgia
Answer: Whether an individual is gay or depressed should not impact on an award of alimony or child custody. A court will look at various factors to award alimony and/or child custody, but it is unlikely that a decision will hinge on a person's homosexuality (we understand that you are not gay) or mental illness.
A huge number of Georgia residents are gay and/or suffer from depression and anxiety. Many people take medications that work well to battle depression. Some of our clients take these medications: sertraline (Zoloft); fluoxetine (Prozac); citalopram (Celexa); escitalopram (Lexapro); paroxetine (Paxil, Pexeva) and desvenlafaxine (Pristiq).
Indeed, since judges suffer from anxiety and depression at the same rate as the “public,” it is a good possibility that the judge might also be on medication for depression. Depression and anxiety are two common ailments and when treated properly should not interfere at all with your relationship with your children.
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