Lawyer: What did you do with your ex-wife's belongings when she left the house? The ones that were assigned to her according to the seperation agreement.
Dad: I threw it all away! Anything that belonged to her, I threw it out! I even threw out the kids' stuff! Would you even believe I destroyed their baby pictures? I did!
Lawyer: And you think this makes you a good father?
Dad: Of course it does!
Lawyer: Where are your ex-wife's education certificates?
Dad: I destroyed them! I even destroyed company documents!
Dad's Lawyer: He did NOT destroy any company documents!!!
Dad: Yes I did!
Lawyer: Is it true that you gave away $3,000 to [his mistress] for Christmas?
Dad: Maybe I did, maybe I didn't. Who can say? ...Yes, I think I did. Yes, I did.
Lawyer: And you didn't see anything wrong with giving your children $800 for Christmas along with the $3,000 to someone not in your family?
Dad: (Beep) them! I'm a good man!
Lawyer: Do you gamble?
Dad: Oooooh...maybe I do, maybe I don't. A little. I haven't gambled in the last 4 months.
Lawyer: How much do you think you've lost over any period of time?
Dad: Around $60,000.
Lawyer: ...$60,000? Is this over a period of 6 months? A year?
Dad: Would you believe I gambled away $60,000 in just a month and a half? I did!
Lawyer: What do you think of your ex-wife as a mother?
Dad: She's a wonderful mother! She was always there, taking care of the kids. She did everything! She would be a better parent than I am!
Lawyer: Yet you and your lawyer filed an illegal Pendente Lite for custody and told the judge that she abandoned her children?
Dad: I did!
There was more, but I can't remember it. Either way, this made my dad look very, very bad and it would be shown to the judge when he would decide who to award custody and money, etc. What would likely happen is that the judge would order liquidation of all assets and divide it 50/50. The house would be sold, and my dad's business would stop. And on top of THAT, my dad has the IRS on him for $163,000 in tax fraud. He'd probably end up homeless and broke.
My mom didn't want to see that happen. She drove to the house, called him on his cell and told him that they needed to talk. In the meantime, she began cleaning the house (???) while waiting for him to come home. They went into the basement and talked for over 5 hours. After that, they came back up and the whole family (minus one of my sisters because she had an errand in New York) went to a restaurant down the street.
Both of them are tired of fighting. No matter who loses, the lawyers will win in the end. My mom and dad agreed to end the court battles and work with each other regarding the divorce, rather than against. In the meantime, my mom is going to help my dad straighten out his taxes and might move back in; not as a wife, but as a tenant.
Of course, we'll still have to see how things play out in the future, but I'm glad my parents aren't battling each other in court anymore. I think I've found new respect in both of them (not that I didn't before, but you know); both in my mom's legendary compassion, and my dad finally swallowing his pride.