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Family Tragedy : Update 3

This entry will probably be all about the legal issues surrounding the event.

For starters, Scott and Kathie got married on November 2, 2007. For all those months, they had never gotten a joint account, there was nothing in *both* of their names. When we met with the attorney, something was mentioned about spousal rights in situations like this. Apparently, from what we found out today, she can file a motion against the Will that will allow her to take 50% of everything.

Let’s back up a bit…

Scott and Ronda divorced around the time Dave joined the military. They had been struggling for a long time to stay together, and just couldn’t deal with each other anymore. When they drove to Oklahoma for Dave’s Basic Training Graduation, apparently it was very difficult for Scott to handle.

Scott and Tom had a falling out several years ago, and that was never mended. From what we’ve been told, there is *nothing* being left to Tom, that everything is being left to Dave. I can’t imagine what Tom must be feeling. “Did my father really hate me that much?” That’s the question I’d probably have in my mind if I were in that position.

Over the years, Scott has dated many women. From what we can gather, there have been multiple marriage proposals. One lady, Missy I think her name is, only said no because she wanted him to get help first. She blames herself for this tragedy.

Due to all we’ve found out in the last week and a half, we’re starting to think that Kathie wasn’t “the one,” but instead only “the one who said yes.” Scott must have been lonely, and needing a connection, and finally found it. But, Kathie needed to work too, she couldn’t just be at Scott’s side every moment he wasn’t at work. I guess this made him unhappy, he wanted her to do just that.

That Thursday night, she had been working a lot of overtime. She came home and Scott was drunk and belligerent. He was trying to start an argument, and she just wanted to rest after working so much. She went to stay at her mother’s. He begged her to come home, even told her, that Thursday night, that if she didn’t come home that night, it would be too late. Who was to know what was meant by that?

From all we’ve found out, something had been plaguing Scott’s mind for a long time, probably several years. Everyone missed the warning signs. There were plenty of people who knew he needed help, yet nobody really tried. Nobody ever called Dave to let him know his father needed him. Nobody ever went out of their way to help Scott. Yet, so many people were shocked that this happened. I suppose people knew there was something bothering him, but nobody anticipated it could be that serious. His own wife didn’t even know he was taking a high dose of anti-depressants. He seemed to have been trying to hide his problems. Was he crying for help before the act, or was he hiding his problems for a reason?

Now, back to the legal issues, after providing a little background…

Ronda didn’t have to work today, so she was talking with some attorneys. That’s how she found out that the spousal rights include the spouse getting 50%.

Kathie is a very nice woman, and I know she cared for and loved Scott very much. However, since we’re now thinking she was just “the one who said yes,” we don’t feel she deserves any of the things that Scott had worked so hard for over the years. The house, the Vette, everything was there before Kathie came along. So what if she says they’ve known each other for like 20 years? They weren’t romantically involved until within the last year, and only married since November.

From what an attorney told Ronda, Kathie legally shouldn’t be living in the house right now. We don’t know if she is or not, she may still be at her mother’s. The attorney said that Dave should have all the house and car keys, and access to all the paperwork dealing with the legal and financial aspects of all this. But, Kathie is the one with all that.

Through all this, we know now we need legal representation as soon as we can get it. We have to make sure we are protected through all this, because Kathie doesn’t deserve that 50%. Scott never added her name to anything, the only proof they were married was the certificate. If they were destined to be together, they would have found a way to take care of the paperwork to get her name on the house, cars, and bank accounts. That was never done, because she was just “the one who said yes.” So, she shouldn’t be getting spousal rights.

Don’t get me wrong, as I said above, Kathie is a very nice woman. She’s been very distraught over all this, and she doesn’t deserve to be experiencing this kind of pain. However, Scott was Dave’s dad for 26 years, Tom’s dad for almost 28, and Kathie was only in his life for 6 months. Dave and Tom need to look out for themselves. Now, according to what we’ve been told, Tom gets nothing. But, Dave isn’t the kind of person to let his brother get nothing.

From here on out, things aren’t going to be fun. At some point, Dave will have to go back to Illinois to empty out the house so it can be sold. Kathie can’t possibly afford to buy it, or take over payments, or anything, so it will be sold. Any debtors after that can be paid by the Estate. Hopefully, something can be worked out so we can keep the Vette. But, we probably won’t be able to, it will probably also need to be sold.

With Dave’s job, he only gets paid for when he works. He can be at work 10 hours, but if he doesn’t actually work during that time, he doesn’t get paid. Since he didn’t work for 6 days, we’re out all that potential income. With the Recession, I’m having a really hard time finding a “real job.” As a business owner, I’m smart enough to know that most people won’t be buying products they don’t *need* during these times, so it wouldn’t be a good idea to put too much effort into getting that off the ground here. I will have to rely on a “real job” for my income during the economy’s hard times. And, I’m having a hard time finding one in this area. Raleigh seems to have a ton of openings, but the commute is too far with the gas prices. So, I have to just keep trying locally. I am hoping for a 8-5 or 9-6 job so I can still work my businesses, but keeping my expectations there at a reasonable level given the circumstances. So, this also needs to take place soon, so that we will be able to afford for Dave to travel to Illinois to take care of that business.

Things aren’t looking up right now. We’ve got a huge legal mess ahead of us, dealing with the Will and Kathie. And all that’s included there is going to just add to the headaches and stress. I can only hope and pray that things will be tolerable. He never gives us more than we can handle, and I have to remember that.

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