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Advice for the Frustrated

This page is our forum for trying to answer readers' questions about the Family Court in Las Vegas. (We will also entertain questions from readers in other jurisdications if they are the same kinds of problems that would be encountered here.) Questions should be sent to glenn at aliensonearth.com.

This page is distinguished from the Soapbox page by the fact that people are actually asking for advice, as opposed to just sounding off.

A Phantom Divorce

    Email received on 12/2/05...

    Mr. Campbell,

    It's probably an age-old story, but I have been involved with a woman who has made more derogatory comments about her husband than I can remember, and for a long time. Now I think she might be fibbing. In September she said she talked to a lawyer [about divorce] and that her husband would be "getting some letters in one to two months." A few weeks after that, I started searching the Clark County Family Court website, using a "party search" with "all case types" and "all parties."

    I have yet to see a case. I did find some reference to the fact that certain cases may be sealed. One item this woman has brought up twice now is a near-drowning of one of her daughters while the father was supposed to be watching them. This is the only instance I can think of in which one of her complaints is about a child, and would be sealed. Perhaps there are others. Recently she told me (after I asked about it) that the papers had been served and a hearing date set. Still no case on the website. She seems to know an awful lot about the process, though.

    I called the Court Admin office and asked if any type of divorce case would be not available on the website, and was asked the party's last name, which I gave. She said there were no cases filed this year under that name, but I don't know how competent this person was--she may have searched the same database I did.

    Also, is it possible that she filed some motion/complaint other than divorce as a precursor. She has mentioned in reference to her divorce that "doing it right is going to take a long time, but that's what I have to do."

    Additional info: They still cohabitate.

    So, have I been a sucker, or could there be something legal going on to which I am not priveleged via the internet? I have asked her directly "Are you getting divorced?" and the answer is always "oh yes."

    I really have no interest in being involved with a woman who intends to stay married. The only reason I got involved was that she complained so much and I saw an opportunity. If she never mentioned hating her husband or getting a divorce I would have stayed away.

    Thanks for your indulgence,


      Reply on 12/5/05...

      Dear GL:

      Thank you for your interesting note. I am pleased to be able to help.

      Let me sum up my advice succinctly....


      I say this only with the compassion of one who has experienced the illness himself. Love can do strange things to the brain, like making you ignore evidence that is right in front of you.

      As far as I know, initial divorce filings are never sealed. I have seen divorce cases drop off the website, but it would take a lot of legal maneuvering before that happened. Run-of-the-mill abuse allegations wouldn't do it.

      Instead of researching court records, you should be looking into psychology -- hers and yours. Yes, you might not be getting the full story about the marriage if you talk to just her. I am sure you have heard all of the conventional wisdom about getting involved with married people. You could be a pawn in a game that you are not aware of.

      This isn't her problem. It is your problem. Your need for love can wipe out logic sometimes. If your need wasn't so overwhelming, then you wouldn't be such a sucker, and you might have a better chance of finding a good relationship in the long run.

      Bullshitters are everywhere -- both men and women. The key to detecting and eliminating them is to know your boundaries and stick with them. You should tell this woman to give you a call when her divorce is final or at least she has moved out of the house. If you can't say this to her and she can't comply, then the relationship is not worth defending.


        GL response on 12/5...


        First of all, thank you very much. I found out even more this weekend. I am really not a stalker, but since she leaves me in the dark so much--"stress" she says, then I started looking for more answers. I found the big one. I watched her from 3:30 am to 4:30 am in a casino, alone, transfixed on the screen of a keno machine. Almost never took her eyes off of it. So there you have it. Yes, she has borrowed money (for the lawyer, etc...) but it's nothing I can't get over. Before I left I picked up a "When The Fun Stops" pamphlet at the casino and left it on her windshield. I wanted to be as subtle as possible, but maybe let her know someone knows. And I do care. Like you said, love does strange things, and I agree with your psychology comment.

        By the way, she left me a message today saying she's coming over Wednesday. She was supposedly out out of town for a week or so, but I know better. I'm going to try to get her to 'fess up to things, starting with the divorce, and (hopefully) continuing on to the gambling thing. Yeah, one time in a casino doesn't indicate a problem, but their finances sure do, and the way she was in a trance says that she's a gambler.

        I'm not really too upset because it's been becoming apparent for some time now. What I really want is the truth, which I know I may never find completely. At least I found out enough to put my mind at relative ease.

        Thanks again,


          Reply on 12/5...

          I hope I don't need to point out to you that her gambling problems are not yours to fix. She has lied to you and apparently obtained money from you by fraudulent means (i.e. "stole"). Yes, you have officially joined the elite club of Suckers.

          There is no point in negotiation here. GET OUT NOW!

          In other words, slip out the back Jack, make a new plan Stan, no need to be coy Roy, just listen to me.

          If you want to devote your life to saving people, there are better parties you can invest in.

          Let me summarize: Yes, she needs help, and No, you are not the person to do it. It is not a productive use of your limited resources.


          BTW: If you want to learn more about your (ex) girlfriend, look up Borderline Personality Disorder on the web. (Your "stress" comment was the giveaway.)

            From GL on 12/6...

            You already told me that, and any addiction is left for the addict to fix. I know that intellectually, but I will bring it up when (if) she comes over this week like she said she would (it's about a 50-50 chance). You sound more bitter than I am. Believe me, all I really want is to put it to rest, but with some closure, dude... closure. I'd like to see how she reacts. Remorseful and appologetic would be nice (although I could never be sure it wasn't an act) but I almost expect a smirk and a ha ha, or anger--"You did what? How dare you check up on me!"--a common defensive reaction to change the subject (not common to her, but in general). And if I get no answers, it's like I said, her isolation has been increasing for a long time--it's like we're not seeing each other anyway.

            I got a e-mail response from the Clerk's office who asked for the name and approximate date of filing. I expect the same answer as on the phone: "Nope. No cases by that name."


              Response on 12/6...

              Me? Bitter? Naw.

              I am most worried about the "remorseful and apologetic" reaction. That's where you are most vulnerable. "Gosh, I'm sorry I lied to you and stole your money, but I can't help myself. I hope you can forgive me and help me." That's where it really takes strength to cut it off. It is somewhat easier if she is angry and defensive, so that's what I'm rooting for.

              An easy out is to tell her about your suspicions over the phone and say you would like an explanation when she comes over. Then there is high probability that she won't be over -- ever again.


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