I'm sorry this is going to be long, but it's just a lot of background, and then a lot of questions.
This all takes place in Texas.
My brother, we'll call him Husband, has been married for almost five years. He and his wife... yep, we'll call her Wife, have always had problems. They argue and yell at each other all the time. He's been begging her to go to counseling with him so they can work through their problems, but she's always refused. They have a beautiful almost 5 year old daughter (Daughter).
Wife had a total thyroidectomy around the middle of '06. Since then, she's been having horrible problems with mood swings, irrational emotions, paranoia, and general craziness. She struggles with her meds, takes them for about a week and then quite, which adds to her craziness. You have to take thyroid meds every day at the same time in order for them to work. If not, you turn into someone like Wife!
About a month ago, Wife decided to leave Husband and take Daughter with her. She has done this frequently throughout the marriage. They go stay with Wife's Mom. This time, after Wife and Daughter had been gone a few days, Husband decided to go pick up Daughter from school and take her to see her dying great grandparents, who live 4 hours away. He called Wife at work that morning and told Wife he planned on doing this and said he would be back in just a couple of days. He also said Wife was welcome to join him.
Husband went to pick up Daughter from school at 3:00, and found out that Wife had already gotten her, and he assumed they were at Mom's house. So he went to Mom's house to find his daughter. Mom yelled at Husband through the window to go away. Husband banged on the door and yelled at her to give him his daughter.
Husband had no idea Wife was at Mom's house, he assumed she was back at work (her car was in the garage), he just knew that his Daughter was there. But the police were called and a temporary restraining order was filed on him and he still didn't get to see his daughter.
A few days later, Husband is given divorce papers, and temporary protective orders alleging family violence has taken place by him against his wife and daughter and Wife actually swore that she was afraid he would kill them.
A hearing was set for a month later, and during that whole month, Husband isn't allowed to see his daughter.
At the hearing for the protective order, the judge barely seemed to be listening, while Husband and Wife were testifying, as he was dealing with several other cases at the same time. Husband was honest about everything (maybe too honest?). Wife lied several times. Husband's lawyer even proved that wife lied on some things. The judge even asked Wife if she knew what a protective order even was and she gave the definition for a restraining order. The judge called for a 5 minute break so that Wife's lawyer could explain things to her, and Wife's lawyer said, "No, she knows what it is." And the judge let the hearing continue on.
At the hearing, Wife played a recording of Husband yelling at her. The recording was made in March of 2008, but she didn't specify the year, she made it seem like it was made this year. The recording was of Husband yelling about something of his that Wife had ruined horribly, and he yelled that he'd asked her a thousand times not to touch his stuff and he called her stupid, and used the F word several times, and kept saying how this thing was ruined and could never be fixed, and how stupid she was.
After the recording was played, Wife testified that Husband was shoving her during that argument, and that he was throwing things at her, and that a shoe he threw hit her in the head, and that he threatened to kill her, but of course, not until just after she turned off the recorder. Oddly enough, you hear no sounds like that in the recording, she never says OW or anything....
The judge's ruling came back a few days later, and Husband has been found to have committed Family Violence against Wife, and the protective order for Wife stands. BUT, Husband is allowed to have his daughter standard holidays, and every Thursday and every 1st, 3rd and 5th Saturday and Sunday.
As a temporary order (until the divorce hearing), Husband has to leave their home, and find a new place to live. He has to pay child support, her lawyer's fees, and oh yeah, because the economy sucks, he doesn't have a job right now. Judge did rule that wife has to pay up to $1000 for husband's deposit.
He's also been saddled with all of HER debt, close to $30,000, because he put her credit card debt onto cards in his name so they could have a lower interest rate, and the judge ruled that he gets to deal with the credit cards in his name, and she could deal with the one whole card that's in her name.
SO questions now:
1.) What other kind of visitation can Husband get with his daughter? It seems like the standard holiday, Thursday evenings, and every other weekend thing is pretty standard. Are there other variations?
2.) Wife blatantly and obviously lied several times and it was proven that she did, so why did the judge still rule in her favor? What can be done about that?
3.) By definition, Husband has NOT committed family violence in any way, but the judge ruled that he had. What can be done about that?
4.) Is there anything that can be done about the debt?
More background.... Apartment deposit for Husband is $300. Pet deposit is $300 ($150 "deposit," and $150 "fee") and gate remotes are a $50 deposit each, and he got two, so his deposit total came up to $700. He also had to pay half of his first month's rent, and a prorated rent for the last few days in October, putting his total up to well over $1000. So Husband notified Wife, saying the deposit fee was $1000. Wife called the apartments and pretended to be looking for a place and asked what the deposit was and they told her it was just $300. She started to fight Husband about it (through angry letters from her attorney to his), then suddenly changed her mind and paid the full amount.
5.) Does first months rent count as part of the deposit? Is Husband wrong? Will he get in trouble for asking for the full amount? Should he try to reimburse the extra $300?
6.) What happens if he still can't get a job when the next child support payment is due? He managed to pay the first payment because he's still on unemployment, but that's about to run out.
7.) Can anything be done about Wife not taking her thyroid meds? Husband doesn't want to take on full custody (what he really wants is for Wife to fix her meds and they get back together), because he thinks Daughter needs to be with her mother (as Wife has a job and can provide better for Daughter right now), BUT, he does fear for her safety and WILL take on full custody if there's nothing anyone will do about her meds.
8.) Can the judge's ruling that Husband has committed family violence keep Husband from getting a job?
9.) Anything else glaringly obvious that I might have missed?
Again, sorry this is so long. It's just such a heartbreaking story. Wife really is a good person with a good heart, she's just sick and crazy. Husband really loves her and this is killing him. Thanks for listening.