disabled mother needs help !!

I married the Love of my life and had a great career when shortly after my 31st birthday I had a sudden and unexpected massive stroke.  Thedoctors didn't think I would make it through the weekend, but I did! When I woke up I couldn't even sit up by myself or speak coherently, but after months in the hospital and grueling physical therapy I learned how to walk, talk and take care of myself again. I still don't have use of my left hand and have other permanent damage from my stroke. 

    After this my husband and I decided it was time to  expand our family, and both agreed that I would be a stay at home Mom, so I didn't pursue any job training (I could no longer meet the physical demands of my profession as an environmental engineer).  Due to my health, pregnancy was not an option so we decided to adopt.   We researched our options and decided to become foster parents to share our lives with children who needed us most. It was a long and sometimes frustrating process, but we ended up with 2 beautiful boys who were biological 1/2 brothers ourfamily was complete ! 

    We went on with the typical crazy life of having two young boys: homework, soccer, baseball, scouts, church, youth group etc..  Two weeks before our youngest’s 6th birthday my husband went to  he work and never came home.  It took me almost a week to determine he was still alive in a nearby town.  He had started drinking again.  He was a recovering alcoholic but had been clean and sober when I met him, but I was aware of his history.  I attempted to go to counseling with him. He was not interested. I found out he hadn't been to work in 3 months despite leaving the house in his suit and tie every morning.  I was able to receive food stamps for a couple of months, but when the court awarded me some minimal child support then I no longer qualified for food stamps. I was awarded a whopping $600.00 a month in support for 2 boys, which I rarely actually received as my husband had left the corporate world to become a waiter – making it impossible to get his checks garnished, and his tips were not recorded.   

     I tried many times to get an amicable divorce with no success. Divorce is expensive and I could not bear the cost alone.  It has now been 10 years since he left, and he currently owes me over $50,000  in back child support.  I do receive some SSI, but its not enough to cover my bills. Over the past 10 years I have come to accept a new way of living, including borrowing money from family and friends. I have been forced to seek out churches and other great organizations to help keep our electricity on. I have gotten the majority of our groceries from food banks. My husband has never been involved with our kids life and he recently moved from Florida to Ohio with his latest mistress, without even saying goodbye to our sons.   They had to find out from social media that he was gone. 

I need money for a lawyer and court costs (legal aid here has a long waiting list) I need to get this divorce completed ASAP so Florida is still the jurisdiction to complete it. My boys and I would then have the freedom to move closer to my brother on the east coast of Florida.  We will have more financial independence (my husband now has a regular job so I am in the process to having his wages garnished for our ongoing support). The funds to finalize my divorce will give my sons and I a fresh start. We would be incredibly grateful to be able to move and not have all the strings attached to this area and the life we are in now.  Thank you for your consideration and support.
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Cassandra Wilson
Englewood, FL

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