Lawyer retainers -will pay it back or pay it frwd

My name is Niki and my two youngest children and I recently got away from a pretty bad domestic violence situation.

We are ALIVE & SAFE ♥️ but we left with little more than the clothes on our backs, and I don’t know if, or when, we will be able to go back to get any of our stuff. So we are virtually starting over, but that is MINOR on our lists of priorities right now.

I left my job as a nurse, when our son was born because he was so sick; and I have been a stay at home mom the last 2 years. Subsequently, I became financially dependent on my ex; and when I finally discovered the physical proof that he was cheating on me, I confronted him. I gave him time to confess and eventually he did, to everything at least with the last girl and 2-3 others. However, I continued to pack to leave him. This is what eventually transpired the domestic events that unfolded Saturday morning September 17th.

Right now, we are on the verge of a huge custody battle and I need a lawyer, A GOOD LAWYER, to prevent him from getting away with everything.

The last 3.5-4 years has not been easy, to say the least. I have been cheated on (multiple times), lied to, manipulated, gaslit, defamed & physically, verbally, mentally, emotionally, and financially abused; and 6/7 times our 2 babies were direct witnesses to the abuse. Sometimes trying to stop him or intervene.

He has threatened my life on multiple occasions now. At one point he said, “I could kill you and bury you on the farm, and NOBODY would ever find you”.

He pulled a weapon on me once because I was going to run to Bismarck to finish getting stain for the deck (which I never got and it is still unfinished a yr later). He didn’t want me to go but I decided to pull his truck and just get up and go before he woke up, but he woke up as I was leaving. He said, I gotta go, I’m farming. I just smiled, and said, “I gotta go, you’ll figure it out”. He kissed me on the front step and said, “I love, are you sure you won’t stay; or take the kids”. I smiled shook my head, and said, “No”. I got in the pickup to drive around to the deck, and by the time I got there to grab the cans of stain, he came out of the house, waving a pistol and said, “I told you, NO”.
He threatened to shoot out the tires of the pickup so I couldn’t leave. I left but turned around at Steele and went back and got the kids.

My Ex was the type of person that would take the keys from the vehicles, if we were fighting and he thought, I would leave him while he was gone in the field or doing chores.

He encouraged me to closed my bank account because he said, I wasn’t working so I didn’t need it and opened a Venmo account so he could transfer me money when I needed it for gas, food, or DG; so I didn’t t have to use his wallet and we weren’t married so he didn’t have to add me to his account. Rarely, would he give me more money than what was needed often times, I was short; and if he DIDN’T want me to do something or go somewhere (I.e. my sons baseball, football or basketball games) he wouldn’t give me any money to go and/or he wouldn’t come home to watch the kids (I did bring them most of the time).

Our relationship turned physically abusive 2 weeks after Tate was born, and ironically ended two weeks before he turned 2.

Very very few people knew about what was really going on at home. I was embarrassed and ashamed to tell anyone. If I reached out for help and then ended up going back, I felt as though, they had wrote me off; as weak or dumb. It’s not as easy as you think, leaving with two kids, no access to money, and no plan.

They say, a woman will leave 5x before she finally gets away…. And, it’s the truth!! That was the 7th and LAST time he will hit me.

Over the last 3.5-4 yrs I discovered He had cheated on me 20+ times with multiple different women. He successfully isolated me from my friends, my family, and my older kids. He would tell me, “your older kids don’t even like you, why do you keep trying” Or “they like me more than they like you”, or when looked at daughter in the eyes, and told her, “your older siblings don’t like you, they don’t care about you!!” That was enough! THAT IS ABUSE!!!

He took things from me I didn’t know somebody could take. It was so gradual; looking back it’s so obvious, but when your in it and you have kids together, and you are dependent on them; you try to find the good and cling to it.

He is the most charming and charismatic guy you will ever meet in public, and in front of his family and friends; but behind closed doors, he wasn’t the same person. He was the type of guy that would ask for forgiveness instead of permission (and I was his built in babysitter, maid and partner) he would come and go as he pleased. He would only admit to cheating if I had the proof in front of him. And even then, he would deny it 3-4 times before saying, “yeah….ok…So what, it’s only cheating!” Other times, he’d gas light me and say, “you’re crazy” or “you need help”. He is a Narcissist and a damn good liar.

April of this year we had a bad fight, one of the worst. He punched me 3-4x and then he stomped my phone when I was trying to call 911.
After he left the house to go and do chores (and took the pickup keys (one of the sets)) the kids and I snuck out and we left.

That was the 5th time he hit me. This was the first time we went to the domestic abuse shelter. I had no intentions of returning after that. My sister spoke to
Him at one point and asked if he was worried and said, you need to send her some money. He told my sister, I’m not worried, she doesn’t have any money; so she’ll have to come home eventually. But when I didn’t return by Saturday evening, he called the sheriff in Steele and claimed I took the kids and ran off. My phone was broken (because he broke it) but he said, he was worried about the kids and I couldn’t communicate. He made it sound like I kidnapped our kids! The Kidder co sheriff put out an APB for us, so I messaged him. After talking to me he went to the bar. He spent the majority of Sunday at the bar as well. I messaged/called and said, I’ll bring the kids home later. When I go there he was still at the bar. I bathed the kids and put them in their pjs. He showed in drunk. We talked for a bit and I left at 9:48 pm that night because I didn’t want to fight with him anymore.
That same night, he invited the bartender from Wolffs in Dawson to come over and help
Him put our kids to bed after she closed the bar. She showed up in nighty with a case of beer to help him put our kids to bed (around 1030pm). He brought her into our bedroom to watch a movie with the kids because they needed to go to bed then into MY bed. Our 2 yr old told me daddy’s friend came over to watch a movie with them. She was in our room and was laying in bed with daddy.
They waited for the kids to fall asleep and then they had “some fun” in the room where the kids were sleeping..

Please help me/US!!! I need to get a GOOD lawyer and get back on my feet so the kids and I can start a new life!!

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Niki Maulding
Jamestown, ND

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