Our expert says:
Grief is never easy to handle ; but one of the factors that can make it especially hard is where one's feelings are ambivalent, especially where there are valid reasons for anger and resentment.
Now, it appears that your husband was unfaithful and chose to keep this carefully secret from you, but not from his parents ; and that this women was content to have an affair and a child with a man she surely knew was married. Presumably he supported her at least since the birth of the child, without informing you, and apparently he failed to make a proper will recording his wishes as to the disposition of his estate, in which he could have left money to her or not.
Obviously you need really good legal advice.
It sounds as though your mother-in-law mischievously and enthusiastically endorsed his choice to have an affair and an illegitimate child. And it was irresponsible of her to introduce your sons to the child and the other woman, sneakily and without your consent.
For them to have enabled and allowed the woman to serve a child maintenance order on you by getting the child to sign for it is astonishingly manipulative and seedy.
Your husband surely could not have filed for divorce from you, without your knowledge. Maybe he lied to the woman, but she should have been sceptical.
A lawyer could tell you, but it sounds astonishing to me that she could have the enormous cheek to seek a child support order AGAINST YOU - you are not the child's parent nor in any way responsible for it. Maybe she has a legitimate claim against your husband's estate, but all claimants against an estate have to wait until the estate is settled by the Executor ( have you seen his will and who is the execotur ? )
Yes, of course, this is also a difficult thing to explain to and discuss with, your sons, and you can only take your time and in a series of discusione be frank about how you were kept in ignorance of this, and how you feel - and how this episode with their father doesn't actually undermine all the good things you have tried to teach them about how one ought to behave, but perfectly illustrates WHY you were right, and about how much hurt it causes when someone, like their father, ignores those basic moral principles respected by all cultures.
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