Response to Erin Murphy, Case No.: FLMSD-09-02254
Family Law Court, 10 am November 26, 2014
I am grateful for the chance to comment on this hearing. I am especially glad it will be attached to the record entitled “Erin Murphy vs. Julie [Jay] DeYoung,” certainly an appropriate name in this case. These pages coincide with the years of Jay’s cancer, the years in which we were a family, and the unfortunate dependence Jay maintained with Erin due to his need for health insurance – even as she repeatedly took him to court demanding he find work as he was treated for cancer while having majority custody of their children. His dependence on her health insurance kept him from finalizing the divorce that they both wanted.
Jay and I were together for the last 5 years of his life. During that time he was diagnosed with rectal cancer, had 4 major surgeries, and almost constant chemotherapy. He brought Quinn and Mac, I brought my daughter Stella, and together we were a family of five. To date, the kid’s ages are 12, 10 and 9 years old – our time as a family were their most formative years.
Jay and I devoted our years together to the joy of raising our kids, even in the face of cancer. We worked endlessly to create a support system for them, to help them understand what was happening, what was coming, and to find comfort in the knowledge that all the adults in their lives were going to work together to help them through this. In fact a year ago today (Nov 26, 2013) the five of us shared our final Thanksgiving together with Erin at our home in Vallejo – a sign of the promise Erin had made to all of us that she would never separate us, “would never take people they loved out of Quinn and Mac’s life after losing Jay.”
Unfortunately, that was a lie- and today’s hearing is the reason for that lie.
Jay entered hospice in January. It became clear to Jay from Erin’s actions that she was not going to honor his wishes for the distribution of his Life Insurance money. He made me the beneficiary in order to ensure that his wishes were met. We did not know what Erin clearly had come to understand – that because their divorce had never been finalized that change was not legal. She waited for Jay to die and then wasted no time. She contacted the funeral home the morning after he died making claim to him as her “legal domestic partner,” hoping for a jump on the death certificate (which of course I completed later that day as his actual partner).
For the record, Jay wanted $45,000 in an account for Quinn and $45,000 in an account for Mac that they could access when they each became adults. He wanted $5,000 to go to his sister Yancey as a gift, and $5,000 to go towards cremation and funeral expenses – which was essentially what it cost me. He then wanted $25,000 to go to Erin and $25,000 to go to me in the spirit of child support, since he died thinking Erin would keep her promise that the children would not be taken from their other home. Jay wanted to be generous to everyone he loved, and he especially wanted something for Quinn and Mac for when they became adults since he himself would not be there.
Erin squandered her last months with Jay lying to him, waiting for him to die so she could pounce on this Life Insurance money. She uprooted her children and caused more loss and grief to us than anyone deserves, and all for this – this money she will now be awarded. The kids know what Jay wanted, what the plan had been. They also know that the love we shared as a family can never be undone. I have lost my partner and two of my three kids – I am devastated – but I rest easy knowing that everything I did for Jay and the kids was out of love, to the end. Everything Erin has done has been for this money. She can have it, along with her conscience. I wouldn’t trade places with her for anything.