Request for Order: The Outcome of Yesterday’s Hearing

Request for Order: The Outcome of Yesterday’s Hearing

I usually do a pretty good job of wearing the “fearless leader” cape but it’s hanging on my bed post as I type.  I am not feeling inspirational by any stretch of the imagination so please bear with me.

We arrived at the courthouse yesterday and I saw my x’s father walking with an attorney.  I instantly knew that they had retained counsel. Again.  Sure enough, I was handed the paperwork by his new attorney upon entering the courtroom.

Our court hearings are normally held in a packed courtroom first thing in the morning but yesterday’s hearing was scheduled for the afternoon and there was only one case in front of us.  I had been served papers by my x recent but I had a feeling that he had left some items out.  He is supposed to serve me with the exact documents that he presents to the court but that never happens.  Normally I have to go to the clerk and compare what they have on file to what I am served.  It’s frustrating to say the least.

One of the papers that he conveniently left out was a letter from his Aunt.  In the letter, she stated that she was shocked and appalled when speaking to me in 2009.  My exact words (according to her declaration) were, “If x gets any custody of the children, I will destroy him”.  It is such a blatant lie and it’s so absurd that it doesn’t even deserve a response.  Anyone who knows me can verify that nothing like that has ever left my mouth.  The discouraging part is that this woman actually works as a child advocate in the court system and the letter was on her company’s letterhead.

Our case was given a great deal of time by the court and for that, I am thankful.  My x’s new attorney started off by implying that I am a litigious litigant and the Commission defended me by saying that the claim was not true.

When given the opportunity to state my case I tried to explain that I am hardly an overprotective mother.  My children enjoy sleepovers with friends, play dates and other activities on a regular basis.  There is a difference between a play date with friends and a play date with their dad—play dates with friends do not cause the anxiety and stress that see in my daughters.   Something is clearly wrong with this picture.

The positives that came from yesterday’s court date:

  • A full-parenting evaluation was finally ordered.
  • The x was instructed that the girls are to have their phones in their possessions at all times.  The Commissioner expressed what I have expressed all along: why is my x so concerned about the phone’s GPS tracking?
  • Custody exchange takes place 25 minutes from my house versus the current 45 minute drive.

The negatives that came from yesterday’s court date:

  • x’s attorney brought up overnight visits and I know what the mere mention of that will do to our daughters.  I know that is what they are going to push for.
  • The Commissioner wants my youngest daughter to see a third party psychologist to determine why she wets the bed at night and has nightmares.  She is the sweetest, most golden-hearted little girl and the thought of her having to answer questions about this breaks my heart.
  • While I am the one who has pushed so hard for the evaluation, I hate what the girls are going to have to endure over the next two months of the evaluation.  They are so young and shouldn’t have to be in this position.
  • My x’s new attorney told me that my blog was “tragic” and I replied, “Yes, it is”.  It is tragic that I have to keep a blog.  It is tragic that I have content for my blog.  It is tragic what my children have had to endure.  It’s all tragic.

By November 1st, I have to file the following:

  • My list of concerns – what I specifically want the evaluator to look into.
  • I need to propose a psychologist in the area for my daughter.
  • My income and expense declaration to determine how much the evaluation will cost.  When we did the last evaluation in 2010, the cost was $5,000.  This part terrifies me.

I am completely drained.  I feel beat up and discouraged.  I question why I feel so discouraged when in all honesty; I got what I asked for.  I think that I am disappointed that there are actually people who would represent my x husband.  Maybe I am naïve and maybe it’s the exact reason that I could never practice law.  I couldn’t fathom looking at all of the evidence against my x and saying, “I’ll take that case!  I’ll help put children back in this man’s care”.  I personally couldn’t do it for all of the money in the world.  It makes me sad that there are people who place money and winning as a higher priority than the safety and well-being of children.

The anxiety of placing the girls’ best interest in the hands of an evaluator weighs on me.  I am hoping and praying that the evaluator will see through him.  That he will see the lies, the manipulations and that he will truly act in the best interest of our daughters.  I need to brace myself for the coaching the x will receive on steps to take, how to pump up the doting dad act, etc.  It is frustrating that I can see through it yet others can’t – or they don’t take the time.

I am going to wrap this pity party up and practice what I preach: focus on the positive and think of all of the things that I have to be thankful for.  Thank you for being in my court and for believing in me.  It means a lot and I appreciate each and every one of you.

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19 Responses

  1. My case was sent to mediation and when I saw the mediator I mentioned that my ex let my daughter go out of state with his girlfriend (stepsister) and lied and told me he was also going. He ended up staying back and the only reason he told me he didn’t go was because he knew my daughter would tell me. I was sooo mad and figured that this had to break some law. My mediator looked at me, shrugged and told me that he was allowed to do that….WHAT??? The mediator told me that he can do whatever he wants during his time. The mediator told me it would have been nice if he let me know, but he doesn’t have to. His gf didn’t have insurance cards if anything happened and I’m sorry that is soooooooooo wrong. Based on the mediators response to that issue, I have bad feelings :( I also booked a trip to Disney for mid winter break and my ex had his lawyer write my lawyer a letter telling me to change it because it interferes with skating practice and his time. The time we are going is NONE of my ex’s time. Why do they get the right to lie about information? His lawyer can look up and see that he has no time with our daughter during the vacation. What gives him the right to dictate when we take our vacation. It’s disgusting and wrong for his lawyer to even agree to write the letter. I’m so fed up with this system!

  2. Tina, I am praying for you and your girls as I know first hand what you are going through. I have to be back in court on December 4 where that animal, with his evil attorney, are trying to strip my parenting rights from me and take my son. Stay strong my dear.

    Blessings,
    P.

  3. Tina. Keep the faith honey. Continue to be you. His true colors will show. My mom endured the same nightmare and gained custody of me based on my eval with my father. He showed control and manipulation. I will keep you and the girls in my prayers. Xoxo.

  4. I’m so sorry this is happening to you and that, it sounds like, the court system still hasn’t improved since the ordeal my x put me and my girls through 11 years ago! I wonder too when they will pull their heads out of the sand, start living in the 21st century and see that narcissists are the scourge of our society. Sorry, I guess I’m feeling your pain. Hang in there girl. You will make it and it’s always worth fighting to protect our babies! My prayers and thoughts are with you.

  5. I am so sorry you are feeling beat up. The Court Counselor in my case was AMAZING, she totally saw right through him. I wish the same for you. As for the other people not seeing it, well I know that is beyond frustrating, especially the people that protect the N knowing full well what they are capable of! I read someone, and can not remember where, to NOT go at the Court Counselor/GAL/therapist with your arm chair diagnoses of any kind of personality disorder, unless it has been diagnosed by a Dr. I personally let my journals speak volumes of what he was capable of….it worked for the court counselor but not for our GAL.
    As for the bed wetting, does she know she is one of millions of kids that have this problem? It is nothing to be ashamed of or embarrassed by. As a parent you are right to be concerned but there should be no shame or embarassement attached to it. My son wet till he was 13! EVERY NIGHT! We tried alarms attached to his underwear, waking him, denying liquids past a certain time, Dr’s, medication, ultrasounds, MRI’s…. nothing helped and one night he just stopped. The one thing I learned through all of it was to not attach any shame or embarrassment to it….we just cleaned up the mess and moved on with the day.
    Keep your eyes on the goal, happy healthy kids, and keep going! I know you have inspired me to give my son the unconditional healthy love that his father will never be able to give him…and to keep fighting for him.

  6. This blog is tragic Mr. Lawyer? Truer words may never be spoken from you lips. And as the author of this blog said you are correct it is tragic. It’s tragic that mothers have to resort to blogging and expose the very “Whores of the Court” http://www.whoresofthecourt.com/, like yourself and your many “colleagues” to keep you on point.
    But you see Mr. Lawyer, go back to your first lessons on the Constitution of the United States of America, that very first one at the TOP of the list, FREEDOM OF SPEECH. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution
    Do not think for one minute that any one of us will allow you to bully this mother, for the internet is written in INK and we will gladly, as we have done SO many times in the past, take up this mothers torch and continue this blog. You cannot SILENCE us all, we are many.

  7. Tina,

    Hang in there. The whole process is exhausting, and people who don’t deal with an N don’t realize the degree of difficulty involved. These are our children, we can’t stop caring or start caring less. That’s what narcissists know too well and use as their weapon.

    Did the court appoint a parenting evaluator, as in you’ve been given his/her name and contact info? If so, is the person a psychologist or an attorney? There are things I sometimes want to share but hold back because it sounds like your ex reads your blog. If you feel like it, send me an email. My email comes through when I post, right?

    Hugs,
    Z

  8. Tina,
    First of all, I have been very dissatisfied at the way the court process drags on and on and on. There is really no reason for it. Your girls see a counselor now, I’m sure they’d have some recommendations for you for psychologists…you’re baby will do just fine! Kids are real troopers, and you’re girls are no exception. They have you and your Rock. They’ll be ok – just keep fighting.
    However, please don’t forget what a support system you have here. For many, many months thousands of us have followed your blog, hurt for you and your girls, cheered for you and your girls, and cursed your ex right along with you. We are here for you. You need money for an eval? I can give you ten dollars. Set up a pay pal account. All of us will help you. I know you hate to ask for money. I know you hate to need help – but here you are. Here we ALL are. Whatever we need to do to help you protect your daughters (and your sanity) count us in. We are all in this together.
    Much love to you – this process sucks.

  9. Tina- I can completely relate to your pure mental exhaustion after a court battle and feelings of loosing in court. I am going to say what my supportive family says to me after a grueling 10 min in court– look at the positives– the girls have the right to carry their cell phones again – if he doesn’t comply you can address it again in court and hold him in contempt. You got a parent eval – that is huge. Yes it may be costly, but it may just be exactly what you need to expose him to the court. And you now only have to drive 25min for the exchange. I would say that you won today. It’s not over by any means, but you won today.

    I am going thru a very similar thing with my youngest son who has Aspergers Syndrome. He came home from a visit with his father with a baseball size bruise on his thigh, scratches on his legs and arms, stating that he never wants to go their again and that his dad hit him a hundred times. I called the police, they called cps, a no contact order was issued until further investigation. The N was able to charm the detective and lie his way through it. Since they couldn’t prove he hit my son because their was no other adult in the car and my other son was to scared to tell the truth to the detective, he got off without so much as a slap on the hand. We are now in the middle of reunification with a counselor that I have to pay 75% of. My son is scared to death of him and shakes at the mere thought of him. The N had me in court last week to push his own version of a reunification plan. The judge said we had to follow the recommendation of the counselor, but if either parent doesn’t like what she has to say, we can come back and argue it in court– WTH?? He also ordered a GAL, which the cost scares me to death, but in the big picture may be totally worth it.

    Anyway– just wanted to say that I know it’s so hard, but think about the positives of the court hearing- no matter how small. He didn’t get any leeway even with his fancy new lawyer.
    And yes, it is sad but many lawyers are only interested in their retainer fees and future billings. His lawyer is being paid to believe his lies. His lawyer will tell him anything he wants to hear. It is sad, but unfortunately true.

    Hang in there Tina– your girls will be just fine through your abundance of love.

  10. I am sorry the bullying continues and yes it is disconcerting that your X and his family think they can justify paying someone to do it to you and the girls. Realize that the “threat” to people like them is the good you do to protect from people like them. I realize at times it is not just the good we do, but the good within, TYJ (Romans 8, 1 Peter 4). I am praying for all, including your X, his family and his attorney. Sometimes I have to ask others to pray mercy for those in opposition, because I feel too battered to do it for them myself. God bless you, and yours. Take care.

  11. I hope that you receive a full and fair evaluation. I hope that the anxiety that it will cause will dissipate quickly for both you and your children. I hope that the evaluator takes his? time.

  12. I am so sorry you are having to go through this grueling ordeal. Just wanted to offer a ray of hope about two of the things you mentioned … evaluation and psychologist. Both these were ordered in my case. I have read horror stories about how badly all this can go — but we got a brilliant evaluator and a brilliant therapist. My children, who have been through so much, were listened to with great care by the evaluator. He advocated for them. He conveyed to them that they mattered and that he understood them and knew they were telling the truth. The psychologist they have seen for much longer. She conveys the same thing: “I know you are in a difficult situation and are telling the truth.” She has never stopped advocating for their well being and safety. Sometimes the court takes heed and sometimes the court does not — but the children know there are strong adults fighting for them, believing them, and caring about them. The court’s lack of understanding of personality disorders is a huge problem — yet even so, the court appointed these experts and the experts have helped to strengthen my children.
    If the psychologist is a well trained intelligent person, she will not ask your little girl humiliating questions about bed wetting. She should be able to gain an understanding without ever once mentioning the words “wetting” or “accident”. She should be able to get a sense of the stress (through watching your daughter play with dolls in dollhouses, bears, etc) and its origins without stressing your little girl. I hope that you will be able to have some input into who the person will be (and the evaluator). Sometimes both sides can agree on one or two people and the names can be offered to the judge.

    Your ex’s aunt, who sounds sicker than he is, should have her license pulled. Her behavior is stunningly irresponsible! I wish your judge would stop taking seriously these accounts from the morally bankrupt, enabling relatives of a person like your ex. It seems so obvious that such evidence would be tainted … your ex did not loom up out of a test tube. He was created and shaped by these people! I would consider hitting back hard on that one … if they are going to lie to protect “their own”, do what it takes to expose them for who they are. Certainly such a person has no business working with children in any capacity.
    Good luck. Sorry the day left you feeling so drained.

  13. Tina, I will continue to pray for you during this nightmare. My heart started racing and I felt physically ill reading your post, as I’m sure we all did, each of us able to relate to the hell you’re going through, having endured the same type of manipulation, lies and pure evil. Each of our N’s all have different names and faces, but put a bag over their heads and it would be hard to tell them apart. Continue to stay strong!

  14. You have already triumphed in the sense that you are standing up to a bully while protecting your daughters and that is no small feat. While your x may currently be pumped up by his close-up Mr. DeMille, having received the attention from the courts, which he probably has no respect for either, he will be forced to deal with what everyone knows and that is no one with a clue believes his attempts to manipulate the truth. Hiding behind his father etc… is pretty lame and predictable too.

    You and your girls will be ok Tina! You are a brave and smart pioneer and bless you!

  15. Hello Tina,

    I am sorry you are in the family court nightmare. I, too, have endured this hell with a child who is now 13 and we’ve been at war since 2009. Her estranged biological father (who’s name she only knew) filed for all of his rights…….from a prison cell. He was released in 2009. I have lost almost everything to family law, learning my reputation as a business owner, homeowner, law abiding citizen and most of all a good mother, meant absolutely nothing up against DNA. Three years orders of protection meant nothing along with the fathers documented mental health issues, bodily injury threats to me and murder threats. His crimes were even disregarded for the most part as they were non-violent and what they call “non-repetitive” although I beg to differ as multiple fraud and forgery felonies are repetitive in my book. You never want your ex to go to prison as they will fund his custody case through prison re-entry and fathers rights programs! They apparently really learn the tricks of family court in there. Also they can take free parenting classes and manhood classes (lol) and gain all the certificates I didn’t have as I was actually being a parent!

    Ok, enough about my situation.

    In your post above something jumped out at me and it was his aunts letter written against you on company letterhead. That is misleading to the judges as it would appear to be a possible professional opinion rather than a repeat/hearsay of a personal conversation. I would never write a letter on my company letterhead regarding a personal matter. EVER. Does she own the company or answer to a regulatory board as I believe this is most likely a no-no?….Here’s why:

    http://psychcrimereporter.wordpress.com/2012/05/17/arizona-mental-health-counselor-david-orlowski-surrenders-license-on-charges-related-to-custody-matter/

    and here’s another one:

    http://www.psychcrime.org/news/index.php?vd=1477&t=Arizona+mental+health+counselor+David+Orlowski+surrenders+license

    If she’s working as a child advocate, that just seems unethical and like a conflict of interest since it’s on their letterhead. JMHO

    I have followed your case on your blog at times and you have been so strong. Sometimes I would be in shock that your case flipped and you were once again struggling with your ex and the courts. You are a very loving protective mom and I understand what it’s like to go through this bizarre process where up is down and wrong is right.

    I wanted to share what I think helped my case when I was ordered into yet another psychologist or what they called a therapeutic interventionist for the child. Do you have names of a psychologist you trust? I had a very bias dangerous TI in the first round who wrote lies to the judge and abused the child along with the father every week for over a year. The case was really leaning toward those stories of the mom losing custody for PAS. The child finally recorded one of the abusive meetings with her hidden ipod that he bought her and the meetings stopped. Of course his attorney went to court calling me the most reprehensible mother ever for wiring my daughter. I didn’t. Nor did I know she was doing it. I was sanctioned for “interfering with the process” and it cost me thousands without ever having a trial or evidenciary hearing. When it was time to find a new TI, I was anxious we may get another mean and cruel person posing as a professional. I wanted my daughter to be seen by someone who specialized in childhood trauma after what she had endured. I spoke with psychologists who were not on the court roster and asked if they could recommend any of the names of the “professionals” on the court roster. I also had the names of who to beware of in the system (from other moms and advocates) and who people felt were fair. I believe I could’ve lost custody had I not done this. The judges had changed and he wasn’t familiar with our case. Custody could have been flipped with another letter from a new TI if they were willing to falsely accuse me of PAS. In fact the father had done everything on the PAS brochure against me.

    If you already have this info and this is repetitive I apologize but I just wanted to tell you what helped us right away since I landed on your blog again. It’s been a while since I’ve read what’s going on.

    Good Luck Tina! You and your daughters will get through this and be stronger on the other side. We are still at risk until age 18 but now that we have some honest people on the case, we aren’t being abused as badly. (Oh and I ran out of money :)…

    I just read sympathetics post. I agree totally and she’s lucky. I am in AZ and if she’s local you may ask her for the names of who her children are seeing. It’s imperative you get the right people for your girls.

    Good Luck!

    Stay strong and keep finding joy as you do.

    Dene’

  16. Hang in there, Tina. Take a deep breath, take charge and find a child psychologist for your youngest daughter and do the research necessary to find an ethical, competent, DV savvy psychologist to be the 730 custody evaluator. You are your and your daughters’ greatest advocate.

    I went through two court appointed psychologists in CA, and both were equally bad and dangerous. Guess what? They lie, too. What would have helped is if the sessions were recorded. It would not hurt to propose to the court that the sessions be recorded via tape or video and copies released to both parties and/or to the court. This would hold all parties accountable, and eliminate the he said/she said claims. Hopefully, the commissioner presiding over your case is open-minded and tends to think outside of the box.

    I will email you the names of custody evaluators to avoid as well as those who may be able to help you and your daughters in CA. Perhaps other protective parents following your blog will do the same.

    God’s blessings to you and your daughters, Tina.

  17. Tina, Stay Strong! Stay Strong! Stay Strong! I personally know this is really hard to do. This whole process is exhausting. I’ve been doing it for 7 years! My ex tells me he will NEVER give up! His family stands right behind him every time! (even when they aren’t speaking to him because he stole from them or something). The family image is more important!

    I want to share a couple of things that I think are important to reiterate just how broken the Family Court System is.

    I went to court Friday and filed an emergency motion to stop visits between my ex and son. My ex along with being a narcissist, has major substance abuse issues. I just learned a whole bunch of troubling stuff about him. I should note hes in jail right now for unpaid child support. He will be out next week. I snooped around and discovered he was arrested for open and gross lewdness last year and has a trial date in Nov. Yes, he was exposing himself on more than one occasion. This was my main concern, and I wanted to stop the visits once he is out of jail. The Judge asked me If I’d let visits occur since the incident. I told her I did, because I just learned about it. She is not my “regular” Judge. I did get visits temporarily stopped and have a hearing with my Judge Nov 13. I am told that this may not be good enough evidence to stop visits because I’VE let the visits happen for a year, even though I didn’t know about it. I don’t have access to his criminal records. I would have to go to all the district court houses on a regular basis and research him. The court is basically saying ‘well if nothing happened to your son over the past year, its ok for him to go with a pervert”. Very troubling to me.

    While there, I witnessed a woman and the father of her child in front of the Judge. The woman was crying becasue the father does recreational drugs (I did not hear what kind, but seemed like there have been problems) and she was afraid for her daughters safety, naturally. The Judge ordered that the father promises not to use recreational drugs 24 hours before the visits with the young child. Now, is it me, or does that seem crazy? Last time I checked, recreational drugs were illeagal. Im also pretty sure people addicted to drugs lie. I mean how is this woman supposed to know if he’s using or not?

    My point is the Family Court System seems wait and see if something bad happens to the child first before doing anything about it. They give the pervert, the addict, the alcoholic, the verbally abusive (and physically abusive) the benefit of the doubt. This should stop?

    Have you heard about the case in Mass. where a 14 year old girl was raped and had a child, as a result. The rapist wants visits and Family Court is considering it! If you haven’t heard about it, please look it up!

    Family court needs to make some changes to protect our children!

  18. These stories are so heartbreaking. I just do not understand how these judges can completely dismiss any sort of common sense. First of all- I think if you landed yourself in jail- for ANY reason- your visitation should be revoked period. Until you are rehabilitated. End of story.

    Maybe it’s time to really expose the family court system for what it is. Maybe there should be a website (if there is already one, let me know) where you can post your hearing results- name the date, state, county, commissioner and hearing outcome. I would bet that would catch some much needed attention if the commissioners name was included. It is public record correct? So naming the commissioner shouldn’t be a problem. I don’t know if it would work, but these stories make me so frustrated I want to scream!! I know Tina is doing so much good work here through her blog, but maybe a separate website just listing case after case would up the ante and get noticed. Just a crazy thought…

  19. I hope you have a say in which evaluator will be selected. It can backfire badly, as most are not trained to deal with such issues. Whatever you do, try to remain calm and don’t bash your ex.