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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