Grateful is an Understatement: Parenting Evaluation Underway!

Grateful is an Understatement: Parenting Evaluation Underway!

evalBack in October, a parenting evaluation was ordered.  We were both instructed to submit multiple items to the court including information on our finances.  This was all due by November 1, 2012.  I submitted everything on the 31st of October and repeatedly checked with the court but Seth failed to submit his financials.  I have suspected that his failure to comply was holding up the evaluation because the Commissioner didn’t know how to divide the costs of the evaluation.

I finally received the court order today which details exactly what is going to be investigated and to say that I am grateful is a huge understatement.  The Commissioner has obviously been going through our file with a fine tooth comb because the amount of detail is intense.  He has ordered 18 different items to be investigated which are mainly made up of items that I have pointed out going back to when our divorce started in 2009.

Most of it focuses on his alcohol abuse, former girlfriends and their experiences, anger issues, our live-in nannies testimony, whether or not he staged his former home for the parenting investigation, whether the children have been harmed in his care and whether or not they are free to use their cell phone as needed.  The Commissioner is obviously listening and spent an incredible amount of time on this.  I feel like this is our chance to be heard. I feel so good about the direction this is going and I have heard great things about the evaluator from multiple people that I have spoken to.

Tonight, I am thankful and hopeful.  (((Hugs))) to all of you– thank you for listening to my story and thank you all for sharing yours!  -Tina

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16 Responses

  1. Congratulations! I can’t wait to hear how it goes. I am headed into my own custody battle and I am really trying to stand in the truth…BE the truth…and have faith in the system. As you know, there are so many horror stories out there and it’s easy to get anxious and discouraged. Your story helps me stay hopeful!

  2. I am not sure where to start, so I will just go! I have been legally divorce since 12/09, my ex has brought me back to court 4 times, the laws are not the same in Minnesota, we actually go in front of a Judge, it is not a cattle call type situation, it’s us at a table looking up at the Judge (whom also changes every 2 years) it is a very intimidating area. We have 50/50 legal and physical custody. I left him, I knew I needed to for my children, this was not a healthy relationship, I had begged for several years to seek counseling, to no avail, until I left. Once I left, we all as women know I had been out of that marriage for several years. I left this marriage with a polly-anna mind set, I loved the children and wanted the best for them so of course, he wanted that as well, RIGHT??? I had no idea what I was in for, it was a challenge at the beginning, but mostly the divorce went through in about 3 months, what was to come next was beyond my wildest imagination. Once he found his now wife, things got worse in a hurry, I was finding myself in court time after time, as I would sit there in court, taking loans off of my 401k to hire lawyers and listen to his lies, I was astonished the these Judges believed what he was saying, he sat over there so calm and believing every word that came out of his mouth, while I sat on the other side in tears, because I am a good mom and I really want this to be insignificant in my children’s lives. I heard from friends and family the this gets easier, that was not true, it got harder and harder, he wanted the kids to go to the schools in his neighborhood, even though he was living with his mom and dad, he didn’t have a residence, I did. He continues to bring me to court or a mediator at every turn, he often “tattles” on me to try and make his point, which will in a few days be different, especially if I agree with him. My Fiance and I have sat and wondered many time, “What does this guy want? What will make him stop?” We ask these questions and find ourselves in court again, I am a single mom with 2 kids and this man makes at least 2x the money I do, on top of the fact that he is married and she is doing pretty good as well. We struggled to understand what he was after, we couldn’t figure it out. Starting in January of 2012, he filed for an annulment of our marriage from the Catholic church, this brought feelings of going through a divorce again, the reasons he gave for the annulment were nothing less than spiteful, 2 months later, I find myself in mediation to change the schools the kids go to, then again, because the court order required us to speak about it in mediation, he is bringing me to court, to change their school. This was now the second time he brought me for the same item, but it’s ok with the courts as it’s a new Judge. He was denied. Thank God! There was not one month in the year 2012 that he didn’t harass, attempt to hurt via children or cost me money. I finally figured out, he was mad about the $100 child support he had to pay and was going to make me spend it otherwise. Now he has a new job, making a lot more money and child support will go up, I scheduled a hearing in front of the magistrate for the child support adjustment, he cancelled that and took me back to court for a small amount of money, I owed him $300 and he paid $800 to a lawyer to make me pay him that. WE went to court with a very frustrated Judge and are still awaiting the order. I give this back story because it gives a slight glimpse as to what this man puts us through, trying to financially ruin me and cause stress at my home, making my family suffer, I have 2 children with him but my fiance and I have 3 together. We build our home on love but his poison sneaks in all the time, even when least expected. I didn’t know what to think of this behavior, I questioned how his new wife would put up with him spending all of this money and putting so much effort into making me miserable. She not only puts up with it but she supports it and has become pregnant in the meantime. I really thought that when she came into the picture, it would ease the attention on me. I was wrong, he still obsesses, still takes me to court or mediation or anything that will break my bank. I had finally, last week, (after another one of his attacks) called a women’s shelter, he has never laid a hand on me physically, but the emotional abuse that I endured during my sentence with him and that continues on, I thought there had to be some type of resource out there for me. As it turns out, there is nothing, it is not against the law to be a jerk and everything he does is just under the line of the law, and his constant lies in court that he never gets reprimanded for (not that he would notice if he did) At this point, I have lost faith in the system, I can’t even fathom how I would begin to get my children away from this toxic man, not to mention, he tells them that I am crazy and tells every one that we have in common that I am bi-polar (I am not). I have lived in complete confusion as to why he behaves this way and why he would be so mean and cruel to the mother of his children.

    On Thursday of this week, a friend of mine sent me a link, One Mom’s Battle, I could have kissed her square on the lips, this was my world, this is my life, this is what I deal with and now it has a name, I can deal with that, now I know what to do, now I know how to move forward.
    I honestly bought this book on Thursday and was finished reading it within 24 hours, my fiance also bought me the “Tina’s Tips” for court, I have been pro-se the last few times because I can’t afford an attorney. While the book is a bit more than what I go through, the X is not quite to the expenditures of Seth, all of the behaviors were the same, the emails….OMG the emails, I got the icky feeling in my stomach reading the emails from Seth, I have read those same emails 100 times over, I can do no right. I cringe every time I see his name in my inbox, and I know he would love that power he has over me. It has gotten better over the last year for us because his opinion means nothing, but basic communication is always a challenge.

    In short, I have read the blogs, I have read the book, I have never felt so empowered in my life! This is the man I divorced, that book tells my story, my poor friends and family, we all ask the same question “Can you believe he did XYZ, AGAIN???”

    So I mentioned earlier that I called a woman’s shelter, I called the MN chapter of Harriet Tubman, they pretty much wished me “Good Luck” nothing they could help me with, again, it’s not against the law to be a jerk. Well after I read of the blog and bought the book, I called this advocate back and told her that I never wanted her to be able to say to the person on the other end of the line “Good Luck” I gave her the web address, I gave her the book information, I told her that people needed more information on emotional abuse as well and the fact that it can be wrong in marriage, but in divorce, it needs to be illegal. This woman was so happy to hear what I had to say, and the information that I had to share, she promised it would be a part of their referral service and support groups. I have made a decision, I am going back to school, I WILL have the law degree, it will not help my situation, but it WILL help others, our family legal system is not where is should be, our Judges are not shrinks, but they need to have some idea, they get 20 minutes with us, me, sobbing for my children and him being cool, calm and collected, I can’t do it anymore, I love those babies and they don’t know any better than to love their dad. The very next time that my daughter asks me “Momma, Why does daddy lie to me?” I will have the right answer.

    Thanks again, I feel empowered with this new knowledge and I will keep you up to date on the progress I make. I am not letting this one go, the family court system needs to be fixed, I am going to start the movement!

    Thanks again,


  3. Having gone through this myself, stay hopeful, stay sharp, approach the evaluator as an “impartial” friend of the court. This is business. Tell the stories that need to be told as you would tell a business associate. Use emotion but do not get wrapped up in the story, use the facts. Do know that after the eval there will be more consequences of abuse when N comes out stinking. He won’t like what’s written. Shine big!

  4. im very excited for you… my hearing on 1/3/2013 was a motion to set aside the MSA due to emotional, mental duress on my part, that i was coerced, manipulated ad abused during the separation process. his attorney objected to all that i had to say and only kept the facts directed to the days of July and august 2012 when negotiations and signing happened. HOW DO I GET THE MAGISTRATE TO HEAR AND LISTEN TO ALL THAT MY EX DID DURING THE SEPARATION. the loss of two attorneys,the shingles, no financial support, the alienation, his drug and alcohol use.. what motion or petition do i file to get MY story out…i am very happy for you but at such a loss for myself.

  5. This sounds awesome.Stay on top of everything.You know your material like the back of your hand because its the truth.When will you get the results?In the meantime have no communication with the other parent,since you have children though,stick with emails.Keep documenting everything.Best Wishes.

  6. I’m thrilled for your much needed break through! After spending so much time self-educating myself, mistly due to your fb and website, I think a psychological evaluation should take place immediately upon filing for divorce. I’m almost two years into mine, nno where near the end and the alienation of my sons from me is severe. I’ve pleaded from the beginning that this would occur but nobody would listen. Now the damage is done, I’m still fighting and NOW reading stories if how to repair PA if I ever get the chance. Kudos to the Commissioner and love to you, Piper and Sarah.

  7. Please God let this be the time the children’s needs are understood and met by the Commissioner, Parenting Evaluator, etc. It is in your hands and under your timing but we are impatient for the knowledge that the children will be protected from further harm.

  8. Tina,
    I got tears in my eyes reading this! Congratulations on finally finding some one who will listen to the facts!!!

    Good Luck!!

  9. Awesome news! See, it the courts are slow, but they do eventually see what’s in front of them. The narcissist can’t help but show their true colors. Their sense of entitlement and need for everything to be about them is always going to be their undoing. It has a way of pissing off people.

  10. Wishing you and your girls the best, Tina! Fingers crossed, the evaluator will see through Seth (there is certainly enough evidence, it sounds like) and make recommendations that will protect the girls AND you from his abuse.

  11. Thank you Bill!!!!! Just dropped off my paperwork to the evaluator -happy thoughts, prayers and pixie dust!