D-Day, September 2012.
S, October 2012.
Filed for D, November 2012.
Hired former lawyer for $5000. He never scheduled a hearing for temporary orders, only mediation, which happened in March 2013. From October 2012 to March 2013, POS averaged having the kids 5 overnights a month, never on a school night, never asking for more than that. He was dating the 21-year-old twink during that time.
In March, MOW comes back into the picture, and at mediation, POS asks for more time with the children. I argue the whole time that he can't have the children on school nights given his work schedule, but he promises to change his schedule.
POS' schedule: He worked 2 part-time jobs. At first job, which he's had for 15 years, longer than our relationship and marriage, he works 4 a.m. to 9 a.m. Monday through Friday. He has ALWAYS had this job, and it provides great health insurance and benefits. His second job was where he met MOW, and the hours were all over the place. He actually transferred locations during our 1 month false R to be away from MOW.
At mediation in March, we ended up signing an 8-week temporary "trial" mediation agreement where he could have Saturday night through Tuesday night, provided he change his schedule and wouldn't be leaving the care of the children with anyone else. I didn't know how he could do this with his 4 to 9 a.m. job, but my attorney insisted we let him try.. I felt bullied, and I fired that attorney right after mediation.
POS told me his schedule was fixed in March. He failed to do their homework or Boy Scout activities tons of times, which I have proof of.
In June, I find out he never fixed his schedule, and MOW was watching the kids while he worked. He said that he meant he would fix his second job schedule (fucking bullshit), but that yeah, he was leaving them with MOW or his brother. I told him this was unacceptable, and he promised again that he would not work Mondays and Tuesdays, so I kept letting him keep the schedule.
We have subpoenaed his time stamps from his job, but it's taking forever..
I feel like he is bullshitting me again, but I don't know how to just tell him NO! I feel like it would be against the rules to just keep the kids. I would want the kids back Sunday nights given him working at 4 a.m. on Mondays, but I don't know how to get them back.. I'm so tempted to just not send them on Saturdays until he promises to return them on Sundays, but I'm not sure if I can do that..
We went back to mediation in July, which was a bust, and that's when our temporary hearing was scheduled for the end of July. We went, but only had 30 minutes and ran out of time. We showed the judge tons of evidence that he is rude and curses me out and is unreasonable and that he has disparaged me in text messages to my son tons of times ("Mom's a bitch. I don't trust mom. Tell mom she's blocked. I'm not talking to mom. Tell her to send a letter in the mail," etc...) We also proved he tried to change the schedule NUMEROUS times going through my son's phone. The judge just said we ran out of time and we need to grow up and come to some agreements. But he did tell POS that disparaging me to the kids was "terrible parenting."
So yesterday, POS starts emailing me telling me the schedule will not change, even though school starts on Monday. (He also asks me when the parent teacher thing is. I'm not his fucking secretary anymore, so I just tell him it's on the school website). I keep telling him that he needs to stop lying about his schedule and just let me have the kids during the week and every other Friday, with him having some days after school until 8 p.m. He just refuses and says that he will get the kids taken care of and that the schedule won't change, with him having Saturday nights to Tuesday nights. He is now completely lying in emails to me, baiting me, trying to get me to defend against things that are off topic, and telling me to just talk to his attorney.
I've spent over $12,000 in attorney's fees so far, so as much as I just want to ignore the pigfucker, it would be so much easier if he would just agree to the schedule I'm trying to give him, which is as much time as possible when he's not fucking working. I REALLY want right of first refusal, but apparently it's something we would have to agree on, which obviously he wouldn't since he wants to let MOW watch them.
According to my son, he apparently just got fired from his second job for "making too much money." He promises that he will cut his hours at his first job and not work Mondays and Tuesdays to watch the kids, but he shouldn't be doing that either!!
I'm just so lost. I don't want to just give up and let him have the schedule he is asking for and has been having. He's an illiterate dropout, which is so obvious from the spelling mistakes in his emails, and he's so incapable of taking care of homework or Boy Scouts. I was a straight "A" student, and I have a BA in Management and studies in the medical field, which is what I do now.. He is an "I don't care if I fail" student, and I don't want my kids being like that!!
My attorney has now suggested a GAL, but he says it is expensive. I feel like I have enough damn proof to make a judge realize that I'm the better, more stable parent in every way. POS wants a cookie for doing what he is SUPPOSED to do ("Look, I did their homework one time!") He is struggling so hard just to do the minimum that is required for taking care of the children..
I swear, if it wasn't for the child support, he would never be asking for this many days, and he admitted to as much yesterday in an email, saying, "Look, I'm just not giving up any of my overnights."
In my state, child support is based on overnights and income, and he's had four financial affidavits, dropping his income every time, and now I expect another one coming since he lost his second job. I mean, WTF am I supposed to do??
I so want to go completely NO CONTACT with him, but I also want to just agree on some stuff with him and stop fighting in court. I'm already over $12,000 in, and I haven't even gotten temporary orders yet. Does this ever end?? I realize fighting over money is silly since you waste it all on attorneys in the end, but you just can't put a price on the welfare of my kids..
Should I stop fighting and just let the bitch get my kids to school or let him cut his hours? Neither of those is acceptable to me!! Can't I just talk to a judge and show them what's up??
I guess I just need the motivation to keep fighting if you guys think I should. He's a horrible fucking parent. He lets them curse all the time. I already called CPS on both him and MOW for their "games." He forces them to keep secrets from me, most recently a video game with cursing that my younger son admitted to.. And he is STILL forcing my older son to send messages to me, most recently to ask when the parent-teacher thing is and to tell me "Happy Anniversary." Why can't he stop putting them in the middle?? Why can't he just agree to a schedule that is best for the children?? He's lucky if he's good enough to be an every other weekend type parent. He is DEFINITELY not good enough to be a 50/50 one..
[This message edited by ButterflyGirl at 12:00 PM, August 8th (Thursday)]
I just wanted to tell you that I understand the part of your post about spending so much money and not being close to getting what is right. I hope that others chime in because I would like to hear their advice.
At what point do we stop trying so damn hard? Here you have all the evidence and justification necessary that you would "think" make a judgement a no brainer but yet, you are still fighting.
I'm sorry that I don't have any real advice for you. Here are some (((((hugs))))). dmari
I don't have a lot of advice either as this is new territory in life for me, but things happen here, too. He is never timely with the visits, to pick up DD or drop her off and if I say anything, he complains to his lawyer and they've actually written complaints saying that I'm "not complying". I'm talking half hour late, not five minutes and it pokes my anxiety.
It's bullying at it's finest, as you say and sometimes sooo many decisions I don't know how to pick one, either.
We are moving towards court dates now and what I'm noticing is that the papers don't have the same terminilogy as the decree and this bothers me. I've heard rumors about Nearly Exh/Perv's L being very scheistery and maybe it's got me more watchful, I don't know? I am fighting for full physical custody of each child and am up at night with worry about some of the lies and things they may try to say about me in court.
I have a friend in similar situation who is already through divorce a few years, but the ExH has made lots of noise about custody and tried to take one kid away. He thought it would be cheaper and as soon as the boy got in any trouble, the ExH packed his luggage and sent him back. I'm not suggesting it will happen in your case, but she had the same decisions to make and what she did was let him go-he also wanted to "try it" and they had painted her as "bad mom", too, and she felt the more she fought, the more it might give ammo as the other side tries to paint us different colors.
And, when the boy got sick at the ExH's, he begged to go back and so far I don't think it's come up again.
Sometimes it seems for show of judges and lawyers and sometimes it seems like it's for money, but is not easy whatever the reason.
FWIW, our mediation I feel has been a waste, because it's not being honored and was costly also. I've questioned my lawyer too and have wondered about trying to get a second opinion on what he's doing-and not, because I feel like I'm getting the short end of the stick and Nearly ExH/Perv is the one with big bucks again.
Anyway...sorry for the rambling note, but I wanted to give a peace sign and say that you're not alone in this quest and you sound like a good mom.
The times, they are'a changin'! -Bob Dylan
You're too emotional about this. You MUST pick your battles and fight them strategically and wisely. If you don't, you are going to alienate the people in the very system that you need to have on your side.
The fact that the judge told you both to grow up needs to be a wake-up call that you (perhaps) are not presenting your arguments/facts in a productive manner.
It is not going to matter one bit in your placement arrangement that your stbx is an illiterate dropout. Not.One.Bit. Why? Because you knew that about him and decided to have kids with him anyway. And if you push that aspect you are going to lose credibility because people will think "well if he's so stupid then why did she marry and procreate with him?". Kwim?
If you have court orders that say that stbx is allowed to have the kids from Saturday until Tuesday, then that is what it is until the court changes it. And you are totally playing into your stbx's sick mind-games by turning it into a big power struggle between the 2 of you. You asked him and he said no.....you cannot do anything else about it right now....until you can get it in front of a judge.
If the orders also include that stbx was to change his schedule and not leave the children in someone else's care.....<--THAT should be followed and it should have been addressed at your last hearing. If that part of the agreement was verbal, then you're out of luck.
I would not back down on having the right of first refusal and if you take it before a judge, then it would probably go 'your way'. However, you'll need someone really experienced to help you word it. My ROFR says something along the lines of "if the kids are going to be w/ a babysitter for longer than 6 hrs for reasons other than regularly scheduled work/school reasons.....the other parent has ROFR." But your kids are young and you are always available to have them, so I would fight to be listed as the first 'go-to' caregiver or something like that because IMO the kids should be with a parent if possible, rather than a babysitter.
I think it might be in your best interest to use the GAL.
A lot of what you are having issues with can be chalked up to different 'parenting' styles. And please don't take that as me saying that I condone swirling kids heads in toilets and playing 'smack until the butt is red' and allowing kids to curse and not do their homework. Because I absolutely do not. I think that your stbx is an immature jackass. I'm just putting it out there, that to a person that has to be objective.....those things may not be as 'weighty' when it comes to placement as you feel that they are or should be.
The legal system has a very different view of *justice* than *joe public* does.
And I'm not saying that I like it or agree with it, but again, it is what it is. You can fight against it or you can take what you know about it and use it in a way that gives you an advantage. Craft your arguments and objections in unemotional, fact-like ways that give you a legal-leg to stand on.
I'm also divorcing a guy that is a total PITA and seems to enjoy just being 'difficult' and so I understand how exhausting and wearing it all is. But that is why you need to focus your energies into the places that are going to give you the most 'bang for your buck.'
Keep fighting, BG. But fight 'smart.'
Hang in there. It's GOT to end sometime, right?
In my effort to be *concise*, I often come off as blunt and harsh. Sorry, don't mean to be offensive.
The judge is going to get really tired, really quickly regarding all the bickering. It is not the judge's prevue to make parents "behave."
We went back to mediation in July, which was a bust, and that's when our temporary hearing was scheduled for the end of July. We went, but only had 30 minutes and ran out of time. We showed the judge tons of evidence that he is rude and curses me out and is unreasonable and that he has disparaged me in text messages to my son tons of times ("Mom's a bitch. I don't trust mom. Tell mom she's blocked. I'm not talking to mom. Tell her to send a letter in the mail," etc...)
This kind of stuff is not going to matter to a judge in the grand scheme of things. Presenting this stuff may be why you ran out of time (I know you only had 30 minutes).
Unfortunately you agreed to a custody arrangement that had no basis in reality. He is a lying POS and you have learned your lesson that you cannot trust him.
Save your fight for the real battle that will be in front of the judge. Do not engage with him. It is emotionally and mentally draining. Follow the orders you have in place and concentrate on getting them changed.
I wish you the best of luck.
To be clear, there are NO orders right now. The "agreement" we had in mediation expired after 8 weeks. POS likes to tell me all the time how there are "no rules" and he can do whatever he wants. And that's his excuse for only paying me the child support we had agreed to for 2 months, cause there are no orders that he has to now, so he's not doing it.. That 30 minute hearing was our only time in front of a judge. There are NO fucking rules right now, which is why I'm so pissed and stressed out.
I even told my attorney that we wasted our time with the disparagement of me. He had said he knows the judge very well, and that he thought the judge would be appalled by his language towards me (c*nt, bitch, whore, slut, etc., ad nauseum) and complete unreasonableness to my very valid requests (like trying to refuse me Mother's Day).
We had filed a motion for contempt given his disparagement of me to the kids, which is against the fucking administrative orders, so I told him we should have focused on the part with the kids and his schedule. My L said in an email yesterday, "Yeah, in retrospect, that's probably what we should have done."
I so really liked this lawyer. I had 2 separate friends recommend him, although warning me that he is expensive. I actually negotiated his hourly rate down in the beginning, and I felt so comfortable with him, that he knew what he was doing and really got the situation. I guess I feel like I gave him 50 things that he could use, and it was up to him to pick the most important things to fight my case.. I've never done this before!! How the hell should I know?? I'm trying my best to educate myself, but I'm just doing the best I can..
[This message edited by ButterflyGirl at 2:19 PM, August 8th (Thursday)]
I'm just doing the best I can.
Your L may 'know' that judge very well. What probably happened was that your L under-estimated what an assjack your stbx is and that your stbx was going to hijack that hearing by convoluting and twisting everything. Again....lesson learned. Your L now knows that he isn't going to just be able to 'phone it in' when dealing with your stbx. He's gonna have to bring his "A" game.
There are NO fucking rules right now, which is why I'm so pissed and stressed out
Even with the orders in place, though.....sultan still attempts to do whatever he wants. So the orders aren't a *magic bullet*, but they are an extra layer of protection.
If I were in your shoes, I would call up the L and say: "look dude. Jackass is paying me NO child support. None. AND he's TELLING me that he doesn't HAVE to. School is getting ready to start and jackass's antics are wreaking havoc on the kid's and their routines. If you've got ANY favors to call in at the courthouse....do it because I NEED temporary orders NOW. NOT a hearing for contempt. Tem-por-ary.Or-ders." Maybe it will help, and maybe it won't. But it won't hurt to put it out there to him. Plus, the dude has got some *serious* egg on his face from getting his ass kicked in court last week.
Your stbx is just such a self-serving jerk. And it is so, so obvious. He is insisting on 'enforcing' the part of the (now-expired) orders that 'work' for him (the schedule), while ignoring the part the doesn't (the CS).
So again, if *I* were in your situation, I would continue to follow the (now-expired) orders until they are officially changed....just as a cover-your-ass and to not give jackass any ammo to use against you. So when you bring up how he's not paying CS....he can't then just turn it around and say that you're keeping the kids from him, kwim?
Your stbx is a 'smoke-bomber', BG. Lay low and fly under the radar and don't kick up too much unnecessary dust.
Ignore him and only respond when it's needed. I know it's hard but you need to take the emotions out. This is a business arrangement and in business there isn't any emotions.
Keep to emails or texts. No speaking to him on the phone or in person.
I'm editing this because I forgot this jerk isn't making sure the kids homework is done.
Since the schedule has expired. I would tell him he can have visitation every other weekend Friday after school until Sunday evening. I wouldn't give him any other options.
I would also let him know in the email or text you send that you are doing this because he doesn't make sure the kids get their homework done, on time to school, whatever the issue is basically. You want to document the reason for the change in visitation for court/evidence.
[This message edited by peridot at 5:26 PM, August 8th (Thursday)]
I sent him this email:
As you have pointed out plenty of times, there are "no rules" right now, and I will not be sticking with an agreement that is nonexistent.
The mediation agreement in March expired after 8 weeks. With much hesitation, I have continued to follow the visitation schedule, always believing you fixed your schedule, which you admitted you have not done and won't tell me if you have now.
If you wanted the mediation agreement to still be in effect, then you would be paying the agreed upon child support, which you have not, so obviously you don't believe the mediation agreement is in effect either.
I will be keeping the boys for a small vacation to the beach this weekend and through the first week of school. Perhaps we can talk next Saturday to see if you are ready to begin returning the boys Sunday nights.
Then I get this email back from him:
I am not surprised by your selfishness. Way to think about whats best for the kids Butterfly. I am sure they are going to wonder why they arent seeing me. So it is true? You are keeping the boys from me?. Guess you figured out that is the only way you can hurt me. You have always been selfish and you always will!
Hmm, he didn't really say "no" there! Just like counseling for the boys, he bitched about it, but didn't really refuse me..
"Meet the teacher" was tonight at the school from 5 to 7. He had mentioned wanting to go, but never gave me a time. I work from home, but I don't get off until 5, so I decided to wait until 6. My mom came with me for support and since we were going out for dinner afterwards. Right when we walk up, he was there with all his paperwork done. I was VERY polite. "Hi, how are you?" "Did you complete all their forms?" "Do you know who their teachers are?" He was very polite back to me, actually smiled a few times. DS6 held my hand the whole time, and DS9 was kind of hanging on him. He told us to go to the cafeteria first, so I said "Thanks" and told DS6 to give him a hug. As he was walking away, he actually hugged my mom. As we were walking up to the cafeteria, he was walking next to us, and I told him I got all their school supplies. He said, "Ok cool. Let me know if they need anything else." So I emailed him tonight that we could use some extra spending money for our short beach vacation starting tomorrow (I know he gets paid on Fridays). Guess we will see what he says..
Though I usually NEVER talk to him in person (absolutely never alone), it was actually kind of nice tonight. Like hey, we aren't just monsters behind the emails, we are both people who just care about the kids. At least I hope that's what he felt. And I hope he starts doing the right thing and lets me have them for the school week.. Fingers crossed..
Same for video games. I actually would never let my kids play violent video games at your kids' ages, but my neighbor down the street did when her kids were young. On the other hand, she still makes her *teenager* wash his mouth out with soap if he says a cuss word. It's just parenting styles. You will probably feel a lot better if you let that stuff go.