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Kinsa, I am so sorry. A similar thing happened to a friend a few months ago. The worst part is the my friend *PROVED* beyond any shadow of a doubt that her ex had lied in front of that judge several times, and indeed had hidden hundreds of thousands of dollars of income from the court in determining child support and he still got most of what he wanted. The judge simply didn't care that the ex was a lying abuser. I think he wanted to give him what he wanted to keep him from returning to court.

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Well, it's done. I talked directly with my sister.  It's not all good, but it's not all bad either. Bottom line:  The judge split the girls.  My sister has custody of the 13yo.  The 16yo sta

While I understand your point, I am really saddened for Kinsa that you are continuing in this vein when she and her family are suffering and her thread is about how emotionally devastated she is. I do

It's showtime, folks.   Custody trial is tomorrow, Thursday, November 9th, at 1:00 PM eastern time zone.   There has been a ****LOT**** of... "stuff"... happen that I haven't shared, including stu

Idk. I'm seriously wondering if he was working under a bribe.

I believe that's not out of the question, considering the "bulldog" lawyer. Could be favors owed, yknow? So very sad. I will pray that honest truth comes to light and that those kids may be restored to their home with mom.

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The one thing I know to be true about custody cases - never form an opinion when you have only heard one side.

While I understand your point, I am really saddened for Kinsa that you are continuing in this vein when she and her family are suffering and her thread is about how emotionally devastated she is. I don't think this comment is going to make a positive impact on her situation, do you?

 

Huge hugs, OP.

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I know the declaration doesn't give mothers special rights in custody hearings.

 

Having custody transferred to one's abuser is a breach of that child's human rights no matter how I look at it. However, arguing the point here protects no one's children. The courts need to stop running as though co-parents are all reasonable people at heart, because those who are both reasonable at heart don't end up in court. They sort themselves out face to face or in mediation. It's the couples where one or both aren't reasonable at heart that end up in court.

This is so well said.

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Several families I know of who have gone through this with older children ended up with kids who left the custodial parent and refuse to ever see them again.  Although they're still in contact with the parent who was not given custody.

 

The court can issue orders but it can't control human behavior.

 

Probably no matter what happened in this situation, it wasn't going to be ideal.  But it does seem there might have been somewhat better outcomes for the kids.  Whoever's fault it was, getting uprooted like that doesn't seem for the best.

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Even if the judge did ask the kids what they wanted, I can imagine how that went.  Highly emotional kids in an emotionally charged situation, feeling like it might be their fault, and figuring maybe if they're just quiet and nice it will all go away.

 

My kids would be too scared to say much to a strange judge under the best of circumstances.

 

And what really gets me is the guys who occasionally show up to a comments section on some newspaper article and rant on and on about "men's rights" when it comes to custody cases.  And how unfair it is that judges "always" award the children to mothers (as if it's some kind of reward).  These sorts of guys never once mention the needs of the kids.  It's all about the father "winning".  If the judge is of that mindset there might not have been much the mother or her lawyer could have done.

 

 

 

 

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Part of the trouble is that I haven't heard of a family court judge with the wisdom of Solomon. The judges of today give the parent who is happy to cut the kids in half what they want to appease them. The parent who loves the children and would sacrifice for them is the one the judge throws under the bus. At least, that is what happened to my friend and I am beginning to think it is pretty common.

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I'm very ignorant of how all this works so this question may be obvious to some. With kiddoes that age...what would happen if they simply REFUSED to leave mom's house? (I know they have already, so it's a moot point at the moment.)

 

Would police be called? CPS? The mom hauled away? Fined?

 

 

 

 

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I don't know about other states,  but in Oregon if the kids refused to leave the mother's house she would be charged with custodial interference, the kids would be forcibly taken to their father and the mother would probably never be able to appeal.

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I'm very ignorant of how all this works so this question may be obvious to some. With kiddoes that age...what would happen if they simply REFUSED to leave mom's house? (I know they have already, so it's a moot point at the moment.)

 

Would police be called? CPS? The mom hauled away? Fined?

I think this depends on the State but also on the judge and the specifics of the case.  But as mentioned up thread, yes, depending on the judge/State, the parent that the child is refusing to leave (especially if they are non-custodial) could be charged with custodial interference and fined, possibly arrested, lose their rights to even visitation or the right to appeal.  It may not matter at all that the parent is not controlling the teenager. Also, the teenager could be forced to go to the parent they are refusing to see or end up with legal issues of their own.

 

What I have read is that this is so highly subjective that parents cannot count on the court system to truly do what is best for the child.  Recommendations usually include very carefully documenting each and every situation where the parent the child wants to stay with (against court orders) is in compliance and trying hard to follow court orders.  Eventually, if there really is an issue with the custodial parent, they will hopefully trip themselves up and the non-custodial parent may be able to gain or regain custody.  In the meantime, though, if the child continues to refuse, that actually puts the non-custodial parent in a really bad position.

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I don't know about other states, but in Oregon if the kids refused to leave the mother's house she would be charged with custodial interference, the kids would be forcibly taken to their father and the mother would probably never be able to appeal.

I think this depends on the State but also on the judge and the specifics of the case. But as mentioned up thread, yes, depending on the judge/State, the parent that the child is refusing to leave (especially if they are non-custodial) could be charged with custodial interference and fined, possibly arrested, lose their rights to even visitation or the right to appeal. It may not matter at all that the parent is not controlling the teenager. Also, the teenager could be forced to go to the parent they are refusing to see or end up with legal issues of their own.

 

What I have read is that this is so highly subjective that parents cannot count on the court system to truly do what is best for the child. Recommendations usually include very carefully documenting each and every situation where the parent the child wants to stay with (against court orders) is in compliance and trying hard to follow court orders. Eventually, if there really is an issue with the custodial parent, they will hopefully trip themselves up and the non-custodial parent may be able to gain or regain custody. In the meantime, though, if the child continues to refuse, that actually puts the non-custodial parent in a really bad position.

When I click 'like,' I mean I like that posters have info, not that I like the situation. I have heard of this too -- it is truly heartbreaking.

 

ETA

 

I am wondering how the teachers who gave the kids less than stellar grades will feel, if they learn what has happened.

Edited by Alessandra
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When I click 'like,' I mean I like that posters have info, not that I like the situation. I have heard of this too -- it is truly heartbreaking.

 

ETA

 

I am wondering how the teachers who gave the kids less than stellar grades will feel, if they learn what has happened.

 

Anyone with a heart would feel terrible. But the teachers aren't to blame for what happened. I would assume the teachers graded based on performance. How informed were they about any family issues that might be interfering with school? It's quite possible they knew nothing or, if they did, that they did their best to help the children with tutoring, etc. We don't know. It's very unfair to make it seem as though this situation is the teachers' fault.

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Anyone with a heart would feel terrible. But the teachers aren't to blame for what happened. I would assume the teachers graded based on performance. How informed were they about any family issues that might be interfering with school? It's quite possible they knew nothing or, if they did, that they did their best to help the children with tutoring, etc. We don't know. It's very unfair to make it seem as though this situation is the teachers' fault.

Not what I meant AT ALL. I was putting myself in teachers shoes. I would probably wish I lied and given superior grades. But that would mean I could have seen into the future.... I would not blame teachers for one minute.

 

Sort of a spin off the post that said the kids could feel guilty for getting bars grades. I feel for everyone.

 

The whole situation is so crazy.

Edited by Alessandra
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Not what I meant AT ALL. I was putting myself in teachers shoes. I would probably wish I lied and given superior grades. But that would mean I could have seen into the future.... I would not blame teachers for one minute.

 

Sort of a spin off the post that said the kids could feel guilty for getting bars grades. I feel for everyone.

 

The whole situation is so crazy.

 

I see what you mean now. Yes, I would feel the same. Thank you for clarifying!

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Family court is a joke.

 

I used to think there must be two sides to every story. No, oftentimes it is just the one big Truth. And the kids suffer.

 

When I was married to Xh my great fear was that I would give him something to use against me and take my son from me. When I filed for divorce I was prepared to play whatever card I needed to keep my son. What ended up working was a combination of hard ball ( I subpoenaed two of his girlfriends) and flattery ( I know you love Ds and want what is best for him. It is best his routine not be interrupted any more than necessary)

 

But it was terrifying.

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I would literally do anything to avoid Family Court here, having seen how it traumatizes children and punishes mothers.

 

Kinsa, still thinking of your sister and her children. Hope they are making it through the hours.

I avoided it in my divorce but Dh wasn't so fortunate. It has been a nightmare. My youngest ss is 15 now and there isn't much left to fight about....but xw still pretty much does what she wants. For instance in mediation a year ago she agreed when dss had no school on Friday of our weekend that Dh would get him Thursday at 6 p.m. No school this last Friday but xw flat out refused to bring him to meeting place half way. she said she worked until 7. Dh told her they could meet later. Nope. If you want him an extra day you have to come all the way to get him. So. What is there to do but drive all the way to get him. I told Dh just let it go. Go pick up dss and smile and tell him how happy we are to have him an extra day.

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Even if the judge did ask the kids what they wanted, I can imagine how that went.  Highly emotional kids in an emotionally charged situation, feeling like it might be their fault, and figuring maybe if they're just quiet and nice it will all go away.

 

My kids would be too scared to say much to a strange judge under the best of circumstances.

 

And what really gets me is the guys who occasionally show up to a comments section on some newspaper article and rant on and on about "men's rights" when it comes to custody cases.  And how unfair it is that judges "always" award the children to mothers (as if it's some kind of reward).  These sorts of guys never once mention the needs of the kids.  It's all about the father "winning".  If the judge is of that mindset there might not have been much the mother or her lawyer could have done.

 

 

Yes, yes, yes, and YES!  His facebook page (and his live-in girlfriend's page) is PLASTERED with all that "father's rights" crap. And the lawyer they had (who drilled into my sister for about six straight hours over, basically, a lot of nothingness) is a well-known "father's rights" lawyer.

 

It truly is all about him winning.  It is not about the kids.  I don't know how much more I can impress this fact.  I could delve into a LOT of history, and go on and on and on about what an awesome mother my sister is (she's college educated, no boyfriends floating in and out of the house, took new job hours specifically to satisfy the courts, never done drugs, drinks only the occasional beer, and does anything and everything for her kids)... but it doesn't matter.  What is done is done.

 

The family is pulling resources together so she can hire a bulldog lawyer of her own so she can fight this.  She was blindsided at court this past week, thinking this custody trial was going to be similar to all the past ones.  She was wrong.  The trial went for nine hours!  His lawyer presented nineteen (!!!) "exhibits", several subpoenaed witnesses (including teachers, dean of students, school counselors, etc.), and hammered at my sister, twisted her words, and just plain made her look like the worst mother in the history of humankind. 

 

Ugh.  We're so heartbroken.  The judge essentially just took three kids away from their stable home to hand over to their father's girlfriend, who has wanted to get  those kids since the minute she laid eyes on them.

Edited by Kinsa
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Yes, yes, yes, and YES! His facebook page (and his live-in girlfriend's page) is PLASTERED with all that "father's rights" crap. And the lawyer they had (who drilled into my sister for about six straight hours over, basically, a lot of nothingness) is a well-known "father's rights" lawyer.

 

It truly is all about him winning. It is not about the kids. I don't know how much more I can impress this fact. I could delve into a LOT of history, and go on and on and on about what an awesome mother my sister is (she's college educated, no boyfriends floating in and out of the house, took new job hours specifically to satisfy the courts, never done drugs, drinks only the occasional beer, and does anything and everything for her kids)... but it doesn't matter. What is done is done.

 

The family is pulling resources together so she can hire a bulldog lawyer of her own so she can fight this. She was blindsided at court this past week, thinking this custody trial was going to be similar to all the past ones. She was wrong. The trial went for nine hours! His lawyer presented nineteen (!!!) "exhibits", several subpoenaed witnesses (including teachers, dean of students, school counselors, etc.), and hammered at my sister, twisted her words, and just plain made her look like the worst mother in the history of humankind.

 

Ugh. We're so heartbroken. The judge essentially just took three kids away from their stable home to hand over to their father's barren girlfriend, who has wanted to get her grubby claws on those kids since the minute she laid eyes on them.

Ugh. I hate it. I am so so sorry.

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I've been on your/your sister's side while reading this thread, but that is just nasty.

 

You're right.  I apologize, and will edit.  I'm just lashing out, and I should know better.  Emotions are raw right now, and I didn't mean to imply anything by it.

Edited by Kinsa
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I've been on your/your sister's side while reading this thread, but that is just nasty.

I thought it was well put, actually. If I had been in Kinsa's situation, I would have said a lot worse. I even had a few thoughts about her xdh, which I will not share here.

 

I am a firm believer that anger can be therapeutic.

 

ETA

Kinsa has been here a long time, and I have always known her to be kind and patient, so I would excuse a mother lion response when family is attacked.

 

Not meaning to jump on you, just feeling so frustrated at this whole thing.

Edited by Alessandra
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Y'all, I feel like I'm going over the deep end in discussing this, so I'm going to stop now.

 

I thank you very much for letting me cry and vent here.  I really needed support for the last couple of days.  DH is not here, and whenever I talk to any of my sisters, I'm the one who has to be the rock.  I just needed a safe place.  Thank you.

 

Over and out.

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I don't know about other states, but in Oregon if the kids refused to leave the mother's house she would be charged with custodial interference, the kids would be forcibly taken to their father and the mother would probably never be able to appeal.

In some states, where it's an older child, the child can face contempt of court charges.

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I'm sure their happy families fantasy will be dashed on the rocks of the harsh reality of 3 grumpy teens/tweens. If they want to make her life hell, they'll easily be able to do that. If they choose to flunk all their classes, ditto. If they tell their school guidance counselors about any possibly CPS able offenses, they can cause their dad and gf all sorts of trouble. They can easily make their dad regret "winning" in very short order.

 

None of this is great for the kids and I hope they come out of it alright, but I think your sister can expect to dine on a nice, big plate of chilled vengeance in pretty short order.

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Family court is a joke.

 

I used to think there must be two sides to every story. No, oftentimes it is just the one big Truth. And the kids suffer.

 

When I was married to Xh my great fear was that I would give him something to use against me and take my son from me. When I filed for divorce I was prepared to play whatever card I needed to keep my son. What ended up working was a combination of hard ball ( I subpoenaed two of his girlfriends) and flattery ( I know you love Ds and want what is best for him. It is best his routine not be interrupted any more than necessary)

 

But it was terrifying.

I can't "yes" this enough.  I discovered that I just had to forego maintenance and I got whatever I wanted as far as custody.  Money talks, at least in my situation.  But I still live in fear of him changing his mind and dragging me to court (divorce has only been final 6 months).  All of the financials (aside from child support) are permanent in a divorce, custody is not.  He can take me back at any time and try to take my children.  I kiss a$$ constantly (and will have to indefinitely) to avoid such a scenario.

 

I feel for your sister, OP.  It is one of my own greatest fears.

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I'm sure their happy families fantasy will be dashed on the rocks of the harsh reality of 3 grumpy teens/tweens. If they want to make her life hell, they'll easily be able to do that. If they choose to flunk all their classes, ditto. If they tell their school guidance counselors about any possibly CPS able offenses, they can cause their dad and gf all sorts of trouble. They can easily make their dad regret "winning" in very short order.

 

None of this is great for the kids and I hope they come out of it alright, but I think your sister can expect to dine on a nice, big plate of chilled vengeance in pretty short order.

I agree up to a point.  Unfortunately, it may actually make things worse.  The non-custodial spouse can be accused of essentially poisoning the kids against the custodial parent and she can end up with even weaker grounds for getting them back.  And the custodial parent can make their lives even more miserable.  

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My mind is blown that kids that age can't decide where they want to live. Did the kids say they wanted to go with dad?

 

I was thinking the same thing, especially with the two older ones. Almost every custody case among my friends has involved the judge asking the kids for their opinion on the matter, unless there were major safety issues.

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You're right.  I apologize, and will edit.  I'm just lashing out, and I should know better.  Emotions are raw right now, and I didn't mean to imply anything by it.

 

Kinsa, you are a classy lady.

 

:grouphug:  :grouphug:  :grouphug:  :grouphug:  :grouphug:  :grouphug:  :grouphug:  :grouphug:

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Just a little update. My sister had a rough weekend, but my mother and older sister arrived there and are with her now for support. My sister plans to go to the kids' schools this week to have lunch with them each day, as apparently she can do that. At least she will be able to see the kids that way. She is going to the courthouse today to get a copy of the judgment so she can see exactly what it says.

 

The kids said they had a "family dinner out" on their first night with dear old dad. They said he and his girlfriend laid out a lot of rules, but then the kids scoffed because, they said, they know he never follows through with anything. The 11yo is taking this the hardest. When she realized this could last for the next 7 years for her, she apparently had a horrified look on her face and cried.

 

Sister has the name of a new lawyer. She is going to contact the lawyer soon to see if there's anything she can do. Otherwise, this is the new normal.

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Ugh. I think the constitution needs to be amended to give children rights.  They should have the right to be raised by the person that is in their best interest.  Children should not be legally treated as property.

 

They also shouldn't be treated as political pawns by other countries or tribes but that happens too.  All the time.

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I've seen this more times than I want to remember.

 

This is why who you vote for in your local state house and senate matter... and actually may impact your lives more than the Presidential candidate.

 

I'll also add that when an abusive spouse (not saying that ex-dufus was abusive) fights for custody, he often gets it.  Can't find the article I want, but this is a good one.  Talks about gender bias regarding male judges.   http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-adams/can-family-courts-protect_1_b_9195844.html

 

"A mega analysis of various surveys of custody evaluators found that approximately 40% say that they typically recommend sole legal and physical custody to mothers who are victims of domestic violence, while 47% typically recommend joint legal and physical custody to both parents"

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Even if the judge did ask the kids what they wanted, I can imagine how that went.  Highly emotional kids in an emotionally charged situation, feeling like it might be their fault, and figuring maybe if they're just quiet and nice it will all go away.

 

My kids would be too scared to say much to a strange judge under the best of circumstances.

 

And what really gets me is the guys who occasionally show up to a comments section on some newspaper article and rant on and on about "men's rights" when it comes to custody cases.  And how unfair it is that judges "always" award the children to mothers (as if it's some kind of reward).  These sorts of guys never once mention the needs of the kids.  It's all about the father "winning".  If the judge is of that mindset there might not have been much the mother or her lawyer could have done.

 

I'm not sure that is fair.  If you don't know anything about the situation of those people, how do you know their grievance isn't as legitimate as this one.  Men do get screwed over by courts and there are judges who put a very high premium on motherhood, and manipulative mothers are just as likely to use that as manipulative fathers are to try and use the courts for their own purposes.  There are some kinds of claims that fathers are particularly vulnerable to.

 

And while I think there are some special circumstances with toddlers, if judges really did always go with the mother unless there was a special reason not to, yeah, that really would be unfair.  Mt dh's best friend has never had much of a chance to argue for custody of his daughter - he is still single and has to work, so isn't considered a great option.  The mother on the other hand has had several husbands since then and so can stay home.  Having to work a lot is a pretty common situation with dads that can work against them.

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After a 3 and a half year saga, it looks like my brother will get complete and udder custody of his kids. The kids' mother is losing all parental rights. The court dates are May 11th and 12th I think, so prayers would be appreciated that it's will finally be over with. She has 3 counts each of child abuse, child neglect and child endangerment.

I wouldn't mind it taking so long if their mom actually tried to get them back (as in she completed all the counseling and accepted and used properly all the help she recieved) but she hasn't and that's what makes me mad. These kids are 8 and 7 yrs old (8 yr old girl and 7 yr old boy/girl twins) and she has messed with their minds and bodies so much that they will never be quite right. The girls had gotten into (or given, not sure on that) her (or someone else's) antidepressants when they were 4 and 3 yrs old and there are other reports of abuse and neglect. She favored the boy and it was really obvious. She has cancelled the last 3 visits with them at the last minute and I think the courts are really seeing that she isn't trying and are tired of state money being wasted on this case. She has rides provided for visits, she gets gas cards (though doesn't have a DL), they pay for her apartment (a 3 bedroom one), they have paid for a professional organizer, a housekeeper to come in weekly and has had numerous other types of assistance. She hasn't paid her child support in the last 3.5 yrs (though she has tried to get my brother to pay her support).

Oh and all 3 kids are special needs in one form or another though the boy less so (he didn't get the antidepressants which I blame for some of the girls' problems).

Edited by MomtoCandJ
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Kinsa, all that to say I hope the courts realize their mistake and give your sister back the kids. I really don't think "family court" is really focused on what is best for the family but for whoever kisses the right butts at the right time.

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I'll also add that when an abusive spouse (not saying that ex-dufus was abusive) fights for custody, he often gets it.  Can't find the article I want, but this is a good one.  Talks about gender bias regarding male judges.   http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-adams/can-family-courts-protect_1_b_9195844.html

 

 

 

And people wonder why women sometimes stay with the abuser....

 

Hmm... stay there so you can protect your kids, or leave knowing that your kids could end up with him unprotected?  It is a real fear and not an excuse.

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The reality is you can't "fix" family courts.  In a contentious custody battle, you will always be dealing with two sides who will have deep emotional reactions to any decision. What is in the best interest of the child is often not going to be cut and dried, which means the court will have to make a decision that someone will hate.

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Ugh. I think the constitution needs to be amended to give children rights. They should have the right to be raised by the person that is in their best interest. Children should not be legally treated as property.

 

They also shouldn't be treated as political pawns by other countries or tribes but that happens too. All the time.

The best interests standard is no doubt in use in Virginia. The problem is, it is a fuzzy and subjective standard that leaves plenty of room for manipulation. Though the standard usually calls for leaving things be when there is a stable status quo. Slipping grades as a single factor does not reasonably justify turning a family's long term stable situation on its head.

 

Having the standard

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