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Kinsa

I'm so heartbroken, and angry

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Kinsa, I'm just horrified by all of this.  I am adding your niece and nephews to my prayer list.

 

Anne

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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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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.

No one could make family court so that people are happy, but people could make family court in the best interest of the children. In the case of my friend who recently had to give her husband 50/50, he was caught lying in court several times, he was caught stalking her using the locator app on her dd's cell phone, he was caught hiding $$$ of income to avoid child support, and the judge still gave him 50/50. Spending more time with such a bad person is not in the kids best interest, he is not now spending any time with them, his new wife (who was also caught lying on the stand but seems to face no consequence) is "caring" for them, but she is not maternal and is not doing a good job caring for them.

 

For example, yesterday she was late taking the kids to school. The 8yo was crying because he hates to be late to school. Not a big deal, but she pulled over and yelled at him to quit crying and that he can't cry with her ever, and she was going to make him later if he didn't quit crying. She's just not a good person. (She has been married 4 times before forty, had a kid with someone else while divorcing her last husband but somehow her checkered past didn't slow the judge down at all.)The kids are miserable at his house.

 

In my friend's case her expert witnesses did not give all the information about some of her ex's abuse because they knew he would harm the kids when they were with him for revenge. They knew the court would not protect the kids. If the counselors had provided the concrete examples of his abuse the judge might not have gone 50/50, but would have still left the kids with him unsupervised and they would have been hurt. And that is the way family court goes. No one can be fully honest, because you can't trust "justice".

 

 

 

In family court the people who "hate" the decision should not be the kids. That would "fix" family court.

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No one could make family court so that people are happy, but people could make family court in the best interest of the children. In the case of my friend who recently had to give her husband 50/50, he was caught lying in court several times, he was caught stalking her using the locator app on her dd's cell phone, he was caught hiding $$$ of income to avoid child support, and the judge still gave him 50/50. Spending more time with such a bad person is not in the kids best interest, he is not now spending any time with them, his new wife (who was also caught lying on the stand but seems to face no consequence) is "caring" for them, but she is not maternal and is not doing a good job caring for them.

 

For example, yesterday she was late taking the kids to school. The 8yo was crying because he hates to be late to school. Not a big deal, but she pulled over and yelled at him to quit crying and that he can't cry with her ever, and she was going to make him later if he didn't quit crying. She's just not a good person. (She has been married 4 times before forty, had a kid with someone else while divorcing her last husband but somehow her checkered past didn't slow the judge down at all.)The kids are miserable at his house.

 

In my friend's case her expert witnesses did not give all the information about some of her ex's abuse because they knew he would harm the kids when they were with him for revenge. They knew the court would not protect the kids. If the counselors had provided the concrete examples of his abuse the judge might not have gone 50/50, but would have still left the kids with him unsupervised and they would have been hurt. And that is the way family court goes. No one can be fully honest, because you can't trust "justice".

 

 

 

In family court the people who "hate" the decision should not be the kids. That would "fix" family court.

 

The default will usually be 50/50 unless there is evidence showing why it shouldn't be.  If that evidence is not provided to the court, then what is the judge supposed to do?

 

And I hate to tell you, but sometimes no matter what the decision is children will "hate it" as more often than not they love both parents.

 

 

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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.

The statistic given is misleading. First, you can't meaningfully lump all DV cases into black and white abuser/abused. While the stereotypical controlling husband/battered wife is all too common, there are many divorces where the DV was more along the lines of arguments that escalated to violence as the relationship was disintegrating. In those sorts of cases, both parents are often equally fit and usually reasonable people outside the dynamic of their marriage and break-up.

 

Additionally, violence in an intimate relationship does not necessarily mean a parent is unfit or likely to abuse a child. DV between the parents is harmful to a child because witnessing and being around it is traumatic. Once the relationship is dissolved, both parents may be good parents, if mechanisms are in place to keep them from fighting going forward.

 

In other words, there are a lot of shades of grey when courts are dealing with DV.

 

Unfortunately, that means some of the time they get it wrong.

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No one could make family court so that people are happy, but people could make family court in the best interest of the children. In the case of my friend who recently had to give her husband 50/50, he was caught lying in court several times, he was caught stalking her using the locator app on her dd's cell phone, he was caught hiding $$$ of income to avoid child support, and the judge still gave him 50/50. Spending more time with such a bad person is not in the kids best interest, he is not now spending any time with them, his new wife (who was also caught lying on the stand but seems to face no consequence) is "caring" for them, but she is not maternal and is not doing a good job caring for them.

 

For example, yesterday she was late taking the kids to school. The 8yo was crying because he hates to be late to school. Not a big deal, but she pulled over and yelled at him to quit crying and that he can't cry with her ever, and she was going to make him later if he didn't quit crying. She's just not a good person. (She has been married 4 times before forty, had a kid with someone else while divorcing her last husband but somehow her checkered past didn't slow the judge down at all.)The kids are miserable at his house.

 

In my friend's case her expert witnesses did not give all the information about some of her ex's abuse because they knew he would harm the kids when they were with him for revenge. They knew the court would not protect the kids. If the counselors had provided the concrete examples of his abuse the judge might not have gone 50/50, but would have still left the kids with him unsupervised and they would have been hurt. And that is the way family court goes. No one can be fully honest, because you can't trust "justice".

 

 

 

In family court the people who "hate" the decision should not be the kids. That would "fix" family court.

 

 

I think there would be a lot of complaints if things like the sexual decisions of caregivers in their own lives were used as reasons to deny custody.  In fact when this has happened to women, where the other parent points to the private sex life or relationship history as reason in itself this person cannot be a good parent, women's rights advocates tend to complain. 

 

It isn't as easy as we might think to correlate a person's behavior outside of parenting to their fitness as a parent - if it was we'd have the courts taking kids away all the time.

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The statistic given is misleading. First, you can't meaningfully lump all DV cases into black and white abuser/abused. While the stereotypical controlling husband/battered wife is all too common, there are many divorces where the DV was more along the lines of arguments that escalated to violence as the relationship was disintegrating. In those sorts of cases, both parents are often equally fit and usually reasonable people outside the dynamic of their marriage and break-up.

 

Additionally, violence in an intimate relationship does not necessarily mean a parent is unfit or likely to abuse a child. DV between the parents is harmful to a child because witnessing and being around it is traumatic. Once the relationship is dissolved, both parents may be good parents, if mechanisms are in place to keep them from fighting going forward.

 

In other words, there are a lot of shades of grey when courts are dealing with DV.

 

Unfortunately, that means some of the time they get it wrong.

I am curious if you really, personally know of any abuser who was a good parent after the divorce??? I don't know of one. All the abusers I know continued their power tripping and manipulation and still did everything they could to ruin the lives of their ex-spouse after divorce, thereby hurting their kids. I know several who convinced judges that they were doing a good job and their ex-wife was "crazy", but in reality the abusers were hurting their kids long after the divorce and have not been good parents ever.

 

Also, another tangent, why do judges even listen to the whole, my ex-wife is crazy junk??? Of course divorcing an abuser causes women to do some nutty stuff, but I don't understand why reacting to someone's bad behavior is considered worse than genuine abusive behavior.

 

 

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I am curious if you really, personally know of any abuser who was a good parent after the divorce??? I don't know of one. All the abusers I know continued their power tripping and manipulation and still did everything they could to ruin the lives of their ex-spouse after divorce, thereby hurting their kids. I know several who convinced judges that they were doing a good job and their ex-wife was "crazy", but in reality the abusers were hurting their kids long after the divorce and have not been good parents ever.

 

Also, another tangent, why do judges even listen to the whole, my ex-wife is crazy junk??? Of course divorcing an abuser causes women to do some nutty stuff, but I don't understand why reacting to someone's bad behavior is considered worse than genuine abusive behavior.

 

You might equally ask why judges listen to women say my ex is an abuser who only want the kids to get back at me.

 

Because sometimes all of these things are true, and he has an obligation to try and figure out what is what.

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I am curious if you really, personally know of any abuser who was a good parent after the divorce??? I don't know of one. All the abusers I know continued their power tripping and manipulation and still did everything they could to ruin the lives of their ex-spouse after divorce, thereby hurting their kids. I know several who convinced judges that they were doing a good job and their ex-wife was "crazy", but in reality the abusers were hurting their kids long after the divorce and have not been good parents ever.

 

Also, another tangent, why do judges even listen to the whole, my ex-wife is crazy junk??? Of course divorcing an abuser causes women to do some nutty stuff, but I don't understand why reacting to someone's bad behavior is considered worse than genuine abusive behavior.

First of all, DV is, again, a broader scope of bad behavior than just "male parent X is the long-term-pattern abuser of parent y". For two examples:

 

DH's and my girlfriend and her ex-husband, towards the end of their marriage, fought a lot and in the end it came to blows. GF called my DH, who picked her up and took her to her mom's. Girlfriend left, their boys stayed with her DH. After 5 years of separation, they divorced because her ex wanted to remarry. Girlfriend and her ex DH get along much better now than they did when they separated.

 

Due to GF's limited resources, and not wanting to yank the boys around and disrupt the status quo, they continued to live with her ex, but our home is always open to them and they and GF have a good relationship, communication, etc. Her ex is a good parent, so is GF.

 

Their relationship was toxic; there was DV towards the end of it; that doesn't mean they aren't both good parents.

 

My parents: they had loud, physical fights on more than one occasion. If houses had been closer together cops might have been called. There was DV between them, emotional abuse by my dad towards my mom as well as the physical fighting.

 

When they weren't fighting they were good parents. After their divorce and an adjustment period they were both happier people.

 

Don't get me wrong. I know people (online and IRL) who have been in relationships with narcissistic a-holes or individuals otherwise too broken to recognize and/or care what they were doing to their families. Usually, these sorts of abusers are men. Some of the time, both parents have issues (like my sister, who the nicest thing she could come up with to say about her ex-H when considering divorcing him was "he hasn't killed me after all the times I've racked him"), and the best the court may be able to do is choose the parent left holding the diaper bag when the couple explodes and the dust settles.

 

The quoted statistic did nothing to distinguish the controlling male/abused female pattern DV from the other DV dynamics in which the male is likely to be labeled "abuser" therefore suggests a black and white misogynistic bias when the truth often isn't that cut and dried.

Edited by Ravin

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Also, another tangent, why do judges even listen to the whole, my ex-wife is crazy junk??? Of course divorcing an abuser causes women to do some nutty stuff, but I don't understand why reacting to someone's bad behavior is considered worse than genuine abusive behavior.

 

Some of the time, she is. And this may or may not be independent of the other spouse being abusive and/or a narcissistic a-hole. People wind up in court because one or the other or both parents are unreasonable people who won't mediate. Some of the time, the mother is the unreasonable person. This is perhaps less likely to happen with friends of boardies because we have better taste in friends than that. It is also less likely to be framed in terms of abuser/abused because women are less likely to be overtly aggressive/violent even when they are narcissistic a-holes.

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I understand that when two people have issues and they come to a head there may be physical fighting. I do not consider that "abuse" since it goes both ways.

 

I have had three friends divorce abusers. My friends were chosen by their abusers because they were strong, beautiful women and breaking them was a game to those men. There was never any physical violence that went both ways in any of those relationships. The women involved spent years figuring out that the man they married and had children with was deliberately ruining their life for the power trip they got from it. None of those women were in great shape when they divorced but they all have rebuilt their lives in good solid ways, and their abusers have not. All of these men claimed in family court that the women involved were "crazy". I think this is the typical scenario, I really do.

 

Only my last friend with this problem has had to go to 50/50. Her ex is simply not a good parent. Not by any measure, and his wife is worse. My problem with family court is that there was a mountain of solid proof that her abuser was an abusive jerk, and he still got 50/50. After years of not taking all the visitation that he could, after not paying child support on time when my friend had caner, after stalking my friend, after physically hurting the children in "accidents". After marrying a woman he met on the internet after four months. That court case was not a "he said/ she said", there was A LOT of proof.

 

 

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At the end of the day, as I said, the "best interests" standard is very mushy and open to interpretation. Charming narcissists can snow a judge. Judges are human beings, and do not have the wisdom of Solomon as a given character trait. Mistakes get made--which is why the system is set up to make the judge be the decision maker as infrequently as possible. Mediation or other agreement by the parties is always preferred as a rule. 

 

Judges usually don't make decisions based upon unsupported assertions--"my ex is crazy" and "my ex is an abusive a-hole" are both unlikely to sway a judge without more.

 

 

What happened to Kinsa's sister is an example of a judge making a bad judgment call even with probably having enough good information in front of him (and with leaving questions unasked, like what do the kids want?). Kids don't always choose the better parent--sometimes they'll ask for ice cream when they need carrots--but it's still worth asking. 

 

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To answer the question, no, none of the kids had any say in the matter.

Are they in Texas? Texas royally screwed over my uncle, so I can totally see them doing it to your sister. 

I am so sorry. :(

 

Yep. Texas is horrible with custody stuff and to hades with what the kids want. :(

Edited by Southern Ivy

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I understand that when two people have issues and they come to a head there may be physical fighting. I do not consider that "abuse" since it goes both ways.

 

I have had three friends divorce abusers. My friends were chosen by their abusers because they were strong, beautiful women and breaking them was a game to those men. There was never any physical violence that went both ways in any of those relationships. The women involved spent years figuring out that the man they married and had children with was deliberately ruining their life for the power trip they got from it. None of those women were in great shape when they divorced but they all have rebuilt their lives in good solid ways, and their abusers have not. All of these men claimed in family court that the women involved were "crazy". I think this is the typical scenario, I really do.

 

Only my last friend with this problem has had to go to 50/50. Her ex is simply not a good parent. Not by any measure, and his wife is worse. My problem with family court is that there was a mountain of solid proof that her abuser was an abusive jerk, and he still got 50/50. After years of not taking all the visitation that he could, after not paying child support on time when my friend had caner, after stalking my friend, after physically hurting the children in "accidents". After marrying a woman he met on the internet after four months. That court case was not a "he said/ she said", there was A LOT of proof.

 

But those kinds of people, or people in other situations that aren't necessarily all that reflective of their normal behavior, can still be included in DV stats.  So - looking at DV stats won't always give a clear idea about whether kids are being put in the care of parents likely to abuse them.

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Well, a judge who was interested in the truth would be quite refreshing to me.

 

Yep. My friend is in court for final orders today and tomorrow. Judge got in a snit with her about an hour in, insisted she and her team go back and negotiate with her abuser/addict ex to spend more time with the kids to prove she wasn't alienating him. Oh yeah, and this is the 'dad' who put his hands around her 8 year old's neck on an access visit and 'jokingly' choked her - court won't take it into account because child was too scared to give statement to police, and it has been used by ex as proof of alienation ie mommy put kid up to lying. 

 

I know both friend and child extremely well. I saw them the day after the incident. The probability that they are lying is so very low.

 

Anyone in that court interested in the truth would be quite refreshing to me. It's all deals, made on the basis of pre-existing biases. 

 

MRA's are full of bull. 

 

In my state, in my country, the overwhelming ideology is anti-mom, pro discredited theories of mothers as agents of parental alienation. Zero understanding of abuse short of being hit over the head with a cricket bat. 

 

There are a few judges who are fairer, and probably better educated on issues re women and the law. But it's random luck whether you get a good judge or not. That's wrong. There should be consistency. And a higher standard all round.

Edited by StellaM
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Any news?

 

Sent from my SM-S820L using Tapatalk

Not really. Sis is resigned to what has happened, and trying to see the silver lining. In other words, she's trying to enjoy the "break" as she regroups. She doesn't intend to do anything until the end of the summer.

 

The kids are mad, especially the 16yo. He has nothing nice to say about dear old dad. It's hard to read the 13yo, and the 11yo cries all the time. Sis had the kids over the weekend, and it was like a collective sigh of relief when the kids were back home where they belong. Dear old dad is spending a LOT of money trying to buy their affection, which (thankfully) the kids are seeing right through.

 

So for awhile, it seems there will not be much news.

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Thanks for the update . As you both re group, I hope and pray that things work out for the family. The kids deserve the best. Until next time, God Be With You'll!

 

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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.

 

I'm talking about comments I've seen on newspapers etc (not even forums).  A lot of times, it's not even clear that these guys complaining actually have kids, let alone are involved in a custody fight of their own.  I'm commenting on the general attitude that there are a lot of guys out there who scream about unfairness and "men's rights" any time ANY mother gets custody.  I'm talking about the attitude that makes someone write that sort of comment (while not making ANY mention of what's best for the kids).

 

And I worry that there are judges that buy into that argument and perhaps feel it's "fair" to award custody more often to fathers even when it's not in the child's best interest just so they can achieve some sort of 50% parity in their cases overall.  I didn't say that I knew there WERE judges who did this, only that I would be concerned there might be, based on the comments I read by guys flying off the handle.  And, I'll repeat, it would not surprise me in the least if those guys who leave those sort of comments don't even have kids.  I'm just looking at a general attitude in a subset of society that seems worrisome to me.  If the actual goal is the well being of children, then "men's rights" in these cases would NEVER be a consideration.  (Any more than "women's rights" would be).  But that argument does show up a lot in comments sections.

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I just saw this tonight.  I am so sorry.  I'm at a loss for words, so sending hugs and prayers to you, your sister and her children... :grouphug:  :grouphug:  :grouphug:  :grouphug:  :grouphug:  :grouphug:  :grouphug:

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I've never heard of children that age not being asked. In many states, it's in the law that once they're 13, their opinion has to be taken into account by the court.

 

If that had happened to me at 16, I would have just run away. I can even imagine exactly where I would have gone. Sigh.

I'm in Texas, albeit a different county.

 

My kids (he was only suing for one of the three) were asked, repeatedly, their opinions. They were 11 and younger.

 

The family law mechanism is truly jacked up beyond belief.

I'm still paying (and will continue for YEARS) on my battle.

 

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I understand that when two people have issues and they come to a head there may be physical fighting. I do not consider that "abuse" since it goes both ways.

 

I have had three friends divorce abusers. My friends were chosen by their abusers because they were strong, beautiful women and breaking them was a game to those men. There was never any physical violence that went both ways in any of those relationships. The women involved spent years figuring out that the man they married and had children with was deliberately ruining their life for the power trip they got from it. None of those women were in great shape when they divorced but they all have rebuilt their lives in good solid ways, and their abusers have not. All of these men claimed in family court that the women involved were "crazy". I think this is the typical scenario, I really do.

 

Only my last friend with this problem has had to go to 50/50. Her ex is simply not a good parent. Not by any measure, and his wife is worse. My problem with family court is that there was a mountain of solid proof that her abuser was an abusive jerk, and he still got 50/50. After years of not taking all the visitation that he could, after not paying child support on time when my friend had caner, after stalking my friend, after physically hurting the children in "accidents". After marrying a woman he met on the internet after four months. That court case was not a "he said/ she said", there was A LOT of proof.

 

I don't know if you are including me in that 3, but I want to thank you for being around during my continuing struggle.

 

I hear he has cancer now. My kids report they are too young to have both parents with major health issues.

 

They are. :(

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Well, it's been slightly more than two weeks, and already the sh!t's hitting the fan.

 

Friday afternoon, my sister got a desperate email from the 11yo, imploring her to intervene because dad was about to take away all her electronics, including her cell phone (bought and paid for by my sister) and school-issued iPad. Sis tried to help (since she is supposed to have a liberal contact policy with the kids, hence the cell phone), but dad said butt out. So not only did dad DEFY the court order that says my sister is supposed to HAVE the kids on Mothers Day, he also cut off all communication from the children to their mom. On Mothers Day weekend. Two weeks after they are ripped away from their mother.

 

Also, my sister is supposed to have the kids for dinner tonight (Tuesday), and he has "changed his mind" and won't allow her to see them, even though the court order says she is supposed to have them one evening each week.

 

So, my sister is calling a new lawyer today. I knew it wouldn't take long. The man is a complete and total a-hole. There was no way this was going to go well.

Edited by Kinsa
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And yes, y'all read that right. My sister did not see nor talk to her kids on Mother's Day weekend. At all.

 

I'm telling you, this is NOT about what's best for the kids. This is about hurting my sister. That's all he's ever cared about.

Edited by Kinsa
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My heart is breaking for those children, your sister, and all your family. I can't imagine the grief and pain you all must be feeling right now.

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And yes, y'all read that right. My sister did not see nor talk to her kids on Mother's Day weekend. At all.

 

I'm telling you, this is NOT about what's best for the kids. This is about hurting my sister. That's all he's ever cared about.

Hopefully, if he keeps breaking court orders, she can get this situation turned around.  

 

With regards to the school issued I-Pad, did she need it for an assignment?  Your sister might need to let the school know what is happening.  When my BIL went through a very nasty divorce (narcissistic ex-wife) there were so many bizarre things going on behind the scenes when the kids were with her that the school thought the kids were lying.  They were getting into a lot of trouble when they went to school without school work or projects or their I-Pad or whatever.  The kids were already demoralized and this just added to it.  He ended up having to send a letter of explanation and meet with the teachers to ask them to be understanding while he and his ex worked things out through the courts.  He apologized for the inconvenience and asked if each teacher could provide him with a list of any upcoming assignments/resources needed each week.  When the kids were with him they made up any assignments they had not been able to complete while with her.  It meant a lot more work for him and for them but at least they didn't fall behind in school.

Edited by OneStepAtATime
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Make sure she is documenting EVERYTHING. Keep a notebook, write down every encounter or information relayed from the kids, even "good" stuff. Just every interaction in the notebook.

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Make sure she is documenting EVERYTHING. Keep a notebook, write down every encounter or information relayed from the kids, even "good" stuff. Just every interaction in the notebook.

Yes this.
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Well, it's been slightly more than two weeks, and already the sh!t's hitting the fan.

 

 

This is about hurting my sister. 

 

My heart breaks for your sister and you. Too often it seems family court prefers parent's rights over children's needs.

Edited by ErinE

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I hope her new attorney is a pitbull.

My goodness...me too.

 

Praying for your family. What a disgusting man :(

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I hope her new attorney is a pitbull.

with two heads, a wicked spiked collar, and rabies.

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Make sure she is documenting EVERYTHING. Keep a notebook, write down every encounter or information relayed from the kids, even "good" stuff. Just every interaction in the notebook.

Yes.  Dates, times, everything.  Keep a calendar and a notebook and track it all.  No malicious commentary, just facts.  Including all of her own contact with the kids and for how long and when.  And she mustn't trash him in public.

Edited by OneStepAtATime
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Can she record phone calls from the kids? (From him too, but not sure if you need permission).

 

Can she request a different judge when she takes him back to court?

 

I am so sorry for the trauma he is putting all of them through :(

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And yes, y'all read that right. My sister did not see nor talk to her kids on Mother's Day weekend. At all.

 

I'm telling you, this is NOT about what's best for the kids. This is about hurting my sister. That's all he's ever cared about.

 

Ugh! You'd think he'd have at least been on "best behavior" for a time :(

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Text messages or email when she communicates with him, if at ALL possible. Save any voicemails. Things in writing can be proven, versus he said/she said. 

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Hopefully, if he keeps breaking court orders, she can get this situation turned around.  

 

With regards to the school issued I-Pad, did she need it for an assignment?  Your sister might need to let the school know what is happening.  When my BIL went through a very nasty divorce (narcissistic ex-wife) there were so many bizarre things going on behind the scenes when the kids were with her that the school thought the kids were lying.  They were getting into a lot of trouble when they went to school without school work or projects or their I-Pad or whatever.  The kids were already demoralized and this just added to it.  He ended up having to send a letter of explanation and meet with the teachers to ask them to be understanding while he and his ex worked things out through the courts.  He apologized for the inconvenience and asked if each teacher could provide him with a list of any upcoming assignments/resources needed each week.  When the kids were with him they made up any assignments they had not been able to complete while with her.  It meant a lot more work for him and for them but at least they didn't fall behind in school.

 

This is what I am thinking.  He is already breaking court orders two weeks in.  Perhaps an aggressive attorney can get something done before too much time passes. 

I'm really sorry.   This is awful. 

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This is the trouble with giving a jerk a chance. They never come through. Which OP knew this guy wouldn't and the kids would suffer. The judge needs to be replaced.

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If her Ex DH is unemployed, that will set a great example for the children. And if he is successful getting Child Support then he will not need to work. He has this figured out. I wonder what the Judge thought about him being unemployed and how that entered into the decision.

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If her Ex DH is unemployed, that will set a great example for the children. And if he is successful getting Child Support then he will not need to work. He has this figured out. I wonder what the Judge thought about him being unemployed and how that entered into the decision.

It absolutely did play into the decision. BECAUSE he is unemployed, he is available to the kids both morning and night, and more available to "meet their needs." My sister is a 9-1-1 operator who works 12 hour shifts four days in a row with two days off, and not as readily available to the kids, so the judge says.

 

Eta: I've read the court order, and this is literally what it says.

Edited by Kinsa
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:grouphug:  :grouphug:  :grouphug:  To all of you.  Hopefully the kids know that she is still in their corner and doing the best she can to help them.  

 

Would switching jobs so she is more available for their schedules help?  Is that even a possibility?  I realize it is woefully unfair for her to have to change career paths because her ex and his unemployment status make him a more desirable parent in the eyes of a judge.  I just wondered, though, if that might be something she had explored in case it came to that?

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I hope your sister finds a new attorney who will explore all her options.  Sadly, (I agree) she may need to consider different work hours or find some solution to make herself available as he is; they are definitely going to need to play hardball in an uphill battle.  It's just so sad for the kids.

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