Court Battles Are Never Pretty

United States
April 17, 2008 12:09pm CST
Have you ever had to go to court? If yes, why? Were you nervous beforehand? How did you feel knowing your fate was in the hands of someone else? I had my custody hearing yesterday for my oldest daughter. I had an anxiety attack over it Tuesday night. I don't know why. I guess it was because 2 years ago I filed a petition to modify my custody order with her father because she whined and cried that she wanted to live with me and when she went in to meet with the judge she told him something different. I wasted $1500.00 to get an order no one (even her) was happy with. So I guess I was just expecting a repeat of that fiasco. My little girl surprised me, and everyone else for that matter. She went in and told the judge everything she told me, her dad, and her therapist. She didn't deviate not one bit. After speaking with my child the judge suggested that the attorneys talk to their clients and come up with some sort of agreement because he was really leaning towards giving my daughter exactly what she wanted with a modification here or there. Her father then started his boo hooing about how he has had primary custody of her since she was 3 (lie #1-he had primary legal from the time she was 6 to when she was 10)and that he couldn't believe the courts would just "rip her away from her family" like this. He said that he got his internet connection disconnected (lie #2-he was playing his World of Warcraft Tuesday night until my daughter went to bed)and that he was planning all kinds of activities for them to participate in. There was more but it is really irrelevant. His attorney was there and heard everything the judge said so either dad was going to agree to something less than the Thursday through Tuesday (which was more than he was getting the past 2 years) the 1st,2nd, and 4th weekends of the month he was asking for or we were going to be forced to waste even more money going through a full blown hearing. Dad finally conceded defeat around 11:30. We agreed that PRIMARY legal custody is vested in every Thursday after school until Sunday night on the 1st, 2nd, and 4th weekends a month and every Wednesday of the 3rd week a month he can have her from 5pm-8pm. An order was entered and it went into effect yesterday. My daughter left the building with me. I haven't seen her this happy in such a long time. She let out this sigh when we got in the car and it was like a huge weight was lifted off of her shoulders. She was practically skipping into the restaurant I took her to for lunch. I'm so happy and so proud of my little girl. This really was a lot of pressure put on someone only 12 years old but she came through it none the worse for wear and now I hope to work on some of her other issues with her, like her self esteem and her stress induced over eating. She spent her 3 hours at her dads last night and it was pure hell. Her step mother told her how she ripped her heart out and if she had known that my daughter was going to ruin her life like this she never would have married her father. And that they are going to end up in government housing and on welfare cause they are going to loss everything they have paying me child support now. Real nice there step-mom. Make your pathetic existence my daughters fault. What a way to show you love someone. There were sob stories all around and surprisingly they couldn't even break my daughters great mood! She was still smiling this morning and so am I. Do you have a story to share?
4 people like this
9 responses
@bellaofchaos (11553)
• United States
17 Apr 08
The most I have ever had to endure was a child suppport hearing against my two oldest father where he won because he said he wasn't able to work in large groups of people because he gets physically violent. Grrr. It took me for ever to prove to the courts it was a lie. I'm so proud of your little girl to and hope she's going to have fun playing the games I'm bringing over tomorrow and I think I have some arts and crafts the kids that are left will like to do. LOL!!!! I also think that her step mom needs a restraining order against her for mental abuse and anguish .. And they wondered why she wanted to get out of there. Gosh these people are really dumb and blind and I know it's more than the step mom it's alot about the dad and how she is treated but really the step mom is icing on the cake. like the rest.
2 people like this
@Hatley (161986)
• Garden Grove, California
12 Jun 08
cynical I am so glad its going your way and that your daughter made it through okay. So now maybe the two of you c an really bond and be happy. I am so fortunate that I havenever been in this kind of a situation. I married one man and stayed married for thirty four years. I am now a widow and live with my adult son. I am still pretty contented with my life.
@baileycows (3669)
• United States
9 Jun 08
I have spent the last 4 years in custody proceedings since the divorce of my ex husband if you think 1500.00 is bad then think again that is the minium everytime I file. So you can imagine I am well up to around 8K. And the verdicts are always the same. We are about to go to court again.
• United States
4 May 08
I had to go to courtlast week to try to modify custody. Their dad has only seen them 2 times in 6 years. That was a disaster. He said he was going to sign his rights away because he is tired of the "bickering" and I never speak to him. The judge asks him if he wants the kids this weekend and he says "uh, uh, uh, I live with my mom right now (33years old) and I dont have a way to go pick them up but I can go to her house (points at me) and see them for a couple of hours but then I gotta go home. He was gonna sign them over to me a minute before that them basically told the judge he didn't want them and the judge still acted like I was the bad guy!! The case was put off for 60 days so HE can get a lawyer!! I am soo disgusted and lost. The kids are horrified! They don't want to be around him, they are scared of him but the judge said that didn't matter...WTF!!
@michelyn (717)
• United States
23 Apr 08
I went through a custody battle from March 2006 to February 2007. My ex-husband has had the kids since they were born because I was too young and very stupid. In this state, the only way to reverse a custody order is to prove that it is detrimental to the health of the children to remain in his care. I knew it was, but I had to be able to prove it as well. This was to be done without just making accusations. We tried to get the judge to order a home study so they could see how bad it really was, but he wouldn't. It seemed like everything I tried got shot down. My daughter decided that she wanted to talk to the judge since she was the only one that could provide proof of the things that I had been claiming. Her life with him became absolutely miserable once he found that out. I tried to file an emergency injunction to get them moved out of his home once it got that bad, but they wouldn't do that either. Just when I figured that we were going to be SOL, strange things started happening. We received a letter from the opposing attorney stating that she was dropping him as a client. I wished so bad that I could find out from her why she was dropping him, but client/attorney privilege. Next, we had a scheduled deposition that he didn't show up for. Since the deposition was supposed to be his, I was a little ticked off. One more thing seemed to be going badly against me. I heard from my attorney that the reason opposing counsel had dropped my ex was because he hadn't paid his bill. I can assure you that this whole time, my children were experiencing a mental and emotional abuse that is beyond comprehension. There were lots of secret phone calls and crying and threats to run away. I had to call the cops to their house once. And then it happened! Out of the blue, he was on the phone and wanted to talk to me to see if we could come up with some of agreement so he didn't have to go back into a court room or anything. This was the first time that SOB ever talked to me like I was another person in 13 1/2 years. He gave them to me. He had gotten a job offer that required him to go and work in Hawaii. He wanted to be free to go and do that. I was so happy and so pissed at the same time. I was elated to be getting my kids without any further fighting, but I was pissed that they didn't mean more to him than some short-term job in Hawaii! Regardless, I ended up with them and they are so much better off now. Of course, things are still a nightmare with their father and they don't see him very much at all. In some ways, it's a good thing, but it's hard on them! He's basically disowned our daughter though. He threatened her with it before court and he's made it known since then. She's written him off for the most part. It's an extreme situation for them to have to go through especially since they don't fully understand the workings of parenting and how the laws work. They get caught in the middle of the whole thing and don't really know who to talk to or how to deal with it. I'm glad that things worked out for you and your daughter. She will quickly become her own person and see the comments from her father and stepmother for what they are. Once they are able to think for themselves, everything starts to come together and they can see who really wants the best for them. Hang in there! You're doing a wonderful job so far.
@mssnow (9496)
• United States
18 Apr 08
Congratulations on getting your daughter back, I cant imagine going through that. Her step mom needs to take paretning classes because you dont say such things to a child. As for me, I had to go to court to testify against a drunk driver who had hit my car. That was easy. I was asked a few questions and that was it. Good luck to you
• India
18 Apr 08
No, thankfully I have never had to go to court and I know I am lucky for this. So no story here but I am glad that it is finally over for you and your daughter. A new beginning is always replete with hope and love and trust and I know you will groom her to be a wonderful lady. Only thing is that she still would have to go to visit them and may often bring in bad experiences and at her age it is something that would bother you from time to time. From what I can make out, it would have been best if she would not have to visit them at all.
@skinnychick (6937)
• United States
18 Apr 08
Let me say....CONGRATS!!! Obviously, we knew who would win this battle and I'm happy for you both. I can't say that I have ever been through a custody battle and hopefully never will! I'm so glad everything worked out for the best!!
@CanadaGal (4307)
• Canada
17 Apr 08
I dislike family court. A LOT. I had to go to court over issues with my ex husband, and even though he never contested anything, and didn't show up most of the time, I was always worried that the judge would rule against me. My self esteem was a mess, that's for sure. I'm just so glad it's all over and done with. Congratulations to you and your daughter on yesterday's ruling! That step mom of hers really does fit into the stereotype, doesn't she? Sheesh! To say those things to a kid! I agree, thank goodness your daughter is mostly out of that living environment! How long before she can legally refuse to visit there? I thought the age was 12, but maybe it's more like 14?