Tuesday, August 30, 2011

THE WEEK that changed it all.....

Five years ago today, I found myself sitting in a courtroom....not exactly the plan I had for my life...or even for that summer......this blog is about that day in our life.  a little heavy, but necessary to talk about..so if you have experienced the world of divorce, you will identify..if you have not, it can give you some insight into one family's journey, and last but not least, if you do not care to know anything about divorce and child custody issues...then just stop...and come again thursday.....kinda like those little books where you can choose your own ending...but life is not like that..oh, wish that it was..
storm clouds

Anyway, here goes..and remember this is MY story....and MY side that I am telling.....

the way we ended up in court when my stepdaughter was 13 years old....   her mother had moved her out of state without involving us in any of the decisions and we knew NOTHING about it until the days before the move......
we contacted a lawyer to see what we could do so we could maintain a relationship with said daughter....we were advised that mom was in contempt of court and that we should proceed with that..so that is what we did...
After many consultations with our lawyer and many people praying for us, we arrived at court on that fateful day..confident that we would be heard and a plan would be worked out so that visitation would continue...we had done all of the driving for more than 10 years and had had daughter every other weekend and lots of holidays....

We waited and waited for our turn before the judge...when it was our turn..the judge said he didn't want to hear our case!!!!!!!!!!!!!!   that we should get together with our lawyers and work it out.....HELLO!!!  Mr. JUDGE!!! where is the justice in this????   oh, yes, I forgot..this is Georgia and we are the father...not the mother...(.remember, she is the one in contempt for doing the move without telling child's father???)  so, we tried to work it out with our lawyers..the EX had hired a lawyer that is mainly a litigation attorney which means that he just wants to WIN money for his client...not interested in keeping the family intact or for justice..he just wanted to destroy our character in order to win his 'case'..which was that he wanted us to pay for half of the braces daughter had gotten without any input from father..I KNOW, this is sticky and yuk..but there is a reason I am writing this today....
What had been meant as an action to bring an assurance that the father/daughter relationship would continue was turned into an all out war against US for non payment of the braces...?????????  and the request we made, since EX had been the one to move..was that she bring daughter here from now on....she refused and lawyer decided we should drive a total of 8 hrs each weekend we had visitation....that was NOT reasonable.....but this is what the lawyer s agreement was....EX's  lawyer was determined to not budge an inch on anything..
and
When we had settled and had to bring this before the judge at the end, to finish up the day in court..EX's lawyer stood and said......
"Judge Jackson, Mrs.-------EX  is afraid for the safety of her daughter when she is in her father's house!!!!!  she feels it is not a safe environment for her..and the daughter wishes to live with her mother........."  and some more, but by that time, I was beat....I could not believe my ears..
.
and as if that was not enough, the EX filled out papers to garnishee our wages!  when I questioned our lawyer about this, he said she is doing that because she can..it is state law......we had always paid the child support so that was not in question....this was done just out of spite and power struggle..and yes, it was humiliating for us.....

So, as we left the courtroom that day..we had not won this battle at all..we owed more than a thousand dollars to EX, we would not get a compromise on visitation travel, and we had been called unsafe in a court of law....anybody that knows me knows this is ridiculous....false accusation...but made, nevertheless...
Was there any of the other team thinking about the welfare of the child?????  or her need for a father in her life?????
no, I don't think so..I think the goal was to get rid of him...to undo all that we had done over the years...to sever the relationship between daughter and father..and to get the EX some more money..no matter the cost to human lives..

Well, she got her money..and she got the garnishment...and she got her daughter...
and we got rid of the EX.....

the best thing that came out of the day in court was no more input from EX...the saddest part about that day was there was no thought given to preserving relationships at all....that litigation lawyer gave no thought to the heart of a little girl that loved her daddy....it was all about the money and winning!!

as I reflect on that day 5 years ago, I am still somewhat grieved at how we were not given a fair say that day..the daughter has NEVER heard our side of the story...she only got the side that her mom told her and her grandmother...we have not talked to her about it at all...she never asked to hear from us...and that day broke the relationship....just as the EX wanted....

I do not give up hope that one day we will be able to tell our side...that we will be listened to ....that it will be realized that there are 2 sides to EVERY STORY!!

I urge you... if you are the EX, don't try to destroy the other one..it is not the right thing to do....
I have been the ex and I have  an ex and my husband has an ex too.....I have lived on a lot of sides of divorce..with grown children and with very young children..with an agreeable ex and with one that wanted to destroy you...I never thought for one minute that I would ever, ever know anything about divorce..but I am here to tell you..I know a lot more than I ever wanted to know!!

Divorce is hurtful and devastating..and it lasts forever....

all the way through, I have tried to remember that we reap what we sow..I have tried to sow forgiveness and grace...sometimes taking me weeks to get past the hurt....but I am determined to live free of the bitterness and unforgiveness....and I would like to talk to anybody and everybody that is experiencing this or has already had divorce as part of their life....no matter what the other one does to you, YOU CAN LIVE A GOOD LIFE!!!
turned to blue skies...JUSTICE

there is life after divorce...after you have been treated badly and unfairly...and children have been turned against you...(mamas, please don't turn your children against their daddy) and you have lived with a stranglehold on your money while you pay child support......(we are DONE)......

BE KIND...

nothing about divorce is good...it tears up families and the effects go on and on...no matter what you have been told.....the children are NOT better off, they suffer!!
I am assured there is healing for hurt hearts.....only God can mend this broken heart...no man can fix it.....
divorce breaks families

only God can bring a broken family to a place of restoration.....
this is a part of my story..not a pretty part...a very vulnerable and hurtful part...but I felt like it needed to be told today.....


stay tuned!!

 later in this very same week 5 years ago a miracle took place. two days later, we became grandparents...

3 comments:

  1. Mona - this is such a moving post. I have not had to personally experience divorce, but my friends and family members have. It is horrible for the children and some of the hurts never go away. Bless you for forgiving and not becoming bitter. You are so brave to write these blogs to help others - I am sure that you have made a difference in many lives.

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  2. Thank you Mona, so well said.

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  3. Diane..thank you for your sweetness.and for saying I am brave...I needed to hear that...thank you
    anonymous.......thank you....thank you

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