My ex filed for full custody of two of our three children last March. The two boys. He wanted to eliminate my parenting time with them while splitting my daughter’s parenting time equally between us.
He saw and still sees himself as “saving” them from me.
The papers were delivered to my house the day before I was supposed to leave for spring break with my children.
Of course, I was a wreck.
Court is traumatizing. Professionals openly make fun of you. They tell you that you can’t talk about abuse or anything that’s real. You have to sit still and be quiet. You have to show up as many times as your ex wants you to show up.
Our trial went on for six full days. That came after a hearing for temporary orders, a hearing for my ex’s appeal of the temporary orders, three and a half days of depositions, several days of meeting with his various forensic experts, and a pre-trial conference or two, plus two rounds of mediation and maybe there’s even more I’m not thinking of.
We owned one piece of property together. No commingled estates. Nothing.
We didn’t even have to negotiate custody during trial. I signed the parenting agreement (to my extreme disadvantage) far in advance, when the Guardian ad litem told me that he could tell the magistrate to give full custody to my ex, and that she’d do it. He said that if I didn’t sign the parenting plan, it was likely that I’d lose my parenting rights entirely.
So I signed.
And yet we were in court for six full days, anyway.
And I realized that the court is mean. It loves gossip. And most people lie. Especially my ex’s attorney. And when we caught him slanting paperwork and withholding evidence in the courtroom and pointed it out to the magistrate, she would simply ignore us.
I always thought attorneys would get in trouble for directly and intentionally lying in court.
Let alone their clients.
But nothing ever happened.
So when I received the court papers announcing that he’d filed for full custody last March, you can imagine how upset I was.
And it got even worse when my oldest announced that he wasn’t going with us. On spring break. That his dad said he shouldn’t have to, so he was just staying home with his dad.
That was last March.
And I’m still in court today. Almost one year later.
Trying and scratching to retain my rights to parent my children.
It scares me to death.