Justice for All
This song says a lot about our legal system. There isn’t much point looking for justice in this system. It is a system that feeds on itself to ingratiate and enrich those that are in the legal profession. It really is a den of thieves, and if you have never had to participate in courtroom hi jinx, count yourself lucky.
I am going to stop hoping for my case to be near an end. At this point I have to accept that it will continue for the next 7 1/2 years. It won’t end until my children are all grown, and that isn’t going to be until June 2022. I used to think that was a long time. Now I know that it will be here in the blink of an eye. Too bad when I blink, I get sucker punched every time. Court has been a scary place for me. Sadly, I am not afraid anymore. I also have no expectations that I will receive fair treatment. In criminal court, lawyers may play fast and loose with the law, but ultimately they have to find some boundaries within the law. In family court, the law is a flimsy thing, and the room for interpretation is so large that a judge is given the leeway to do whatever pleases them, so long as there is a motion, and a child to rule in their best interest to justify the decision.
First the positive. My divorce was bifurcated on 12/31. Nearly two years in court and 18 months of asking for this, it was finally granted. I am now married to my new wife, who I had a ceremony with a year before to the day of my divorce bifurcation. To add to the irony, we eloped and were married on the same day she was married to her first husband. I hope this one turns out better for both of us. There won’t be any children to complicate things. Right now we spend most of our time dealing with the all the fun my ex creates. I still believe that marriage can work, but I also have the common sense to know that I can’t make it happen by myself. Too bad I didn’t have that sense during my first marriage. I would have ended things before we had kids together.
The GAL had threatened to recommend something less than standard visitation if my ex and I did not agree to something different. She and her lawyer had come up with a parenting plan and threatened that we would go to trial if I did not accept it. It was pretty poorly written. I offered some edits and corrections for holidays and such. No major changes. The plan allowed for me to have the kids for a 5 day stretch every two weeks. I wasn’t happy with it, but the block of time being contiguous allowed for me to have some good time with them. She seemed okay with the deal. If you recall, my oldest son cannot come to my house, because he sexually abused my stepson. So the schedule had to do with my other 3 kids. I struggle pretty much everyday with what my relationship can be with my oldest considering what he did, and the fact that he said he did it because he didn’t want to live with me at all. He is now the crux of the arguments used to judge me as a poor father. My oldest son is back at his mothers. The GAL decided that he needed to chime in on our parenting plan, even though he said he would let us alone if we had agreement. He thinks I should have one evening a week, and 8 hours every other weekend. My wife should have no contact with my kids, and no overnights. This is not a plan that could work in the long term, and for me to have any real time with my kids, they would have to miss their activities. Which if you have been reading this blog for long, you will remember that the GAL has a real issue with my kids missing activities for family things when they involve me.
I was told that the GAL has been having regular conversations with my children, and that this is inline with how the feel about me and my wife. My wife picked up the kids from school the day we heard about this. She had gone to the orthodontist and picked up some wax and rubber bands for my son. She had also gone to the pharmacy to get him some cold sore treatment. My son made a point that he wanted to leave some of the stuff at our house so he didn’t have to take it back and forth. My wife started crying. The kids wanted to know why she was crying. She told them what the GAL was recommending, and that there is a real risk of us losing our time with them. The court won’t like the conversation that we had, but over time their mother has had a chance to expose them to what is going on in court without any reprisal, and at this point we had nothing to lose. I told the kids that if they wanted their voices heard, that they needed to make sure that they were sending whatever they wanted considered to the GAL. I told them to make sure that their voices were heard, and that not me, their mother, or the GAL were filling in the blanks for them. None of them remembered communicating with him anytime recently.
To add to my suspicions that there is something wrong, there was a weird texting incident the other weekend at my house. My two oldest and my ex all share an apple account for their iphones. My daughter was having great fun, because her phone was sending and receiving texts as her brother. She was messing with her brother by sending texts to his friends. He wasn’t getting them either. I suspect that my ex was tinkering with the apple account so she can send texts as the kids while they are at my house. It is a fairly simple thing to do, because apple wants you to be able to use any of their devices to communicate as yourself. I can do the same for my step-kids with the apple tools or with the google tools, since they are using google voice for their phones.
With nothing to lose, I am forcing this to trial. The judge will ahve to rule on the issues. She is going ot have to put herself on record regarding the issues. She is going to have to leave herself open to appeal. She also is going to appoint another party to interview the kids, because everything is hearsay regarding the kids. In my state you cannot cross examine a GAL, so you need a third party to verify what the GAL is saying. Recommending that I essentially get no time with my kids makes it so I must challenge everything he is saying. It is possible that with enough crap exposed I could get my time back to 50/50 or better. There is also a risk I could lose it all. Pray for me and my family.