Friday, December 27, 2013

Enter the New Husband

After living with my parents for five years, I started dating my current husband. He had recently divorced and our relationship started out as friends commiserating. It slowly developed into more than that. We married about a year and a half later.

My parents were not happy with the decision. I stood and listened to them telling me why it would be a mistake to marry him. Their arguments consisted of the fact that he was divorced, had three kids and a hefty child support payment and an unpleasant ex wife. I understood all of these things. They were valid points and complications I knew I would be taking on. I tried to reassure them and heard out all of their arguments. I understood that my parents had scars from my divorce. They didn't want to see me get hurt again.

After weighing everything for a very long time, I made my decision. My parents attended the wedding but made their disapproval clear. I had hoped that they would come around in time, that they would come to see what I saw in him. My parents disliked my sister's husband at first. After a couple of years, they came around.

For the first time in six years, I was very happy. I had fallen in love, moved into a house of my own and was moving on with my life.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Temporary Orders for Grandparent Visitation

Before we even had a chance to respond to my parents' first petition for visitation, they filed a second request: temporary grandparent visitation. Basically, they were asking for a visitation schedule while the judge decided if a permanent schedule should be set up or not. Temporaray visitation can be seen as a foothold. Especially when judges are considering "best interest of the child." If a case comes before a judge regarding visitation that is already taking place, the judge is most likely to rule that the visitation continue because it's what the child is used to (unless the person is on drugs or is abusive or is in prision or something extreme like that).

My parents proposed the following schedule:

Once a month Friday evening until Saturday evening, one telephone call per week for at least 10 minutes (keep in mind my son was only six at the time), and the ability to provide any gift they'd like to their grandson.

The whole thing sickened me. The idea that the court could possibly rule in their favor and tell me what I had to do with my son infuriated me.

Would the court rule in their favor?

Monday, December 2, 2013

The First Time in Court with my Parents

The first time I stepped foot in a courtroom with my parents, we were allies, not enemies.

My divorce was uncontested and completed over the internet. At first my ex didn't have any interest in our son. I agreed to refuse child support while he quietly slipped away from our lives. A few months later, he summoned me to court to establish visitation.

This began a two year sporadic legal battle between me and my ex over visitation. Through this stressful time, my parents supported me financially and emotionally. And in the end, I suppose we "won." More accurately, my ex got remarried and lost interest.

I wonder if this first experience somehow laid the groundwork for the legal action my parents took against me later. They learned about a weapon. They watched my fear and anxiety as I stood before commissioners, mediators, judges, undergoing depositions and becoming helpless as those in authority determined my and my son's fate.

It was a dark time for me. While my parents comforted and supported me, they were also learning about how to hurt me most . . . Should they need it in the future.