The Hardest Part

The hardest part of my divorce has not been the loss of family, the financial strain, or the effect on my children….the hardest part has been watching the person who my partner decide to remove himself from our daughters life. When we were waiting to go into the courtroom this week, he complained to me that he had not agreed to a change in custody, only visitation.To me, they were one in the same. How can you go from 4o℅ custody to a single weekly visit for a few hours (which is  much more than than once a month couple hours visit that he is actually having), and still say that you are a custodial parent?  He got mad and said he would ask the judge…..the judge agreed with me, and saw that the custody change was what I asked for in the original order. My ex wants all of the benefits of being a parent (like a say in decisions), but none of the responsibilities of actually being a parent.

It’s heartbreaking to watch what a sad person he’s become. I feel sorry for him, knowing that he goes home to that terrible woman at night. His pettiness is beyond belief. I went into that courtroom and asked for a continuance because of his health issues (which I fully realize are inflated), and he refused to allow it. The judge was shocked…he told my ex that this was a gift….people don’t do this, I was being gracious and he should accept it. He has become so mean and petty that he would not allow it, and I just didn’t want to fight. I don’t want to fight him on every damn thing. I took the matter off calendar, and will probably re-file at some point. Even though I lost out on the extra money that I know I would be getting, I felt like being in control was a win for me. The judge told him once again that he was lucky and should appreciate it, but I know he doesn’t.

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Stress

It’s 4 am. I should be sound asleep, preparing myself for my 8am class and a busy Monday. Instead, I am lying in a tepid bath with my trusty cat companion perched on the side of the tub. I’m supposed to be in court Tuesday morning, and I’m stressed. This was supposed to be simple. My ex-husband gave up his custody and the child support is supposed to be adjusted accordingly. It’s a simple matter….except that my ex-husband can never leave it at that. He’s claiming that he has some medical condition requiring $900 of therapy a month, and that it may become permanent. He’s claiming that he fully supports our 20 year old son (who is in a non-profit vocational program and lives in the dorms and receives a living stipend). He’s claiming that I owe him half the cost of medical co-pays for our daughter which were paid from his medical account with his permission before our divorce. He’s claiming that I haven’t made a “good faith effort” to become self sufficient….because despite being a stay home parent for 20 years, 3 years should be plenty of time for me to get an education and make the same amount that he does with his BS and 10 +years of experience.
The difference in child support, as I calculate it- if the court doesn’t agree with adjusting his expenses, is $200 more a month. It’s not a huge amount, but it would allow me to be home more. Despite the breathing room it would give me, I’m not sure if I’m up to going to court over it. I’m so tired of the bullshit, the penny pinching and fighting….I wish he acted like a rational person and we could have a normal conversation. I don’t know if this fight is worth it right now.

Hollow Victory

   This morning, I went back to court. Back to see if the judge would make my temporary restraining order permanent. The restraining order against my ex-husband’s girlfriend….who has been harassing me for two years. How did I get to this place where I had to get a restraining order against someone who (in a perfect world) would be a co-parent to my children? For two years, I have ignored her threatening, demeaning, harassing texts- sent via my ex-husband’s phone. I have lived in fear that she would make good on her violent threats, and wondered what exactly my children were subject to at their father’s house.
   My turn the other cheek attitude ended on Christmas day, when she became physically violent with me and threatened to kill me….in front of my 16 year old. I could no longer stand idly by and allow her to molest me. My 16 year also followed suit and let my ex-husband know that they would not be spending anymore time at his house. I am proud of my child, and grateful for the court decision. It feels like a hollow victory though, since all I really wanted was to be left alone and not harrassed.

Merry F*ing Christmas!

It’s not enough that I kept it simple this year, planned ahead, and should have nothing to do at this point but relax….that’s not the way the universe works.
Thanks, Universe!
I heard back from my lawyer and he thinks I should file a restraining order against my ex-husband’s girlfriend and include my daughter as a protected person. As the girlfriend lives with my ex-husband (and he supports her- she doesn’t work), this would be quite a big deal.
I agree with my lawyer, and I don’t think this woman should be around my daughter….but this would bring about a huge shitstorm. I’m already fearful on a daily basis that she will damage my vehicle. I know she’s vindictive and childish, she has my ex-husband and my adult son to help with her bidding, and if the judge throws my daughter out of the restraining order, she may be subject to blowback. 
I’m gathering opinions and trying to decide the best course of action. Leave a comment if you have an opinion, similar experience, or advice….my ears are open

Just When I Think it’s Over

Every time I feel like the harassment from my ex-husband’s girlfriend has come to a stop, I get a new message from her. In this last one, she identified herself by name….that will come in handy. I’m going to forward them to my lawyer and see what he suggests.
It was more of the same as the rest….she threatened to beat me up if I don’t change my name, and insulted me. Like a 5th grader….
It didn’t occur to me until now, but she’s probably drunk when she sends these. They never make much sense (she seems to have forgotten that we’ve met….and that she was completely tongue tied), and they always come in the middle of the night. My ex has a drinking problem…that’s what broke us up. It makes sense that he would end up with a drinker.
I wish there was some neat and tidy endings to this story, but I don’t see it. I want to be one of those people on the dating sites that proudly proclaims “No Baby Mama Drama!” (Or Baby Daddy), and asks for a partner with ‘no baggage’. I do what I can to not perpetuate this, but I can’t control who he surrounds himself with, or what she does.

   It’s Halloween. I spent the whole day looking forward to putting in my costume, going out, and having some fun. I did get dressed up, and then realized that I needed to go to the store. After the store, I headed to a little dive bar that I like. I pulled in and it looked dead. I realized that I was a couple hours early for the Halloween crowd, and wasn’t feeling like I would make it, so I went home and crawled into bed. Do I get points for dressing up anyway??