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Update on my most recent personal experience
As you may have read previously, back in June, my ex filed for custody of my youngest son. My son and I had had an argument over the fact that his room was a pig stye and I wanted it cleaned. That was my only crime, demanding that my son clean his room. I had let my guard down, expecting that my ex would not go backwards and would actually tell my son that his behavior was not acceptable anywhere and would not be acceptable at his home either, instead he filed for sole custody, told the same lies to the judge that he always had told way back when and pulled his poor, poor pitiful me act yet again. I expected the judge to review the case and why I won sole custody, but the judge was lazy and did not want to do his job. The judge did not allow me the opportunity to speak to my son or to allow me to set up mediation. Mr. Judge Supreme wanted to show how powerful he was an after telling me that court orders cannot be enforced, he can uphold laws, such as law 609.26, ignoring the past physical abuse that my ex perpetrated against my son, the same child as was in the middle again, and not follow laws or court orders or even the proper procedure, and granted my ex sole custody.
As I strongly suspected, my ex was only interested in ending child support early. Had he told me so, I could have accommodated him, but he could not admit to that. I did know that my ex has been extremely jealous of me having my own business and being a mediator and divorce coach. This has been driving him nuts and his attack was solely an effort to get back his money that he did not feel I deserved or needed. You know what? He can have it. He is an alcoholic and it will not bother me if I see him drink himself to death with it.
You may think that this is a horror story and that I am upset about it. I am not. I have my son back. I want to give you all some hope for those of you living in fear that your ex will turn your child against you. I always tell people that the children will be the ultimate judge of you and your actions had better be in their best interests if you want to win not just the battle, but ultimately win the war.
I let my son go with his dad. I sent him a few emails about my love for him and my expectations of what it would mean for him to be a man. At the time he was 6 months away from turning 18. I also let him know what truths I knew about him and explained to him that I would always be there for him, but that I would not allow anyone to treat me with disrespect or to lie to me. Then I left him think about things and I completely left the choice of visiting me up to him.
After a period of adjustment, he did get past the fear of making his dad mad at him and started coming to stay with me with great frequency. He learned that his dad is not there for him and he had been used. You see, his dad got to keep his child support money but made my son pay for all of his expenses, including food, and medical supplies and medications for what is a chronic medical condition. He would not help my son get his drivers license or any of the things one would do if they really wanted their child. When he got sole custody, he left me listed as my son’s education coach at school and lead the school staff to believe that my son still lives at my house. Why would anyone who wanted custody and claimed child endangerment (because I told my son to clean his room) not take over these issues for their child? Because even in my case, the coparent’s issue is not about the child. It is solely about control. My son is even afraid to tell his dad that he lost his glasses because his dad is a horrible person when he is angry, even after 2 stints in anger management.
Anyway, it was a difficult period of time and since then my son has turned 18. He is making plans to move closer to where I live. The only reason he hasn’t done so is because he has a job out near his dad’s house. The best part is that he now spends a great deal of time at my house, pretty much whenever he is not working. His brother took him to get his drivers license last week when he was at our house and he passed. Even though his physical address is his dad’s house, his dad spends very little time with him.
I guess the point I am trying to make is that you can win in the end, even if you have lost some major battles during the process. In the end your child will know who is the one who is there for them. The other point I am trying to make is this: you know who your ex is. He or she may perform in front of court authorities or other professionals that are involved with your child and draw people into their pity party or manipulate them into aligning with them, but ultimately there comes a time when the kids are grown. You will find that you were right all along. Your ex is who they are and they can pretend all day long to be what they are not, but where it matters, for example, with their children, they cannot hide the truth.
Another bonus is that I think my son learned some important lessons as well.
About lifesdoorsmediationI am a mediator, Life and Divorce Coach and an Instructor of a High Conflict Divorce Program.
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