Today was the court date to go over child custody. As per mediation a week ago, it was recommended that my ex only get the children every Friday evening, and a full Saturday, but no overnights. It was also recommended that he attend a domestic violence group for a year,a nd maybe some parenting classes. Of concern was his anger issues, neglectful nature in hygiene and care, and what he said and did in front of the kids.
We got to court, and of course he brought his girlfriend. She handed me a legal packet holding copies of every single note I had ever written him since our seperation. What relevance this had to the case, I don’t know. The judge didn’t even mention them.
We were told to go outside to try to come to an agreement before letting the judge decide, and the GF got up too, as if this concerned her. My ex had to tell her to stay put (good dog). My ex and I went outside, and of course couldn’t come to an agreement. We came back in, and the judge saw us.
My ex acted like a complete ass. He couldn’t stay on topic if his life depended on it. The judge would ask him a question, and my ex would go off on this 5 minute explanation, without ever answering the question at hand. He kicked back in his chair as if her were watching TV or something. He kept interrupting the judge. He kept looking back at GF and smirking. The judge told him if he looked at GF one more time he’d hold him in contempt of court. I had to bite the corners of my cheeks. Then Ex kept referring to the kids as his kids. The judge corrected him repeatedly, telling him to refer to them as “our kids”. But Ex kept forgetting and reffered to them as “my kids”. The judge fined him $25 after he kept failing.
The judge told Ex that of concern was his intimidating bahavior and nature, by the mediator, myself, and the court. He also told Ex that his behavior in court was basically rude. He told Ex that it was the court’s job to make an unbiased decision, but the more the judge was talking to Ex, the harder it was to be unbiased.
With that said, the custody was not changed. The days were changed to accomodate Ex’s work schedule, but the time allowed, and overnights stayed the same. Ex was not ordered to attend a domestic violence group, or even counseling alone. Instead we are to attend co-parent counseling TOGETHER for at least 4 sessions before the next court date. And Ex must attend a parenting class called “Handling Anger, Mine and My Child’s”. And in three months, we meet again in court to see what’s been done.
So basically, it was a waste of time. Yes, the class he has to attend will be helpful, and co-parent counselling isn’t such a bad thing. But this man is incapable of being a consistently good role model. He is and always will be an abusive man. And it is disheartening when a judge who seemed to see right through him only slapped him on the wrist with some very ineffective orders. After the court date I had several people come up to me, who recognized Ex for who he was, and tell me to hang in there. One lady told me I needed to go to the YWCA and get a lawyer through them.
I’m just really discouraged. Several months ago I was denied access to a restraining order after an incident with Ex because even though he was intimidating me and holding my kids hostage, he had not physically abused me since April of the year before. Now he got to be an ass in court, and still get his way. Basically this was what Ex wanted, and he got it. It just doesn’t make sense.
I have been praying furiously over this, not to get my way, but for the Lord to intervene and make sure that whatever orders were put out, they would be in the kids’ very best interest. Maybe this is what it is. It doesn’t make sense any other way. All I can do is go along with the orders, but pay attention in the next three months as to what’s going on. And maybe I’ll still hire that lawyer. But as hard as it is, I must be accepting of this outcome.