Need some support - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 34 Old 07-11-2014, 02:21 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Chino Valley, AZ
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Need some support

There's a long and somewhat painful story attached to this whole thing, but this is the basics.

June 28, 2003, I got married.

February 28, 2004, I gave birth to my son.

April 27, 2007, I got divorced.

My ex-husband was mentally, emotionally, and psychologically abusive toward me. I finally said "enough is enough" and got out. Because he is very persuasive and because I was in no place (financially or emotionally) to care for my son, I gave him full custody of my son. I'm not proud of my decision and I have regretted it every day since, but until the last year or two, I was too transient to provide the kind of care and life my son deserved. I was also to pay $300 per month in child support to my ex-husband, and I was allowed to see my son on my days off.

That worked fine while I lived 15-20 miles from where my ex lived. Then I moved about 250 miles away back to my home town to go back to school. That was five years ago. In that five years, I have seen my son for less than thirty days total per year (usually 3-5 days, sometimes as many as seven days, for spring break, summer, Thanksgiving and Christmas...usually the holidays because my ex always works). Every time we have asked my ex to let my son stay longer with us, he says "He'll miss me too much."

You may notice that I said "WE asked." My ex won't answer the phone when I call and won't return my voicemails. I stopped even trying to call a couple of years ago because I got so frustrated with it. I would call and leave a message asking him to have my son call me, and it would never happen. Or, I would call, my ex would answer the phone, my son would be at his grandparents' house, I'd ask my ex to have my son call me, and it never happened. I tried calling his parents once right after we got divorced and my ex called me screaming at me to never call his parents again and to delete their number from my phone. So, my parents call my ex and set up times to pick up my son. It's always at my ex-husband's convenience and more often than not, my parents have to drive the five hours down to pick up and drop off my son because my ex will rarely meet them halfway and I usually have to work. My son stays at my parents' house while he is visiting, which was fine when I was living in half of a four-car garage, but now that I live in an actual house with a man who adores my son, I still am "not allowed" to have him stay with me, per my parents (my ex, knowing full-well how my parents felt about me living with my boyfriend, said that it was okay with him if my son stayed with me as long as it was okay with my parents). My parents have even gone so far as to, without my knowledge, give my ex-husband gas money to meet them halfway. My sister has also helped by picking up my son from my ex and then meeting my parents closer to where we live (she lives about halfway between us).

A few months ago, my ex-husband emailed me threatening to take me to court for child support. I have not been financially able to pay child support since I moved back home. Heck, I was barely able to pay it when I lived closer to him. I never went and got my child support modified because, accord to the state calculating website, I was supposed to be paying $500 per month based on how much parenting time I got, which I really couldn't do. He also flipped out on me because my father took my son to meet my brother last summer (also the last time I saw my son). My brother, at the time, was recently released from prison and is a convicted sex offender. I had NO knowledge of my father taking my son to meet my brother until WELL after the fact. My father still doesn't see anything wrong with what he did (my brother would NEVER dream of hurting my son, but it was wrong of my father to put him in that position). My ex informed me that my son would no longer be allowed to visit me in my home town and that I would have to drive two hours to my sister's house to see him. My parents went to see my son on Easter Sunday, but I had to work.

Yesterday, I got a text from my ex-husband (first text I have received from him in five years...he got my number from my mother) stating that I was going to be served papers from the court. He also asked for my address. My boyfriend flipped out. He did not want my ex knowing where we live (we live in my boyfriend's mom's house) and potentially coming up here to cause problems. The texts I received from my ex were very aggressive and demeaning (he enjoys acting superior and taunting me). I was civil in my responses. I received a call from the processing officer today while I was taking a shower getting ready for work. Not five minutes after the processing officer called and left a message, my ex texted me and ordered me to answer the phone because the processing officer was calling me. The processing officer then called me again two minutes later.

I am getting off work right now, so I will finish this tomorrow.
Do not tell me I can't...because I will show you that I can.
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post #2 of 34 Old 07-11-2014, 07:32 AM
Green Broke
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Location: Vidor, Texas
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Save the threatening texts. Document everything that you can remember and that any witnesses can remember, dates-times-threats, etc. Legally he can't keep you from seeing your son whether you are paying child support or not. Don't beat yourself up, things happen beyond our control sometimes. Good luck and thoughts your way. I'll keep you in my prayers.
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post #3 of 34 Old 07-11-2014, 01:10 PM
Join Date: Jul 2014
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Don't give up! Do your best to make sure he can't see that he is intimidating you. Some people just have no respect for others and I am seeing this about him in this situation.i agree with gigem88. Save everything that you possibly can! Any type of proof will help for any matters. I wish you luck and stay strong! God bless you!
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post #4 of 34 Old 07-11-2014, 07:31 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Chino Valley, AZ
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Sorry for bolting last night. I was on the work computer and had no way to save all of what I had written.

Anyway, I got served today. The processing officer was actually very nice.

I'm going to go to see about free legal help/advise on my days off because I found some stuff on the court paperwork from our divorce that might prove a loophole.

I'm going to fight this. My boyfriend's older brother went through almost an identical ordeal with his ex-wife. She took him to court for unpaid child support, but wasn't letting him see his son. He counter-served her and ended up getting joint custody (she had full custody) and doesn't have to pay child support.
Do not tell me I can't...because I will show you that I can.
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post #5 of 34 Old 07-11-2014, 08:13 PM
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You might want to do that, go for joint custody, which you should have anyways.

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post #6 of 34 Old 07-11-2014, 09:12 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by waresbear View Post
You might want to do that, go for joint custody, which you should have anyways.
I've been wanting to for a while. Up until the last two years, I haven't been in a place where I could, in good conscience, have my son live with me. Heck, for two and a half years, I lived in half of a four-car garage with a half-bath. Now that I actually live in a house and have a good job, I feel more comfortable having him live with me.
Foxtail Ranch likes this.
Do not tell me I can't...because I will show you that I can.
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post #7 of 34 Old 07-13-2014, 04:38 AM
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You're a wonderful mother for wanting, and putting for the effort to have, your child in your life.
I have no advice, I just wish you much luck and perseverance. will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. ... Explore. Dream. Discover.”
–Mark Twain
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post #8 of 34 Old 07-13-2014, 08:43 AM
Green Broke
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Hang in there and keep us posted on your progress!
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post #9 of 34 Old 07-13-2014, 06:55 PM Thread Starter
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I go back and forth a lot.

There are times when I'm angry and want to get full custody of my son. My ex works all the time and my son spends more time at his grandparents' house than he does with his dad. When you ask my son if Daddy does anything with him, he scoffs and says no. My ex also won't let him play sports (doesn't want to pay for it and works too much to take him to practices or games). My son LOVES football (QB!) and soccer and has mentioned to me several times that he wants to play but "Daddy won't let him." When my son saw the promise ring on my left hand that my boyfriend gave me, he asked me what it was for. When I told him, his eyes lit up and he said "Does that mean Robert's going to be my Daddy?!" I've rarely seen him that genuinely excited. My ex has also said that he will never get married again and won't even date because I "broke [his] heart too badly and [he'll] never trust another woman again."

Then, there are times when I feel like I should just buckle and give up and that I'm never going to win. I should just suck it up and pay my ex the ridiculous amount of money he wants (even though he quite literally makes 2.5-3 times as much as I do per month, plus his parents help him all the time and he gets free child care from them). He's taking me to court for $19,800 in back child support (five years at $300 per month). I don't even make that much per year. I feel like I'm being too critical of him and that it's all my fault for not seeing my son as much.

Ugh. I hate this.
Do not tell me I can't...because I will show you that I can.
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post #10 of 34 Old 07-13-2014, 08:00 PM
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Drafty, this kind of thing is so difficult! I am sending you hugs and prayers for a peaceful heart. My ex-husband took me to court 9 times in 3 years, trying to take custody of our kids and lower his child support payments. He played my kids as pawns in his game of revenge with me over and over again. My children are all grown now, and I don't have to deal with him anymore very much, and I am grateful for that.

When you go through those times when you want to quit, and you are filled with guilt for what you think you should have done, remember that when you fight, you are fighting for what your son NEEDS. He needs you, he needs to know you will fight for him and he needs your love. It is not because you are selfish, or taking anything away from him. When you allowed your ex to care for your son, you were thinking of your boy's well being, and it was the right thing to do.

Keep calling. Send letters, cards and gifts. Never stop. He needs you to keep trying everything you can to be a part of his life.

Keep a journal of what happens, and tracks everything. This is one of the strongest pieces of evidence you can share in court, and carries a lot of weight.

Whenever you feel like giving up, remember that this is for your son's benefit, not yours. Its not selfish or wrong and never could be for a parent to express her love for her child.

Some people like your ex (and mine) use intimidation to get their way. When I felt like my ex was playing me, I would ask myself "what would my (strong, wonderful) grandma do if she were me?" She was my image of a strong and loving lady, and I would pretend to be her when being myself was too weak and easily intimidated. My grandma is the one who taught me that. Do you have a woman in your life that you can use as an image of strength?

You can do this! Maybe now is the time for you to take a bigger role in your son's life. You will know if it is, and you can find the strength you need.
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