It’s now April, the Judge decided he wanted to interview our son. After another Judge change and several postponements made by the court and he was finally interviewed August 19th. Which also happens to be my birthday.
We finished out the rest of the summer waiting to hear back from the court for our next hearing. My son started his 8th grade year in September. I tried to call him to see how his first day went but his phone went straight to voicemail. I text his Dad asking to have him call me I wanted to hear how his first day back went. My ex texts me back saying he didn’t start school until the following day. I was very confused because I had the school calendar printed out in front of me saying otherwise. I questioned him. He answers saying he moved our son AGAIN! He got back with the girl he broke up with that past winter, moved back into her house and changed our sons school again. If you’re keeping track that’s 3 moves and 3 school changes in less than a year. It took ever fiber in my being not to blow a gasket. I let it go, I didn’t respond.
Mid September we finally received another court date. We go back in and the Judge reviews the interview she had with our son. She explained how he was happy living at his Grandmother’s house and liked the kids and school there. He also said he like my house too but rather go to school where his Grandmother lives. He also told the Judge how much he hated the school he went to before and his Dad’s girlfriend. He said the kids were mean to him and he never really felt like where he was living was his home. He didn’t feel like he belongs. I could tell the judge was going to keep our custody order as it is until she asked my lawyer if there was any reason to move forward (to trial). My lawyer informed the Judge that my ex moved our son back into the home he said he hates and back to the school with the mean kids. The look on the Judges face was PRICELESS. Needless to say the Judge granted our request for trial.
November 30th, trial day. I don’t think I slept at all that weekend leading up to our trial. We (me and my husband) got there a little early and met with my lawyer just to review our initial certification and all the things that have happened after. After what felt like hours we finally go in front of the Judge.
Since I had a lawyer and my ex did not the Judge had us present our case first. My lawyer asked me about what has happened in the past year and half since my initial filing. I told the Judge about all the missed weekends my ex wouldn’t show up for me to see our son. How I wasn’t included on any of the school forms either time he changed our sons school. How he bad mouthed me to our son. Everything. I had text messages to prove my accusations and emails from teacher about our sons slipping grades.
My ex didn’t realize we were going to a for real trial. I don’t know what he thought but he was completely unprepared. His attitude was as if this was all a waste of his time and there was no need for us to be there. It’s now his turn to question me. Almost every thing he tried to ask my lawyer objected. On record he told the court that when I use to live in NJ he use to follow me during my time with our son to see what we did. I had no idea that he did that. I was pretty upset and felt violated that I quickly snapped at him say “So your saying you use to stalk me!” After that he just gave up trying to think of things to ask me in his defense.
My lawyer then called my husband to testify. He asked him about his relationship with my son and what he thought about him living full time with us. He asked my husband about a comment he made to my son. My son told the judge my husband threatened to hit him. A few months before my son was interviewed he was over for a weekend. He was being nasty, disrespectful, talking back and just defiant. My husband said to him, you’re lucky your Mom lets you get away with talking to her like that if I acting like that toward my Mom I’d get my butt beat.
My ex then got to question him. He asked him if he ever threatened to hit our son. My husband again said no and stated what happened. My ex then asked him about a joke he told our son to try to make him look like a bad guy. My husband said an adult oriented joke in front of my son once. Apologized right away and even texted my ex apologizing about it. It happens we are far from perfect but we can admit when we are in the wrong. After trying to show the judge a partial screen shot of the text messages my husband sent my ex explaining what happened the Judge stopped the questioning because none of it was really relevant.
My ex now got to testify on his own behalf. He basically agreed with what I testified about how our relationship began up, after I moved to PA, until he left his wife. He was telling the court about the time he filed for full custody when our son was 5. The court had us complete a custody neutral assessment. In the finding the court appointed psychologist suggested our son live with me full time and to see his Dad every other week (less than our current order at the time). He then dropped his petition with the court and left our order as it was before he filed. He told the court I won that battle but later when I decided to take a job in PA and move that he was finally starting to win the war. I found that wording odd, like this was a game of winning and losing. To me no matter the out come of all of this we all loose.
My lawyer now questioned my ex. Asked him if he thinks its important for our son to see me. He said no. He gives him the choice. If our son says he doesn’t want to he doesn’t take him to meet me like the court order states. My lawyer asked if he thinks its important for me to be on school lists, doctors forms, and involved in deciding what activities our son is involved in, again he answered no. That was the end of the trial.
The Judge decided right then she wanted to interview our son for a 2nd time since there was yet another change in circumstance. We quickly hashed out a Christmas schedule to put on record for both of us to follow. We were dismissed.
My husband and I are out in the lobby talking with my lawyer about today’s events when my ex came up to us saying he can’t meet at our court ordered time any longer that this week his work schedule was changing. He went back into the court and had the bailiff summons the Judge back into the courtroom. She told him our meet time was already set in the order and that he needs to abide by it. He told the Judge that he can’t and no one else can met me for him at that time so if I wanted to see my son I would have to pick him up in NJ, (a 6 hour round trip). The Judge said no unless I agreed to the change, I said no but was willing to push our meet time out an hour and a half instead. The Judge agreed and put it on record.
Now we wait for a new interview date.