Court days can be a very anxious, stressful, emotionally and physically draining time. There is always a grand build up to the actual day. There is strong tension, with frustration and aggravation that is built up over weeks, months, and/or YEARS. Sometimes you just never know what “justice” will throw your way. In my case, “justice” was predicted, and expected.
Yesterday I was in court for two petitions filed by “crazy”; one for Child Support Violation, and the other was an Order of Protection. Let me explain:
She filed a Child Support Violation because when I got a new job last September (after being laid off for 3 months, and STILL paying child support through my unemployment), there was a lapse in the support schedule. As most know, when you get a new job, there is an adjustment period so that HR and/or the payroll company of your employer can align with the State to coordinate payment (I have child support taken out of my paycheck automatically– it’s easier that way). The lapse usually lasts a couple of weeks to a month. During this lapse, she had bounced a check (one of many, I discovered) to the private school (that she cannot afford, nor I agreed to send her to…because WE CANNOT AFFORD IT!). She wanted me to front her money so that the check wouldn’t bounce. I could not, because a week prior I had to get a back tooth pulled– my insurance with my new company didn’t kick in, so I had to pay out of pocket (over $800). So, the check bounced…and a week later, I got a petition in the mail. Not only did she complain about the lapse, she also decided that I owed her money for a bunch of things that she bought and paid for that not only did I not agree to, or were discussed with me…they were also things that were not covered in the previous Support agreement.
The Order of Protection is the most ridiculous accusation of all. This is a LONG story that I will discuss in a later post (and it WILL BE A LONG ONE), but basically this involved the event that has inspired me to start this blog in the first place. To make this long story short, during the summer Maya started exhibiting very unusual behavior. I would go to pick her up, like I have been doing for over 5 years, but this time, all of a sudden, she started crying and freaking out about going back to my home. This literally went on for 6 of my visits (2 weekend visits a month = 3 months), with “crazy” doing or saying NOTHING to help figure out what was going on (obviously). Out of those 6 visits, Maya came home with me twice (the 2nd and 5th incident). Each time, “crazy” made excuses and wouldn’t offer any help. The 6th incident, I finally lost my patience, and my temper. I yelled at “crazy”, and I raised my voice at Maya; I told both of them to “go to hell.” I was hurt by Maya’s disregard for discussions that we had after the 5th incident– LONG discussion with me and Christina, about this behavior. It marked the 2nd time in Maya’s 7 years that I raised me voice at her…and the first time I swore at her. Again, I will present more details in a later post, but this situation concluded with “crazy” calling 911, then filing an Order of Protection against me, siting that I can no longer “harass, yell, hit, punch, strangle….” (yes, they say “strangle”) Maya or “crazy”.
There are many problems with this claims and accusations, aside from the fact that they are not true. It’s the fact that “crazy” and her lawyer have to PROVE that all of these things are true. Yesterday, that had an opportunity to do so. It did not go well for them.
First off, the Order of Protection hearing was pushed back to May, because I was NEVER properly served a summons. The first time I received a summons, “crazy” sent it to me as a snapshot in a text message, two days before the original hearing date (back in November). I obviously did not have to go to that, and she was chastised in court at that time that for doing that. The whole thing about the summons is that it has to be served IN PERSON– has to be put into that person’s hands. The second time she tried to serve me, it was allegedly given to someone in the mail room of my employer; I got a call from someone who claimed that I had been served this way. When I checked with the mail room, they hadn’t received anything from anyone for me. If they did, I would have had to sign in for it– they have a system here similar to how you would receive a package from UPS or FedEx– with a digital scanner. To this day, I have not been properly served.
As for the Child Support claim, her demands were immediately shot down by the judge, including the private school. The original agreement stipulated that I was responsible for paying 65% of the child’s care costs (medical, babysitters). Private school, as the judge and my lawyer both pointed out, is NOT “child care”. I was also not responsible for paying for a 2-week summer camp that she sent Maya too– this was as opposed to having Maya spend 2-weeks with her father. As for after school care, Maya had been staying with her grandmother for over 4 years (they live in neighboring towns). “Crazy” had just started using a day care service in September, which I didn’t know about until December due to the massive breakdown in communication since all of this lunacy started. When the judge asked “crazy” to explain the child care situation…she fell apart. She didn’t cry or anything…she just couldn’t explain herself AT ALL. She had SO MUCH MOUTH outside the judge’s chamber…but when she was asked direct questions…she had nothing. The judge was extremely frustrated. “Crazy’s” lawyer had his head buried in one of his hands, saying things like “Just say yes.” “JUST SAY YES!” “Just say NO.” “Answer him!” “Don’t ask me, ANSWER HIM!” The judge had to ask her lawyer at least TWICE to answer his questions. It did NOT go well for her.
I think my lawyer had MAYBE suspected that I was being a bit hyperbolic about my descriptions of “crazy”. I think most people might think that I am exaggerating just a little bit. But anyone in a similar situation knows. We ALL KNOW that we can ONLY be honest. You can’t make up this kind of behavior AT ALL. And when he saw it first hand…he was a bit stunned. The first time he saw “crazy” in court was after she checked in. He and I were standing and having a conversation. If you were going to pass by us, you’d either go around my lawyer, or go around me. As we talked, we both watched her out of the corner of our eyes. She walked in our direction, deliberately walked passed me, body-checked me, and kept walking. My lawyer watched this, turned to me and said “did she just do what I think she did?” I nodded. However, I was told that I needed to control myself a bit. I was so outraged by her lies, that I dropped an F-Bomb or two or three– not in court, but in conference. I wasn’t angry, just shocked…but it didn’t matter. “Don’t give her an excuse!” my lawyer said. And, he’s right.
Afterwards, my lawyer sat down with my mother and I (my mom came to support me), to put everything into perspective. And he said it best: “She [‘crazy’] is her own worst enemy.” He’s right. You see, these people canNOT help themselves. They act out in such ways that they can’t help but be sloppy. They have nothing but misrepresentation, lies, anger, and spite. Those things do not mix well. She walked into that court yesterday believing that she would be victorious. She told her lawyer JUST ENOUGH to make HIM believe that they would be victorious. But when you have the truth on your side…bullshit does not stand.
Don’t be afraid of these people! All of their actions and their words WILL BETRAY THEM. You have to be vigilant. You have to be smart. You have to document EVERYTHING. Keep a record of EVERYTHING! She/he may be an asshole, but you HAVE TO KEEP YOUR COOL. I know it’s difficult and damn-near impossible to maintain your composure with someone that is using your child to attack and malign you. Face it– that’s ALL they have! That is the ONLY THING that they have over you. Yes, it’s a pretty BIG thing…but in the end, it will backfire, and you will get your life back. But you HAVE TO FIGHT! You can’t be intimidated by their behavior. And if you don’t nip it in the bud in the most SUBSTANTIAL way possible…they will continue to treat you and your child this way.
Don’t let them.
TO BE CONTINUED.