Posts

truth about children and divorce: sad african american girl with face in hand

The Unvarnished Truth About Children And Divorce

truth about children and divorce: sad african american girl with face in hand

 

I’m not one of those experts who believe that divorce has little significant effect on a child’s life. I’m of the opinion that divorce can set a child up for lifelong emotional struggles. The divorce of a child’s parents leaves them with negative emotions they will deal with throughout their lives in one way or another.

Yes, they learn to adjust to the fact that their parents are divorced but, the sadness caused by the divorce lessens with time but never goes away. On top of the regret a child feels over a parent’s divorce there can be devastating consequences if the parents do not handle the divorce in a responsible manner.

The Unvarnished Truth About Children And Divorce

I bristle when I hear parents say that children are “resilient” and can “handle” their divorce. I’ve talked to adults who were devastated years after their divorce was finalized, yet for some strange reason they believe that their children are more capable of getting over and learning to live with a situation they, themselves are finding hard to accept and move on from.

It is this belief by parents that children are more flexible and pliant emotionally than they are that sets children up for disaster when their parents’ divorce. A child’s divorce experience is shaped by whether or not parents continue to put their children’s well-being and security first during the divorce process.

4 Reasons It’s Important To Put Children First During Divorce

1. Divorce means huge changes in the lives of children. It can also mean direct involvement in the conflict between parents, changes in where they live, economic hardship, broken bonds with a parent, loss of emotional security, and a multitude of emotional stressors.

2. Divorce means the loss of a child’s family, something that is the center of their universe. If a child is raised in a happy or low conflict family, that family is the base of their security. It is what allows that child to go out into the world and broaden their horizons because they know there is a safe place to return to.

The loss of an intact family is like a death to the child. There will be a period of grieving and a need to replace, with something new the security they had in the intact family.

3. Divorce increases a child’s risk of psychological, educational, and sociological problems. A parent’s divorce touches every aspect of a child’s life. A child’s relationships with friends will change and their ability to focus and concentrate in school will be affected. As a result, there is an increased possibility of problems with anxiety and depression.

4. Divorce causes children emotional pain. Regardless of how hard a parent tries and how well they parent, a child will feel sadness and loss during and after a divorce. Your divorce is going to hurt your children! And please, don’t fall for the nonsense belief that if the “parent is happy, the child will be happy.” I promise you unless your child is witnessing or a party to domestic abuse or high conflict the child could care less if Mom and Dad are happy.

Some parents have a misguided belief that their children are spending time and energy worrying about their parent’s happiness. Nothing could be further from the truth, children are concerned with their own happiness and security, as it should be.

So, please, don’t project your need to divorce so you can be “happy” off on to your children. You will do them no favor and it will free you up to ignore their pain due to a skewed belief that is not correct.

What Are The Negative Effects of Divorce For Children?

If you contrast children from intact families to children of divorce, children from divorced families are:

  • Twice as likely to have to see a mental health provider,
  • Twice as likely to exhibit behavioral problems,
  • More than twice as likely to have problems with depression and mood disorders,
  • Twice as likely to drop out of high school before graduating,
  • Twice as likely to divorce themselves as adults,
  • Less socially competent and tend to linger in adolescents before moving into adulthood.

Andrew Cherlin, a family demographer at Johns Hopkins University, said that even those who grow up to be very successful as adults carry “the residual trauma of their parents’ breakup.”

In other words, when we, as adults make the decision to divorce we are going against our natural parental instincts…protecting our children from harm. Some would argue that divorce in and of itself does not cause harm to children. They believe that it is the behavior of the parents during a divorce that determines how a child will fare or what the consequences will be.

I agree that as parents we can lessen the negative effects of divorce on our children. There are obligations that parents have during divorce that can help our children cope. The issue I have though is this, during my career as a divorce family therapist who has worked closely with divorcing clients and their children, the children seem to take a backseat to their parent’s needs during that time.

Parents are more focused on the legal process of divorce and their own emotional needs than their children’s needs. Until I see a change in the way the majority of parents behave during divorce I will hold onto my belief that children are irreparably harmed by divorce and suffer due to parents who are unable to parent and divorce at the same time.

The post The Unvarnished Truth About Children And Divorce appeared first on Divorced Moms.

Read More –>

divorce trends

What can I do if my ex disregards the stay-at-home order and puts our children at risk?

divorce trends

Question:

What can I do if my ex disregards the stay-at-home order and puts our children at risk?

Answer:

I do not practice law in your state. Therefore, I cannot inform you as to the specific laws of your state, but I can provide you with general tips for this sort of issue.

As you are experiencing, many parents during this time improperly are ignoring the pandemic warnings. As such, many of the nation’s family courts quickly are responding to these types of situations.

That being said, the courts generally do not like to see parents engaging in self-help, which is when a parent decides what they believe is the best course of action without seeking court intervention. For example, if you decided to withhold your children based on the other parent’s behavior, this could be frowned upon by the court. 

If you have an enforceable court order, you certainly have the right to inform the police that the order is not being abided by if the other parent is putting the children in harm’s way. At times, law enforcement is unwilling to engage in any type of situation which may be considered a family law matter and will direct people to file appropriate actions with the courts.

A lot of courts now are having emergency or expedited hearings, as it relates to contempt of custody orders. Further, if your jurisdiction is under a stay-at-home order, many courts have implemented virtual hearings, so you can participate in a hearing by phone or video conference.

In my jurisdiction, once a custody order is entered by the court, the court expects that each party will abide by the order, but the court does consider the best interests of the child(ren) paramount. If parties to a custody order do not abide by the terms of the order and/or put the children in harms way, the party seeking enforcement of the terms of the order has the ability to file a contempt petition against the offending party.

In order for contempt to be found, the moving party (the one who wants to show there was contempt) has to show that the offending party has “willfully failed to comply” with the court order. In other words, you have to show that a person purposely is not abiding by the terms of the custody order.

However, the courts generally will not enter a contempt order until such time as the custody order actually has been violated or there is a clear indication (i.e. a person actually stating, preferably in writing, that they will not abide by the terms of the court order) that the custody order will not be followed. If the courts find that a party is in contempt of the custody order, there are several remedies the court may utilize.

Some examples are: imposing monetary sanctions, awarding counsel fees if counsel is retained, changing of the custody order (a rare occurrence but may happen if contemptuous behavior is pervasive and ongoing), and potential incarceration.

To arrange an initial consultation to discuss divorce rights for men with a Cordell & Cordell attorney, including Pennsylvania divorce attorney Caroline Thompsoncontact Cordell & Cordell.

The post What can I do if my ex disregards the stay-at-home order and puts our children at risk? appeared first on Dads Divorce.

Read More –>

What should parents do about exchanging their children under a Texas standard possession order when school is not in session due to COVID-19?

What should parents do about exchanging their children under a Texas standard possession order when school is not in session due to COVID-19?

Originally published by The Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC Blog.

This is a question that the family law attorneys with the Law Office of Bryan Fagan have been receiving with great frequency since the middle of March. Most family court orders in Texas determine possession and visitation based on the school year calendar for the school district or school that your child attends. Without that reference point many parents were left scratching their heads as to how to proceed. With there being some question as to what will happen with school starting up (or not) in the Fall, we figured it was a good idea to continue to provide answers to these questions as we head into the summer months.

If you have been keeping your child on a set schedule with at home learning then you and your family will be ahead of the game at least when it comes to maintaining a structured environment. Many children, however, are left to fend for themselves due to a range of circumstances. Talking to your children about these abnormal times can help them to process these changes instead of just reacting to them without any context about how or why they are occurring in the first place.

Since your child lives apart from both parents you can utilize this time as a great opportunity to begin to focus on co-parenting and working together to coordinate your messages to your children, child care during the summer and what you all will plan to do during the fall if school does not start up on time at the end of summer. As unpleasant as it can be to work directly with your ex-spouse on situations like this I can tell you from experiences working with many parents in our community that it is best for your children.

What are family law attorneys advising their clients during this time?

It is beneficial to have an attorney in your corner who not only knows the law but can guide you as far as what to do in the event that a problem comes up associated with possession or visitation. If you have an ex-spouse who is not honoring your court orders or has decided to not be flexible with you during this difficult time then you may need to hire an attorney to help you sort of your options.

Without knowing your particular situation, it is tough to give specific advice. If you do want to talk with experienced family law attorneys then you should contact our office today. We can schedule you for a no strings attached, free of charge consultation via phone or video. It’s in these conversations where your specific questions can be answered. Otherwise, we will do our best in today’s blog post to provide general advice that you can apply to your life.

I think one piece of advice that is not legal in nature is that you and your family should focus on one thing above all else right now: your health. This means that you should be aware of what the government is advising you to do as far as staying healthy. However, that does not mean that you should not work with your doctor and the pediatrician for your children as well. Common sense (which isn’t so common anymore) cannot be ignored during this time, either.

Showing your child how to act in a tough circumstance can be a lesson that sticks with your child for the rest of your life. More in caught than taught with children, in my opinion. I know that with my kids they will often “forget” something that I tell them, but they will remember vividly the things I do. The habits that you display for your children as far as your health and how to take care of yourself are incredibly important for your children during this time.

Simple things that we take for granted are habits that need to be ingrained into your child starting now. This means handwashing before and after meals and making sure that the surfaces in your home are regularly cleaned seem like little things in the grand scheme of things. However, I think we can all attest to the fact that little things can make a big difference in the lives of our families right now.

Social distancing a concept that we are all undoubtedly familiar with at this stage of the game. The idea of distancing yourself from people who may or may not be ill makes sense and in theory should have been something that we did even before COVID-19 or the coronavirus became parts of our vocabulary. We should all be making sure that our kids understand why we are behaving like we are and that they begin to keep in mind how to protect themselves from sickness.

Finally, staying healthy means keeping up with the news at events warrant it. I am not saying that keeping the cable news networks on your phone or television all day long is a smart thing to do. In fact, doing that may actually do more harm than good. However, you should find a reputable news source and refer back to it when updates occur in our area. For example, as the governor begins to roll out various openings for businesses you should know when and if those changes impact you and your family.

Help your child to keep things in perspective

Your child may be one, seven or seventeen years old. Depending on the age of your child you need to be able to help him or her be aware of the changes that are ongoing as we begin to live our lives in the age of COVID-19. Eventually there will be a vaccine for this virus. Eventually we will be able to live our lives more normally than we have the past seven weeks. However, we are not there quite yet. As a result, we need to help guide our kids through this time.

That does not mean that our kids need to live in constant fear of becoming ill, getting others sick or seeing family members get sick. Someone they know may get sick, but you should help your child to understand that we all have a responsibility to keep ourselves healthy. That is how we can show responsibility to others, as well. Striking a balance between staying healthy, distancing ourselves in public when need be and educating our children on steps they can take in the meantime to keep a proper perspective on this virus.

Look to your court orders when deciding how to proceed with possession and visitation

Unless you and your child’s other parent are able to come to a mutual understanding and agreement on alternative set ups for visitation and possession, you will need to abide by your court orders. Dig out a copy and make sure that you understand what is expected of you. Those orders are not optional and do not stop working in case of pandemic. They are still the rules and you need to follow them until told otherwise by the judge from your court.

The tough part about that is your schedule and ability to care for your children during this time may have changed a great deal. For instance, if you are ill, live with a person who is ill or are a member of the “at risk” population, then you may want to allow your child’s other parent to care for your child at least for the next few weeks. Again, getting the coronavirus does not mean that you will get ill. It does not mean that worse will happen to you. However, if we are aware of the virus being passed from person to person there is no use risking your health or that of your child’s.

It would make a ton of sense for you and your child’s other parent to work out between yourselves how you would handle a situation where one of you get sick. Hopefully that never happens but you want to be prepared. Until that would occur I think it would generally be best for little to change in regard to your court orders. For one, changing court orders between yourselves will become difficult to enforce. Secondly, it will be good for your child to live their life as consistently as possible in these days where there is no school.

If you and your child’s other parent can come to an agreement on an alternative scenario for possession or visitation this week, your circumstances may change next week and one of you would simply need to change their mind for the agreed to scenario to go up in smoke. This will cause anger, frustration and a disruption to your child’s schedule. It also promotes (in my opinion) a constant degree of negotiating and back and forth between you all when it comes to modifying the orders on the fly.

The whole point of going to court, hiring attorneys and submitting them to a judge for approval was to avoid being in a situation where those orders stop working right away or are able to be changed without a great deal of thought. Coming up with new orders on the fly with your ex-spouse may work for a short period of time but in the long run may cause more problems than it solves. Talk to your ex-spouse as soon as you can about how you want to handle future periods of possession/visitation that are disrupted by this virus.

Do not try to hide your being ill if you do get sick

At this point, I’m going to guess that a lot of us know a person who has gotten sick with COVID-19. Whether or not the person got gravely ill or was just under the weather, the sickness has spread to the point of most of us having come into contact with it previously. You may have even considered what you would do if you do get sick and have a visitation time period coming up with your child. You wouldn’t want to get him sick but you also do not want to miss out on a period of visitation.

What you should do is be completely honest with your child’s other parent about your situation. If you think that you have the virus or are just sick generally speaking, then it is not wise to be with your child right now if you can avoid it. This is when working directly with your ex-spouse on coming up with visitation arrangements is a good thing to do. Our lives have all changed as a result of this virus- at least temporarily. It would make sense that visitation and possession would change as well.

You should make sure that your ex-spouse has a plan (and that you do, too) if the other one gets sick. Alternative child-care, transportation logistics, extended family who can help, etc. all need to be worked out before either one of you falls ill. This is no longer a situation where you can just say that you got sick out of the blue. We are all aware of what can happen as a result of this virus. Now it is up to us as parents to help keep our children safe.

Questions about possession and visitation in the age of COVID-19? Contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan

The attorneys with the Law Office of Bryan Fagan appreciate the time that you spent with us on our blog today. We post unique content here every day so we encourage you to return tomorrow, as well. In the meantime, if you have any questions about the material that we have discussed in this blog post please do not hesitate to contact our office. We can schedule a free of charge consultation for you with one of our licensed family law attorneys. These consultations can occur over the phone or via video to better suit your needs as we hopefully transition back into a more normal, and virus-free, routine.

Curated by Texas Bar Today. Follow us on Twitter @texasbartoday.



Read More –>

Want to resolve your Texas family law case outside of court? Remember these rules of engagement

What actions should you avoid concerning your children and divorce in Texas?

Originally published by The Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC Blog.

Before you begin your divorce it is wise to consider how you are going to parent your children during the case. There isn’t much information out there that touches on this subject (at least that I could find) so I wanted to share with you some pieces of advice that I have cobbled together through my years of being a family law attorney and parent. We spend a great deal of time on this blog talking about the law and how it applies to your family, but spend relatively little time discussing how everything impacts your ability to parent.

Today I am going to try and save you some heartache and problems of all sorts by sharing some tips that you can implement to avoid mistakes in parenting and managing a divorce. While not all of these pieces of advice may be relevant to you, I believe that many of them will be.

If you are moving, do so with your child in mind

It is unavoidable in most cases that either you or your spouse will be moving out of the family home as a result of the divorce. In many instances, the move will come before the beginning of the divorce. Your home environment may be so toxic an inhospitable that you need to leave for the sake of your children and yourself. In other instances, you will be ordered to leave the house due to your spouse being awarded temporary exclusive possession of the home.

Either way, if you are leaving the home you need to be aware that wherever you choose to move needs to be a place that your child will feel comfortable in. Here is where we need to walk a fine line. On the one hand, I just said that your new residence needs to be a place that your child feels comfortable living in. That means you shouldn’t pick the cool condo downtown with the great view if you have four kids that will be coming over in a few weeks for their first visit since the start of your divorce.

Your choice in a new home needs to be a blend between affordability and practicality. Your children will begin to feel comfortable in your new home the more time they spend there. It doesn’t have to the prettiest house in the world. All it has to be is a place where you can house your children during the times you have them and place where they are safe. Everything else is just gravy on the biscuit.

You should treat your children the same way you would have you remained in the family home. Do not treat your children any differently just because you are in a new home. This would be enough to cause the children to feel even more out of place than they normally would. Rather, assign your children chores (age-appropriate) just like you would at home, discipline the kids just like you would at home and then play with the kids just like you would at home. If you can manage to do all of these things you will have found the sweet spot for parenting in a new environment.

Let your kids be kids and don’t involve them in the process of your divorce

Your children are such a big part of your life that it would be easy to let the divorce case begin to bleed over into your parenting of your kids. It does make sense on some levels to keep your children informed about the case just so they are not completely clueless about what you and their other parent are going through.

However, the individual facts and circumstances associated with your divorce do not necessarily need to be shared with your children. First of all- they are children. They do not have the mental faculties to process all of the circumstances of your case. Even teenaged children have never dealt with the things you are dealing with. They are not prepared to handle what you are going through. The last thing you want to do is cause them stress unduly.

Another huge part of this discussion is that your court orders will bar you from saying negative things about your spouse to your children or from involving them in the case. The best thing to do would be to keep them up to date on the progress being made. You can let them know how close you are to the end of the case and what steps need to be taken to complete your divorce.

You do not need to share a timeline because you don’t know how much longer you have or what could happen to delay your case without notice.

The other thing that I see parents doing, especially with older kids, is using the kids as messengers. Having your child give updates to your spouse during the divorce is not a good thing to do. Telling your child partial information on a subject causes them to wonder and worry about the significance of the message that he or she may be relaying for you. Also, depending on the reaction that your spouse has to the message, your child may feel like he or she has caused their parent pain. You can avoid this problem by communicating directly with your spouse and not using your child as a means to do so.

Be careful with what you say about your spouse in front of the kids

You may be in a position where you are livid with the actions and decisions of your spouse. You may feel that this divorce was caused entirely by him or her and that you are the innocent party in all of this. Even if you completely justified in feeling this way you need to be careful about voicing your negative opinions about your spouse in front of your children. Not only does this violate the court orders but it can also be a huge impediment to your children transitioning into their lives post-divorce.

Remember that your children are not exposed to varying viewpoints like an adult is. They go to school and they interact with children and teachers there, but then they come home and have you and your spouse as role models. As such, they value what you have to say perhaps more than you might think. As a result, you need to be able to take this to heart and start to value what you have to say as much as your children do.

The other thing that I will take note of is that what you say about another person is not necessarily reflective of him or her, but more reflective of yourself and your character. Think about all the times in your own life that you have heard another person speak badly of a person who is not in the room. Does the person talk ever look like an upstanding, honorable person? I’m willing to bet not. Most of the time when I hear another person talking about someone who’s not within earshot, I just wish he or she would stop talking. Don’t let your children see the worst side of you in badmouthing their other parent. They probably feel caught in the middle of you and your spouse to a great extent already and hearing you say negative things will only add to that problem.

Let your ex-spouse live their life

It is normal to be at the very least curious about the goings-on of your ex-spouse. After all- that person was your partner in life for an extended period, the other parent to your child (although that hasn’t changed) and recently went through a trying ordeal with you. Now you are left with questions about how the marriage failed, what happens next and what will happen to you. Wanting to know how your ex-spouse is handling the situation is understandable.

However, you would be best served to not ask your children for those updates. First of all, your children are not going to be very accurate at the relaying of messages especially if they are younger. To test this idea of mine out, go ahead and ask your five years old what happened at school today. I can almost guarantee their answer will be about 10% truth and 90% fantasy. Kids are just not very good at recalling information that has to do with emotions or occurrences. If you want to know about one specific event they may do ok, but a series of events or something like that will be difficult for them. Why bother asking, in that case?

The other thing that you need to keep in mind is that you don’t stand to benefit much from asking questions about what your ex-spouse is up to. If you find out that your ex-spouse is doing great then you will likely not feel great for him or her but will feel worse about yourself. On the other hand, if he or she is doing poorly, you will likely take some amount of satisfaction in that. This is probably not the way you want to appear to yourself or your children. So why not just let your ex-spouse live their life and you can do the same?

You are sharing possession of your children with your ex-spouse- remember that

Your children are your children, but they are also your ex-spouse’s kids. Meaning: do not act as if you are the only parent that matters. At all times, their other patent matters, as well. You should take advantage of every moment that is made available to you but do lose sight of the fact that your ex-spouse has just as much right to have their time with your kids, too. As such, do not abuse your possession schedule and run over on your time. Taking your child to your ex-spouse thirty minutes late continually is not only disrespectful of your ex-spouse, but it also puts you in violation of your court orders.

The earlier in the process that you can realize that your ex-spouse has just as big of a role to play in raising your children as you do, the better off you will be. This doesn’t mean that you have to drop the kids off early at the other parent’s. This does not mean that you need to run every planned activity with your children through another parent to make sure he or she knows what is going on. What it does mean is that you are best off being respectful of the other parent. This takes little effort but does require that you be aware of other people and their needs. Even the needs of a person that you just finished getting a divorce from.

Remember that your divorce is in the past- treat it that way

Your divorce is in the past and should not be re-litigated. You may need to come back to the courthouse in the future to deal with issues that arise in the future, but what led to the divorce, the divorce itself and the immediate period after the conclusion of your divorce needs to be set aside and not brought up time and time again. Tomorrow’s blog post will begin by focusing on this topic.

Questions about divorce in Texas? Contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan

If you have any questions about the material that we shared in today’s blog post, please do not hesitate to contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan. Our licensed family law attorneys offer free of charge consultations six days a week here in our office. These consultations are a great opportunity to speak with an experienced attorney who can provide you specific feedback about your case as well as answers to your questions.

We work in the family courts of southeast Texas every day and do so with a great deal of pride. Our work is done on behalf of our clients who in reality are the people we consider neighbors and members of our community as well. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Curated by Texas Bar Today. Follow us on Twitter @texasbartoday.



Read More –>

COVID-19 Emergency! Where Are My Children? They have been taken By My EX!

COVID-19 Emergency! Where Are My Children? They have been taken By My EX!

Originally published by Nacol Law Firm.

We are now experiencing the worst Medical Pandemic in the USA since the Spanish Flu Pandemic of 1918. The COVID-19 Outbreak may be changing our American way of life for some time. Many families are in upheaval from fear of loved ones getting the virus, losing jobs, and not having food for their families. And in the middle of this situation you may be going through a family breakup, divorce, or just trying to Co-Parent your kids with your EX.

Now the “Never Want to Live Through It” Scenario may happen! Your kids are picked up by your Ex and they all disappear! Where are they? Are they in danger? When will I ever see my children again?

After you get over your shock, the main question you will ask is:
What can I do to get my children back?

On March 13, 2020, the Texas Supreme Court issued an emergency order that divorced / single parents should go by the originally published school and visitation schedule in their current decree. Since the last life-threatening pandemic in the United States was the Spanish Flu Pandemic of 1918, most divorce / single parent agreements do not include a pandemic clause! This emergency order was issued with the potential need of closing all courts, non-essential businesses and stay-at-home orders, Texas had to have an order in place to protect the children so that both parents could continue to care and protect them during the Pandemic.

If a custody agreement is in place with the court it is legally binding. If the runaway parent violates the agreement terms, he / she is in violation of the law and will likely face some serious legal consequences.

Many times, the runaway parent may take the children out of your area and may even cross state lines. This violation in your custody / visitation agreement could be considered parental kidnapping if the runaway parent moves over a state line without telling you the new residence of the child or without getting legal permission through the court to move or modify the custody order.

When the runaway parent and children are found, this is what could happen:

  • Custody Arrangements may legally be changed by court orders. You will, in the most aggravated cases, most likely be awarded protective orders or custody with the runaway parent receiving supervised visitation or no contact with the child.
  • The runaway parent may also face criminal charges and jail time.

At any time, this could happen to you!  If your legal position concerning custody and visitation with your children is in limbo, go secure a family law attorney and the help you need to protect your kids.

*If you were never married or divorced from the runaway parent, or if you have no legal court orders concerning or establishing custody and visitation rights in place, this could be a serious impediment in securing help to find your children.

After you get over your shock, the main question you will ask Is:
What can I do to get my children back?

  • Think Clearly! You must respond quickly. Time is of the essence.
  • Contact the police immediately. You need to tell them that the runaway parent may have taken the children without permission. Make sure that you have your certified legal court orders that pertain to your parental arrangement agreement concerning your children. It is important to be able to show the police the specific orders and how important it is to find the runaway parent and kids!
  • Contact a family law attorney immediately. Texas Courts are dealing with many of these runaway situations and an experienced family law attorney can help you legally deal with finding your child in a timely fashion. After the runaway has occurred, there will be court intervention to prevent any further occurrences. Custody and supervised visitation issues will also need to be addressed. Texas Judges and Courts will not take a runaway situation lightly by an errant parent!

Click to open the Texas Supreme Court Emergency Order (pdf)

Nacol Law Firm P.C.
8144 Walnut Hill Lane, Suite 1190
Dallas TX, 75231
(972) 690-3333

Fathers Rights in Texas – WE NEVER GIVE UP!

Curated by Texas Bar Today. Follow us on Twitter @texasbartoday.



Read More –>

mother son daughter: son and daughter kissing mother on cheek

And Interview With My Children: 20 Years After The Divorce

mother son daughter: son and daughter kissing mother on cheek

 

Oh, how there are days when I think I got it all right. Then there are days when I think I got it all wrong.

Raising two children who were 4 weeks old and 4 years old when we ended our marriage and who are now in their 20’s! That represents a lot of growth. Growth not just for them, but for me as well.

I know I did the best I could given the cards that I was dealt. But was any of it right?

I was married 14 years and I have been single for 20 years now. I never remarried.

My parents were married for over 50 years. Both my grandparents celebrated their 60th wedding anniversaries. It just wasn’t in my DNA, I guess. Having the tools and models to cope in a divorced environment had to come from outside sources.

Coping with a divorce after infidelity was utterly foreign to me. Twenty years later, I know I am still growing as a woman; as a single woman who is now 60. I am picking up a bookmark that I laid down deliberately in order to raise a family.

But I didn’t know I still had growing to do as a single parent. Apparently, I do. And I have my two kids to show me just how much. I decided to interview them to get a little further insight.

I wanted to give voices to the children that are now 20 and 24 years old. And I wanted to share my findings with single moms who still have young children and are navigating all the frustrations and heartache that goes along with single parenting and divorce.

In my interviews, I learned a lot. I wish all three of us had the maturity then to speak back in those days. My children to have the wisdom of age to articulate how they felt, and me to have the maturity an adult should possess in order to hear them speak in ways they only knew how to communicate.

Much can be said if parents would just talk to their children and then shut up and listen. Even more, could be said if divorced parents would grow up and communicate; period. My son Scott was 4 years old when my ex-husband left. He is now 24 and works as a Congressional Aide. My daughter Olivia was 4 weeks old when my ex-husband left. She is now 20 and in college as a film major.

Here is my interview with my children.

What is your first memory or realization that your mom and dad were divorced?

Scott:

There was never one instance I can recall. My memories from those days are still a bit hazy. “Divorce” was just a concept I grew up with and accepted. Even if I knew it wasn’t the norm, it was my norm. I bore it largely because I was told to. Early on I would ask dad if you were ever getting back together and he said “no.” Maybe that was the first moment that I learned it was permanent.

Olivia:

I have no idea. I couldn’t tell you. It’s like asking me what my first memory was. Like realizing that I am a girl or something. There is no standout memory, it was just my life.

If you could give a voice to the child that you were at that time, what would you say? What questions would you have?

Scott:

I would tell him that it would impact him in ways he couldn’t imagine and still doesn’t fully understand. But I would also say that it doesn’t define you. You’re your father’s son, yes. But you’re not him. This is not a cycle that needs to repeat. I would simply try to tell my younger self that he is his own person. He might feel that he has no voice or choice but one day he will get a lot closer to finding those things for himself.

Olivia:

As a child back then, I would ask why can’t I choose who I want to go with and when? Why do you always ask me to tell dad how much you spent on something and vice versa for him? I would definitely say “stop asking me to be the one to give dad a check because I am obviously going to look at how much it is for. I always felt guilty about how much money was spent on me.

Were you angry? If so, what made you angry most?

Scott:

Of course. I was largely confused at the time and that manifested in anger. I was angry that things were changing and for no good reason. I was angry that my parents were angry at each other and were no longer friendly with each other, but instead openly hostile. I felt that they were the adults and should have the maturity to fix it themselves. Today I still feel a bit of that. I’m mostly angry at how it contributed to my longstanding anxiety about loss that I still cope with.

Olivia:

I’m not angry, I get frustrated because it seems that often I am the go-between you and dad. I hate having to do the “dad said” “mom said” thing. It’s annoying and makes me remember things that aren’t necessarily my responsibility as “the kid”.

What did it feel like to have divorced parents?

Scott:

Normal and yet abnormal. It was my normal. Still is. I’ve known almost nothing else. But it became abnormal when it contrasted with what my friends had, especially when I stayed over at their houses for playdates. It felt weird to talk about my parents separately as opposed to one entity. I often had to explain that they were divorced. I didn’t know how to process, let alone explain, that my parents didn’t like each other. Sometimes I felt sides had to be taken in battles that were not mine to fight.

Olivia:

In the grand scheme of things, it did not make me feel different at all. I don’t care that you guys are divorced, it doesn’t bother me. It only bothered me when you two had issues communicating. A lot of people’s parents are divorced. It’s almost more normal to have divorced parents now than it is to have married ones.

Did you feel different?

Scott:

Different from others? Yes. I knew I was. But I also didn’t lack for much that any middle-class kid would want or need and for that I’m always grateful. I got the toys and video games I wanted and got to see my friends often enough. But I knew that there was a wholeness and closeness that other “intact” families had that mine lacked.

Olivia:

I did not feel different in the slightest.

Did you feel like the divorce was your fault?

Scott:

Of all the tropes of children of divorce that I may play into, feeling like it’s, my fault has never been one of them. I knew it wasn’t my fault. That doesn’t make it much better as sometimes I felt victimized and powerless. But I didn’t blame myself.

Olivia:

I did think the divorce was my fault (being born sort of initiated it) but I don’t think that anymore. I think every kid carries with them the idea that it’s their fault but then we grow up and realize it’s not.

What still matters to you?

Scott:

I think I’ve adopted values that make a repeat of this situation less likely in my life. Commitments are important to me. One’s word in their oath. How I treat people and what I expect of myself is different – and better – as a result.

Olivia:

I don’t understand what you mean by what still matters to me. But I guess just having parents that are there for me matters. Knowing I have a relationship with both my mother and my father even though they’re divorced.

Does family have a deeper meaning to you or a lesser meaning to you as a result of divorce?

Scott:

Family has a much deeper meaning to me but strangely marriage has a much-reduced meaning. Commitment to family – serving and protecting them – is always important and even more so now that I see the results of the opposite philosophy.

However, I honestly have a low opinion of marriage. People – ostensibly mature adults – enter into these commitments all the time and almost as often don’t see it through. I saw a perfect marriage in my parents that was squandered so how could I not think every other kind of marriage is worthless too?

Olivia:

Again, the divorce was not something I actively saw (like Scott). I never knew anything before it, so the value of family stays the same for me. 

Do you think something good came out of the divorce at this stage of your life?

Scott:

If something good did come of it, it was my perspective. Having gone through things I likely would have never experienced if the divorce had not happened. I have a greater capacity to empathize with others. Because I’ve had fewer comforts, I have fewer blinders now. That’s invaluable to me. I choose to think that it made me a better human being.

Olivia:

I think the divorce had to happen. I think if it didn’t happen then, it would have happened later. I think it’s good you’re divorced because you guys probably would hate each other AND live under the same roof if you hadn’t.

These responses were eye opening and made me sad at first read. I wanted a do-ver. I wanted to hug my little people. I wanted to sit with my boy and talk to him in ways that would help him express his feelings.

I wanted to tell my little girl that I am sorry for ever making her feel like she was a go-between. I wanted to take back any and all things I said in anger towards their dad, even though I know I had every right to feel the anger for leaving his young family.

I sit here now and wonder if things would have been different if there had not been infidelity. Would I have been as angry? My heart was broken, and I was frightened. And he became a mere stranger overnight.

But I had no right to make my children feel sad, or guilty or anything that would rob them of a secure childhood. My son said he didn’t feel whole and that makes me sad. But then, I didn’t feel whole either so, what else was he going to feel?

My kids do know that I did everything in my power to bridge a new kind of relationship with my ex-husband. One that would grow into being just two old friends. That was my lofty hope anyway. Afterall we had known each other since we were the ages that our children are now.

I invited him to our daughter’s 1st Birthday party, and he declined. I should have stopped at that point, but I kept asking for inclusionary behaviors and he kept refusing. Sadly, I suppose when another woman is involved, these things are not attainable.

My kids saw me try and saw him resist so, I guess I am at least glad they saw some efforts, albeit one-sided. I fell out of love with him a very long time ago. I have not had a day in 20 years that I wanted my husband back. A shattered trust for me is irreparable. But a new relationship could have been forged for our very young children.

So, what is the epilogue of this story?

I share all of this with the hopes that any divorced mom reading this who has rough feelings towards their ex-husband as I did, will hear the words of two kids that are now adults and who are giving voice to the little people they once were.

I don’t want anyone to want a do-over. You have time to change the trajectory now.

My kids are amazing people. Though they felt like they were in a taffy pull often in their life they have grown to be two very intelligent, articulate people who have good hearts.

They have made the conscious choice to take the sum of their experiences and be good citizens of the world. I am grateful for these two exceptional people and I’m so glad I am their mom! Never stop learning.

“Any fool can have a child. That doesn’t make you a father. It’s the courage to raise a child that makes you a father.”

Barack Obama (raised by a single mother)

Best wishes to all the single moms that must be dads too….and remain civil!

The post And Interview With My Children: 20 Years After The Divorce appeared first on Divorced Moms.

Read More –>

Co-Parenting: Time to Mutually Agree to Save and Protect Your Children During Coronavirus Pandemic

Co-Parenting: Time to Mutually Agree to Save and Protect Your Children During Coronavirus Pandemic

Originally published by Nacol Law Firm.

Dealing with a worldwide medical pandemic and personally trying to stay alive and healthy is mentally changeling, but for parents who are divorced or have separate custody agreements and co- parent, it can be a disaster for the entire family. Hopefully, this Coronavirus Pandemic will be a short-lived life-threatening situation, but how the Co-parents cope with the problem could deeply impact their children’s emotional life.

In Texas, on March 13, 2020, the Texas Supreme Court issued an emergency order that divorced /single parents should go by the originally published school and visitation schedule in their current decree.  Since the last life-threatening pandemic in the United State was the Spanish Flu Pandemic of 1918, most divorce/ single parent agreements do not include a pandemic clause!

Do not be one of those parents who decides that they “are the decision maker” and drives away with the kids for an extended vacation to Grandma’s in Florida without telling the other parent. Or deciding that the family circle of trust does not include their Other Parent and refuses visitation or joint decision making.  These hasty, irrational decisions may seem reasonable in this time of national panic but consider the legal ramifications of violating an order.  Since all courts, in Texas, are now closed except for emergency litigation matters only, when the courts are fully operational again and the medical danger has passed, how will a violation of your current decree look to the Judge?  Judges always look to the needs of the child versus the unreasonable expectations of the parent. There will be serious ramifications against the violating parent.

Let’s look at some ideas on how co-parenting during this pandemic season can work the best for all family members and by joint agreement will save your both money that would normally go to legal fees.

Just remember that as co-parents your children are most important.  Your child has been told that they can’t see their grandparents because of their age and if infected by the coronavirus, may die. No school, no playing of sports, or playing with friends since they may be infected with a deadly virus and become very ill. Decide to cooperate as responsible co-parents to navigate the child to the new changes in their daily routines without a lot of stress and anxiety on the child.  By keeping the child calm and showing “a united family circle” the child will know that Mom and Dad are there for him/her.

Some areas of agreement should be that the child will have regular email, phone calls, FaceTime, Zoom visits, and texting with the other parent. The child needs to know that both parents are safe and interested in their wellbeing. Regular visitations times must be made available for the child to see each parent. Remember the child’s core circle of trust are his/her parents and siblings.

Another very serious matter is the decision of what will happen to the child if one parent becomes ill and cannot care for the child. The joint decision must be made by both parents and must ultimately be in the best interest for the child.

Custody disputes and circumstances that have totally changed in the last month. Just remember, co-parent cooperation is the best choice. There is no doubt that judges will be happy to hear that parents have worked together to meet their child’s best interest, by taking steps to protect the child’s health and safety.

This is a time for mutual give and take from both parents. No one is always right nor always wrong. In this upside crazy pandemic world, jointly trying to navigate your family to a better place will have its own rewards.

If, however, one parent unilaterally refuses to make fair agreements for the children or violates your custody orders, avoid retaliation and follow your decree orders faithfully. This Pandemic will pass, and most Judges will not treat lightly intense misconduct when the courts reopen.

Mark A. Nacol
The Nacol Law Firm P.C.
Dallas, Texas
(972) 690-3333

Click to open Copy of Texas Supreme Court Emergency Order on Child Custody Schedules during Coronavirus Pandemic. (pdf) 

Curated by Texas Bar Today. Follow us on Twitter @texasbartoday.



Read More –>

Why are my children rejecting me?

Why are my children rejecting me?

The 3 main reasons your children don’t want to see you

 

You were a loving parent.  Your kids came to you for comfort and you knew exactly how to make them better.  Your relationship with them was something you were so proud of.  

 

But now, they seem to have forgotten all of that.  They say they hate you and don’t want to see you. They blame you for everything and you don’t know why.

 

This is the reality of hundreds of thousands of parents across the UK and the world.  So how does it happen?

 

There’s three main ways:

 

  1. Estrangement
  2. Alienation
  3. A hybrid of the two

 

Alienation

 

This is when a child has been manipulated into rejecting you by a parent (could be step parent, grandparent or sibling).  

 

It is a process of behaviours designed to ensure you are seen as the bad parent and the alienating parent is all good. It is usually instigated by a Narcissistic or Borderline Personality Disordered parent.  

 

How do they do it?

 

But eventually the long term plan is that the child rejects you, because they’re literally left with no choice by the controlling, alienating parent. And I’ve been through descriptions of that, I’m not going to go into any more great detail, but ultimately, the motivation of the alienating parent is to destroy your relationship, put you out of their life, prove that you are at fault. They’re the hero and they are protecting their child and most importantly, is that they get the child to do that rejecting themselves. They manipulate the child into believing that you’re this awful person, this abusive parent partner, everything perfect. And so the child will basically parrot a script given to them this narrative that’s created by usually a personality disordered parent in the milk. Most of these cases of alienation tend to have a personality disorder, usually with either borderline personality disorder or narcissistic personality disorder. And the child will tell anyone that will listen that they hate you and that you’re mean and that they are afraid of you.  They put on this grand performance, but what’s going on behind the scenes is actually they’re not feeling that at all.  These are not their authentic feelings.

 

They’re being given no choice, they’ve been manipulated to believe this. They’ve been given this role to play under the guise of protection. The child knows that if they don’t do as they’re told, then they will lose that parent.  That if they won’t ignore you, they may lose their sibling, they may lose a dog. There’s lots of different ways that it can be done (see our free download for the exact process) but the result is the same.  In order for the child to survive and retain a relationship with the alienating parent, they must reject you.

 

Estrangement

 

Estrangement, however, is an authentic experience by the child. It’s where something’s happened (you may have had an affair and left or you may have lashed out at some point, you may have been baited to so in front of the child so you get angry, or perhaps you were stressed so drinking more), you may have done something that led a child under any normal circumstances to be upset or maybe not feel safe in your company at the moment. And so they don’t want to see you right now. And the difference with estrangement is that the child’s feelings are authentic.  It’s okay for them to feel like that and with the right support, and encouragement from the other parent, that relationship can get back on track. It’s an immediate response to feeling anger or feeling the fear or feeling unsafe. And it is easily remedied. It’s not long term.  There’s no there’s behind the scenes manipulation. Again, it’s just a genuine authentic response from the child to something has happened.  Usually an apology and explanation (age appropriate) and time is enough to restore the relationship providing your ex supports your relationship.

 

Hybrid

 

A hybrid can start off as estrangement and you may have done something (as described above) which provides the catalyst for the other parent to realise that life would be easier without you around.

 

Mistakes happen in relationships.  Sometimes you can lash out and make a mistake but from the child’s point of view, they saw a different side to you.  They saw something happen and they’re angry or upset. But without the support of the other parent, the relationship doesn’t get mended. In fact, what happens is the relationship is then turned into an alienation process. Because the alienating parent will use it as a trampoline to spring other ideas off of, to really ramp up. So they’ll take something that you’ve done and it will be continuously talked about. It’ll be exaggerated, it can be manipulated, it will be twisted. And so the child takes what was their authentic feeling (they were feeling angry, they were scared) and it becomes their entire memory of your relationship. And so that’s why it’s quite difficult in these cases, they have this real memory of something that’s happened, but it’s been so distorted that it’s become enough for them to reject you themselves. In these cases it is important the original fracture is acknowledged and then repaired whilst not allowing additional misdemeanours to be assigned to you. 

 

I understand that if you are not seeing your children, it feels like alienation.  There are lots of support groups which talk about alienation and so everyone assumes that theirs is alienation.  It’s easy to get angry when you start taking on board everyone else’s experiences and anger with the system. But the truth is that not all cases are pure alienation.  Some will be cases where a child has genuinely felt upset with a parent but due to the strained relationship with the ex and all the peer pressure in groups, the “targeted parent” may be lead to believe that it’s the exes fault and so start to blame them which the child doesn’t respond well it because that genuinely isn’t their truth.   And you can sometimes come on too strong, you can become pushy, and you can start saying, “well, this is your mum/dad’s fault, they are stopping you from seeing me” when actually, that wasn’t what was going on. But because you’ve said it, they then genuinely become fearful. They don’t want to see because you’re acting a bit crazy or saying things that they don’t like. And so you take it down that alienation path, and like I say, that might be really hard to acknowledge, and I’m not here to lay blame, what I mean to do is try and help you to see that sometimes our own behaviours can impact these situations. In fact, in all the cases our behaviours impact these situations because we change, we allow that frustration, we allow those natural feelings of sadness or guilt or remorse or frustration, anger to take over and to a child that can appear quite scary and they become afraid of you. And so what starts out as estrangement, could have been fixed if you had taken a moment to reflect on what had happened and listened to the children.

 

Sometimes our own behaviours become so fixated on it potentially being alienation that you become fixated on it when what you perhaps should be thinking is “how are the kids seeing this? What are the kids’ point of view of what’s going on? How am I helping them through this process?” 

 

I appreciate that this is probably quite difficult to hear, and it’s certainly not about blame, or that you’ve done anything wrong. It’s just about being aware of how our behaviours can impact our children.  Keeping your children at the centre and always considering how they might be feeling, what can you do to make them feel safe, secure while still fighting? Then keep that as your focal point and your relationship at its core will stay protected.

The post Why are my children rejecting me? appeared first on The Nurturing Coach.

Read More –>

How to Make Divorce Easier for Your Children

How to Make Divorce Easier for Your Children

As you go through the divorce process, continue to prioritize your children. Be honest with them and know that while the coming months will be hard, you can make it through. Trust yourself and demonstrate your love to them every day.

The post How to Make Divorce Easier for Your Children appeared first on Divorce Magazine.

Read More –>

child visitation after divorce

Child Visitation After Divorce: How My Narcissistic Ex Is Using It Against My Children

child visitation after divorce

 

My divorce never hit me. I was contently past all the stages of grief on the day of my divorce. I was free and so eager to start anew. (I even agreed to attempt reconciliation with my ex post-divorce, but that’s a story for another day.)

Some months later, I moved back to the town I had grown up in. My boys, then seven and eight, moved with me. It felt great to be starting fresh and to be surrounded by family and my childhood girlfriends again.

My boys and I did get the I’m-so-sorry-face from everyone we knew. But despite the catastrophe that others saw, I was relieved, happy, and shame-free to be divorced. I could breathe again, and my life was my own again. Or so I thought…

Given my move, I had agreed to my ex-husband, aka WASband, seeing our boys virtually every weekend and agreed that he could have the boys visit him at his home 400 miles away on any given weekend.

Child Visitation After Divorce

My ex abused my trust.

My WASband turned our flexible visitation agreement into a nightmare for my boys. He insisted that every visit be in Los Angeles in his world. I had agreed to this and he had a legal contract to enforce it.

So, our children traveled from San Francisco to Los Angeles and then back again three to four weekends each month during the school year.

He didn’t care that virtually every Friday his children spent four hours or more traveling to him and four hours or more on Sundays traveling back.

He didn’t care if the children were sick.

He didn’t care if they missed the one and only birthday party they got invited to.

He didn’t care if they weren’t making friends at their new school.

He didn’t care if our son cried and cried over not being able to compete in his once-a-year Tae Kwon Do championship.

He didn’t care if their Friday flight was canceled by the airline. He made them take the 6:00 am flight on Saturday morning only to fly back on Sunday.

He didn’t care if the children were exhausted from all the travel.

He didn’t care if they couldn’t join the basketball team because of weekend games.

He just didn’t care. It was a zero-exceptions contract that I had agreed to.

My WASband’s words were, I am NOT willing to spend my custodial time in Northern California. There was intense hatred towards me in that single sentence. Each time I asked for some flexibility for our children, those words were written back to me in bigger, bolder font along with, My position hasn’t changed.

I had made a huge mistake.

I had willingly given a narcissist full discretion to decide where and how he spends time with our children assuming that he would be reasonable when it came to the children.

I don’t know if he saw their tears. I wiped them.

I don’t know if he heard their screams. Some days that’s all I heard.

He denied their pain. I couldn’t.

I don’t know if he realized their isolation. I saw it.

Over and over I begged a father to accommodate his children’s needs. Each time he refused.

There came a time when my children cried, I know the answer is no. The answer is always no. Then came a time when they no longer asked.

My ex now controlled the boys with custody.  

Spending his time with his children in Los Angeles trumped all else. He was blind to their physical health, their social development, and their emotions. He had to have control: It’s okay for [our son] to miss a birthday party in order to spend quality time with his father.

Of course, nothing was preventing this father from accompanying his son to this one and only birthday party that his son had been invited to all year.

And my ex also controlled me with custody.

When I mailed out a birthday card over summer break and asked my WASband to give the card to our son, my ex responded, “You should do that personally, meaning during your own custodial time.”

This was emotional abuse at its worst.

The control and emotional abuse I thought I had escaped resurfaced like a newer, stronger virus. This time, while aimed at me, it was infecting our children. The children weren’t doing well socially or emotionally.  Despite multiple pediatricians’ recommendations for immediate therapy for our children, my ex refused to consent.

Since the divorce and move my older son had begun to break out crying and screaming for no apparent reason. Of course, I knew the reason; he wasn’t coping well with his parent’s separation.

He was eight-years-old at the time and completely non-verbal about our divorce. He didn’t want to talk, or discuss, or listen to anything related to his mom and dad no longer living together.

Over the course of a year and a half, even after two pediatricians independently witnessed my older son have such an emotional meltdown including throwing himself around the room, my WASband maintained that my son didn’t need therapy.

The emotional outbursts became more frequent, became more intense and shifted from crying and screaming to also verbally threatening his family and physically hurting those around him.

Family court was a game of poker.

With no other resolution in sight, I turned to the Court for help. My children were in danger if nothing changed.

That journey through Court was long, expensive, and made unreasonably longer and more expensive by my ex on the other side. (During our eight-year marriage my ex had been in constant litigation all eight years; he sued all his business partners from multiple businesses, a dentist who voluntarily admitted a mistake, and an employee of a Fortune 500 company knowing the company would pay him damages just to avoid litigation).

I should have known better. My ex had no qualms or limits in abusing the legal system. He was an eye-for-an-eye man once he convinced himself that you had slighted him.

So, my ex showed up in Court with thick, oversized, zero-prescription eyeglasses and a bow tie to complete his geekiest Caltech persona. A charming serial entrepreneur with 20-20 vision (the one I had married) now sat disguised as a nerdy engineer in an effort to explain away his complete inflexibility in co-parenting his children.

He claimed he was an engineer who was scrambling to make ends meet and whose employer had been loaning him money for personal expenses. The fact was that he owned the company he worked for!

He showed virtually no income and no assets all the while affording private flying lessons, affording aircraft rentals, and paying his parents and extended family from business profits.

And so, a game of poker with the judges ensued. The first judge had enough common sense and provided temporary relief for the children from all the travel. This judge saw the thousands of pages of written communication between my ex and me as a complete breakdown of communication.

But he retired. Then a second judge with a completely different common sense, had me pay my ex’s attorney fees and didn’t bat an eye at the amount of travel our children were doing between San Francisco and Los Angeles.

This new judge wanted proof to correlate sickness to excessive travel. Common sense wasn’t good enough. This new judge saw the thousands of pages of written communication between my ex and me as normal negotiation.

This judge saw my wealth against my poor Caltech-graduate WASband with his fake glasses and bow tie, who had no car in his name, no property in his name, who for years had paid his company’s profits to his extended relatives.

In retaliation to me going to Court, my ex had convinced himself that he needed $30,000 per month to support our children. And since he could afford neither a car nor housing, he wanted me to now support a new lifestyle for him, complete with private jet travel, five-star hotels, and much more.

A third judge put an end to my ex’s non-sense; my WASband got his child support but an amount which I proposed to the Court based on facts instead of exaggerations. Disappointed with this outcome, my ex filed two more cases trying to get exorbitant amounts of money from me.

Those cases, while dismissed, still took an emotional and financial toll. I’ve learned now that it’s a matter of time before my WASband sues me again.

Court was a two-year war. And war is never good.

One of my sons got therapy after two years of jumping through all the Court’s hoops. My children’s travel was slightly reduced and many smaller issues were resolved. Yet the Court was fooled by a narcissist.

The Court didn’t approve therapy for my younger son because I didn’t have any evidence for its need. So, now a year later when my younger son says, “I will kill myself,” and my WASband still refuses therapy for him, am I to return to Court?

The Family Court that deals with divorced families and children couldn’t see this coming? I could.

This Court that also ordered my ex to spend the first weekend a month in Northern California because it coincided with the Tae Kwon Do schedule didn’t think to make it an order that my WASband actually take the children to these Tae Kwon Do events.

The Court couldn’t catch the narcissist in disguise. How am I to point out this mistake to the Court? With another trial and 2-year battle? No thank you.

Life, Uh, Finds a Way.

For nearly three years now, my children have been traveling between San Francisco and Los Angeles nearly every weekend. Yes, it’s hard and unheard of, but the one weekend each month we have together is better than ever.

We miss most of the special school events, but we did go to one dance last year and I caught my boys on camera doing the Floss with their classmates!

We do miss most of the special Tae Kwon Do events, but every now and then the stars line up and we get to go to the one we get to go to!

We do miss most family get togethers, so now many of my nine first cousins go out of their way to have our children meet.

For over two years now, my WASband has been telling our children: Your mom is a liar. Her entire family lies. It’s her fault; she’s the one that divorced me. He shows them snippets of court documents to prove his story with evidence.

Sadly, my nine and ten-year-old children are versed in court vocabulary including evidence, exhibits, credibility, and legal contracts. My WASband tells my older son:  You go to therapy because you have mental problems. Your mom forced you to go to therapy.

You’ll be in therapy for your whole life.

You need to lose weight. You need to get in shape.

Are you trying to gain weight?

He tells our children: Do you have any Indian friends? I’ll arrange a playdate [on my visits to San Francisco] if your friends are Indian.

This type of abuse attacks every aspect of their lives. There may never be a respite from this.

My children began coming back to me on Sundays, especially after long holidays, and telling me: You’re a liar. A big fat liar because you don’t have any evidence. Daddy has evidence. I was caught off-guard, hurt, and defensive.

My co-parenting counselor (not to mention others) advised me to open up to my children, but mostly all I could say was: These are adult issues. Children shouldn’t be worried about these things. I will tell you when you’re seventeen or eighteen. Your Daddy loves you, but some of these things he is doing and saying are wrong. And he may never change. You have to be stronger.

After two years of this, there are still new frustrations, more confusion, and deeper wounds but my children are finding their way. They tell me: Mommy, you have to be stronger!

And I am stronger because I chose to be free. My marriage was bad and the aftermath of my divorce worse, but I am free. I’ve begun to learn to allow myself to resign all outcomes to a higher power when I need to.

I’ve learned that there’s nothing that can break me. I’ve been shattered more than once, and I’ve gotten up to collect and put myself back together each time. I don’t hate my ex; it’s as if my body or mind or soul has decided that this person doesn’t deserve even my hatred.

I pray for his peace of mind, I tell my children to send love towards Daddy, and I’ve never been one to pray. Whenever I remember, I tell my children to say something nice about someone else each night.

I’ve learned to hug and cuddle. My children wonder: Why have you gone all lovey-dovey. I suppose it’s because love is all that remains for me.

The post Child Visitation After Divorce: How My Narcissistic Ex Is Using It Against My Children appeared first on Divorced Moms.

Read More –>