A Legal Motion on my Door (again)

I’m human and I’m frustrated.  I returned home last evening to find the motion to reduce child support on my door.  It was filed on 9/6/12, without a date set for the court.

I felt sheer frustration.  My kids were with their ex, so at least they didn’t see that on the door.  But then again, I’ve come to find out that our daughter is quite well aware of my ex paying child support (err..rather that he’s not paying it), so what difference does it make if they saw the motion anyway…

I went for a walk.  I prayed for God to remove the frustration and negative energy from my body.  My dog pooped three times on the walk… it felt like a physical manifestation of all the shit in my life.  Sigh.  All the shit that I try to forget, eh?

I wrote an email to my attorney (cha-ching).  Here’s my frustration.  We started working on getting our five year old to a psychological evaluation back about 8 months ago (it was noted he needed one long prior to that even).  We take the nice and tip-toey route.  We have daughter’s therapist nicely speak to ex’s attorney, then to the ex.  She omits that the kids are reporting ex’s rages, physical hitting and scaring them under the bed – and says that she “doesn’t know why he is showing such regression”.  Of course, this route is laden by my ex’s and his attorney’s delays.  My attorney and I have spoken about filing a motion for the evaluation, but of course his attorney isn’t “available” for a month. (I have a few choice words about this attorney).  So, the motion isn’t filed.  BUT… my ex goes to his attorney, pays off his $2500 in debt and gives him an extra thousand… and wa-bam… I find the motion for child support taped to my door.  But where’s the motion to help our child’s well being?  Well… it’s pending.  Pursuant to rule 4:15 of the supreme court of my state.  Curse rule 4:15.

Here’s the other problem.  I feel like I am always placed in the ‘defensive’.  Heck, it even says it on the motion. Plaintiff: Ex.  Defendent: Me.  Shouldn’t it be the other way around?  Should my attorney and I be more aggressive?  I feel like we should.  In this mode, we are set to have to ‘defend’ our position as to why the support amount shouldn’t change.  If we were more aggressive, we could be filing the motion to comply, and to require ex to pay for the outstanding portion of his bill with our daughter’s therapist.

A couple weeks ago, my attorney called my ex’s attorney.  My ex’s attorney isn’t much different than my ex.  My ex didn’t pay support for August.  I took our daughter out of child care to save money, especially since the amount of the daycare was miscalculated and by taking her out for a month, I could get the bill more aligned to what was in the child support calcuation.  What does my ex’s attorney go off about?  He yells at my attorney about me making the unilateral decision to remove our daughter from child care for a month.  Now wait a minute dude… your client didn’t pay child support, so I make adjustments to deal, and you’re yelling at ME?  Wtf? This is the messed up way in which narcissists justify their warped thinking.

Oh, and my ex’s attorney forgets to bill for most of what he does, so my ex pays FAR less in fees than I do.  Which means that his $1000 goes a loooonnnnng way.

So then… the question is – is it better to be aggressive with a narcissist ex on matters like these, or to tippy toe around?



7 Responses to “A Legal Motion on my Door (again)”

  1. Beth says:

    I guess I am one of the lucky ones. My county court system is very focused on the children. Earlier this year X filed for 50/50 custody. Played games, like waited until the last possible minute to serve me so I had literally a day to file my response. He even went so far as to put the court address as the sender (I guess I was supposed to experience fear), and send it certified signature needed, timed it so it would be delivered when I was at work, so I had to make a trip to the post office to retrieve it, even though he could have sent it first class. Of course it was son’s weekend with him, so son came home very very quiet – goodness knows what X told him. I asked son what he wanted to do – did he want to spend more time with father (NO!), and that if son felt so strongly I would fight. (Ha – one of X’s reasons why 50/50 was because he needed to show son how to be a man, and son needed to be shown). How narc-y.

    When asked, I told the Friend of the Court referee that the proposed schedule would be very disruptive to son’s schooling – he was in his junior year. She sent us to family assessment with the Dr. who wrote the county parenting class program. Psychologist had already had the joy of meeting X before my appointment. When she asked me why we got divorced, and I said I could do enough for him, keep the house clean enough, cook well enough, I didn’t earn enough money, iron his shirts, etc., she started laughing. I couldn’t believe it – she had seen through his charming exterior for the narc that he is! I gave her evidence of his bullying and threatening son. Her final recommendations and observations – son was surprisingly well adjusted given the high conflict, there was no evidence of parent alienation as X claimed, that son was mature enough to have a say in where he spent his time, that X had to stop badmouthing me in son’s presence, along with not involving son directly in parenting matters (X actually sent an email to son (cc me) threatening son with jail if he didn’t come over immediately (it was my parenting time!). (Of course, one of his favorite phrases is “you are in violation…”). She also recommended counseling to work out future conflicts, but X said “it would be a waste of money”. Son now goes to X’s family events when he knows that his sisters and/or aunt and grandmother are going to be there. He hasn’t spent an overnight (which has X’s panties all in a bunch – I was supposed to “send” son over – right) but I just tell X that since X isn’t executing parenting time (because X refuses to come pick him up?), that I should ask for custody change to sole and that would up his child support so he backs down.

    So put the fear behind you – go in with positive thoughts that its not about you, its in the best interest of the children. You might even compose something like “I believe that it is in the best interests of the child that….” There are good people out there who are committed to the children first. Key in on one or two points for your argument, don’t bring the whole laundry list of grievances, it just makes you look “petty”. Let X look petty and whiny as he goes through his laundry lists. Respond to only the most important items from his list. During my hearing, I realized that when I was up to over 15 “items” that I had to keep it simple. Its not in son’s best interest that…

    Be brave, stay focused, you are the strong parent.

    • I love this! What a great attitude you have. It’s so good to hear the good stories, and to know that people break through. We have a mediocre court system, and I got the worst of it, although others get pretty decent responses. I’ve been in circuit court the whole time, and my ex’s attorney is a mirror image of my x – which really brews things up when he should be talking logic into his client. I will keep those positive thoughts going – and encourage everyone else who visits her to do so too! Thanks for the inspiration!

    • Susan says:

      You’re very lucky to have a court system that actually care about the children. The courts system I have to deal with on Canton, ma is horrible. I have to keep reminding the judge the only reason I am there is to make sure my sons life is as healthy as possible. If my X and I didn’t have children together; we wouldn’t have any reason to be in Family Court! And the side bar conversations the judge apparently has with my X’s attorney I thought were against the rules! I just don’t even go anymore. My X at this point uses the court system to control me or see me to emotional abuse me! So pathetic!

  2. Ana says:

    I’ve been going through this recently. My ex decided he didn’t want to pay his share of daughter’ expenses anymore and that it should come out of the child support. I went to see my lawyer and pointed out he was paying child support on a 60/40 timeshare but he only took her 25% of the time. She wrote a letter to the mediator and ex’s lawyer. It was almost worth the thousand dollars. We ended up going to the mediator. I don’t know what he told my ex( we were in separate rooms) but that’s when he decided to reduce his time from 9 days to 5 days a month. The child support payments increased and he still has to pay expenses.
    It’s hard always waiting for the other shoe to drop and frustrating to feel like you’re always reacting instead of acting. I worry that my ex is going to snap. He goes into rages and has a house full of guns. These people push the limits and no one ever seems to hold them accountable We do one little thing wrong and we get nailed to the wall. I can’t wait until my daughter turns 18 so he has nothing left to control in my life.

    • Amen! I just tweeted a news story about a guy who lost it and shot his ex in Cary, NC. I wonder the same – especially because my ex says he thinks he could be one of those people that shoots up a McDonald’s (and my ex has a gun too). So, keep close attention, have a safety plan and make sure others are aware of his issues so that if they see anything they won’t hesitate to report it quickly. Trust your gut and seek help if needed. I am still so glad about the five days for your daughter! yay!! Maybe mediator can talk him into supervised visitation…

  3. Had Enough says:

    I don’t know the answer to your question but I may be about to find out. My ex wants to move to another town and register the kids there. He also wants to force me to get his approval on any new docs or doc appts (other than sick). He scheduled a court hearing to force me to a conference with him and his atty.

    His atty wanted a parenting coordinator. But I read up – thanks to your blog and other sites – and decided that I would not agree to a PC. And I realized that the Court won’t agree with his petition to move and limit “my unilateral actions.”

    Next week ex’s atty is back in the office. I’m sure ex will hit the roof when he hears. We’ve only been separated a year and I was afraid of court. I’ve just reached my limit now – I’m just like bring it on.

    • I wish that parent coordinators could be there as a resource in situations like this. I have heard of one case where it helped a little, and I did speak to one guy (who’s assigned to us, but he won’t return our calls and we’ve never, ever met with him) who truly understood personality disorders. But the risk is soooo high, and it’s just another expensive avenue for the ex to stay connected.

      I’m so glad to hear your strength and getting past the fear. I focused on the fear and believe I got what I focused on, whereas maybe if I focused on believing that the courts could pull through for me, I may have gotten an entirely different outcome. For what it’s worth – I have won each time since the original 3 day custody battle. I’m gearing up this time too. Even though I’d rather not have his money, it’s a good point of leverage and it’s for my kids sake to fight the issue.

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