'96 10yo ss had been begging his dad, his dad's friends, strangers,
on a camping trip that someone help him to live with his dad. Ss
claims he wants to talk to the judge.
In mediation ss doesn't tell the mediator he wants to live with his
'96 court improved visitation.
A couple of months later ss
is sobbing over the phone. His mother had told him his opinion didn't
matter and he wasn't supposed to say anything to the mediator. Dh says
with a little exasperation, "They wouldn't have asked for your opinion
if it didn't matter."
said in court,
and I sit here right now thinking how sad this all
is. It truly is. It's sad for me and sad for the people who are nodding (dh).
How terribly, awfully sad it must be for (ss).
It really upsets me
that a 10-, 11, perhaps now 12-year-old boy would have to go through
this, watch this, hear about this, suspect that all this is going on.
This (the 1990 order that bms attorney drew up) is a terrible
order. This is an atrocious
order. I have only
heard from one side of this case really, and I feel so sorry for (dh) as
I hear from his side. I
have not heard words from (bm's) mouth.
She certainly has the privilege against self-incrimination, the
right to remain silent
But even having heard just from (dh), there is
no doubt in my mind that the
former (bm) was terribly uncooperative about visitation, was terribly
disrespectful of (dh) as a dad, did take opportunities to make things
tough from him, to obstruct contact between (dh) and his son, and that
was unable to find her in contempt cuz of the vagueness of the
visitation order. He worked for 2 days with dh and bm to get ironclad
visitation order, amidst their own lawyer screaming at bm and her
parents to shut up.
To bm's chagrin Judge only orders dh to pay
@$3000 of the @$12,000 in her attorney fees. Our '99 attny explains that
was a slap on the hand to bm. She didn't get it.
Dh is in court regarding bm's visitation denial. Bm is representing
herself. I believe bm and her parents believe they could do a much
better job than their '96 attorney did.
Bm requests that
visitation be reduced further cuz "son is spending too much time
with his dad." Judge is quiet, looking down. The entire court waits
quietly for the judge to say something. He finally looks up and says,
"If I appear stunned, it's because I'm only now realizing my
history with this case." He takes 5 more minutes to read past and
current papers. He says, "Ok, I'm caught up now" glaring
at bm as she requests again that visitation be reduced. The judge
sternly says, "The evaluator will take care of that."
Back in court, our attorney is very surprised to hear the judge say,
"I read the report as soon as I received it." The judge asks both sides
to have their say. Then the judge gently tells bm that he's giving
dh custody (summer '99).
in shock. She and her mother sit on a bench, we sit on a different bench
beside them. We can hear bm telling her mother that she wants ss to
continue going to the school near her - an hour one way drive from our
and I sit at the long end of the cafeteria. Bm and her mother sit
outside the cafeteria, far from us. Our attorney walks to their table to
negotiate the visitation order. He comes back to our table. A few
minutes later I watch grandma get up, walk all around the cafeteria to
enter at the door beside us, and slowly walk closely past our backs to
skin off our nose.