I average about 20 hits on my blog each day. Compared to most that I read, 20 is nothing. On a recent day I had 52, so I wondered what might have happened. The only other time I had that many in one day was when I wrote something not very flattering about the town of Haddonfield, NJ, and it spread amongst the snooty residents quickly and unhappily. I supposed just this statement alone might rekindle that, but probably not.
The recent 52 might have coincided with something else though: the day after my ex-wife was served with papers showing that I am trying to get my daughter to come and live with me.
What’s the connection? First, I know that her lawyer hates me, so he was probably scouring my blog looking for information he could use against me. Maybe statements, blog entries, such as the one in which I said that marijuana should be legalized, so he could use that to convince a judge that I’m not fit to be a custodial parent. Of course my answer would be, “If you really think I’m not fit to take care of my kid, then why did you wait until now to pursue that angle? Why have you let me spend time with my kid thus far and only now, while I’m trying to get more time, you’re claiming I’m unfit?”
The judge sent a letter to my and my ex-wife’s attorney’s asking each of us the same question: why do you deserve what you want, and why should the other not get what they want? That seems pretty simple, but it also seems like he wants us to do his job for him. My ex claims that in a judgement from a few years ago I agreed not to seek any more increases in parenting time with my kids. She’s not wrong, on paper. However, where she IS wrong is that, logistically, I’M not seeking more time. My daughter is.
What some people fail to recognize is the wants, needs, and pursuits of the children. My daughter has asked for years to spend more time with me, but her mother has always maintained two things: 1. “of course, Rose. Just tell me when you want to see your Dad, and we’ll work that out.” and 2. “No, Rose, it’s just not a good day for you to go see your Dad.”
My kid is brave. She’s standing up to her mother, knowing fully well that her mother can be tough. The kid has been yelled at, cursed at, had tv remotes and chairs thrown in her direction, been mislead, swindled, and just plain lied to. I don’t know how she maintains the toughness to keep going, but I’m damn lucky she’s doing it.
Several seasoned lawyers have all agreed that even if you have the most perfect and logical argument entirely spelled out for the court, you’re still at the mercy of whatever mood the judge is in on that day. I’ve seen it happen – I think.
I’ve been before judges about five times in my life. Not once has it worked out in my favor. However, this is probably the most important of them all.