On August 28, 2018… after 1,293 days… the Court of Appeals in my state allowed my child to get out of the grasp of her abuser and open up the possibility of having two parents.
I am writing this post because yes, it is possible. As I have been writing over these last few years, the road has been arduous to say the least. And I’m certainly not at the end. The order from family court is still temporary but has been continued until next April, giving my child 8 months to detox before we see what happens next. With the custody reversal, my child now sees their mother every other weekend and is with me the rest of the time. This is starting another chapter, a chapter I think needs to be documented and shared so those who haven’t gotten this far yet have some sort of map as to what it looks like. My friend Michael Allen is further along, and has managed to get a somewhat functional relationship going with his ex wife in regards to their children. He writes about his experiences as well which is great because it’s good to see different ways reunification plays out.
But leading up to this point in my case—There was an order issued on August that awarded me sole legal custody and primary physical custody which was promptly appealed; exactly what they (my ex’s team of lawyers) did last year after the order from the family court which attempted to fix the custody situation was issued.
This time though, with very competent help, I (remember, I am pro se) was able to point out that my ex wife’s council misrepresented the facts of the case to the appeals court to the point of it being unethical. My ex’s law firm (the team brought in an appellate specialist) argued that since there was a stay on a portion of the attempted remedy from Nov. 2017, the trial court had no authority to act. Yes, this is complicated. As is the case with most of us this is but the tip of the iceberg. The nugget here is that my ex’s law firm was able to manipulate the situation to get the family court’s remedy from last year slowed down considerably and getting everyone to walk on eggshells.
The pathogen is not to be underestimated in its effectiveness.
But this time, the appeals court, this time given more complete information, the court rendered the appeal from last year moot (irrelevant) on it’s own without a hearing. This made my ex’s lawyers argument for attempting to stop this latest order from taking effect moot as well. In addition, the appeals court ordered my ex pay court costs which I understand is a strong message of disapproval of their motion to begin with. In my case it was the filing fees I incurred submitting my reply to my ex’s motion.
$28.00, the amount of my filing fees refunded. That and a custody reversal. A dollar amount and court finding that has started to turn lives around.