Honey filed a custody case against me in September. You can read about it here.
It was finally heard last week. Why the long wait? Because Honey hired, in my opinion, one of the single worst attorneys that I have ever seen. It was…glorious.
Not that I’d ever tell Honey what I think of his lawyer. If he cannot discern between a competent lawyer and a clown, far be it from me to enlighten him. And while this unmitigated disaster of a man’s bungling ended up costing me an extra $1,500 (that I don’t have, beyond the thousands already paid that I didn’t have) to keep my lawyer at the ready, it was worth every dime.
After several completely avoidable paperwork delays caused by Honey’s lawyer, it was finally our turn to be heard…four hours later. I thought I would throw up, faint, and pee in my pants when they called our name, in that order. Here’s how it began:
My Lawyer: This motion to amend support is improper, your honor. There is an open child support case in the child support court, which has jurisdiction. It’s in every declaration we’ve filed from day one of this case. So we can only discuss custody today.
Honey’s Lawyer: (indignant) I was not aware of this!
My Lawyer (turning fully to address him, stunned) Yes, you were, sir. Not only have you claimed to have read our declarations in this matter, you appeared on your client’s behalf in child support court on that matter last year.
Honey’s Lawyer: I did no such thing!
My Lawyer: (incredulous) That is FALSE, Sir! On the such and such day of 2016, you appeared in that court. There were witnesses, including my client.
Honey’s Lawyer: I did no such – uh, hmmm. You know what? That’s correct. I did appear there, I recall that now. I’m sorry your honor.
This was a court room packed with very stressed out people about to have their child custody cases heard. For some of them, it may have been the worst day of their lives. And yet, in this somber place of misery, the entire crowd burst into laughter at the bumbling fool to my left. The judge didn’t even look up from her documents or quiet the crowd, annoyed at the time he’d already cost her court and the sheer idiocy of what had just unfolded. It was beautiful.
Oh, and the child support reduction issue? The ACTUAL reason he went for custody of the kids? Since his lawyer botched it and filed the motion in the wrong court, 5 months of waiting, delays, continuances, paperwork errors, declarations, and expensive lawyers, and he couldn’t even get that part heard.
In the end, no, Honey did not get custody. What he did get was a court order to complete a series of therapeutic re-unification visits here in our state over the next 2 years. Custody will not be revisited until and unless those terms are met.
From the beginning of this case, Honey was taken aback and offended by my suggestion that he would need to fly out here for recurring re-unification therapy before he would EVER be allowed to just get on a plane and fly off with them. To send them off with him before they’ve re-established their relationship would completely traumatize them, because the kids no longer know him as a trusted adult or legitimate parental figure. All they know is that he once used to be, but ‘left them to go live with his other kids’ (their words, sadly).
He was offended at the notion that his kids do not know him well enough to just hand him custody, because SKYPE. He said, and I quote, “Wow, I’m just floored that you would even ask for therapeutic visits. I mean, wow. I’m speechless. I don’t know what to say. I’m just really taken aback. Wow.”
Of course you are, Honey. That’s because you’re the king of your own imaginary kingdom, Big Guy.
They have no memory of living with him. They have no memory of visiting with him. He’s been in their presence for 4 days of the last 40 months. This man is totally delusional and knows nothing about kids and how they process things like this. They’re not terriers that he can just stick in a crate and chuck on a plane. They’re people – people he’s wounded and has done nothing to make amends with.
Think I’m being dramatic? Let’s see how well they know you as a parent when you’re cruising at 20,000 feet, Honey, with no mommy in sight for the first time since EVER, going somewhere with a person they last saw in person over 2 years ago, and the weight of that hits them. G’head. Let’s think on that real hard and consider who that’s going to be most traumatizing for – them, or every passenger on that plane. You will not traumatize these children again because of your indifference to their well being. You did that once already when you walked out of their lives. Never again.
Luckily, the judge was in agreement that simply reappearing after all this time to take them away with him on a plane would be completely unacceptable. At least a judge echoed what I said and perhaps Honey will grasp that this ‘outlandish’ requirement is not some personal attack or power trip. It’s about the kids, period.
So on to child support court we go. His recent defiance of court-ordered job contacts may not make the judge in that case very happy. Nor will the W2’s that show he worked last year, but didn’t once report that employment to the court or provide one dime of it to our kids.
He’s only a LITTLE behind, so maybe they’ll cut him some slack. He only owes $34,140 after all. But if, by chance, a judge didn’t think it was very nice of him to dodge paying for Little Man and Baby Girl’s food and rent while ensuring that his new family was fed and housed, he’s lucky that he’s already got the perfect tattoo for his new job making license plates in county.
Do you have a story about YOUR day in court? Post in the comments below!