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More about court yesterday

futurestepmomnowstepgf's picture

Thank you all who offered their support and condolences for my bf and I. Unfortunately the outcome of yesterday showed me how much of a joke the "family justice shit system" as my friend called it yesterday in regards to dad's who fight for custody of their children is. One thing I will say is my bf said his lawyer is the reason for the outcome yesterday, that it would not of been a total flip of decision, however if his lawyer was on his A game then he would of been awarded more time than he was. On one hand I appreciate the lawyer showing up as he was supposed to since two weeks ago he found out he had to move to take care of his dying mother, so my bf did not have time to retain a new lawyer etc. for this hearing, but he should of been more prepared. 

BM lied on the stand A LOT and she apparently cried three times too. Her lawyer and her set this up so well to look like she is a good mom for the whole last 3 months in the 1.5+ year this has been going on. However, the rest of the time she has not been present or an involved mom, so it really just sucks that basically the year and a half my bf has been the primary parent in all regards just does not matter or count apparently. Neither does the fact that BM having her mother care for her children while she is working is not supportive of their education or social skills. Or that BM cannot care for the children on her own without her mother. Or that when they were together my bf would come home from work at 10 am, BM would still be asleep in bed and the children at 1 and 2 were in the living room doing whatever they wanted and had not been fed yet. Or at 3 and 2 they ran away out BM's house and down the street. Or all the times she last minute couldn't get the children, changed schedule less than an hour ahead, lied about her schedule because she did not want to get the children. I could go on for a while about all the things that should matter but don't, apparently the fact my bf has been deployed twice, the one time the younger child fell at the playground, and one weekend since August when BM offered for him to get the children he declined because he couldn't all matter more than everything else.

What is kind of confusing to us, but my bf is going to see his lawyer today is about the older child. The judge said the older child was not a part of the discussion as the results of the genetic testing show the child is not his and that was it. My bf asked his attorney at the end of the hearing, so that's it with the older child, it is done? His attorney said yes. However, we both are surprised if that is the case that my bf did not have to sign anything, or is not ordered to hand over her birth certificate and social security card. I do know though that a new birth certificate is going to be ordered by VA law for her so maybe that is why? I really don't know, so my bf will see what his attorney says today. 

So even if his lawyer was not leaving, my bf would of dropped him as an attorney and obtained a new one after yesterday. The next few days he will be meeting with possible new attorneys and figuring out what he wants to do. Right now he would prefer to settle with BM because if this judge belives her story about being raped, then going for a faulted divorce will be a waste of time and money. However, if BM wants spousal support as she did before, he will not agree to that because she should not get any. They were married under 5 years and he paid her $600 a month for 13 months per the marine corps order, and she cheated. So we will see what the attorneys say, however unless the judge doesn't buy BM's story and even still does not mean he will indeed order more time when he already said his ruling this time was based upon not wanting to split up the sisters.


tog redux's picture

Unfortunately, women start with a 100 point advantage in Family Court just for having a vagina. Throw in one who can lie well and cry on cue, with an attorney savvy enough to use that, and your BF never had a chance. The person who lies the best wins in Family Court.

I don't think they care about her birth certificate and SS card, BM can get others.  Find an attorney who can get this settled and don't make spousal support the hill to die on, or BM will hang on to that just to keep this going as long as possible. She doesn't deserve spousal support, but you two deserve to move on.

futurestepmomnowstepgf's picture

and my bf will not lie on the stand unlike BM. BM's lawyer asked him something in a text message from a specific date and my bf said that he just swore in to the court and since he does not know the answer to be true or not true as he does not remember that date or the message he will not lie. BM's attorney pushed him a few more times about it, I guess trying to get him to lie and he said the same thing. 

Yeah that is true, I just figured he would at least need to sign something. He is however going to the lawyer today and is going to ask these questions. Thank you, we definitely do deserve to move on!

tog redux's picture

Yes, your BF will not sink to BM's level, he's not capable of it.

The problem here is ATTORNEYS.  BM (rightly) felt like he was trying to take her kids from her, so in her head, the lying is justified because this is so important.  The stupid ass attorney should never have encouraged him to try to get full custody, that's what sets this kind of mother off.  It's totally what set off BM in our situation too - they are afraid of losing their kids, just as your BF was afraid of losing his kids to her.  This is why Family Court is so freaking broken. They can't figure out how to sit down with these two people who both love these kids, and work something out - it becomes a zero sum game, where someone "wins" and someone "loses". 

futurestepmomnowstepgf's picture

to get full custody or not, BM was always going to take the older child away and the only thing she would agree to is my bf getting custody only during the summer, she was not going to agree to anything else. So really in the end, I think it was always going to go this way no matter what route he took. Half of me wishes he just went for the at fault divorce over a year and a half ago because the outcome is still the same, he lost the older child, and he might of gotten the same custody to not split the siblings up and the other half of me is glad at least he knows for a fact no matter what he did it lead to the same outcome and now does not have any what ifs about it, he knows he tried and did what he could.

OMG yes exactly right, it is so broken

Gimlet's picture

I really hope your husband is going to drop the rope on the older child.  There really isn't anything he can do and it's just going to cause stress and grief.  He needs to grieve the relationship and let her go. 

I'm sorry it turned out this way for you and I hope that BM doesn't get spousal support.  It's crazy how biased the courts can be. 

futurestepmomnowstepgf's picture

on the older child, we just were not sure about if there was anything on his end he has to do/if he receives any documentation saying she is no longer his, etc. that is where the questions are in the air. However, he is meeting with his attorney today so we will hopefully get those questions answered.

Thank you. I mean she shouldn't be awarded any, but I can see her saying if you want this done and not go to trial, I want spousal support then. In which case he will not agree nor do I think he should

nengooseus's picture

Which may be the only way to assure that spousal support absolutely isn't awarded.  The older daughter is proof of her cheating, though, I suppose, so that's a thing.  The wrinkle there is that in Virginia, if they're still legally married, technically, he's committing adultery if he lives with (or sleeps with) you.

futurestepmomnowstepgf's picture

which is why he was going to go for a faulted divorce than ask for her to pay his attorney fees. 

The proof she would need to prove he is committing adultery would be picture or video proof or me being pregnant. I am not pregnant and there is no video proof of us engaging in anything. We also have our own places with our own leases so we don't live together either. While there is a child born during their marriage that is not his. She is going to try and claim she was raped by some stranger though so comes down to who the judge believes and there is not way to know that. So now it is what is the best option for him

nengooseus's picture

It sounds like you all are covering yourselves well.

At-fault divorces take FOREVER, from what I understand, and since VA doesn't really recognize separations, their marriage will continue to accumulate time, which will allow her more opportunity to torture him and increase her entitlement to his retirement and spousal support if the at-fault claim is rejected.  It will also increase the expense of the litigation expotentially for both parties.  Reaslistically, a decent lawyer will almost always advise against trying for at-fault.  

I get wanting to "beat" BM.  I totally understand, in fact.  But the emotional and financial toll will just keep growing the longer this goes on.

futurestepmomnowstepgf's picture

his lawyer now advised if he does go forward with at fault, then the new lawyer will put at fault/divorce so if at their trial the judge does not find adultery then they can still get divorced without a new hearing. Right now, she has no right to his retirement or anything like that. In the military they would have to be married 10 years at least to get any bit of it.

I just hope they can settle and this will be done sooner than we though, January is the trial, so I am crossing my fingers!

nengooseus's picture

If a couple has been married for 10 years, then DFAS will pay the former spouse directly, but in VA Courts, the retirement is an asset like any other, and is in play unless agreed otherwise or an at-fault divorce is granted.  If DFAS won't pay out directly, then the retirement portion must be paid directly between the parties.  It would really be wise for your BF to bring on an attorney who is well-versed in military divorces for his case.  He would be smart to calculate how much of the retirement (and other assets) BM could claim in a worst case scenario and then balance off the cost of the litigation.

My XH was active duty, so this was a major issue in our divorce and my lawyer (who has a LOT of experience with military divorces) had to "educate" me as part of the divorce process.

futurestepmomnowstepgf's picture

well the director at the kids' school that he just went to in order to take them out of school is also going through a divorce and is a marine, she gave him the card of her lawyer who is an ex marine and had nothing but good things to say about him. So hopefully that ends up being his new lawyer.

ESMOD's picture

I guess some of it may have had something to do with proximity of the things that BM brought up... he was harkening back to a time when they were together.. and she is talking about recent history.. like with the toddler being allowed to climb on something beyond their age range.

Unfortunately... I can see how they might favor the parent who is not subject to deployments as the non-deploying parent is going to inherently provide the more stable home.  I do think they were too miserly on giving him visitation.. but I can see why BM was the primary home.. since the child's father can be deployed and gone for long stretches (and you aren't the bio parent.. so aren't interchangeable with him).

eta:  the fact that she cheated on him likely isn't a factor in the custody part of it.. just because she cheated.. doesn't necessarily mean she is a bad mother I guess.

futurestepmomnowstepgf's picture

so that fucked it all up, lawyer's fault, can't really fault the judge when he does not know these facts or really much of anything to put him in favor of my bf.

I think the whole deployment is unrelated at this point, he is currently in a non-deployable unit, he has a flag in his file to not be given orders, and he gets out in less than 2 years. So the probabiltity of him going anywhere is extremely extremely low and not really applicable. I do understand thinking it could be a possibility, however seems none of that mattered and as he said came down to not wanting to split the siblings up.


advice.only2's picture

It's not the lawyer it's the system. We had an amazing lawyer, but whenever DH would go to court with her, the judge would listen attentively to Meth Mouth crying and sobbing hysterically for about 45 minutes about nothing and then would gently ask her what she wanted.

My DH fought an uphill battle for seven years to retain custody of Spawn. Meth Mouth was in and out of jail, re-hab, assaulted people, was sent to prison, etc. and DH had to still keep fighting to retain custody. So no it's not your lawyer, it's the system.

futurestepmomnowstepgf's picture

that is awful! Terrible that there are men out there that should have custody, but they keep losing to these awful women/mothers. Personally I believe there are equal good moms and dads, it is not one gender or the other, but apparently the system disagrees and that really is disgusting and embarassing.

tog redux's picture

Yeah, the bias towards mothers being the more important parent is very strong - even if the courts claim they are unbiased. 

Daisymazy2's picture

able to change the judges mind if he didn't want to seperate the sisters.  He could continue to try to get custody of his child but more than likely it will be a waste of money.  

Be prepared that crazy BM is still going to want your BF to keep the oldest child too.  She will still have some crazy idea that your BF will keep her along with his child and she will have her "free" time.  

BM did this to DH when they first seperated.   She used the excuse that she didn't want to seperate the kids on a weekend and DH would not only watch his Bio child but 2 or 3 of her Bio kids until one of BM's bkids accused DH of abuse.  DH stopped seeing BM's bio kids and only started seeing his kid.  BM went crazy and was all upset because she lost her baby sitter.   Dh was almost certain that BM was behind the abuse allegations.  Bm was using her Bkids to spie and control DH.

tog redux's picture

Yes, and also be prepared, now that she has control over everything, for her to offer extra time with both kids. Don't take it. 

futurestepmomnowstepgf's picture

we are not going to take anymore time than is in the order, unless it gets modified, that is the only way, we agreed on that. My bf also will never take the older child, not after it was decided in court that she is no longer part of the equation officially.

futurestepmomnowstepgf's picture

feel a little bit better. I feel like the lawyer could of definitely done a WAY better job, but it really seems like the judges mind was basically already made up once the results were revealed. That is kind of how we are feeling, more so my bf than me, but we both are kind of trying to decide if it is worth it or will it just use more money and get us no where different.

Oh we already suspect she is going to do this. We talked about this last night, my bf asked if he should take out the older child's car seat or not. The younger child we have to check the weight, she is growing out of her car seat, so before pick up this Friday we are going to look into it and either the younger one will be in the bigger car seat and we take out the smaller one or the opposite.

My bf will not take the older child ever again. Not his child, now it is legally dictacted as such, BM is so crazy she would probably try and call the cops saying he kidnapped her. Plus taking her is not going to help anyone move on, so the answer to that is no not going to happen.

That is awful! These BM's are like on crack and crazy entitled I hate it.

tog redux's picture

The destruction is mind-boggling when there is a woman (or man) like BM involved. No one comes out unscathed. 

Yes, it's best for the girl if he cuts ties with her now,  but he must be so devastated. 

DH says that my support was the only thing that got him through court and the alienation of his son. So be that rock for him. 

futurestepmomnowstepgf's picture

and not as devestated at the same time because we knew for a while that this was going to be the outcome.

It is the younger child he is really upset about not really getting any time with her and the fact that he did not do anything wrong, BM messed up, BM cheated, etc. but he is the one losing.

My bf has told me that he wouldn't be able to get through this without me and that I am his rock. He has been my rock too in other aspects. We definitely are equally supportive and there for the other which is fantastic.