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Court Yesterday.....

kim1960's picture

BF had court yesterday. Had attorney file petiton for Indirect Civil Contempt against BM for her constant violations of the Joint Parenting Agreement including but not limited to: not notifying BF of serious illness (staph infection) the 4 yr old had, of two trips to the ER because of it and not notifying BF of surgery needed for it after 4 yr. old was admitted to the hospital. BM also took him out of state from 1/3/07 to 1/25/07 when she is only allowed to take him for a one week period 3x a year. Refusing to give him the address and phone number where ss would be staying while they were out of state. Also turning over doctor bills late (one bill for the dentist was over six months old) that need to be reimbursed. BM of course files petitons on BF wanting to garnish his wages (no child support is past check was a week late...she was out of state at the time so it really didn't make a difference was late becasue he told her if she took ss out of town for that long he would not pay it, after talking to his lawyer he paid it) and for not paying the dr. bills that she was late giving us in the first place. Also because BF refuses to pay half the cost of 4 yr. olds counseling (that his mother feels he needs)because he feels it isn't necessary and that the counseling is more for her then for ss. Also, she takes 4yr old to a chiropractor for his ear infections and BF feels he should see his MD for them. What started all of this was that BM found out about me at the end of July 2006 and that we were planning to get married. All hell broke loose. Within a week she had 4 yr old (then 3 at the time) in couseling saying that we were saying adult things in front of ss and being inudated with emails about our care for him, how she worried about our "mental capacity" while taking care of him, how we didn't feed him properly etc. At that point BF stopped overnight visitation and now we see him for Wednesday night visitation and that is it. BF has Myasthenia Gravis and stress is one of the things that can lead to a myasthenic crisis which is life threatening. As it is with all this going on he lost 23 pounds and had trouble eating and swallowing. Now she has filed a petition to not allow him to have ss for a tax exemption every other year as was agreed upon in the divorce and she says it is because the added expense that she has since we do not keep him every other weekend. BF pays $800 a month in child support and carries the medical and dental on him. And the overnight visitations were stopped because of her. When BF finally got to talk to lawyer after the hearing (the case was set for trial 4/24) he said to boyfriend, why not just start the overnight visitation again and she won't have this issue. He also said to pay all medical and dental bills (even those she held onto for six months) except those he strongly disagreed with such as the counseling and chiropractor. It seems like all the sudden it's all about what BF needs to do (to show he is a good guy to the judge according to lawyer)instead of what SHE did wrong. After discussing it last night BF decided overnight visitation will not resume and he wants to fight it out in court over the tax exemption. He's afraid if we start overnight visitaton again the accusatons and the hell both we and ss go through (with her unending questioning of him) will start again. He would rather lose the tax exemption in court then start that again. So when we meet with the lawyer next week he is going to tell him that. Now this is the exchange of emails that occured between BF and BM today.

From BM: Wednesday, 2-28-07, I can meet you at the Shop N Save on North Grand Street instead of Shop N Save on Dirksen Parkway at 8:00 p.m. after your visitation to pick up.

BF responds: Ok, either Kim or I will meet you Wednesday night at Shop N Save on North Grand at 8:00 PM.
On another issue I need a copy of son's bills from Dr. Lee and the SIU Physicians since the receipts you provided do not indicate that the charges are for him.

BM responds: You need to drop son off at Shop N Save at 8:00 tonight. You can get son's bills/receipts from Dr. Lee and SIU Physicians

BF responds: Either Kim or I will drop son off tonight at 8:00. It is your responsibility to provide the proper receipts of son's past doctor appointments for reimbursement.

Can she decide who drops him off after visitation? BF has conference call for work at 8:00 tonight and needs to be in front of the computer when it happens. And the call is the same time as the drop off. What is the big deal about me dropping him off? We don't want to lose what little time we have with ss becaue of this call but it is work related and he has to handle it and he can't from the car in the parking lot of a grocery store. Also it says in the divorce decree that each parent has 14 days to provide proper documentation of medical and dental bills to the other parent and then the parent has 14 days to pay them. One receipt she provide for $30 just lists her name and the amount paid. It is a generic receipt that I could pick up at Office Max. The other says SIU Physicians on it and it is a receipt in her name showing she made 3 $15 payments back in September and October and the date of each payment. There is nothing showing these payments were for services to ss. We do not know when this child goes to the doctor or dentist that is the first violation listed in the petition we filed against her. What are we suppose to call all these different doctors (MD, Dentist, Allergist, Chiropractor, Couselor) every month? She needs to provide an actual bill! I am just so frustrated. Taking her to court has done no good if anything it has made BM more mental. How do we handle this mess? I'm at a loss.


loonybonusmom's picture

so many dad's out there get fed up and "run away" from their responsibilities! or why so many of us feel the courts are a waste of time. We went through the same crap that you are going through now, almost exactly...medical issues, visitation etc. We took the advice of the lawyer who said it is your right to call her on it if she is in contempt, thought ok, we have a good case here, she is in the wrong, and if it means fair treatment for us and our child, that's what the courts are there for right? WRONG Only if you have a good judge, money for a great lawyer...but you are the one who does all the work, they just show up, so hope they are in a good mood that day too! What a crock, I don't think it is the run away dad syndrome it is the "I just got ripped off by the judge and the x so why flipp'n bother" I applaud your dh for wanting to continue the fight! While I don't blame my dh in the least he has now taken the attitude, I will be thrown in jail before I waste my time going to court again so when your son asks where I am and why? feel free to tell him "I through your dad in jail!" sorry to rant but I understand where you are right now, where I have been and the frustrations that come with these selfish, useless, vindictive bitches, and the court systems that validate them.

Anne 8102's picture

He does need to start the overnights again. He really needs to take full advantage of whatever time he is supposed to be getting. It really will strengthen his case. Also, if she's wanting more money, she will definitely get it if he is not taking the child during his time. Reason being, if the amount of time the child spends with BM is increasing, then she's theoretically entitled to more money. Most CS calculations factor in the amount of time spent with each parent. So I'd worry about this one, because if he's not getting his son for the full amount of time he's supposed to be getting him, then she may actually be entitled to more money and a judge could give her this.

You are so right that this isn't about what BF needs to be doing, but his lawyer has an obligation to point out to him what he can and should be doing to strengthen his case. I mean, yes, you have to point out to the judge what BM is doing wrong, but you also have to make sure you are doing everything right so that you can also point that out to the judge. Please don't take that personally. I know how frustrating it is and it isn't fair, but that's the way the game is played. Also, to make sure dad is protected, then he really does need to pay all legitimate bills, no matter how old they are, as a show of good faith. But I would strongly suggest you get it put into the order that bills must be submitted within the 14-day time frame or he will not have to pay them, that if she doesn't give him copies within that time frame, then she's assuming 100% responsibility for payment of the bills. The decree is pretty specific in how this is supposed to be done if it specifies 14 days, but it apparently doesn't list a remedy for what happens if she doesn't meet the 14-day requirement. You really need to get that added.

I think you have to fight it, but I also think it'll probably not turn out exactly the way you'd hope. I wish you luck with this. It won't be pretty, but what choice does any of us have? We either fight it or sit back and get railroaded. The outcome might be the same whatever you do, but at least you gave it a shot. Keep us posted!

~ Anne ~

Ladies and gentlemen, take my advice: Pull down your pants and slide on the ice! -M*A*S*H (Sidney Freedman to the OR staff on dealing with stress)

OldTimer's picture

being the whipping boy all for SS. He doesn't like having to jump through the hoops, but it is sooo much better if you do.

You can call up the Physician and request that they change the billing address to yours, we had to go this route. Every time BM would take SS to the dentist, doctor, whatever, she would give them her address, then sit on the receipt for it until it went to collections, then we got the call... thanks. So, we just bypassed her all together and clearly requested that the billing department change the billing address to ours, and provided copies of our court decree for file. Of course BM had a stench about it and tried to change it, but again, we called up the dr's office when we got the 'collection' and changed it again... by that time, we were heading to court anyway, and that's one of the things that the judge made a requirement of BM... that she had to list our address for billing purposes, and could not change it, because we were responsible for the bill... not her.

And also, all of SS's medical info has been changed to list our address anyway, and she retaliated by not taking SS to the dr anymore... thanks. Now, if she does, which is rare, she doesn't fill the prescription up for him... so by the time we get him, she hands up the prescription and the poor boy has been suffering for a few days before he gets his medication. Nice huh?

So, I agree with Anne... if you are entitled to any time, TAKE it without any deviations. And be extremely diligent with documenting everything to help combat any accusations. Second, really focus on the child, and ignore the BM, because then, that will help in the long run.

Wink StepMom

Man has the intelligence to change his life,
Sometimes, he just fails to use it...