Court update: Mostly a win and yet, I'm still annoyed
DH and BM had court today. DH's lawyer wanted to negotiate everything they could and get to a partial agreement before they went in front of the judge because BM is less argumentative when she's not standing in front of the judge and often times, she wants stupid things we don't care about so we "trade" for something that we really do want. Most of this (except the money part) was an agreement between DH and BM via their lawyers.
What we "won":
1. Supervised visits remain in effect until BM can prove she's mentally stable.
- This section was very vague. States she should be medically compliant and cooperative in regular therapy appointments.
2. BM's ex-boyfriend cannot be a supervisor.
- Not only that, but BM refused ever single supervisor DH suggested and refused to use a visitation center so the only person who can supervise is GBM, and she lives hundreds of miles away so we are not at all sure how this will work out. My guess is BM hasn't thought about this either.
3. BM and skids need to attend joint counseling to begin making amends, especially since BM says "that never happened" to everything that got us here.
- This was the case worker's recommendation and while I'm not a fan of BM, I think it would actually help the skids' and BM's relationship.
4. BM gets every other Saturday visits instead of every single Saturday visits.
- DH offered alternating Saturdays and Sundays, so BM could still see the skids every weekend but BM says she "only has two days off"* and can only see skids on Saturdays and Wednesdays. They already have Wednesday visitation. See below for more info on why I think this is total BS.
What we "lost":
1. Six month return date was not granted. Per the judge, BM is welcome to file to remove supervised visits next week or next year. It's up to her.
- We think this might, maybe, give us 6-12 weeks before BM files again and we're back in court? We were really hoping to stop going to court for a while.
2. DH is responsible for half of the joint therapy visits between BM and the skids.
- Since he is already paying for the skids' individual therapy, DH requested that this cost be on BM, especially since the fact that they even need therapy is because of BM's actions. Judge said it needs to be split 50/50. While technically "fair" BM hasn't (and never will) pay a dime for all of the other medical and therapy costs she's already supposed to be paying for 50% for so I have no hope we will ever see a penny of this either and it's one more thing DH is responsible for. However, we think there might be some ways around this... like he can pay his half to the joint therapist right then and there and she can turn around a pay her half. The wording in the order is again, vague.
3. BM has additional time on Wednesday nights, which means the kids get home much later than their bed time and that will suck, especially for YSD8 who is bathed and in bed by 7:45pm because that kid needs 11 hours of sleep or she turns into a gremlin.
- This is one of the minor ones we "traded" on. It's not the end of the world, but it is annoying. Especially because BM was so inflexible about her work schedule for the alternating weekends. She claims to work 20 hours a week, but says she only gets Wednesdays and Saturdays off. Umm... okay, so you are working 4 hours shifts? And there's no other time whatsoever when you can see you children that's not during their bedtime? Hmmm. Sure, Jan.
It's not bad. It's not bad at all. But I'm not sure it's great either. The schedule will likely become an issue because I don't think GBM will be here consistently to supervise visits, so then BM misses a lot of regular visits but... will maybe still be attending joint therapy? And the skids are supposed to go alone with her. Each one alone. So does that mean two or three nights a week we are at a therapists' office with the skids? One for their personal (same day) and one or two for their joint with BM (which may or may not be on the same day)? And also, if BM supposedly doesn't have any additional evenings due to work, when is the therapy going to happen? Will it happen at all? Should be take bets?
Anyway, it's done for now. We get a little bit of a break and I'm sure we will have some drama flare up soon enough. But, our big issues were resolved (no ex-boyfriend supervising and no to every single Saturday) and the rest will be what it is.
Even though I consider this to be a positive outcome, I have zero happy feelings about steplife at the moment and some honestly pretty mean thoughts about BM. She's made such a huge deal over telling the skids how "she's not going to see them again for a very long time" and guilted them about "how sad she is that never gets to spend time with them" and they have been really upset about how sad she is. But then here we are in court and she won't do jack shit to get more time with them. I wish she's just go away. Let the grieve and get some closure instead of being stuck in this sick cycle of hope and loss with her. She sucks.