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Main Forums => General Issues => Topic started by: JonsStepmom on Aug 09, 2004, 12:43:25 PM

Title: How can I get my life back?
Post by: JonsStepmom on Aug 09, 2004, 12:43:25 PM
In 2001 my DH was granted primary custody of his son due to numerous inappropritate actions of his ex such as her filing false reports of child molestation and her hiding the child from visitation resulting in a missing persons report as well as a parental abduction report with the DA's office.  When my SS was located my DH was given temporary custody which later became primary physical custody (however there is joint legal custody).  The BM was ordered to have a psych evaluation which resulted in her being diagnosed with a personality disorder among other things.  

We lived about 50 miles from the BM and at first she was restricted to 9 hours of supervised visitation each week.  A few months later the judge "rewarded" her for her disregard to the supervision order by lifting the supervision requirement all together (go figure).  Then the BM was given every other weekend and Wednesday afternoon visitation.  A few months after that the BM insisted on a Custody Evaluation thinking that she could charm the evaluator and regain custody.  The results that came back from the second psychiatrist very similar to the individual psych report, with a couple extra comments, so my SS remains primarily with my DH and myself.  

About 18 month ago the BM told the judge that she wanted more visitation time and would move closer to our town so it wouldn't interfere with my SS's school schedule.  The judge agreed to extend visitation if she were closer.  

Well, the BM moved 1 1/2 blocks away from us.  As a result of her moving closer (I feel as though I'm practically being stalked) she now has a little less than 50% visitation time and my life has been hell ever since.  I don't think I need to elaborate on how much the BM hates me.  She comes to my front door acting like my best friend saying she has something "important" to tell my husband.  However she NEVER shows up when my SS is visiting with her...ONLY when he is with us.  She continues to slander our names to people such as teachers, the pediatrician and anyone who will lend an ear saying the we deny him food, lock him in the laundry room and neglect him.  She has called my home at 2am in the morning.  When I answered the phone she didn't say anything but paused, then hung up (I have caller ID).  She has left messages saying things like "I know you were home, your curtains are open."  She comes up to our front door and says she wants to give a treat or toy to my SS.  Since my DH doesn't want my SS to be exposed to any conflict my DH doesn't say anything when my SS is near.  However my DH has told his ex on several occasions not to come around when my SS is home with us.  

I'm even afraid to keep my front door open in the summertime.

According to the local authorities, we can't get a restraining order unless her actions are harmful but I'm extremely frustrated and fed up with her constant harassment and it is taking it's toll on my health.

Unfortunately, we spent all our savings on legal fees to get visiation and custody and we have been struggling ever since.  Is there anything I can do to get her to stay away from me, my home and my family?  She refuses to acknowledge that anything is mine, such as my home, my DH or my right to privacy.
Title: Got an idea...........
Post by: Kitty C. on Aug 09, 2004, 12:59:08 PM
Not sure how 'legal' it is, but what the heck.  First where do exchanges take place?  At her home or yours?  If yours, is it at the front door, driveway, or in the street?  The reason I ask is that your DH can write her a letter (and make sure it gets filed with the court) telling her that she can no longer come to the door for exchanges, it must be done at the streetor at a neutral location.  Any violation on her part will be construed as criminal trespass and will be enforced to the fullest extent of the law.

And surely your state has laws against harrassment, especially in regards to phone calls.  If she's calling in the wee hours of the morning, that's harrassment.  If you do NOT feel safe even within your own home, that's harrassment.  You don't want an RO, you want harrassment or trespass charges against her.  Once that's done, THEN you can get an RO against her for anything in the future.  But remember one thing about RO's:  they ain't worth the paper they're printed on until they are VIOLATED.  And often, that's too late.
Title: RE: Got an idea...........
Post by: JonsStepmom on Aug 09, 2004, 01:44:09 PM
Exchanges are usually made before or after school such as the BM picks up my SS at the end of the school day from school and drops him off at the beginning of the school day when visitation is over.  When school is not in session, the "receiving parent" is to pick up the child when it's time for the exchange.  

However, these incidents have nothing to do with exchanges.  They are the BM's actions to disrupt our life (a trait described in the psych report) when my SS is with us and no exchange is due.  The BM just randomly shows up for ridiculous reasons such as, "now, what time am I supposed to pick him up on Wednesday?" when she has the same court orders as we do.  Or "I'm going to shoot some hoops at the school (right behind my home).  Can J come along?" when she is NOT athletic or even into sports.

However, I do like the idea of sending her a letter telling her to stay away unless she has a court order in her hand saying she can be there and then just calling the police whenever she shows up.
Title: RE: Got an idea...........
Post by: Kitty C. on Aug 09, 2004, 02:47:52 PM
That's EXACTLY what I mean.  Limit your physical contact ONLY to exchanges and phone contact ONLY when it pertains to SS, ie. BM and BF having to communicate in regards to him.  And stay out of the phone calls completely, BUT get a printed log of her calls, if at all possible.

Once you inform her that her contact with YOU (DH and you) will be limited to exchanges, that YOUR visitation will not interfered with (some states do have criminal charges for custodial interference), and cc it to the court file (that way she knows the courts are aware, also), maybe she'll back off.  

But research your state statutes on harrassment, criminal trespass, and custodial interference.  And the next time you have to call the cops (and they start to hedge), rattle off the statute to them and tell them you EXPECT them to uphold the law, that what you pay their salaries for.
Title: I agree with Kitty..
Post by: KAT on Aug 10, 2004, 06:18:06 AM
Just because she comes to your door, you do not have to answer it. I know one parent who waves & walks away. Rude, yeah, but do you really CARE about being rude to HER? NAH. I think some of us were brought up a little too nice. Personally, we have a driveway alarm & security camera. We keep our curtains closed. Bio likes to creep around & look in the windows. IF bio calls (well, if she had the number that is HAHA) she leaves a voice message. DH decides if he should speak to her or not. She pretty much stopped the crap after our lawyer sent her a Cease & Desist notice.

You might also research civil restraining orders (instead of criminal). We have them here in VA & if bio rears her ugly foul self here one more time,  I'm calling the police to make a report & filing for one.

You have to get her out of your house NOW or your life is going to be heck for many years to come. Now, I'm sorry, but it sounds like your husband needs to grow a bigger pair of furries & tell her to stay away or there will be consequences. She'll end up destroying your marriage & your sanity if this is allowed to continue. This is NO way to live!!!

Good Luck! Been there, played this game & it is extremely emotionally draining.