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Messages - durandal

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Visitation Issues / Re: Mom is taking me back to court
« on: Oct 05, 2009, 02:09:03 PM »
Sorry about that garbled post - things have changed on this site.

Visitation Issues / Re: Mom is taking me back to court
« on: Oct 05, 2009, 02:08:20 PM »
My first question is..........where in the he!! is she getting the money to file the show causes? 

Ocean is correct in that it is free here. But then again I’m sure they’re would be a fee involved if I were to file one…

Sounds like she is getting some free 'assistance' from somewhere.

She really doesn’t need assistance, she’s a career expert at gaming the system, the court system is no exception. But she might be getting assistance, because she is trying to get disability status. Wonder why she would want that? (Really I’m just being sarcastic.)

My second:  can you better explain the reason for not giving 30 days notice?  <o:p></o:p>
We didn’t know that my mom was going to be able to look after Jasmine until three weekends before the visit, it was two weekends when I got final confirmation from my mother about the arrangements, and that same day (and thereafter) was when I tried to contact the BM. She had a pretty unique opportunity to meet with both her grandmother and great grandmother, which might not ever come around again.

You can certainly file a show cause for everything she has failed to do....court may not look too kindly on 'frequent flyers.

Yes, but really what could I hope to gain out of filing any show causes? She is 1) already in the social services child support collection database, has been for over a year and is already twenty-nine months in arrears with me and many years behind with her other siblings; 2) doesn’t have a job so there is no reasonable expectation of collection; 3) has an excuse for not working (a joint with a metal plate in it), although it never hinders her from any activity in which she wishes to participate, and 4)
As it stands now, I go out of my way to provide a venue for the child to stay connected to her mother, including paying for hotel rooms so they can have occasional overnight visits, allowing the child to attend church outreach functions with the BM irrespective of which weekend they fall on, and even to the point of shuttling the BM from the shelter (or wherever she happens to be at the time) to the church and back.

If those are the only two things she addressed they should not be changing anything about the visitation schedule since she is not asking for it. You can counter for the child support but really if she has no job, why bother?
I do see one possible motion which may be feasible, and that is to modify the schedule to disallow overnight visitations until she gets a stable home and income, and change the frequency from every other weekend plus a weekend overnight to some other equitable frequency. But one thing I will no longer do as a result of this is pick the BM up – from anywhere. If this is how my attempt at flexibility is repaid then she can forget me ever doing that again. And no, I’m not so sure I want to get involved in modification at this point, because I really have no way of knowing which way the wind will be blowing that day, whether the stars will be aligned or not, and from which side of the bed the judges’ feet will come to rest.

Just in case, bring calendars with when she has had child. Keep records of when /where/ and how those visits took place but that should not be allowed to be brought up since she did not ask for a change. If she does then ask for a continuance since you were not notified of that and can come prepared.

Excellent idea, I will do just that.


Does BM have a permanent address?
No, she doesn’t. The first mention of any new address was the one she used on the court filings. I’m almost certain the court doesn’t have this new info either, and I’ll go down there to check next week just to be sure. I can only take the “address issue” so far, and I can’t do this to say “oops, couldn’t get a hold of ya” because in reality we still maintain contact via text and phone. So to try to say I couldn’t notify her in writing might just backfire, since all I had to do was ask where I could have a letter delivered to or something to that effect. Am I reading that one right folks?

I really wouldn't worry too much over this, in fact I think I would offer BM makeup time and if you could afford it, maybe swing for a cheap motel room?

I wouldn’t have a problem with this but were it for the fact that it is the BM who is not keeping pace with the visitation schedule. I am allowed two weeks travel with the child in the original agreement; my screw-up was in not notifying her. It’s very likely that the BM wasn’t planning to see the child during that time anyway. (UPDATE: As of yesterday the BM has already asked me for permission to take the child to another church outreach function, and as usual I will agree).

A cheap hotel room – oh my, what would the neighbors think? Seriously, I’ve been doing that for them all along. I don’t even want to bring it up in court, because knowing the BM she will try to spin it as something between the two of us and not herself and the child - which it is definitely not (between us I mean). The hotel room is something that will have to stop. It’s not the cost, it’s that I’m spending my very hard earned money for what – to be hauled down to the courthouse? If we are going to get hotel rooms for their visits in the future, it will have to be a Dutch event, period. You know what’s really sad? The child, now three, has come to believe that hotels are where mom lives - whenever we pass a hotel, she says “that’s mommies’ house”.

With her being homeless...there is no chance of a custody overturn.

Truth is… that never even crossed my mind. I know that I have a significant advantage, but really it’s not about all that. I mean, I’m grateful to be able to provide for our little one, but really I’m trying to make the best of a screwy situation for a innocent little child full of love for two grown idiots. I’d like to think that I’m a little less of an idiot, but who really cares? I just want our child to grow up and have the best life possible, and that means without a totally screwed up childhood.

I’m starting to get choked up now, thanks for the help and please keep helping – not just us, but all these poor souls.

Visitation Issues / Mom is taking me back to court
« on: Oct 03, 2009, 07:08:01 PM »
Hello again,

Its been quite some time (2yrs) but once again mom is taking me back to court.

I am BF w/ physical custody and joint legal custody of a 3 yr old daughter, BM has filed two show causes. All parties reside in Virginia. First show cause is for failure to provide 30 days notice (to court and BM in writing) when leaving for purposes of visiting relatives/vacation. Second is for failure to allow phone visitation on a "every-other day" schedule. Court date is scheduled for early November.

The first show cause is a problem because our trip was planned hastily- I tried to contact the BM, left messages on her cell-phone (which she can always check); but I did NOT follow the court's ruling for the 30 days notice. We are allowed two weeks vacation, and that's how long we were gone, but I did not inform the court or the BM in writing. Why I was not able to follow at this to the letter is explained in the next paragraph. The second show cause for phone visitation has no basis - the phone was available and she didn't (nor does she now) call on a consistent basis. Again, I will explain the main reason why below.

The BM is homeless and currently resides in a shelter, or outside when the weather permits. She has a prepaid cell phone which almost never has time on it to make calls, but she can ALWAYS receive text messages. She calls when she wants to, usually on her two-day schedule but often skipping several days or a week in between. Point is her phone visitation is very inconsistent. She is also supposed to have her for alternating weekend visits and every other thursday overnights, but since she had an apartment at that time but now is homeless, this is no longer possible.   She has been homeless now for over a year, and despite this I make an effort to let our daughter spend as much time with her as possible, usually weekend days (when the BM attends church-outreach functions) or on the rare occasion when the BM can afford to stay at hotels overnight. Her last visit was two weekends ago when BM and daughter attended church on a Saturday - I even went out of my way to pick up and drop off both of them at the event.

So she too is in violation of the court ruling regarding visitation due to the fact that she doesn't keep her visitation schedule, but from what I understand the court won't care if she doesn't choose to visit, just if she is refused visitation, which she is not. Besides, I don't think the court will view me favorably if I decide to argue the case on the basis of her homelessness. She is also in violation because she was ordered to pay child support at the time of the initial court ruling, which has been two and one-half years, was ordered by the court at that time to "find employment" and to pay support, but has failed to do so. I have yet to receive one dime for contribution to our daughter's wellness and upkeep.


1) What do you think the court may do regarding the 30-day notice issue?
2) What ways might the courts modify the current schedule?
3) Do you think I should file show causes of my own, specifically for child support, so this issue can go before the judge at the same time?

Any other advice is greatly appreciated!


Virginia State Forum / Violation of a visitation schedule
« on: Mar 04, 2007, 01:57:17 PM »

All parties reside in VA. CP is mom. Child is nine months of age. CP and NCP have been involved with the child since birth. I am the NCP.

Last week (Feb 24) was the first of my court-ordered visitation, Sat's for four hours. This Sat., CP did not honor visitation, claimed the child had a medical emergency.

CP stated (on audiotape) that the emergency, which was the evening before/morning of Sat., was a fever due to teething. She had means, but did not take the child to the ER or to see a doctor, yet visitation was denied.

CP has a history of frustrating parenting access, however, documented evidence has not yet been heard in court as of yet.

Should I issue a show cause, and what's likely to happen (if anything)?

Dear Socrateaser / RE: Audiotape transcription
« on: Mar 04, 2007, 01:34:29 PM »
Actually, I'd better start thinking more clearly and resourcefully. My mom used to be a court recorder in another state. I think I'd better get her copies of these tapes - she can get them transcribed a lot quicker than I can, and is a certified notary to boot.


Dear Socrateaser / Audiotape transcription
« on: Mar 04, 2007, 11:20:56 AM »
Is it acceptable to transcribe audiotape recordings yourself for admission into evidence, or do all recordings have to be transcribed by someone who is certified to do so?

Is this likely to cause more problems than to just pay a professional to do it?


CP, NCP and Child are in Virginia

I was given unsupervised temporary visitation for my daughter while home studies are done and the custody case is contunued until May. The visitation was for four hours on Saturdays, each week, since the child is very young.

I have tried to illustrate to the court that the CP has consistently done everything in her power to limit my access to the child, EXCEPT if it involves spending social time with the CP as well. Of course, the CP claims that is not true and tries to make it appear that she is being cooperative in all regards.

I had been receiving phone calls from the CP (on my old home number) during the first part of the week, stating that the new phone number I had given as part of the visitation agreement was not a valid number. After checking, I discovered that my roomate had mixed up two of the digits in the new number - it was a new number and she wasn't used to giving it out often, hence the mistake.

So, to rectify the situation, I called the CP, and after playing her games of 'I'm not going to let you leave a voicemail message' and 'I'm going to act like we have a bad connection when you call', I wasn't sure what to do. As I document everything, she also gave me an ultimatum stating that if i didn't provide her with a valid number, then she wasn't going to bring the child for my visitation. She even went as far as to say that I can go and tell the Judge I said that.

I corrected the mistake - and honest one, by sending her a letter with the corrected information, express mail with a return receipt upon delivery. I went to the court clerk and filed an copy of the same letter, on the same day that she received the express package. This was all completed on FRIDAY morning - her getting the letter, and the filing - one day after I found out about the mistake.

Also as we have an elderly family member living with us who has Alzheimer's, told the CP not to call past a certain hour, unless it was an emergency involving the child's health or as necessary to care for the child if the CP had an emergency. I also tried to explain to the Judge that the nature of the calls that the CP makes, if answered by the elderly woman, would cause emotional distress and maybe even place her in a dangerous situation. The CP can be very profane, and often makes up situations as she pleases to satisfy her objectives.

Question 1) Is it possible to get the Judge to place stipulations on the time and reasons the CP can call the home in this temporary visitation?

Question 2) Can I make a case during this show cause to get more visitation time? I'm petitioning for full custody, but as a very involved NCP I can provide more than four hours for my child, and my child knows me, I've been there since day one - its not like I'm coming back from being absent.

FRIDAY evening, CP started making annyoing calls again.  Started around 9PM, after I refused her offers to come by and "visit" her on two sepearte calls. She waited for a few hours - then begain calling, saying that if I was going to be a little late for the visitation pickup tomorrow that would be fine. She then called around 4 AM saying that the child had a temperature, allegedly caused by her teething, and that she needed to talk to me. She called back soon after saying that she might not be able (read willing) to bring her for visitation because of the temperature. But the CP's focus during her "emergency" was on the voicemail, and my roomate - tyring to find out as much as she could and leaving profane messages - 10 in all, over the next few hours.
This past Saturday would have been my second visitation, but the CP didn't bring her to the visitation as ordered. She did call several times during the day to say that I was a terrible father for not responding to the emergency, that she doesn't care about the court order, her... HER child, as she put it, was in dire straits from a teething temperature and that she wasn't going to let her go on visitation because of that. I actually did respond, I told her that if she wanted me to come by and take them to the ER, then I would do so - nevermind the fact that her roomate has a car and could have done the same - in a real emergency. All of a sudden, it just became a minor temperatire and the CP didn't want to pay for something like that - I have this on audiotape, all of it -  for the whole week.

Later Saturday afternoon, I spoke with the CP, and she seemed just fine, in fact, she wanted me to talk to the child, which means that the CP puts the phone to the child's ear and I say a few baby talk words. The fever and emergency just 'went away'.

Question 3) I'm obviously going to issue a show cause, but I've had a terrible time getting the courts to hear anything that I say, much less all the hours of audiotape recordings I have. How do I get the evidence to be heard by the Judge, or at least to get the court to see what's going on here?

All they seem to want to do is allow her to make up random lies, under oath, which throws my hard evidence, which for some reason is on the same level as her rants, into the "we don't know who's telling the truth" pile.

The audiotapes should all be fair game... some of them are voicemail messages left by the CP, others are two-way conversations which - at the outset the CP was told that they would be recorded and, in her typical defiance, actually consented to.


>Tell me exactly what has happened.

The mother has repeatedly left annoying phone calls on my voicemail, and had done so even prior to our daughter being born. ever since I've known her, she has been preoccupied with monitoring my wherabouts every waking moment of my day. On at least two previous occassions I have tried to file annoying ringing calls to stop the calls, but both times the magistrates' told me that there was nothing that I coud do about it unless she was making threats.

Fast forward to nine months ago, when our daughter was born. The calls continued, I think primarily because we were not living together and she is obsessed with what I'm doing any time of the day or night that I'm not at work. We were not in a relationship at this time, but she continued as if when I was not accounted for that I was essentially 'cheating' on her. This included travel time to and from work to my apartment, time when most folks would be asleep before the next day's work, and, as I mentioned, all of my waking hours (and even the asleep ones). Its obvious that she wants my full attention devoted to her - that's where this all stems from.

The messages range from polite, albeit ostensibly so, to downright evil and hateful. She has told me that I'm just a sperm donor. She has told me that she's moving away to NC, and to NY on more than one occassion. She has told me that I'll never see my daughter again, and of course, always remembered to remind me of what a 'terrible dad' and a 'worthless piece of (insert expletive)' I am. She's told me that she hopes I'm happy with the 'bit..' that I'm with, and I hope she is as good as I could be tonight - you get the picture. She has called me sober many times, she has called me drunk almost as often. She has called me at all times of the day, and at four in the morning.

Her usual drunken rant, however, starts at ten in the evening and doesn't stop until about five-or-six am. One voicemail message every ten minutes - all night - or until the system can't take any more. She has even gone to the bar, left my daughter with neighbors, or even with the neighbor's sixteen year old son, only to come back at three-thirty in the morning and - you guessed it, call me and proceed to coach her new 'friend' (she even admits its someone she just met that evening)whom she brought home with her (you can hear her coaching in the background) on how terrible I am, on how I shouldn't 'put my hands on her' (which is untrue), and how he's seen me 'around' and is watching me - a total stranger, and a stupid one at that.

When the calls stop, I have no idea whether this man goes in the room with her, but I do know that our daughter and the BM share sleeping quarters, so if she does then my daughter is in the presence of a total stranger.

Since my daughter's birth, I have been responsible in caring for, being around, and providing for the child - I have not neglected her in any way, even to the point of being there in the BM's home for three, four evenings a week. But to date, my first time ever getting to take my daughter out of the BM's home was last Saturday, and that do to a court order. Which, interestingly enough, the BM has already decided not to honor this coming Saturday due to another 'game' she's decided to play.

I have about three hours worth of recordings  and counting (she's still leaving nasty messages, but much fewer since I filed for custody). I'm in the process of transcribing them using the methods I found in your archives.

I'm terrified for my daughter's well being, that's why I'm asking if this evidence is likely admissable, because its the strongest physical proof that I have of the BM's behavior and patterns.



I just wanted to know if voicemail recordings made to the voicemail of my place of residence by another party outside of the home are generally admissable in court? I reside in Virginia.

If so, are there any general caveats regarding the use of these messages?


>>>Why can't your attorney be present at the hearing?
>>A: I believe that she cannot appear due to the fact that she
>>was retained at such a late date (last week), and has
>>obligations already scheduled for that date...

>OK, that means that she's not actually your attorney of
>record, yet, because she hasn't appeared either at court or in
>a pleading....  bottom line is that the instant you ask for something >other than a continuance, you will not be asking for a continuance.
>I can't tell you what to do in this situation.... otherwise, ask for the >continuance and then if you're refused, then ask for what you want, >because at that point you will have no other choice.


I just wanted to give you and update on what actually happened in this case. We went before the judge, I stated what I was petitioning for (full L & P custody), and that it was primarily because of the child being in a 'relatively' unsafe environment - due to the BM history AND the fact that I was being denied parenting time and hadn't seen my 9mo.old daughter since Jan 1st.

BM then was allowed to rebut any claims that I made, (and once again perjured herself), but I had evidence to counter every claim she made - interestingly the judge didn't want to see any of MY hard evidence. Even though I told the truth and the BM did not in some cases, the judge lost patience with both of us and said that she didn't believe either of us.

But the bench started to view our case in a different light when I presented her the letter from the atty. I intend to retain. She is respected and well known in the court system here - which is something I'm willing to pay a premium for. The bench then asked some pointed questions and had us present some facts (employment status, any criminal histories, living arrangements, etc.) The judge then set a continuance for May, and ordered social services to perform home studies in each home.

I am probably going to ask that personality profiles be ordered too - the BM will have a difficult (impossible?) time masking her emotional problems.

But the best (and worst) part is this:

The bench asked about the visitation and why I wasn't allowed to visit the child, and the BM didn't have a valid reason. After taking my work schedule into consideration, she ordered visitation for four hours on Saturdays each week until the case is heard. The BM asked that the transfer of the child be done at a local precinct, and that I only be given supervised visitation. The judge agreed on the transfer location, but basically saw thru the BM's attempt to make me 'suffer' supervised visitation - I think she saw something in the BM's atttitude by the fact that she asked for supervised visitation in the first place.

Four hours a week only works out to less than nine days a year, thank goodness its only temporary. Its a somewhat bittersweet victory that, for all of the responsibility that I've tried to provide for my child (and the BM fro that matter), all I get is a sliver of time. But the system's 'stormy seas' are what they are, and I at least have to stay afloat before I can hope to reach the distant shore.

So that's it - I just dropped my daughter off at the precinct after four of the most lovely (and hard fought for) hours of my life.

Thanks for all your help and advice. When this is all over, I hope I have enough strength to volunteer to help others out.

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