I got my court date in the mail yesterday for the ridiculous suit with Ex's Mom. I have prepared a letter to read from for the conference with the custody Masters. Please give feedback! My Mom is super worried that I'm going to come across disrespectful or petty and I will lose my kids. I don't know what all a Master is capable of doing, but I've heard some crazy custody stories. I tried to be as straightforward as possible, but I think emotion bled into some areas, hard not to since, um, well many many many UAV things I can say about these people. *sighs* So here it is...
Your Honor, I would like to request a dismissal of this case, based on the fact that access to visit the children has never been denied to "EX's Mom".
It is my understanding that the Grandparent Visitation Act is for circumstances where the grandparents had a relationship with the grandchildren prior to a divorce and are now being denied access?
"EX's Mom" has never been denied access, and did not have a prior relationship with my children, under her own decisions.
"EX's Mom" chose to not have anything to do with my daughter, "name", for the first 18 months of her life, and she only began seeing DD at this point in time because this is the time DD's Father, "name", began living with "EX's Mom" and he would have his parenting visits at the "name" residence. This began in July 2010.
Prior to July 2010, EX and myself made various attempts to extend invitations to "EX's Mom" to come visit her grandchildren (as EX also has an older daughter from a previous marriage, who "EX's Mom" is not trying to get visitation with). However, all but one invitation was turned down. The invitation "EX's Mom" accepted was in May 2009. However, when the day came that the visit was scheduled for, "EX's Mom" informed EX by phone that morning, that she was unable to come for the visit because it was, “too nice of a day and she needed to garden.” EX and I decided that it was causing us too much stress and emotional anxiety to keep trying to set up something for "EX's Mom" to see the children, as she repeatedly turned down the offer or cancelled. We came to the conclusion that she did not really care to have a relationship with our children.
EX and I separated May 2010. After the separation, EX resided with "EX's Mom" from July 1, 2010 until October 31, 2010. EX's parenting visitation schedule is every other weekend and "EX's Mom" would have been able to see DD during each of these weekends, however, she chose to deny permission to EX to have children at the house on two weekends within this time period. The approx. dates that she chose to not allow DD to come to visit are July 30 – August 1, 2010 and September 17 – September 19, 2010.
During this time, EX and I also chose not to have DD stay at his Mom’s house a weekend in August, approx. dates, August 13 – August 15, 2010. EX informed me that earlier that week, "name", "EX's Mom" husband, physically assaulted her, and we did not feel comfortable having the children in the house during the time that stress and emotions were high.
My son, "name", was born September 22, 2010, 7 weeks pre-mature, due to my development of pre-eclampsia and HELLP syndrome. He was born not breathing and had to be intubated. He had a month long NICU stay, and I’d like to note that "EX's Mom" only visited DS once in that time.
DS still has under developed lungs and is at higher risk for RSV, and other lung infections. EX and I were in agreement that we would wait until DS was stable for EX to take him for visitation. This did not happen until Thanksgiving 2010.
EX continued having his parenting visitation weekends at "EX's Mom" house after he moved out in October 2010, unless "EX's Mom" chose to not allow him to go there.
"EX's Mom" cancelled the following weekends in the time frame of November 2010 – Present:
January 14 – January 16, 2011
February 25 – February 27, 2011
March 25 – March 27, 2011
EX and I chose to not have the kids go to "EX's Mom" house one time during this time period, March 11 – March 13, 2011, as earlier this week is when I was served papers notifying me of this suit against me. EX and I both feel that this suit has nothing to do with the children and is a personal attack trying to cause drama. EX tried to talk to his Mom about the suit that week and she told him, that she knew I would be “unreasonable to her requests to take the children anytime she wanted, so she was just going to take me to court.” EX and I chose not to send the children this weekend and to try to let things cool down for the time.
The weekend of March 25 – March 27, 2011, EX and I were in agreement that he could take the children back to his Mom’s house as a sign of good faith that we would never deny all access to the children, however, when EX attempted to call his Mom to set this up, she refused all of his phone calls and did not return any of his voice messages.
I’d also like to note the weekend of January 14 – January 16, 2011, DS was hospitalized due to pneumonia and RSV, a by-product of his prematurity and high risk to lung infections. However, EX was still going to take DD and his eldest daughter to "EX's Mom" house for the visit, as well as visiting at the hospital. "EX's Mom" not only cancelled this weekend, but also did not come to visit her grandson in the hospital.
Given that two of her weekend cancellations were during times that either myself or my son were hospitalized, so there was already high stress, it’s hard to not feel like "EX's Mom" only likes to create more stress and drama, which is NOT beneficial to the children.
I would like to request to be able to continue making sound decisions in the best interest of my children. As "EX's Mom" still is the grandmother to my children, I will not deny her access, and she is welcome to visit the children in their home anytime she wishes. However, I would like to note that I am very uncomfortable to ever let "EX's Mom" take my children without either myself or their father, EX, present.
Given her history of lack of involvement in my children’s lives, from her own decisions, I’m actually very confused as to why she is bringing this suit against me in the first place, as all time lost with the children has been due to her own choices.
Thank you, your Honor, for your thought and consideration in this matter.