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#61 of 119 Old 12-27-2008, 06:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you everyone for the support. X called to tell me that ds is "thriving" and he will be coming home tomorrow night. I'm so upset, but I'm going to try to go out and do something to distract myself.

I have been trying to pump and I'm getting absolutely nothing. I'm so worried this is going to wean him. He's always so excited when he sees me and the first thing he says is "nurse mama, NURSE" and I fear there won't be anything there.

I was *supposed* to have a date tonight, which I am going to cancel. Date knows the situation and is very supportive, but I feel like I shouldn't be going on our first official date when I'm in this state of mind.
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#62 of 119 Old 12-27-2008, 06:34 PM
 
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I think at this point I *would* be going to his house and forcibly removing your son. If he makes a big stink about it, maybe at that point the police will get involved because it's a domestic disturbance?
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#63 of 119 Old 12-27-2008, 06:42 PM
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Idaho Mom, that's a great thing to do if you want to throw away an advantage in court. He is in contempt of the custody order. Judges do not appreciate it when parents behave like they're on Jerry Springer, though unfortunately at this point they expect it. They do appreciate it when parents respect the judicial process and follow the rules set down for them.

Teary Cloud, a few days should not dry you up if you're pumping. You need to calm down and remember that nobody is dying, that your son is OK, that your ex is just fucking with you. If you go in to the GAL all distraught like this over a matter of a few days in a child's life, which presumably don't involve abuse, you're going to give her more cause to think you're hysterical.

Call the police, let them know, document the call. Call your lawyer. And leave the matter with your lawyer. If the lawyer is unresponsive within a few days but is not out of town, you need a new lawyer. Now go have a glass of wine and a good cry if you need one, and calm down. Everyone is going to live; your ex is hurting his own case.
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#64 of 119 Old 12-27-2008, 07:24 PM
 
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Even when he's keeping the child days longer than he should, and she's concerned about her son's well-being? That's incredibly frustrating.
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#65 of 119 Old 12-27-2008, 08:02 PM
 
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I think at this point I *would* be going to his house and forcibly removing your son. If he makes a big stink about it, maybe at that point the police will get involved because it's a domestic disturbance?

Yes, they probably would. And since she is at his house creating a disturbance, she will be the one that they take away. And she could end up with a restraining order that includes her son.

As it is now, he is the one who is going to end up in trouble with the courts.

BTW, to the original poster, document how your son reacts to this unplanned extended time away from home. Any behavior problems, write it down. And write down how long it took him to get back to normal compared to when he is away just overnight.
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#66 of 119 Old 12-27-2008, 08:06 PM
 
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Even when he's keeping the child days longer than he should, and she's concerned about her son's well-being? That's incredibly frustrating.
I cannot speak for the PP but I personally would never advise someone to go to their ex's house and cause a disturbance because of the impact that would have on the child.

What I would have done in the OP situation was not release my child at all knowing that I was given written notification that the ex was not going to follow the court order. I would let him take me to court and then I would provide the email from my ex in court showing his intent to violate. If my child was already in the care of the NCP and they pulled something like this I would go to the police and expect the police to enforce the court order....

All of this is should have would have could have at this point. The OP should "try" to get some sleep and some adult time to "fill her cups" once her ds returns there will be an adjustment period for her ds that will require her full energy and there will be items to handle with the court.

Many blessing OP!

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#67 of 119 Old 12-27-2008, 08:42 PM
 
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TearyCloud, just know that by pulling this stunt on what has become a weekly basis is going to sink his ship fast. DO NOT sink to his level. Stick to the letter of the order, and keep your own nose clean. In the long run, this will reflect positively on you and negatively on him. But only if you do everything through the proper channels.
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#68 of 119 Old 12-27-2008, 08:46 PM
 
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I have to agree with some of the previous posters that at this point, your best bet is to document, document, document.

I personally wouldn't get on the phone with the ex again. Let him send you emails and/or leave you voicemail messages. Unless you have a recorder on your telephone (which would be a very good idea), you have no proof of anything that is being said over the phone. He could say that every time you talked to him, that you said that this was fine with you. I agree with whoever said you need to send him a neutrally-worded email back stating that per the custody agreement with the court, ds was to be returned on whatever date and whatever time, and that since he has kept him for longer than that, that is in violation of said custody agreement. And to go ahead and have the police in the other state document a report. (The police in your state have no jurisdiction over anyone in another state. The report needs to be with the police in the city where the child CURRENTLY is.)

Btw, I would get a phone recorder simply to document what your son is saying on the phone.

The police can't really get involved, because it's a court order. I'm going to guess that her ex knows this, and specifically pulled this stunt on a holiday weekend because he knew that he could. (He did it the last time and nothing happened, and what better weekend to pull another stunt than one where all of the offices are closed?)

It's sick that this is the way things work, but it is what it is.

And I've already said it once before in another post, but get on the phone with your attorney first thing on Monday morning.

When is the next visitation scheduled for?

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#69 of 119 Old 12-27-2008, 08:49 PM
 
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I agree about documenting everything by email. I would send an email politely protesting what he is doing. It doesn't matter if the child is "thriving" (I mean it matters, but it's not the subject!) when he is violating a court order to do it.

I would not record phone calls because that can be illegal in some states.

Your child WILL be ok, and will heal, and I'm sorry you and your child are (or may be) suffering in the meantime.

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#70 of 119 Old 12-27-2008, 09:17 PM
 
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It's easy enough to find out if taping is legal in your state. In mine it's legal as long as one party is aware of the taping. Each state has it's own laws, though.
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#71 of 119 Old 12-28-2008, 12:42 AM
 
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s my thoughts are with you and your DS tonight. I hope your baby boy is dealing as well as possible with this longer absense and that the judge deals firmly with your ex.
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#72 of 119 Old 12-28-2008, 03:43 AM
 
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It has helped me when ex pulls these stunts to know that even though my kids are safe, I still have every right to be upset at ex because he is totally ignoring our agreement and court orders. You'd be upset at anyone who pulled a stunt like this! Just because he's your ex and the situation involves your ds doesn't mean that you have to tone down your anger...

Present it that way to the court and to the GAL... that this is not about you being attached to your son. This is about your ex being unwilling to stand by an agreement that the two of you made that the judge signed off on and that has you firmly and reasonably upset. You expect him to stick to the custody orders and when he does not, he is denying you your parenting time. He needs to be held accountable just as he would hold you accountable if you denied him his parenting time.

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#73 of 119 Old 12-28-2008, 04:13 AM
 
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this kept happening to me when i left my abusive ex.
It broke me down and caused me such stress that I eventually had a nervous breakdown.
which was then used against me.
It will be 3 years in a few days and I still do not have my son back. I've been writing my son letters for 3 years so that he may some day read them and understand what happened to him and his muma

Please just be strong, be brave. He will try to break you and taint the bond between you and your son. He will most likely try anything

Be strong and report him for contempt of court order. Your lawyer will send his lawyer a letter stating that he is in contempt and if he does it again he will lose custody
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#74 of 119 Old 12-29-2008, 01:33 AM
 
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Is he aware that you have filed police repots and are preparin a contempt case against him? I don't know whether this would help or hurt but perhaps hisknowing that youa re not going to play these games and that youre preparing to take him back to court over this may influence him to stick to the court agreement.

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#75 of 119 Old 12-29-2008, 03:00 AM
 
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Just passing through OP and want you to know that you are in my prayers. Document everything, report, and do everything by the book. Let no doubt be cast on you...

HUGS.
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#76 of 119 Old 12-29-2008, 01:40 PM
 
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The first thing that you need to do on Monday is tell your attorney to file contempt of court charges against the other parent. He clearly violated the court order. I would also ask the your stbx pay your legal fees relating to the contempt action, it was his actions that led to expense, AND that you get make up time.

I would also ask that the court order be changed to where it is enforceable by the police (the wording is what is important) and that if this continues, that supervised visits be considered. That will send a clear message to your stbx that the court order will be followed and that he doesn't get to decide on his own that he is not.

I would also send a politely worded e-mail to your stbx (copy your e-mail address on the e-mail as proof) and make it clear that you did not agree to deviating from the court order and expect him to follow the court order from now on. You don't want him stating that you agreed to the change and it be a he said/she said situation. Your disagreement with the deviation in writing will take care of that.
This is extremely sound advice, especially the part I bolded above (it's pretty much standard procedure for the party in violation of a court order to pay attorney fees to the offended party.) Documenting all of this is extremely important, so make paper copies of any emails from your ex (and give them to your attorney) and copy them to your hardrive even. Type up a letter to your attorney relaying all of these events in brief so that she can provide it to the court.

It really is important to get your attorney on the phone right away (if you haven't already) and get a motion on file TODAY to find your ex in contempt of the custody order. Insist on waiting on hold until your attorney takes your call if that is what it takes, but time really is of the essence.

I hope you get some resolution on this soon, I'm so sorry your ex managed to make the weekend such a misery.

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#77 of 119 Old 12-29-2008, 02:49 PM
 
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He should have returned your son by now, right? Please update when you can. I hope you are both doing well.

"If we are peaceful, if we are happy, we can smile and blossom like a flower, and everyone in our family, our entire society, will benefit from our peace." ~ Thich Nhat Hanh
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#78 of 119 Old 12-29-2008, 05:04 PM
 
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Also checking in. I hope your son has been returned and you've made contact with your attorney! Please let us know what's going on when you get a chance.

Single WAHM to 5yo DD, 2yo DS, and forever 7 week old angel DD.
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#79 of 119 Old 12-29-2008, 05:16 PM
 
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TearyCloud, just know that by pulling this stunt on what has become a weekly basis is going to sink his ship fast. DO NOT sink to his level. Stick to the letter of the order, and keep your own nose clean. In the long run, this will reflect positively on you and negatively on him. But only if you do everything through the proper channels.
Yes, this. Please update - I hope your ds is doing well.

When people get invovled in court actions, whether those are family law or some other kind of court situation, they almost always fail to take into consideration the perspective of the judge and any other "neutral" party such as a GAL. While as a person invovled, you are very upset, and as a parent, you are very upset - as a party in a legal dispute, you have to be calm, collected, and rational. You want to appear responsible, conforming to the rules set out, and reasonable. These are very important things if you want a chance of things going your way.

What your ex has done is unacceptable, per the court order. The place to handle that is in court. You've done all the right things so far: Obeyed the order by handing ds over when required; filed a police report when ds was not returned on time; and have emails documenting your refusal to agree to a modification of the agreement. You need to continue in this manner. It may take a bit more time, and it may be uncomfortable for your ds in the short-term, but in the long term you will have more rights and you will have a court file that shows that you have been consistent, reasonable, and fair, while your ex has been the opposite. Work towards that goal. That pattern will give you more power in these proceedings.

You've gotten some really good advice and some really awful (but well-meaning) advice. Hopefully you can see which is which! Follow the rules. Contact your attorney. Document everything. Hugs to you and your ds! I would be terribly upset by this situation, too, but for your ds' sake, you need to really keep a cool head when dealing with the legal aspects of this situation.
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#80 of 119 Old 12-30-2008, 05:09 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you everyone for the suggestions, hugs and caring.

I picked up ds on Sunday morning. He looked at me with a straight face for about a full minute and then started sobbing like a little baby, burying his head in my neck and begging to nurse. Ds took a four hour nap on Sunday after getting home, so I assume he didn't sleep well at night (usually his naps are about an hour and a half).

I emailed my attorney yesterday and told her about how I filed a police report, how he refused to return ds, etc... She doesn't want to bother doing anything because she thinks the courts would have let him keep ds that long anyway. I think that is besides the point--he VIOLATED a court order, and that's setting a very big precedent. I can't change attorney's this late in the game- I have talked to others and they won't take me with trial coming up. I left a message with the GAL both Thursday (Christmas) and Friday, but I still haven't heard from her.

The GAL is supposed to be filing an interim report by this coming Friday, but she hasn't interviewed anyone, nor has she come to see ds' behavior after these visits. She was supposed to interview DCP and ped. and no one has heard from her. I frankly can't believe she didn't call me back, and I'm pissed off that she's filing a report without getting information. Suggestions welcome.
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#81 of 119 Old 12-30-2008, 05:16 PM
 
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whew!!! i have been checking in regularly looking for your update.

man i am so mad to hear all this. so he violates a court order and the lawyer seems ok with it?!!! i am hopping mad. i wonder if the judge is going to see it that way too. shit probably ur ex knows it too and therefore can pull off such stunts.

and now GAL didnt call. :

i have no suggestions. poor baby. his response to seeing you was so heart wrenching. i dont know what to say.

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#82 of 119 Old 12-30-2008, 05:29 PM
 
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Someone please help op with legal advice!, my heart is broken for you! I wish I had advice myself--I totally don't. Your son is lucky to have a mom who loves him and cares about him as much as you do. I REALLY HOPE that you get the proper legal representation that you deserve because I just can't believe that what happened to you and your son is acceptable. Go forward into the new year with love and commitment to turning this situation around.

Mama to a beautiful girl since May 2007 and a beautiful boy since August 2010! :
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#83 of 119 Old 12-30-2008, 05:30 PM
 
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I wonder if you could file contempt on your own without your attorney. I think you should at least insist that your attorney bring this to the attention of the judge, and you can write it into your declarations and attach your documentation. I think is is a big deal when someone decides they don't need to follow court orders.
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#84 of 119 Old 12-30-2008, 05:46 PM
 
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I emailed my attorney yesterday and told her about how I filed a police report, how he refused to return ds, etc... She doesn't want to bother doing anything because she thinks the courts would have let him keep ds that long anyway. I think that is besides the point--he VIOLATED a court order, and that's setting a very big precedent. I can't change attorney's this late in the game- I have talked to others and they won't take me with trial coming up. I left a message with the GAL both Thursday (Christmas) and Friday, but I still haven't heard from her.
The part I bolded above is absolutely ridiculous, and I'm an attorney myself so I think I can call bs quite easily in this case.

You need to speak to your attorney in person, no more emails, and be much more forceful with her to advocate on your behalf. Because that's what you are paying her to do in the first place, you are the client, she works for you, and she needs to do a whole lot more than simply take your money and then sit on her hands. (Sorry to get so fired up here, but it drives me nuts when others in my profession seem to lose sight of things like how to treat their clients properly and how to do their darn jobs for pete's sake!)

As I'm sure you know, the court put that order in place with the intention that it be followed not just in spirit but to the letter. Your attorney is correct that the judge will be more inclined to let your ex expand visitation, but ONLY if you let this precedent stand unopposed. You would have very sound legal ground upon which to stand if you pursued a motion to find your ex in contempt of that order, and even your attorney's laziness and lack of motivation won't change that.

I can't stress this enough here, you really need to go see your attorney in person (like yesterday) and have a stern discussion with her about how she WILL do her job (that is, advocating for you and your son) properly, professionally and zealously from this point forward. Remember, the squeaky wheel gets the most attention!

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#85 of 119 Old 12-30-2008, 06:41 PM
 
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Thank you everyone for the suggestions, hugs and caring.

I picked up ds on Sunday morning. He looked at me with a straight face for about a full minute and then started sobbing like a little baby, burying his head in my neck and begging to nurse. Ds took a four hour nap on Sunday after getting home, so I assume he didn't sleep well at night (usually his naps are about an hour and a half).

I emailed my attorney yesterday and told her about how I filed a police report, how he refused to return ds, etc... She doesn't want to bother doing anything because she thinks the courts would have let him keep ds that long anyway. I think that is besides the point--he VIOLATED a court order, and that's setting a very big precedent. I can't change attorney's this late in the game- I have talked to others and they won't take me with trial coming up. I left a message with the GAL both Thursday (Christmas) and Friday, but I still haven't heard from her.

The GAL is supposed to be filing an interim report by this coming Friday, but she hasn't interviewed anyone, nor has she come to see ds' behavior after these visits. She was supposed to interview DCP and ped. and no one has heard from her. I frankly can't believe she didn't call me back, and I'm pissed off that she's filing a report without getting information. Suggestions welcome.
ITA with Lolagirl. What a load of crock! I can't believe your attorney would take that kind of attitude... I have no good advice, but I hope things come out your way during the trial proceedings.

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#86 of 119 Old 12-30-2008, 06:53 PM
 
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I agree with Lolagirl as well. Your ex is in contempt. Period. To not document it fully would show the judge that you ARE okay with expanded visitation. Your attorney works for YOU, not the other way around. Knowing that he did this against a court order, if your attorney refuses to file for contempt, I would imagine that that would be grounds for legal malpractice. (I am not an attorney, btw.)

My attorney sometimes advises me against certain things, gives me advice, but *I* ultimately make the final decision. If I ask him to file something for me, he darn well better file it. He doesn't get paid hundreds of dollars an hour to tell me that the courts would allow it anyway. I know family court is a mess, but GEEZ.

What does your attorney suggest you do if your ex pulls a stunt like this again? What if, the next time, he doesn't return ds for two weeks?

As far as the GAL, I'm in the process of a legal malpractice suit against the one that represented my daughter in a CPS case, for some of the same reasons that you stated that your GAL is doing. Look up the GAL guidelines for your state, and if she isn't following them, call your attorney, read off the guidelines, and ask that she object to the submission of a report.

You can delay the trial if you are changing attorneys, by the way.

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#87 of 119 Old 12-30-2008, 07:37 PM
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Yes, I agree. Go and stand in her office and make her file, and if she point-blank refuses, sue her for malpractice, and either find someone else to file the motion or file it yourself. You can't let this go.

See what you can do about delaying the trial and changing attorneys. You have a lazy one.

And I agree, look up the GAL guidelines, staple them to your lawyer, and have the lawyer send a letter reminding the GAL of her duties. Then get that new lawyer asap.

Meanwhile, stay very, very calm in your dealings with the GAL.
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#88 of 119 Old 12-30-2008, 08:20 PM
 
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A friend of mine had an ex who did this to her and she handled it by having the GAL do the handoffs. That way, if he didn't return the children at the proper time, the police would be after him right away. He didn't like those rules and hasn't seen his kids in over 3yrs because of it. She refuses to budge because she knows that his mother (exmil) would try to kidnap the kids if it weren't criminal not to return them. She actually did it to her other grandkids and got full custody by kidnapping them and refusing to return them.

Anyway, I wonder if you can do the same thing with the GAL doing dropoffs and pickups.

I'm so angry that you're being bullied by him.

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#89 of 119 Old 12-31-2008, 01:04 AM
 
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I emailed my attorney yesterday and told her about how I filed a police report, how he refused to return ds, etc... She doesn't want to bother doing anything because she thinks the courts would have let him keep ds that long anyway.
I would call your attorney back and tell her that that isn't the point. The point is that your stbx DIDN'T follow a court order AND he didn't get your agreement to the extra time nor did he go to court, which is the proper way of handling getting more time, to get more time.

I would calmly tell your attorney that you want to pursue contempt of court charges as his disregarding the court order is becoming a regular occurence and that he doesn't even bother to try to get your agreement when he wants a change. And you feel, and he hasn't proven you wrong to date, that he will continue to disregard the court order and not even attempt to co-parent with you until the judge holds him accountable for not following the court order.

Even if he gets a slap on the wrist, he will see that he has to follow the court order. Because if you keep going back for the same reason, the judge is eventually going to get fed up and do something more than a slap on the wrist.

If your attorney balks, simply tell her that she is working for you, not the other way around. If you and your stbx are ever to learn how to get along as divorced parents of a child, he needs to learn that he needs to follow the court order. And that the proper way to handle wanting more time is to either get your written agreement or go to court and ask for it. Not to just take it regardless of what the court order states.

And I would also tell your attorney that given his refusal to follow the court order, you will not be letting him take your son. Your stbx can visit where you live until this matter of him not following the court order has been resolved.

And I would not discuss visitation with your stbx over the phone. Insist on e-mail communication. And if he calls, let the voicemail pick it up. Let him leave proof that he isn't following the court order. And when you respond to his voicemail, do it via e-mail. Having his refusal to follow a court order in writing is hard proof of his blatant contempt for a court order. And admissable in court. Whereas, a voice recording may not be, voicemail is admissable because he voluntarily left it on your machine.
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#90 of 119 Old 12-31-2008, 01:56 AM
 
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So, so, so glad your son is home with you! Poor little guy.

I agree that you should not let this just drop. I am NOT a lawyer but it really does establish a precedent. You DO NOT want that to happen. What he did was wrong. The fact that your lawyer would be willing to let it slide is really telling. That alone tells me she is not looking out for your best interests - and your son's. I also agree about the email communication. Having it all documented will help immensely. Anything he says in a phone call is lost.

And of course, many many .

"If we are peaceful, if we are happy, we can smile and blossom like a flower, and everyone in our family, our entire society, will benefit from our peace." ~ Thich Nhat Hanh
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