Hopeful outlook and outcome in regards to BM's behavior.....
Background information: DH and BM were in a relationship for about 2 years and became pregnant. For whatever reasons they split before SD was born. He gave me the scenario but as I know - there are two sides to every story..... so I am not really interested in knowing all the details. They lived and currently live in different states. SD is now 6 yrs old and they have not been in a relationship for 6 years.
DH has done everything he could do for BM short of marrying her without having been made to do so by the court..... Not looking for a pat on the back - just stating a fact. He moved out of his apartment back then and in with a friend to support BM and SD. He was paying her rent, daycare expenses, giving her $500 a month for utilities and insurance, and paying 1/2 of clothes, toys etc. BM required that he visited with the child in her home and that he never take her out of BM's sight.
Basically DH wanted to be able to take SD to visit with his family during some of his visit time or to at least have his mother be able to see SD. At that time, BM, did not agree and said that over her dead body would they be allowed in her home or to see SD or take SD anywhere. So DH filed for visitation..... Of course he was given visitation and was able to take the child with him. BM got upset filed for child support - and the courts made a decision that greatly affected the amount of money she was receiving - it went from close to $2000 a month to $800.00. DH was able to get an apartment and able to visit with his little lady - daughter.
Fast forward.......Since that time - it has been one tirade after another with BM. Of course she was very angry with the court's decision and started alienation tactics against DH. The bad thing is that she was doing things that could have cost him his visitation and legal rights if believed. At any rate she left behind a long paper trail - that DH has collect and kept and submitted to court (6 years worth up to this point).
Just to list a few of the things.........
-She filed a false claim of domestic violence against DH (claimed he tried to kill her and SD at 1:05 am - when his was checking in his hotel room for the court case the next day..... he signed his hotel receipt slip at 12:57 am - she lives more than 20 minutes from the hotel) - that she claimed happened the morning before their court case. However made no mention of it in court. The protective order was filed 10 minutes after he was granted joint custody and visitation. This was dropped as she didn't realize her lie would get found out. DH did not get to see his daughter that first Christmas because of the court date being 7 days after Christmas.
-Signed letters at daycare centers banning DH from picking up and visiting SD - when court order stated he was to pick her up at the daycare center
-Gave DH wrong information about medications and dosage - in 2 handwritten letters she signed and dated - just lucky enough DH called doctor to verify. The latest time - 8 different meds came in baggies with sticky notes attached claiming she had to take all daily last Christmas visit - We made an emergency call to the doc - when he returned the call - SD was only to take one daily and two others as needed for allergies to nuts or skin rash. We were angry and terrified.... as it was not necessary to lie that way. It could have hurt SD or killed her.
-has blocked several of DH's visits - with last minute cheerleading or dance meetings - that after calling found out were not true.
-Lied about insurance premiums - had DH paying more than twice the amount - even though he was not ordered to pay any.... he was doing it just to be kind. She is a teacher and was getting it for 77 a month - He was giving her 223.00 on top of the 800 child support.
-Plus, lying about school she was attending, changed his information when it was submitted, crazy emails, blocking telephone calls, not going to the exchange location etc.
-There are 2 binders of information - it has been something every other weekend and each time he has his weeklong visits and summer visits. She has a thing about writing letters and signing them with dates - to make it seem Official as she used to say. Sending some of them certified and filing with Division of child support enforcement if she did not get the extra money or the child support before the 1st of each month.
Well fast forward to 2008 - DH and I were getting married and decided to meet with BM first (i had already been involved with SD for 2 years almost and attending several of her events in NC and had seen her mom several times) . So that she would personally be aware of who I am and that we would now be living together (before the marriage I lived in my own home that was sold just before we married) and so she would know who step-daughter would be around. DH and I dated about 2 years prior to this and had attended several of SD's events, her birthday party and the like as a couple. But I felt as a matter of respect - she should have known and had a chance personally to sit down with how was would be around her daughter. I also formally introduced her to my daughter - who is now 14. We took her to dinner - and that is when all hell broke loose. Well her response was - I was marrying her man (they were broken up 5 years almost at that time) and child's father and that I needed her permission and should not live there if her daughter would be visiting. I told her at that time - she was SD's mother and would always be. That I respected her as such, but did not need her permission to marry DH, and would not ask. I also explained to her that she does not dictate where I live or if i remain in my marital home during visits. I told her that her daughter would be treated well, i would not even attempt to discipline her, or treat her differently.
Well, BM filed allegations of abuse against me, my daughter, my DH and his family. She took SD to a trauma counselor for 3 months and really started to block DH's visits with his daughter. She then filed an affidavit and motion with court to attempt and take joint custody from DH, get more child support and have me and my daughter removed from the home if any visits were to take place. Of course when we read the documents - we were in tears ........ She started filing these things 1 week after our wedding. Not sure how she found out either - as we went away and got married..... However some way she found out the date I guess.
At any rate - the court case was continued at her request from March 2009 (mind you we married in August 2008) three times until Sept 2009. Each time she claimed more and more abuse on my part. When the last affidavit was filed - I became angry cause it was so bogus. But we were able to speak with the counselor in what was supposed to have been a family (both sides) discussion. BM didn't realize the counselor's office has camera's there and the rooms are being recorded. Anyways.... long story short.... She took SD in the bathroom after our session with counselor and DH and myself - where SD was happy and looked content. When she bought her out of the bathroom - SD was crying and screaming that her dad would spank her and be mad if she had to tell on him. Then during SD session with her mom and counselor - BM told her the lies and counselor had to tell her she saw her take SD in the bathroom and that SD was happy during her session with us. BM then told the counselor she was doing this to keep her daughter from going to VA and visiting because it was not fair he got married and was playing house and her daughter should not be around another woman - when he didn't marry her when she became pregnant - this is years later after the break up. Counselor made suggestion to BM to come in for personal counseling and she was highly upset about it and cancelled the sessions all together. (Not that SD needed them in the first place.....)
DH had received all the notes from the sessions and all the other information (paper trail) BM had left behind and filed a motion that he should not loose joint custody and visitation. He also basically asked that custody be switched if parental alienation was continued or blocks of visitation or more lies continue.
Finally the court date came.... and the judge put us in recess and got the counselor to come.... Counselor came and testified as to what BM had told her as to her reasoning - and said it basically boiled down to jealousy and envy. That she didn't think BM would harm SD intentionally but needs to move past what happened 6 years prior and stop trying to alienate the child from her father.
As a result of that court case the custody and visitation order was updated. It worked out really well for DH and we were happy with the result........ New Order states -
-DH was able to keep his joint custody and received more visitation.
-DH and BM now both drive 1.5 hours for visitation exchanges (instead of him doing all driving)
-DH still has 1st, 3rd, and 5th weekends
-BM has to give him 4 weeks' notice of events on his weekend or visits (i.e. dance and cheerleading, friends party and he has to agree in writing before he gives up the weekend.)
-BM has to have him added to school information and give him copies of the school schedule and report cards within 5 days of issue
-DH has now 5 weeks summer visitation with the dates actually set (3 in June and 2 in July)
-DH now gets on odd years Thanksgiving and 26 Dec - 3 Jan
-DH now gets on even years - Dec 19 - 26 Dec - every other year SD gets to have Christmas day with her dad.
-BM has to notify DH of medication changes and give original directions on how to administer medication and send medication in original bottles.
-DH is allowed to speak to child for 15 - 30 minutes each day before bed time.
The best part added to court order - BM is ordered to stop participating in alienation of father when it comes to his child. She and no other third party (i.e. her mother) cannot participate in alienation of the father either. It further stated if instances of alienation do not cease custody will be switched to father and visitation will be decided at a later date for mother. It was noted that father is given notice to contact police and receive report for submission to the court - for contempt of the court order as well.
We were amazed that the judge actually listened to DH and the situation. She read over the documents submitted (the paper trail from BM) and basically asked DH and myself what we wanted to happen. Both DH and I stated from the stand - we did not want to take SD from BM - we just wanted DH and SD to be able to have a good relationship and SD to be able to continue visits with her extended family. We told Judge, BM, BM's mom, and her friends in attendance - that we never intended on taking SD or keeping her from anyone, I made sure BM knew I was not trying to replace her, nor did I want to try and battle with her. I respected her and her daughter - and loved her daughter and treated her the same as my own. I explicitly told her judge from the stand that I am not sure as to why the attacks against me happened and that I would not take the time to figure out why either. I only want my DH and his daughter to have a great relationship and that I would continue to help nurture and love SD while she is in my home. As far as I am concerned SD deserves no less and that I would not let BM's attitude towards me change my feelings of love for my SD.
Since the court day in Sept... things have been going well. DH has had no problems with visit exchanges, no excuses every weekend for why he can't get her, no crazy emails or letters being delivered, no crazy phone calls.... SD is not coming telling us her mom is telling her how mean we are and that type stuff..... It has been peaceful and great for the past month.
I am hoping that we are able to get through this holiday season with no issues or problems..... This will be the first time DH has had his daughter for thanksgiving in 6 years - so it will be a wonderful time at our home. I know that holiday seasons can be difficult as a single mom - as I was one for 12 years of my daughter's life - still am - her father has nothing to do with her after I divorced him. So I am hoping that she deals with it well and doesn't start this whole thing of alienation over again. We do not want to have to go through the stress of court all over again and really don't want to judge to have to follow through with the contempt of court consequences.......
DH and I are at a good place right now - SD seems much more relaxed - and no one is stressed out with knowing what is going on. Seems like there is a little peace and hope for things to continue down a good path. I am just so glad the judge was able to put some consequences in place that will now help things to remain at least civil........ (fingers crossed) for a long time...... (fingers double crossed)!