I am struggling to express how I feel in this moment because I am overcome with shock. I spoke to my attorney last night and she explained that Seth’s attorney was going to ask or a continuance on today’s trial because he didn’t have proper time to review the 43-page report from Family Court Services. My attorney said that we would still appear in court and ask for temporary orders – supervised visits pending the trial. She planned to request a meeting in chambers- with the Commissioner and all three attorneys: minor’s counsel, Seth’s attorney and my attorney.
I was incredibly nervous this morning- Glenn had to remind me that I was a warrior mom. The fear of walking into the unknown had gripped me. I had mentally prepared for the July 10th trial but to think that it was going to drag on even longer was killing me. I was terrified that the girls would have to go on their next visit with Seth and concerned about his mental state after reading the report.
We arrived at the courthouse and saw Seth and his parents there. My anxiety rose even higher. I then saw a gentleman pacing the hallway with a great deal of energy- it was the General Manager from the bar where Seth and his parents had been drinking with the girls on June 30th. He had been subpoenaed and clearly wasn’t happy about it. In his hand was the DVD surveillance video and the receipts which showed the alcohol which had been purchased. Once we were all seated in the courtroom, the attorneys and the Commissioners went into Chambers and came back about 30-45 minutes later. It could have been 20 minutes…it was all a blur.
When they came back into the courtroom, I realized that Seth and his father had not returned however, I was told that the attorney’s had reached an agreement. They had agreed to supervised visits however, Seth’s attorney was requesting that his mother be allowed to supervised. No. No. No. I quickly said to my attorney that I was opposed to this and she stated this to the Commissioner. Seth’s mom had been IN the bar and was DRINKING with him — she knew that it was in violation of the order and she participated in violating the order!
Then the Commissioner spoke. He stated that Seth’s mother and father have been a part of this case from the beginning and they were fully aware of the court orders. He stated that he would absolutely NOT approve Seth’s mother to monitor the visits. He then said words that I will never forget. “The following orders are FINAL custody orders” — I have never heard those words….after four years of being in court…he was finally handing down FINAL orders. Final order: “Professionally supervised visits– 1st, 3rd and 5th (when applicable) weekends per month”
It took everything in me not to scream.
It was over. It is over!!!!!!!! My battle is over!!!!!!
We left the courtroom with my AMAZING attorney, and she explained what had happened in chambers. The Commissioner told Seth’s attorney that he didn’t see what good it would do to go to trial because there was nothing that could convince him to not approve the recommendation from the Custody Evaluation. He said that Seth was a pathological liar. Seth’s attorney asked to set a review hearing and the request was declined. The Commissioner said that he didn’t want to see or hear anything about our case for a very long time.
My girls are safe. We can finally have peace. I can enjoy my new life with my husband and my daughters.
Next month is the four-year anniversary of the first time that I ever stepped foot in the Family Court System. I can’t begin to describe how good it felt to step OUT of the Family Court System today. Don’t give up…sometimes, they do get it right. For that, I am thankful!!!!!!
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