Saturday, August 11, 2007

A Few Things You Should Know

I thought I would pass on a few tidbits I forgot to mention about my custody meeting.

DH tried to get the mediator alone.

Yeah, I know...he tried that move with his mistress from work, too.

He must not have read up on the definition of mediation before attending. We had barely rested our hindquarters on the sofa when he raised his hand to make a "special request."

Could the mediator meet with him first, then with me? Separately.

Why? She inquired.

Because he would simply feel more comfortable that way.

But we only do that if there is a restraining order for domestic violence. Do you have one of those?

No, he said, but he still would prefer if we could meet apart from one another because I am better at explaining things than he is.

Too bad, she said.

Hmmm...I must be a formidable enemy if he is requesting court protection against my articulation skills.


At one point, she asked if either of us was in counseling.

Yes, I said.

She thought that was fantastic. What about you, Mr. Asshat?

No. He was not. He had been in counseling so many times in his life, he had lost count. They always told him the same thing. Over and over again. The same old thing. He's heard it all before. He doesn't need to hear it any more. Why should he be in counseling if he already knows what they are going to tell him.

I could tell the mediator was impressed. I began to worry.

Why would she award custody to the parent who needs professional help, when the other parent is so...stable.

I must try not to lay awake at night fretting over the favorable impression DH made upon the woman who will be deciding my baby's fate.


I mentioned previously that DH had whimpered and whined about the break up of his first marriage. I realize now that I did not specifically indicate that he actually cried about it during mediation.

Yes, he was facing the dismantling of his current marriage and he was crying over his heartache over his first divorce.

Did I mention that this divorce occurred nine years ago?

This strategy, I suspect, was highly effective in demonstrating to the mediator just how sensitive and caring he is capable of being in his role as father to a young child.


I had also noted his resistance to driving to my house due to the high cost of gas prices.

Wanting to be very precise in his reasons for insisting I drive to his house instead, he actually tallied up his projected gasoline bill out loud so the mediator would be very aware of how much it would cost him to visit his baby.

I'm surprised he didn't give her a list of all the things he would prefer to spend that money on.


I always fear that I misportray DH by omitting many of the details of my encounters with him. In the interest of accuracy, and given the extreme importance of this custody battle, I've added the above comments to ensure a fair and complete representation of DH, to the best of my ability.

Friday, August 10, 2007

One For You, One For Me, One For You...

Poor DH.

In addition to suffering the indignity of having found himself on the losing end of a battle wits, he will shortly find himself to be a bit lighter in the wallet.

Several days ago, he came to the realization that he might possibly need an attorney. Since his initial efforts at protecting his assets by tucking them away in his panty drawer have failed, he must have given up on his notion of representing himself.

His new lawyer has been hard at work, having done a grand spanking good job of preparing DH for our custody mediation.

He has also, in recent days, placed a call to my attorney.

He knows that his client, Mr. Asshat, has been removing money from the accounts and concealing it in fool-proof hiding places. He and Mr. Asshat will promptly make an accounting of all the money and I see to it that I receive half.

I'm quite certain he is hoping that I will be too busy swooning at the kindness of his offer to nit-pick over what, exactly, constitutes half of the money.

The reason I am so certain of this sneaky plan is that he has clearly instructed his client to make every effort to appease me, so as to stay out of trouble for his money embezzling scheme.

Since the time his attorney jumped aboard DH's sinking ship, DH has slathered me with terms of endearment...offered to return all of my dinnerware - neatly packed, at that...inquired about the health of my mother - a concern near to his heart...and wished me health, happiness, and good cheer at every opportunity.

Or maybe he is simply being so friendly because he has concluded that it would be far, far cheaper for him to reconcile with me. Heck, if we were to stay married, he could go back to spending his usual $100 per year on me, and $7.99 every six months for DD.

One hundred fifteen dollars and 98 cents per year is quite a bargain for a wife and kid.

While he continues to make plans to play nice, I am busy clearing off a safe place on my kitchen counter top to keep my money.

Or maybe I'll keep it in my van. That might be safer.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

The Big Day

Okay, it didn’t go exactly as I expected, but here’s the scoop…

We had to sit in this itty bitty room for a half hour watching a video of how tragic divorce is. After that, we met with a court mediator to see if we could come to an agreement by ourselves.

Since we were unable to accomplish that, the mediator is sending a recommendation to the judge, based on our meeting. I am told that these judges very rarely go against the mediator’s recommendations. Unfortunately, I will not know the exact details until the paperwork is mailed to me in a week or so.

The mediator did tell us the maximum he would be entitled to, but that was before he made several highly endearing comments to the mediator.

But first, he asked for every other weekend and all day Sunday on the remaining weekends, with ME driving DD 100 miles round trip to drop her. Best he will actually get is one hour each weekend at my house and two midweek visits for an hour each, also at my house. Also, this agreement will stay in place unless he goes back to court to change it. So he will not get any increased visitation as DD gets older unless he goes to considerable trouble.

Of course, he made it very clear to the mediator that he could not be inconvenienced by midweek visits. You know…with gas prices what they are these days. And there is absolutely no way he is willing to go into work early on those days so he could leave early. That would be too much of a hassle.

The mediator asked if I could pump milk so he could feed DD. No, I said. My milk contains too much lipase (sincere thanks to whomever gave me that info) and it spoils, even when frozen (this is true, BTW). How does he know this is really true, he asked. I told him I would be entirely willing to pump milk in his presence, allow him to store it in the manner of his choosing for several hours, then taste it himself to determine its worthiness to be fed to DD.

He blamed me for taking DD away from him. I countered with the fact that I left after he said he did not want DD. That comment, he said, was part of a heated argument. He went on to clarify his comment to the mediator…What he had really said was, “You just need to shut f*** up. I never even wanted a baby.” Oh, and the topic of the argument...I was upset because he left 5 week old DD alone in a running car in a parking lot.

You should have seen the mediator’s eyes go all agoogle when she heard that! She asked him if he wanted DD. *crickets*…*crickets*…*crickets*...”well…yes,” he said. Later on, he accidentally slipped and said, “I didn’t want a…we weren’t ready to have a baby.”

With regard to DD’s peanut sensitivity, he said he wanted proof. He thought I was making it up to get back at him for sticking a cashew-coated finger into DD's mouth when she was 2 days old. You want proof, do you? I whipped out my most recent paperwork from the pediatrician and calmly directed his eyes to the line that read “DIAGNOSIS: Allergy to Peanuts”. The mediator gave him a lecture on the seriousness of peanut allergies and admonished him that this was not a topic he should be arguing with me about. She reiterated THREE TIMES that children can die of this type of condition and he should have been supportive of me seeking treatment for DD.

When I told him that DD’s pediatrician wanted her to be exclusively breastfed until 9 to 12 months to avoid additional allergy issues, he said “she will just have to learn to eat food like any other kid.” At this point, I could tell by the mediator’s expression that she was heartily impressed by DH’s parenting sense.

He ended the whole debacle by whimpering and whining to the mediator about the dissolution of his first marriage and capped the day off by telling me I was pretty and calling me “Hon” in the parking lot before heading off in to the glaring afternoon sun.

Overall, I would say that DH faired much better in the eyes of the mediator in the area of being a concerned and competent parent.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

The Hearing

I'm sorry I haven't posted much lately.

We have our custody hearing this coming Wednesday and I have been a bit wrapped up trying to prepare (mostly mentally) for it. If everyone could please keep DD in your thoughts and prayers, I would be very grateful. My only hope is that everything works out for DD's best interest, both now and in the future.

Thank you for everyone's continued support through this difficult time. I will be back to post updates as soon as I am able.