Mary E. Latela March 6, 2016
Since a mother trying to protect her children while also trying to either mend a bad marriage – which is usually futile – or to keep the home calm and without fear while she prepares to leave, a threat to take the children is not only fearsome but, of course, unfair.
Claim that mother is unstable, is depressed, takes medication, has been hospitalized. Or have the children testify that mother is “selfish and inconsiderate” and you may be able to cause a higher degree of caution on the part of the attending judge.
I learned that my husband lied in court, and was surprised. Why? If he could manage to scare, control, push around, and terrorize me, why was lying out of the realm of possibility? I suppose if we have loved someone and trusted their words – that they would be true forever, that they would guide and project, honor and support – then we do not expect the use of lies and deception.
Despite our most fervent efforts, and the help of a superior lawyer, we received a judgment which included joint legal custody of the children, with extended visits in summer and on holidays. The father refused to obey the terms of the divorce, rarely took the children to visit, then stopped completely.
Yes, I called one of the kids and she told me as a mother I was dead to her. Another said there was no meaning in our relationship. The worst aspect is that the separation has gone on for over twenty years. Studies have shown that if your have three or more children the likelihood of having children come back to you is about 17% for one child. So friends who saw the return of the daughter as a miracle may have been correct.
Birthdays, Mothers Day, holidays – seem like blank days in the calendar. The children are away and they may never, ever want to communicate again.