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Monthly Archives: June 2012

Organization is the key to family court

In 1995, I got a violence restraining order against my daughter’s father and the police removed him from our apartment. My daughter, Jillian, and I both lived in fear up to that point. That was the beginning of  my co-parenting years.

Our divorce took about three years and became a custody battle. At first Jean-Jacques was promising to change, admitting that he abused his wife and daughter, and begged me to take him back. That was the last thing on earth I was about to do and so the battling began.

The first time I realized how important keeping and organizing court documentation was is when Jean  Jacques came to pick up Jillian for Christmas vacation, that first year. We had no formal agreements, he was not paying child support, but I thought it would be nice for her to spend Christmas vacation with her father since he was living about three hours away. I had just put some of her things in the trunk and I was putting her suitcase in the backseat when he said to me; “I just want to let you know, Tracy, that I talked to the judge and he said you had her for five months now it’s time for me to have her for five months. I have the paperwork.”  Panic stricken I said “I just changed my mind, you’re not taking her. I want to see the paperwork first.”  As I tried to pull the suitcase out of the car he had me by the neck up against the car I was screaming at  Jillian to get back in the house.  He was screaming at me. “I have the paperwork, Tracy, I have the paperwork !!” It was crazy!! The next thing I knew he left.

I called 911 immediately and sent Jillian to a friend’s house.  About half an hour later the police came to the door. I was so relieved to see the police but when I opened the door they were there with Jean Jacques. He had also called them. They spoke to both of us separately and asked me if I wanted to press charges because of the bruises on my neck. I said no I did not want her father to go to jail, I just wanted to know that when he took her he was bringing her back in a few days. The police confirmed he did not have any paperwork from the court to take her for 5 months as he had indicated. They also confirmed that I would have been notified in writing to appear in court if he had filed any paperwork for extended visitation.

Jean Jacques ended up driving off and said he didn’t want anything to do with her. He threw the picture she drew for him,  for Christmas, out the window onto the ground. On January 7th, I was served divorce papers and he was going for full custody of Jillian. I was in court with Jean Jacques many times. What usually happened was the judge ruled in my favor because number one I was telling the truth and number two I had documents  to prove everything that I said in court. I kept very good records and I prayed a lot.

Eventually our divorce was settled and I officially became primary custodial parent and Jean-Jacques had extensive visitation. We were still in and out of court quite a few times after this initial court order. My organizational skills came in very handy and made the court process much easier. I  hope that our “My Turn Your Turn” parenting website will help people going through a divorce,  people who are separated, people who already have a co-parenting agreement in place, and anyone else who shares a child be more organized. Our goal is to help you co-parent successfully. As I have learned, organization, and putting the child’s first, is one of the major keys to keeping your cool in a co-parenting situation.

Thank you for letting me share my story with you,

Tracy Taylor
CEO/Founder
My Turn Your Turn

Visit us on our official website at http://www.MyTurnYourTurn.com. My Turn Your Turn is a co-parenting website designed to help organize families and improve communication between co-parents sharing children due to divorce or separation.  Specializing in co-parenting tools and shared parenting resources including an online custody calendar,  online divorce journal, child support tracker and more for blended families, single parents and high conflict divorce cases.

 

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Fearful your ex will take your children out of the country?

What do you do if you think your ex is going to leave the country with your child  and not bringing him or her back?

My ex-husband and I did not communicate very well. He was very bitter that I did not stay in the abusive marriage. It was in our custody agreement that Jillian spent half of the summer at her dad’s house.  When she was 10, he called me up the day before he was to pick her up and told me that he was taking her to France to see his father, for his share of the summer. That would’ve been a very nice time for her, if I trusted him.

He was always telling me that the French courts had as much to say about our custody arrangement as the American courts did because she was half French. He was not a US citizen, he did not have a job, he did not own a car, and he was living with his brother. And, to make matters worse, he had not paid his child support for almost a year. I was sure that if he took Jillian to France, I would never see her again.  I did not have the money to go to France and look for her.

I was in a panic. I went to the court and I filed the proper “Emergency Motion for Relief” paperwork that day. The paperwork had to be filed at the courthouse , and then i had to go to the processor’s office and fill out paperwork to have the processor serve Jean-Jacques .The judge looked at it, approved it, which meant that I would be required to go to court the next day and formally request that the judge prohibit him from taking her to France.

Fortunately, I had all my information on hand, to be able to quickly file the required paperwork and have a process server serve him the same day. The following morning at 9 AM both my ex and I appeared before the judge. I presented my case, precisely, with just the facts as advised previously by experienced attorneys. I expressed the fear that I had about him not returning her to the US based on his comments and actions over the months leading up to this. The judge asked my ex, Jean- Jacques a couple questions then proceeded to tell him that he could not take her out of the country, and for that matter,  not out of the state. I then received the correct paperwork with the judges ruling and signature. Unfortunately, her father was irate which is a whole other blog which I will post later, but the fact is I protected my daughter from a potentially life altering situation.

If you fear that your child may be  abducted by a ex spouse or co-parent. Here is a website I found, divorce center. There is an article called; preventing children from leaving the country – passport denial. http://www.18884mydivorce.com/pub/Childcustody/passport.htm I recommend that you contact your attorney, as all states differ in their procedures. Do not take matters in your hands, get your facts straight and file the proper paperwork before it is too late.

I truly believe that my daughter would have left the country and not ever come back. I couldn’t trust him and I remembered the abuse I endured during our marriage. My instinct was right, he abandoned her just four years later. He left for France and never looked back. To this day, almost 10 years later, we have never heard from him again.

I can’t stress enough the importance of having all of your documentation at your fingertips. Also of knowing the important information about your co parent,  where they live, what their license plate number is, possibly have a picture of them, etc.

Here, at My Turn Your Turn parenting, we want to help you be prepared. Our website is organized in such a way that all of your court documents, information, journaling and calendars are at your fingertips when you need them. We’re not trying to scare you, we just want you to be as ready as you could be in case of an emergency situation.

Here are some facts about abductions. http://crime.about.com/od/stats/f/faqkids.htm

Thanks for reading our blog and allowing me to share my experiences with you. I hope this information helps you and your loved ones. Our children deserve to be protected. Do you have a story you would like to share? Send us your story at service@myturnyourturn.com.

-Tracy

Visit us on our official website at http://www.MyTurnYourTurn.com. My Turn Your Turn is a co-parenting website designed to help organize families and improve communication between co-parents sharing children due to divorce or separation.  Specializing in co-parenting tools and shared parenting resources including an online custody calendar,  online divorce journal, child support tracker and more for blended families, single parents and high conflict divorce cases.

 

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I’m 15 and I come from a family of divorce

Hi, my name is Brittany and I am 15 years old. My little brother and I are being raised by divorced parents (our family is pictured to the right).

My parents were divorced in 2006 and before they got a divorce, my life was not easy. It was crazy. They were fighting all the time and it didn’t even feel like we were a family. I used to take my little brother Randy, who was 4 at the time, and play board games and try to keep him occupied so he wouldn’t hear the fighting. When my parents fought they never hit each other but their yelling was enough.

When they decided it wasn’t going to work out, they brought my brother and me into another room to explain what was going on and to tell us that our parents were no longer going to be together. I remember when they first told me that. I didn’t understand, until I saw my dad moving his dresser out of his room. As soon as I saw that, I knew right away what was going on. Then my dad left. He found an apartment not too far from where we lived. I still got to see him on a daily basis because my parents knew it was the right thing to do. After a year or so, my dad found a house and my mom, my brother, and I moved into my grandma’s house. Everything seemed to be okay at that point. My parents were still friends and talked all the time. It was a very unusual relationship. Even though they were divorced, they were best friends. And for that I am thankful.

As time went on, things got better. My mom finally bought a house and my dad came over and helped my mom with things. He cut the grass for her, he remodeled our house, and he even took care of our pool. It was like the divorce never happened. The only thing different to me was there was no longer a wedding ring on my mother’s finger. Everything seemed to be almost-perfect. My dad and my mom were both in my life. To this day they still are. My mom talks to my dad all the time. My dad comes over, goes to our sports events, and even eats dinner with us.

Recently, someone new came into our life, my mother’s boyfriend, Eric. When he first moved in I wasn’t happy at all. I was hurt because I thought that my dad was going to stop coming to our house like he was. Well, that ended up not being the case at all. When my dad first saw Eric, he shook his hand and said nice to meet you. My dad has no problem with Eric. He actually gets along with him very well. The great thing about it is that he does this for the sake of his children. My parents get along so great that sometimes it feels like they didn’t even get a divorce, that they weren’t even married, they are just best friends. I’m so thankful that I have parents like I do. I hear stories from my friends all the time about how their parents that can’t even sit in the same room together..It’s just so sad. Every time I hear those stories it makes me even more thankful that I have the kind of parents who put their differences aside for their children.

My advice for divorced parents is to look at the big picture and think about the children before you. Ask yourself is this really the child’s fault? Do they deserve this? I’m sure you will find the answer to be no to these questions. It’s not the child’s fault for your mistakes in your marriage. If you’re not going to get along for yourself, get along for your children. It will show them that both parents love them and care about them.

~ Brittany
My Turn Your Turn Guest Blogger

Visit us on our official website at http://www.MyTurnYourTurn.com. My Turn Your Turn is a co-parenting website designed to help organize families and improve communication between co-parents sharing children due to divorce or separation.  Specializing in co-parenting tools and shared parenting resources including an online custody calendar,  online divorce journal, child support tracker and more for blended families, single parents and high conflict divorce cases.

 
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Posted by on June 6, 2012 in Divorce, Parenting

 

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