Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Round two...

After the first of the year, I started looking for attorney's in the north suburbs. I researched looked them up online to check out what type of attorney they were. How long they have been practicing, and the size of the firm. I also didn't want an attorney in the area where T and his family lived.
I wanted to find one that would still took cases in Kane County. I also had to figure in the mileage to and from the courthouse and the attorney's office. All of these things I had to factor in before choosing an attorney. Not only that, but I didn't want to retain and attorney if she or he as going to run me through the mud. Basically, I just wanted one that was going to be for me and on my side.

Finally I found a female attorney out of Wheaton. She seemed to have a good idea of what I was wanting. Brian and I drove to Wheaton to meet her. After we asked her a few questions, and told her what we wanted her to accomplish, she agreed to help us out. She thought that what I was asking for wasn't to unreasonable, and that I was focused on what was right, fair and just. I wasn't out to get back at T, but I was sending a good message that I didn't want to be treated the way I have been treated. Not only that, but I wanted my kids to be able to enjoy time with me, without being questioned about it, or made to feel guilty for having a good time with us. She told me to fax her all the information that she needed to get the ball rolling. So I did. Each time I sent her an email I was charged for it. So I wouldn't send her just one at a time, I would send several. Mostly, the important ones. Like the email and the bill for Cody's instrument, a bill for the dentist, and the 3 times I filed the “interference with visitation” reports. I sent her the emails from me asking for and extra 2 hours with the kids...on and on and on.
My requests were very reasonable too:

  1. I wanted to pick up the kids on Friday's from school when it was my weekend.
  2. I wanted more time in the summer with the boys.
  3. I did not want to pay for the dentist bill or the instrument for Cody
  4. I needed the child support lowered to a more manageable amount
  5. I wanted T to meet me ½ way to save on my mileage and travel
  6. a holiday schedule better to understand, spelled out clearly

I didn't think that I was asking for to much. Neither did my attorney. Brian and I had a little trick up our sleeve too. T and his girlfriend were NOT married, they were living together. Our hope was that the judge would see that and come down hard on him like she did me in 2002 because I was “living” with my boyfriend, she didn't think it was a “stable” environment for the kids to be in. Let's see what the judge thinks of their living arrangement now.
The next day, I pulled $1500 out of our savings account and sent her a money order to retain her services. Like all attorney's, they tell you that they will use this first, and hopefully it won't go over that but if it does, then we can set up a payment arrangement. I was good with that. In no time that $1500 was gone, and we haven't even been to court yet. However, having an attorney did save me trips to and from the Courthouse. She handled most of it for me, which was nice. Most of it anyway was paperwork and bull crap stuff. Stuff that just made my bill higher and higher with her.

When she finally sent the motions to T's attorney he responded to each request, with the normal legal lingo. Each request was being denied by T, stating that “it's not in the best interest of the kids.” “Really, give me a break, how is the mother wanting to pick up the kids from school NOT in their best interest?” My attorney said not to panic, this was typical and the judge will see that what you are asking for is in the best interest of your kids, you want more time with them. Time that he has been stealing from you for the past 2 years now.

During the time we hired our attorney and the time we finally started to make progress, T and his girlfriend got married. This happened in May, soon after my attorney sent his attorney the motions. They knew that if they continued to live together, they would be toast. I had heard that they were suppose to get married in October of that year, but those plans changed suddenly when I hired my attorney and they received papers to modify the court order. Ha ha ha....we still laugh at that. It was because of me and Brian that they rushed to the alter to get married when they wanted to get married in October. Isn't karma a bitch?

Since I had filed the motions, and hired an attorney T thought he should try and play by the rules. I will say, I took advantage of that vulnerable side as well, milking out my requests to see if he would bend even a little. He did cave a few times and aloud for a switch in weekends, but that was his extent of being the cooperative parent. But that was fine, I had an attorney this time, and she would know about it, and hopefully bring it to his attorney's attention. Once again, I was wrong.
When he did “switch” weekends, it was because he wanted to have the kids during one of my weekends. But that's how he worked, if he had plans or something fell on my weekend, and he wanted the kids, he would ask me to switch. I finally got on to this, and started to say no. Why should I bend over backwards for him when he didn't bend for me? Then he started using the kids. They would get in the car and ask me if I would switch weekends because we really want to attended what ever it was they wanted to attend that certain weekend. I told the kids that as much as I don't want to make them miss it, but it isn't exactly fair for me not be able to switch weekends or keep you guys for an extra day, or a few extra hours. I would give them examples of the times I asked T to switch. They wouldn't say a word about it. I would usually end with saying I will think about it. Then give in. I didn't want to be the uncooperative parent. I also didn't want to be the one that kept them from something they really wanted to do.

Not only did we hire an attorney in February of 2004, but we also put our house up for sale. It was finally getting to small with 4 growing boys. They needed their own space. We looked around for a long time. Then finally, I saw a house for sale by owner less then a mile from where we already lived.
We called the number and made an appoint with the owner to come look at it. When we did, we fell in love with it. It was perfect. There was a huge room off the basement, made into a bedroom that would be perfect for four boys to hang out in. It was a total of 3500 sq ft home which included a full finished basement. It was perfect. The boys were so excited to. It was something new for them too, and it was a huge deal. In May of 2004, we moved into a new house. It was huge compared to the small house that we started out in. But, this would make a huge difference for all of us. When my parents came for Christmas that year, they bought the boys new beds that fit perfectly in their new room.
One day when I was driving to work, I saw a moving sale sign and thought I would check it out. It was in a high dollar subdivision, and thought they might have furniture that I need for the basement. Sure enough, I found a perfect 3 piece sofa, chair and ottoman for $150 bucks. I bought it on the spot.
Everything was wonderful, the kids loved the new house. They had so much room to play. The backyard was huge, big enough for those fall flag football games, bonfires and parties. Which we had plenty of.
The boys helped us with projects around the house. Staining the deck, painting walls and building a new shed. This is where my boys were I noticed my babies growing up. They enjoyed coming to our house.

After we finally made it to our day in court, I was already on a payment plan with the attorney who said this will be simple and shouldn't take but 6 months to complete. Really? Because we are close to a new year here...
The judge basically looked at him and said, she is the mother, and I don't have any reason to believe or suspect that she is not fit to care for her kids. What she is asking for seems reasonable to me, therefore I will grant Mrs. Kadow, more visitation with her children, she will be able to pick them up from school on Friday's at the schools dismissal times. Drop off will remain the same.
T was so mad.
I had also received a bill in mail from T's secretary, the live in girlfriend, from a trip to the dentist.
I was not going to pay that either. And the judge said I didn't have to either. Reason why? During my summer visitation with the kids that summer, I took all of them to the dentist to have their teeth cleaned. According to the kids, up until that time, they hadn't been tot the dentist. As soon as T found that out, he took them to the dentist, then sent me the portion of the bill that wasn't paid for by his insurance. What a jerk! He only took them after I did. But at least the kids got another cleaning out of the visit.
This would be a pattern for him. They would try and top everything that we did and then some. T would give the kids something to look forward too while they were at my house, so all they would think about was getting back with their dad. He made so many promises to them and never kept one of them. He's promised them they are going to move into a new house, they never have moved.

One time Brandon was out until midnight with his grandma and Uncle after they went to the city to see a show. That made me so mad, because I asked to keep the kids until 8 one Sunday, just two extra hours, and I was told not because it's a school night. Really? When I found out that he stayed out with his grandma until midnight on a school night, I made sure T knew that I knew about it and wasn't happy about it either. It wasn't that Brandon went with his grandma to the city, I know he earned that trip for good grades. It was the fact that I wanted two extra hours for the kids to attend a birthday party and was told no. That's the crap I dealt with for 8 years.

When the judge finished making his final decisions, and had left the bench, T stormed out of the courtroom rambling something in Swedish. That day Brian went to the courthouse with me, and he said he saw T storm out too, and he looked like an idiot Brian said.
When we got the courthouse that day, T was their with his mom, and his new wife. He also had Cody and Brandon with him. Did I mention that along with T's attorney denying all my requests, he also decided that he was going to have the kids be questioned by the judge too about our visits while at my house. Oh, ya, he thought he really had something with this new trick up his sleeve. But when his attorney asked the judge about questioning the kids on video, the judge actually got really angry with T and said I would never do that to those kids, and I would suggest that you make your client aware of what could actually happen if the outcome would turn on him. That also made T very mad.
Although I was getting everything that I requested, one incident that happened before we actually went into the courtroom that day. While we were sitting in the lobby waiting for us to see the judge, the boys saw us sitting there and were not even aloud to come say hi. They stared at us, and we waved, but they didn't wave back. When T and his mother noticed that we made eye contact with the kids, they immediately changed positions so the kids couldn't see us. This hurt me and Brian so bad. I knew it wasn't the boys fault, but it was such an uncomfortable situation that T had once again placed the kids in. Why would he want the kids to be video taped while being asked questions by the judge? This was a really low blow, but all part of his plan.
I know that when kids are “programmed” to answer certain questions, the therapist that is questioning them can read through it. So T may have actually been facing a bullet right in the face if the judge would have agreed to the questioning. The boys didn't feel scared or uncomfortable at my house because of me or Brian. They are told how to feel and act while with us. They are told that if they have to much fun, it will hurt their dad's feelings. So he fills them with guilt, therefore prevents the kids from having to much fun while they are with me. That's when, whenever we took the kids out to do something remotely fun, like swimming off the rocks in the Kankakee River, or taking them to the most awesome skate park, T felt he needed to top it.
But regardless of how much fun the kids pretended not to have, I have all of the “fun” in my photo albums. The kids always had fun. They were aloud to have friends stay the night at my house, and have cool fun bonfires and run around the subdivision. They were never aloud to have friends stay the night at their dads house because they would say “the house is to messy for us to have friends over.” That makes me so sad to hear children say that their house is to messy to have friends over. I told the kids to tell their dad and the new wife to clean it. But apparently it wouldn't work. My house was a place where all the kids in the neighborhood would hang out. It was busy all the time when the kids were there for the weekends, or for summer and I loved it.

I was happy to have all the court drama behind us. It is so emotionally draining. I hated being there, but happy it was all over, and happy that most of what I requested was granted. I would soon find out, that T had his attorney file motions to change all the decisions that the judge made. Even though, the judge said that he wouldn't change it, but his attorney said, well I will file it anyway. But with those motions, nothing was changed, except the child support. They made it higher then it was to begin with, and that made me mad. But what could I do? The court date for the next motions, wasn't going to be until 2005.
What I didn't know when they changed all the child support again, they forgot to add the arrears from 2000 in with the new amount. Was this done intentionally? I'm going to say yes!

But it wouldn't be until 2007 before I would find this out.

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