I have court today. My ex husband is taking me to court to reinstate his parental access that he terminated last year in court when the judge didn’t rule in his favor. I won’t bore you with all the details of my divorce for the last 15 years, but suffice to say my ex has not been a shining example of what a father should be. He has waltzed in and out of our daughter’s life since before she was born. In the last 6 years he has taken me to court every year, sometimes more than once. He has not prevailed at any hearing. 

In a tantrum last year he asked the judge to terminate his parental access. He said he was “done” when she ruled in my favor to change therapy from Reunification Therapy to Family therapy. Reunification Therapy isn’t a real thing. You can’t go to any accredited university to learn it. It is akin to conversion therapy – basically it’s about brow beating the kid into seeing a parent they have written off. When I saw the damage is was doing to our daughter, and that it was creating an even bigger distance between them, I petitioned the court to change venues. 

The judge agreed and granted the change of therapy. My ex became upset and terminated his parental access. 

This is what the judge wrote:

“Respondent’s actions during the hearing on August 17, 2017 show his lack of insight into his own actions, his inability to put the child’s interest first, and his anger when he does not get his way. Respondent’s request to modify his parenting time so that he has no parenting time with the child is in the child’s best interest at this time.”

Now he wants it back and is willing to do anything to get it. He is uninterested in attending any family therapy, he simply wants to force me to force our daughter to spend time with him. 

When you go to court for anything, you have to provide an affidavit, which basically backs up your assertion. You can also have others provide affidavits to back up your claim. My ex husband is claiming that I alienated our daughter from him, he doesn’t care that that every professional we have seen in the last 6 years has stated emphatically that I have not, that his behavior is the reason their relationship is strained. He continues to blame me. 

This time around he hired an attorney and he had his mother provide an affidavit as well as the Reunification therapist. Her affidavit was part of the previous hearing and didn’t add anything useful to his argument. He also included an email exchange from the group that diagnosed our daughter with autism spectrum disorder, who stated in no uncertain terms that Reunification Therapy was inappropriate for our daughter and was likely to cause more damage to their already damaged relationship. I used that evidence to support my affidavit.

The reason I am writing this is because his mother’s affidavit was full of lies and accusations. My ex husband’s mother stated, under oath, that I told her my father sexually abused me when I was a child. I never told her such a thing because my father never sexually abused me. She also made several other claims – including that I refused to breast feed, even though I did for nearly a year. 

I don’t know why she made these claims. They’re not relevant and they don’t even support their case. I suspect they did it to get under my skin, to possibly get a reaction out of me. It was strategic and worth the risk of perjury.

It’s easy enough for his mother to make these claims because my father has been dead for 13 years and he can’t defend himself. Not that he would need to, anyone who knows him knows he would never sexually abuse a child. My father was gay, something my ex and his Born Again Christian parents found repugnant. They are equating being gay with being a child molester. 

While the allegation was not relevant to the hearing, I still addressed it because my children, adored my father and have fond memories of him. My father spent more time with my kids – because I lived in the upper unit of my parent’s duplex after I got divorced – than any of their other grandparents. Living in a duplex with my parents meant I could help my father care for my mother, and they got to spend time with their grandkids. My son credits his success in large part to his grandfather. My daughter doesn’t remember him as well, she was only 3 when he died, but she knows what he stood for and has taken it upon herself to support those in the LGBTQ community – something for which he would be immensely proud.

I don’t know why my ex mother in law lied under oath, I don’t know why she tried to smear my father and me for that matter, I’m stunned someone like her – someone I thought had morals, could lie so easily. I expect it from her son, it is a way of life for him. 

I suspect she believes that it was worth perjury to get what she wanted – a relationship with her granddaughter and for her son to have a relationship with his daughter. Of course, she could have told the truth and had a much better chance of that happening. That she believed so strongly that what she wanted was the right thing, that it was worth lying to get it. Even if it torpedoes any chance of her getting what she and my ex husband wanted.

People suck and people lie. I’d like to think we can do better, but I don’t think we live in that world anymore. We live in a world where the ends justify the means. It’s unfortunate.