Thursday, October 28, 2010
So Paul, my dad, my attourney and I arrived at the courts this morning, J shortly after. Alone.We waited for about 2 1/2 hours before the magistrate saw us, lol J looked more uncomfortable as the time moved on.
My attourney presented my affidavit and she requested a 30 min recess so she could go through it. As soon as I saw she was an older WOMAN magistrate I immediately felt loads better!!!!
I know what Jase had presented to the courts, and honestly it was a two page affidavit of loosely put together BS and one really lame email which actually proved nothing- I had a real kick ass affidavite that counted every one of his accusations (THANKS C!!!) 8 character references, emails from Jase where he admitted to the abuse and where he wanted to resign to avoid paying me etc etc. I also had a letter from the girls school where they really went to a lot of trouble and did a full assessment - basically saying the girls are happy and well adjusted.
So we get called back in. The magistrate said straight off the bat " Mr and Ms Daniels, I must just tell you this is not a matter that I can adjudicate" Immediately I thought *F..K*. Then she said that as per the Childrens Act, if a parenting plan is made an order of the High Court as in the case of a divorce, then any application to change it must be brought to the High Court. "And I must tell you Mr Daniels, by reading what you have put forward here it is of my opinion that you have NO grounds to do so and you must know that an application like that WILL bankrupt you"
I swear I wanted to start laughing right then and there!! She said it is an extremely lengthy process and that the High Court will not even consider such an application if the parties concerned have not been either for Mediation or to the Family advocate, and that the Family Advocate process takes about 8-12 months. Jase then asked her if the other party (i.e Me) would be legally obligated to go this route should he request it, she asked me if it was in my divorce agreement - I said No. she then told him the same.
She then went on to tell him that the maintenance order is also a High Court order and by him not paying he is commiting a criminal offence and unless he wants to go to Jail he should pay up and that the maintenance is for the children and not for me. She then said that she could only intervene in this case IF there was shown to be physical abuse to the children. So he says "Well there is but I don't know how frequent it is" So then she said " Mr Daniels, I have read your affidavit, and you must know that in SA it is NOT illegal to give your child a hiding, and there is a vast difference between a hiding and abuse and you should know the difference"
Another "pmsl" moment.
Thats the short version, everything is still swimming around in my head, lol. But she basically berated him. She honestly made him out to be such an idiot for even considering it. She said that the magistrate courts are too easy - people just fill in forms and expect the case to be heard/adjudicated.
I wont forget when on Saturday he told me that he WILL get the girls that I have NO chance.
As much hell as this whole process was...I believe I am better off for it. I fought with everything I had (in the affidavit) and I came out on top - I get my girls He now knows that unless he has a couple of 100 thousand lying around he wont get them. Ever.
I really do believe though that the case I put forward in the form of my affidavit, character references and emails I had saved and the reports from the school made all the difference. Had I not had that I feel she may have referred it for further opinion. I was completely prepared and showed how serious I was and that under no circumstance is he to get the girls.
I ripped that smug smile right off his face today......when we left the magistrates office he said to me "I want to speak to you about mediation" I just said "Speak to my attourney" and walked off.
I took my power back !
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Everyone is telling me not to worry. But I can not help it. I am beyond scared right now.
I have gone over Jason's statement more times then I care count.
My logic tells me that his claims are totally warped - most of which are taken completely out of context. Most are just plain ridiculous.
I will share some of his statement with you.
*Excessive alcohol consumed during all periods of day and night
*I allow my 2 year old to consume alcohol
*I was physically abusive to him
*My house is filthy and unhygenic
*I was unable to collect or drop off the kids at the house (ummm..you didn't have a drivers license???)
*My children dont brush thier teeth (you know this how?)
*Saige has emphazima (umm...its excema you dick!)
*I do not contribute financially to any of the girls expenses (WTF!! You havent paid maintenenace for 3 months!)
*I am emotionally unstable.
I have prepared a rather lengthy counter affidavit and I really believe that I have countered every one of his accusations - and proved them to be factless and they were made out of nothing more then jealousy.
I have been googling as much as I can to prepare myself for this process, and what I have found has given me a bit of a boost.
Is it possible to alter a Permanent Parenting Plan?
It is difficult to alter a Parenting Plan after it is final. Usually, it may be changed if the parents agree to the change. If the parents do not agree, the court may make major adjustments, such as who the child lives with, only if a major change has occurred in the life of the child or the other parent since the original Parenting Plan was final. It is not sufficient that the parent wanting the change thinks that his or her life has improved so much that the children should now live with him or her.
Should the parents not agree on the change, one of these things must have occurred before the court will order a change in where the child lives:
• The child has gone to live with one parent for an extended period of time with permission of the other parent.
• The parent who does not want the change has been held in contempt of court, or that parent has been convicted of interfering with the other parent's time with the child.
• The child's present life with a parent has been shown to be physically or emotionally harmful.
I think I have a pretty strong case just based on the above?
And then I found:
When considering an application contemplated above the court must take into account the best interests of the child, the relationship between the applicant and the child, and any other relevant person and the child, the degree of commitment that the applicant has shown towards the child, the extent to which the applicant has contributed towards expenses in connection with the birth and maintenance of the child, and any other fact that should, in the opinion of the court, be taken into account. If in the course of the court proceedings it is brought to the attention of the court that an application for the adoption of the child has been made by another applicant, the court must request a family advocate, social worker or psychologist to furnish it with a report and recommendations as to what is in the best interests of the child, and may suspend the first-mentioned application on any conditions it may determine
I really dont want to give myself false hopes, but with J's abusive behaviour in the past, his non payment of maintenance, his complete lack of attention to the girls prior to the divorce......I can not see how he will even get close to being granted custody?
After the court case I will copy and paste both affidavits. I have also got numerous references from close friends and family stating how difficult he has been making my life and how abusive he has been to me, not only during our marriage but after - and that I am a good mom!
Please - if you have any good vibes to spare - send them my way on the 28th?