I don't think its really hit me yet that its over? I found emails from 2006 where he had been threatening this!
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 !