The time finally arrived where my husband did get served over everything I’ve talked about so far. And it was all drafted up on his birthday November 7, 2022. Just like in May, she was filing for ex-parte again and requested:
Temporary legal and physical custody
Respondent may not remove the child or children from the State of CT
Respondent may not interfere with the with Applicant’s custody of the child or children.
Here reasoning for the ex-parte were simple:
On Sunday, October 23, 2022, our son texted me to let me know he was hungry and was not called for dinner yet. I encouraged him to ask for food, and he refused but asked that I didn't tell anyone. The following day I asked if he had eaten breakfast since I knew he had not had dinner the night before. He then told me he never has breakfast at his father's home because he doesn't want to sit with them.
On Tuesday, 10/26/22, I asked our son again if he had dinner. He told me he hadn't had dinner because he was depressed. Concerned that our son was not eating at his father's home, I reached out to Michael to ask if he had been abstaining from meals while he was at his house. Michael confirmed he was not called to dinner or notified dinner was ready because he did not need a reminder to eat and had not wanted to take out the garbage. This is not the first time he has been excluded from meals as punishment. We have a court order to protect our son from this inappropriate behavior from either parent. Per the terms of the court order Paragraph 2, Any discipline by either parent shall be appropriate to the behavior and shall not include physical restraint or removal of basic needs.
On November 2, 2022, our son had a therapy session with his therapist, after which she stated that he was miserable at Dad's house. She raised the possibility of putting him on medication to help him feel better but agreed with me that it is not in his nature to be depressed; it is situational.
On November 3, 2022, our son told me that he hadn't had meals at his Dad's home for about three weeks. He has expressed he is bullied and is being threatened at his father's home, and as a result, is refusing to eat there.
Communication with my son's father resulted in his father justifying the situation by indicating Ben was too immersed in video games to notice a need to eat, and he fails to do chores assigned to him.
I'm concerned for my son's physical and emotional well-being.
She did this even after myself and my husband reached out to her with some of the evidence. And since she tried to use some of it against us, we had plenty of other evidence she did not know about that we were handing over to my husband’s lawyer immediately. We couldn’t believe the allegations she was making. Like I said, we knew this day was going to come the moment we saw the blue notebook, we just didn’t know it would take this long.
Now, I can go through each bullet point and explain what really is going on here but from my other blogs, I’m just going to explain a little bit of it through the court hearing.
To start, her emergency ex-parte motion for custody DENIED…yet again! When Family Services called the case, they met with the counsel. The opposing counsel advised all the things that my stepson was telling his mom, and even the text messages between my husband and his ex-wife. Family Services asked if my stepson’s mom was asking that she have custody of Ben while we resolve the issues, and they absolutely said yes. My husband’s lawyer advised that all this information that my husband’s ex received is from a 12-year-old boy who may be, as kids always do, play one parent again the other. The one thing I liked that she said was that there was the issue of one parent being more of a “Disneyland” parent, and the other the disciplinarian. Of course, I’m sure you might have been like this, or even your children are today, but teenagers are going to rebel against being disciplined, so they would pick the “Disneyland” parent. Who wouldn’t, but would that help you in the long haul? No.
With the evidence we provided to my husband’s lawyer, she let Family Services know that we not withholding food, and that Ben is choosing not to join the family for dinner. But also, mentioned that there are no restrictions on his access to food. It seems when it come to this Freedom, Expectations, Consequence List, they never read it in full because though there were hours listed for eating time, right next to it, it read “Need to make own meals if not during time kitchen is open (microwave and oven are available). It seems everyone wanted to ignore that part of the list. Yes, the kitchen might be “Closed” by 8PM but it’s closed in the sense that my husband and I would like to finally relax and not have to live in the kitchen all night because a child hasn’t learned how to make basic food. My stepson had 3 hours that he could have had dinner with us and if he chooses not to because he wasn’t hungry, and being 12, he could make the food himself.
Unfortunately, the opposing party said that we were withholding food, and that my stepson wasn’t eating. Even if he didn’t eat with us, he had three drawers in his white desk that were filled with snacks. So even if he denied the food, we would hear him eating in his room even if they were snacks. I can say the February hearing, my husband’s ex’s lawyer was shocked that we knew about the snack drawers.
My husband’s lawyer told them that we are not withholding food, and that if anyone expects a parent to drag a 13-year-old to the table, we would all like to hear how that is supposed to be done. Especially when if my husband did try to do that, my stepson would immediately be on the phone with his mom saying his dad is abusing him. It didn’t matter what we did…to them, it was wrong.
There were two matters that were really being discussed in court. One, that we were withholding food which if this were true, over the course of at least five weeks, then certainly a pediatrician, counselor, or other professional would have weighed in that he is malnourished or voice some other indication of lack of food. Second, if my stepson does not want to eat, there really isn’t anything you can do other than make food available to him. The one thing that was good was that Family Services agreed and even stated that you cannot force a child to eat, and a lot of teenagers skip breakfast anyway.
The only evidence that my husband’s ex-wife had was in a form of text message, and this is not only not reliable, but also inadmissible. She could testify all she wanted that things are not good at your house, but she has no independent, admissible evidence of this fact. She doesn’t live with us to really know. There is also no pediatrician or provider to support her position. The opposing party also had to claim that Ben’s therapist reached out to my husband and that he never responded. He actually DID and his lawyer her everyone there know that not only did they coordinated a meeting together, but they also had a very positive and positive discussion the day before the hearing.
We would also be willing to testify and if we actually had to, we would have the RAW evidence of what was really going on since we were the ones that lived in this household, and not her. But also had the evidence of photos, videos, recording, you name it. We offer him food; he refuses it all because he doesn’t want to do basic chores around the house like help take out the trash and do his own laundry. So, now, my stepson thinks by going on a hunger strike because he’s not winning this power struggle of getting his way of not needing to do things, that he will end up at his mom’s house who’s the “Disneyland” parent.
My husband did have to sign off that we would give my stepson access to the kitchen 24/7 (even though we already were), and that we would set our temperature to a minimum of 68 degrees upstairs. Unfortunately, this wouldn’t matter because my stepson would have a portable one in his room to help undermine all the co-parenting they were supposed to do. My husband’s ex-wife has done a great job manipulating her own child.
And speaking of co-parenting, yes, they were told to coparent. The judge ordered two different things:
1. Absent an emergency, for any issues regarding Ben that you cannot resolve, you will both submit to four co-parenting sessions before filing any motions with the court. The cost of this counseling will be equally split between the two of you. If you cannot agree on a co-parenting counselor, the attorneys will assist. You should do some research on co-parenting counselors, and I will also and let you know of my findings.
2. If the co-parenting counselor becomes necessary, then you both will sign any releases necessary so that the co-parenting counselor can talk with Ben’s therapist.
The judge made it clear that these provisions are being put in place because the court should be your LAST resort – first try to work out disagreements together, then try to work them out with a co-parenting counselor, and then as a last resort, turn to the court. His ex-wife has never wanted to co-parent though, so we knew we were in for another rollercoaster ride. What made me sad to see was text messages between my stepson and his mom. My stepson asked her how things went, but when she told him her and his dad had to co-parent, my stepson’s response was, “Noooooooo”.
Unfortunately, we knew that since she didn’t win full custody because unlike her, we had all the evidence to show they were lying and they just had their words, that things were going to keep escalating. And escalating until she got her son all to herself even if it meant falsifying child abuse and pretending to be suicidal.