Ch 12. Not Exactly Kramer vs. Kramer

Custody battles I’ve heard can be civil, I’ve heard.  Even Kramer vs. Kramer was more civil than mine.

One day I come home, and my babysitter tells me she has to quit, family matters have come up that are preventing her from sitting for me. Now I have to find another sitter that can come to watch the children early in the morning and get them on the bus for school and be there when they come home. I have to be at work too early and don’t get home in time for the bus in the afternoon.  So my search begins. I interview a dozen different women, finally, the “perfect” girl comes and sits down in my living room.  I interview her and she answers all the questions “perfectly”.  I am delighted.  She seemed just the right person for the job and I hire her.

However, within a couple of weeks she tells me that she lost my check and if I could pay her in cash, she needs to pay her rent, she’ll bring back the other check when she finds it.  I don’t want her missing her rent, so I give her cash, but I make her sign a piece of paper for it.  I did that at least.  Then I notice that all my food in the cabinets is missing on a daily basis.  This is odd.

I confront her at the end of the week and ask her what’s going on and if she could please pick up the house because it’s messier when I get home than when I left it. She just frowns at me.  My cabinets are becoming bare, my house is a mess.

Then my daughter at two years old is outside playing one weekend and casually calls my neighbor a “bitch”.  I am in shock!  I don’t use profanity, ever!  I run to my little girl and tell her this is not a word we use, and tell her to go over to the neighbor and apologize.  As I’m talking to my neighbor I learn some other distressing news.  My neighbor has seen pictures of me naked.

What!  I haven’t taken pictures of me naked! The only pictures I ever had of me naked were the ones my ex took of me when we were married.  How did she see them?  Evidently, my babysitter had them, she had them from my husband.My ex hired her to be my babysitter, he knew what I would ask her, her told her how to answer my questions, he knew I would hire her.  She also invited my neighbor into my house to show her how bad of a mother I was to have no food in the house and how bad of housekeeper I was. I began to tremble. I wondered about the check, I called the bank and found out she had cashed the check.

I called Teddy Bear and we discussed what I should do. I called the police and asked if there was anything I could do, even if I was the one that was stupid enough to give her the money twice.  They said it had been fraud on her part and I could have her arrested. I decided that was exactly what I was going to do. I was adamant about it. I filed the report.  They went to arrest her on her wedding day but was too late, so we got her the day she got back from her honeymoon.  Her husband offered to make good the amount of money she frauded me out of, but I knew I had to have a conviction if for no other reason it was the principle of the matter.  I had to have it legal, I had to do this! We went to court, the judge asked me why I didn’t settle out of court and I gave her this same reason. The babysitter was found guilty of fraud and I got my paltry $125 back.  You may ask why this is important.  Custody trials have witnesses. Some are called as volunteers and some are subpoenaed, in other words, you have to pay to have them come and testify on your behalf.

My ex subpoenaed 10 witnesses against me, I had 10 volunteer witnesses on my behalf. He paid $100 per witness to tell terrible and horrible things against me. I had 10 wonderful friends support me. The only thing was because this girl that came up to the witness stand who said all these terrible and horrible things had committed fraud against me and had been legally guilty by a judge; the judge upon hearing this impeached her as a witness.  In other words, she was NO witness against me, her word was false and misleading.  No one was to believe anything she said.

The other thing about subpoenaed witnesses, sometimes they don’t really benefit your case. Although you might want them to say mean and terrible things, like how emotionally unstable the wife is or how terrible she may dress in those jeans and flannel shirts.  Those witnesses always seem to be more logical than the ex wants them to be.

“Yes, she may be emotional, but emotions are good when raising children, you have to be sensitive to their needs and feelings”, the psychologist says.  “She’s a good mother that knows their needs and know what’s best for the welfare of her children”

He even subpoenaed the man from work that I had dated and asked about my work habits about my clothing.  “Yes, she has to dress that way to keep warm, it’s typical work attire for the work she does.  She’s a diligent chemist and good, and as the secretary of the union, we depend on her to keep the welders safe when working in confined spaces.  We would go on strike if she weren’t there.” Little did the ex, realize this same man had volunteered to witness on my behalf as well.

The trial lasted all afternoon, it was tiring and emotional. By the end of the day, I was exhausted.  My lawyer had done an excellent job and was very positive about the results. He had asked for his fees and court costs as well so I would not have any out of pocket expenses.  Now I had to wait for the judge’s decision.  I said I was willing for joint custody.  The judge was known to give joint custody.  I wanted to be fair.

 

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