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Old 04-27-2007, 03:04 PM
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Default What Would You Do?

My turn for opinions.
Without covering the details of the past 12 years, which is how long we have been suffering the torment of the FL system.
Today a registered letter arrived from the Judge’s chambers from the judge who presided at the last settlement conference.

A little background of the last 2-3 years.
March 2005 my husband was getting prepared to exercise access, which was half of the scheduled break. He took the time off work so he wouldn’t be working while his daughter was here. Arranged for someone to drive with him, as the order stipulates a second driver must be present in the event he was to do a turn around trip, “for safety sake”. This alone, as many may understand is hard, as who the heck wants to sit in a car for 13 hrs??? NB: I can no longer make these kinds of trips as I am suffering from an aggressive form of degenerative disc disease. On the day prior, the ex sends an email saying that he should not come as she does not feel it is in the daughter’s best interests at this time to spend time with him, as she is demonstrating extreme anxiety. (this has happened on numerous occasions, she feels it's not a good time or in the child's best interests). So we ask her, what is going on, she refers us to some letter purportedly by a psychologist treating the daughter. We advise no such letter was received, we ask for details about the daughter as we are getting extremely worried and tried to convey our concern in the email, as the many attempts at telephoning to speak directly to the mother go unanswered etc. She again simply refers us to the letter claiming the psychologist told her it was sent to us. Yet offers no info on the daughter. We reply yet again, more urgent than before that we did NOT get any letter or any correspondence what so ever from anyone treating the daughter, please tell us what is going on. This goes on back and forth, we know the ex is home, she’s replying to the email as fast as we write them but no one answers the telephone, no one answers the phone at her parents or any other location we can think of. Dad goes anyway, at least to figure out what is going on. He arrives, no one is home at the ex’s, no answer at the in-laws, no answer at the lawyer’s office or home, ultimately dad comes home no contact, no daughter. We do the only thing we can do, take her to court for contempt of a court order. As many may know it takes us several months to get before a judge, during which ZERO contact, and Zero response from the ex to our inquiries. The judge finds the mother intentionally kept the daughter from the dad, and knew he did not receive any correspondence from anyone regarding the daughter and intentionally kept vital information about the daughter from the dad. She was told she could not go against any court order on her own or on the say so of any psychologist or medical professional alone, that if she honestly felt it was of an emergency basis why did she wait 9 months to claim it an emergency and request now for a variance. Of course nothing happened to the mother, but the judge ordered a psychological assessment to rule out PAS. Visitation was to take place that night between the dad and daughter; the next 3 visitations were to be in the child’s city unsupervised and to resume to the existing order there after. AND if and only if the mother could unequivocally prove that the father was a threat then she may bring the issue back to court for a variance, until then she is to abide by the order as it is very clear and concise. Access did not take place that night as the second estranged husband felt the daughter wasn’t ready and he wasn’t going to force her. No visitation, I know we could have taken her back to court, but that would have taken months, we thought better to let sleeping dogs lie and get on with the assessment as we know that will prove the truth. The assessment took over a year to complete due to the distances between us and the many schedules it had to accommodate. The mother did not provide the daughter for the assessment as ordered NB the assessment was designed to rule out PAS and see how the child interacts with dad and our family.
During all of this, monthly visitation did not resume. Dad made numerous requests for visitation. The daughter only wanted the dad present, so he agreed, and then the mother changed her mind the last minute after dad made arranged time off. This went on for a year, the ex’s lawyer sent several requests for relinquishment of visitation until the child and the child alone felt she was ready. Dad advised he would not force visitation but also he would not sign anything that would permanently change visitation.
Feb 2007 went to a SC expecting judge to see the psycologists report and see we were no threat nor have ever been a threat, that all the child’s anxiety was “learned from something she had seen or heard.” “in my professional opinion Mr. & Mrs. X have never harmed or been a cause for any of the child’s fears….” The judge literally refused to read or except any documents, looked at dad and said, how to you plan on attending counselling and reintroducing the daughter into your life via strict visitation?” She adjourned and told dad to let her know his plan and set a trial for Feb 2008, but advised she would be available should he not want to take that route and take supervised visitation after counselling.

This “basically” gets us to present, the letter from the judge who has offered a move forward of the trial set for Feb 2008, to Nov. 2007 with a reply expected by next week.

Up until today all the weekly email, monthly correspondence via regular mail and contact with the daughter’s teachers & school have gone unacknowledged or answered. No replies, no emails, no telephone calls, ZERO. Dad is rightfully numb to the whole FL BS. He has emotionally given up, reserved to let sleeping dogs lie, and if the daughter does not want him in her life, (she is 12 now and has been awarded her own council), then he say’s he is done.

I think he should continue to fight, at least in the event the daughter grows up and finally sees this for what it is, and asks him why he didn’t fight to see her. I honestly feel PAS is happening but not from us, perhaps even her grandparents as they have literally stood up during court, screaming that the dad was no good and should not see the child and should disappear from their daughters’ life. Should he call it quits and wait for the daughter to seek him out in adulthood?