custody

Jennifer - posted on 07/17/2014 ( 7 moms have responded )

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July 12, 2014

]To whom it may concern:
Re HEART BROKEN MOTHER!!!
I don’t know who else to turn to and I am begging for your HELP getting my children back from their father due to a BAD custody decision on the part of Judge Tracy Sheehan, Plant City, Florida family law court.
I recently went through a divorce that I filed for back in September 2013. I and my ex-husband have 2 children together. I personally have 5 children in total. I have been a mother since I was 15 years old and have been a single mom to three of my children full time.

History: When both of our children were born I was not married to their father. My oldest son was born on May 19, 2006 and my youngest was born on June 6, 2008. Their father and I were married on December 1, 2008. When I gave birth to our oldest son his father was married and living with his previous wife. I raised him alone for as a single parent until he finally left his wife October 2006. We later had our son youngest in 2008 and married in December 2008. He was never a very good father and didn’t spend time with his children. Instead would play video games 24/7 and take no responsibility for them. Example, he did not work to support them and for many years we had to live with my mother. I was a stay at home mother for both of the children and was the one that took care of them 95% of the time. Both of our children have had medical issues. My youngest son was diagnosed with speech issues and sensory problems. He attended occupational therapy and speech therapy at All Children’s Hospital. My oldest son has many medical issues as well. He has been diagnosed with ADHD, speech issues, he sees a gastro doctor for SEVERE constipation, developmental delays. He also has been seen for severe joint pain by a juvenile RA specialist at All Children’s Hospital and his PCP doctor said that he has emotional issues as well. My oldest son has suffered with MRSA several time and has 22 different allergies and is currently being seen by an allergist. He receives 4 allergy shots per week for the next 5 years. I was the one that made sure that our children received the medical attention need to correct these problem. Their father did not ever take the children to any doctor’s visits. By the way my ex-husbands name is RK. RK was married a total of 3 times and has a son with his first wife as well. This son is now 16 and lives in Japan with his mother. RK abandoned his now 16 year old son and has never had contact nor supported him financially or emotionally. For most of RK’s employment history he was a truck driver. For the year of 2012 he was employed with a trucking company out of Jacksonville, Florida. In January 2013 RK came to me and advised me that he was going to start driving for an owner operator leased to the same company that RK was a company truck driver for. He advised me that he was going to be making $600.00 per week cash. I believed him because he was my husband. RK would be gone the entire week, left on Sunday and returned on Friday evening. He was only a local truck driver but slept in his semi the entire week so that he did not have to return home every night and deal with me or our children.RK was a local driver andcould have come home to be with his family. Many months pasted and I began to question his honesty and employment status, so I questioned him as to why he would leave a job where he was making 1500.00 per week to take a job where he only made $600.00 per week cash. He stated that over a period of years that he would eventually own the Semi that he was driving and could make more money. So him being away from the home and his children started taking a toll on our family. RK was not a good father, Spent no time with our kids, screamed at them when he was around them and tried to stay away as much as possible. It even came to the point that my oldest son would cry because daddy WAS COMING HOME! He did not want him to return home. I finally had enough of all the deception and filed for divorce September 4, 2013. When I told RK that I wanted a divorce, he agreed and we discussed how this would all work regarding the children. We mutually agreed that I would be the one to file the dissolution of marriage papers and that we would continue to live in the same home with the children until January 2014. This would give me a chance to get a job, since I was a stay at home mom and did not work and to get through the Christmas season with the children. A short time later I began to date my current boyfriend and he as well began to date his current girlfriend. Things were going great and so many people couldn’t believe out well we were working together to make this as easy on the children as possible. I had taken a cruise with now current boyfriend and RKt and his new girlfriend agreed to keep the children while we were gone. Our two children as well as my daughter from a previous relationship. I was gone a total of 5 days. The day that the cruise ship docked back in Tampa, FL my daughter called me and stated that RK has taken items from the home, to include. A 16x20 shed, my wedding and engagement ring, the TV. Off the wall even removed cable boxes and had home phone service turned off, the most important documents, his motorcycle, his truck and other items, and hired an attorney and left the two children at that time aged 5 and 7 with my then 16 year old daughter and my boyfriend’s then 13 year old daughter and left the home for good. I was confused and did not know why this had happened. We had everything worked out or so I thought. He left me and the children in the home with no money, no food, no job and the rent due in 5 days. He had not been paying household bills, such as cable/telephone, electric or water bill in several months. So the electric was being shut off in two days and water the next day. I had NO PLACE to go with my three children. He had totally abandoned me and his children!!! My current boyfriend took me and my children into his home, with no notice and really not enough room to accommodate us but was not going to leave us on the street. We had to be out of the home that I shared with my now ex-husband within the week. We moved in with my current boyfriend and he took on the responsibility of supporting us. He even added on to his home to make more room for all of us, as he also has full custody of one daughter and 50/50 shared custody of another daughter. So now we have 7 in our household VS three that he has before me and my children. I continued to search for employment but due to the fact that I have been a stay at home mom for so many years it has been difficult. I have no current work history. So me and my boyfriend decided that I would continue to be stay at home mom and care for my three children as well as his two children (my other two are adults and no longer live with me, there are currently 22 and 25 years old) I have been living with my boyfriend from October 2013 to current. The entire marriage to my now ex-husband he was NEVER interested in his children but since I filed for divorce he seems to have had a change of heart (or the truth that he didn’t want to pay child support) So the entire time that we have been living in separate homes he has had visitation with the children. I have gone out of my way to make sure that our children have had a relationship with their father. He has had them every other weekend with them during the school year and every day that they have been out of school. He had them for Spring break and one week of Christmas break. He has seen the kids every holiday and any other time that he has requested. He was paying me elected child support in the amount either $50.00 or $100.00 per week. We both agreed that the children would live with me and that he would have a fair amount of visitation. So we attended many case management hearing related to our pending divorce and both of us has an attorney (I had no money to hire an attorney, so my boyfriend once again stepped up to help me and paid $3500.00 to hire me an attorney) During almost a year that we were waiting for the divorce to be handled through the Florida court system we tried to work out our own terms. These negotiations went back and forth and no matter if I agreed to the visitation that he wanted he would then not agree with me and want even more. He had been discussing with his attorney how much child support he would be required to pay and was told that the more overnight’s that he has the children that he would be required to pay less. So no matter what I agreed to it was NEVER enough. His lawyer was calling my lawyer and trying to bully me into giving him anything and everything that he, RK wanted. Trying to encourage my attorney to persuade me to just agree. I had already agreed to every other weekend during the school year, all school holidays, such as teacher work days etc. half of the summer, all of Spring break, half of Christmas break, all of Memorial Day, Labor Day, 4th of July and Christmas Day, Thanksgiving and Easter to be shared (half day with me and half day with him). RK wanted overnights 3 Wednesday during the school year and I would not agree to this due to the fact of all of my oldest son’s medical issues,like ADHD. I felt like this would be too disruptive to the children while attending school. As well as having a doctor’s note to back up the fact that it was not advisable to have this kind of visits during the school year. I have had our children enrolled in Mango Elementary school since August 2013 and they were in the 2nd and kindergarten. They have both received Honor roll, citizenship awards the entire school year. I was able to maintain them having perfect grades even through the divorce and residential changes. My youngest son even received Perfect attendance the entire year. When my oldest son was in kindergarten he attended Hugo Elementary school and had many problems. Both in grades and behavior. He almost didn’t pass kindergarten and was being physical with other children. This is the time that I had him evaluated by his pediatrician and evaluated for ADHD. He was put on medication for ADHD the summer after finishing kindergarten. The following year I went through the school board and applied for special assignment to a different school in hopes of improving his educational experience. I did receive permission to enroll him into Mango Elementary School at that time. He attended Mango beginning in 1st grade and did much better. 2nd grade he continued to attended Mango Elementary and continued to excel both in grades and behavior. Even dealing with having ADHD. 2nd grade is the same year we moved away from his father and were going through a divorce. I continued to take my oldest son for his ADHD evaluation’s every 3 months with his pediatrician. As report cards can prove, my oldest son seemed be doing 100% better being away from his father and that atmosphere. I also continued to take both of my children to ALL doctors’ visits and his father only attended 2 or 3 at the most. He only attend any doctor’s visits since we had separated, none while we were married and living together. Eventually my oldest son started to develop side effects due to the ADHD medications and experienced weight loss, so the doctor removed him from the medications. At this time he was taking 4 medication daily. ADHD and several allergy medications as well. Even during the time of not being on medication for his ADHD I still managed to maintain him getting good grades in school. As time passed I still tried to come to an agreement with RK regarding the children’s visitation. He would agree with me to an arrangement on the phone, tell me to have my attorney to type it up and he would sign it. As soon as my attorney called his attorney, he would inform us that he does NOT agree. This went on 4 or 5 times and even the day before our divorce trial RK attorney called my attorney just before 5 pm and said, ok he wants to agree on the what RK and I had discussed the previous Monday. No such luck, I called RK to clarify that he wanted to agree once again. He told me NO I am not agreeing. I felt like no matter what I agreed to it was NEVER enough for him. I felt like what I was offering was fair to both of us. I have never wanted to keep my kids away from their father! RK had been telling me that he wanted to work this out, after RK told me that he wanted to agree on an arrangement then calling me back to tell me that he spoke to his attorney and the attorney told him not to agree. My attorney would call the other attorney and he would call his own client a liar and say that he never spoke to RK about that and never said that. I am at this point totally lost and confused, as well as my attorney. So the final divorce trial date comes, Thursday July 10, 2014 (THE DAY MY LIFE TOTALLY FELL APART!!!!) The judge presiding over our case was in, Plant City, Florida family court. I had brought 4 witnesses (would have been more but we were under the impression that this was all going to be worked out and we would never make it to trial) No depositions were taken because two days before the depositions were to take place, that’s when RK decided that he wanted to come to our own terms. So the depositions were cancelled. It was a ploy to avoid them all together. He didn’t want to be caught in all his lies. Did I mention that the so called job that he has driving a truck for the owner operator, making $600.00 cash a week was just another lie? He owned the truck and on his 2013 tax return stated that he made 82,224.00 that year. He lied to me about owning a company. Maybe I was too naïve but I thought I could trust my husband? None of the evidence that I had provided to my attorney was even submitted to the courts! Reports card, doctors note nothing!!!! All I had to count on was witnesses in court. Court began and I was the first witness, then our old neighbor, my sister, my oldest (25 years old) son, and then my 22 year old son. The only evidence that my attorney showed in court was: My financial affidavit, RK’s financial affidavit, RK’s tax return and a stack of household bills that RK provided. I felt like my testimony was going well. My sister and our old neighbor went well also. Then my oldest son, 25 years old son took the stand. My son has several tattoos and has had some drug addictions as an ADULT. I marchman acted him when he was 20 (not living with me) due to drug use. He was placed in a drug rehab facility for a year to battle these demons that he had. I cared enough about my child to get him the help that he needed. Having to go to the mental health division of the court house and having to have him picked up by the police, taken to a detox center and taking him to court to force him to be admitted into rehab was the hardest thing I have ever had to do! The emotional toll that this took on me, when my own child had no place to live except his car sue to the addiction. All of that is VERY hard for a mother to deal with. I could not allow him into my home to protect my other children from his choice of lifestyle. But I took up the “Tough love” approach and he got the help that he needed to repair his life. During the time when he was going through this time, he made the choice to get a tattoo on the side of his forehead of “FL”. He claimed at the time that it was a reminder of where he was from. Clearly not in his right mind when he made that decision. I did not agree with it but he was an adult and a parent cannot control their children after they are adults and move away from my home. So as soon as my 25 year old son took the stand, before he even opened his mouth, the judge said to him “FL what is that?” He replied, Florida. I took her comment as if she had already labeled him just according to his appearance. RK’s attorney began to ask him questions and because my ex-husband was aware of my son’s past drug problem that is the first thing they laid into him about. My 25 year old son had a look on his face like he was embarrassed and humiliated for his past. My 25 year old son really didn’t feel like HE was on trial here and didn’t want to answer any questions regarding this matter. If I’m not mistaken, I think that my 25 year old sonl is protected by the marchman act regarding this private matter. A marchamn act is not public record and is part of the mental health division, don’t think that he is required to divulge this information. It is not on his record as a crime or anything. A person is supposed to be protected when they receive this type of help. Anyway, the judge proceeded to “ride” him about his drug addiction and he did finally admit to of having this problem and being placed in to a rehab at one time. My 25 year old son even told the judge that he was 20 years old when this happened. he did not even live with me or my children! So after this testimony needless to say the judge was “Pissed off” and I believe had it out for me at that point. My 22 year old son was then placed on the stand and RK’s attorney proceeded to question him regarding his lifestyle (this child does not live me or my children either) He was asked if he used marijuana and as I raised my children to be honest. He admitted that he did, but not much anymore due to his current employment. Robert’s attorney then asked if he had ever smoked marijuana with me! My son looked SHOCKED and said “With my mom? NO NEVER! RK was claiming that I smoked marijuana with my son! I do NOT DO DRUGS OF ANY KIND!!!!! RK was LYING under oath! All of my witnesses stated that I was a great mother, that RK was never at our home with the children, that he did not ever take the kids to doctor’s visits, when he was home all he did was yell at the kids. They testified that RK would leave me and the children home all week with no food and no money to buy food or gas to get our son to the doctor or school. That I had to borrow money from these people in order to feed our children. It was all brought out in testimony. RK even admitted that when my oldest son was 14, RK grabbed my 25 year old son by the neck and lifted him off the ground because he called me a name. That was RK’s idea of discipline!! When that happened I informed RK not to ever put his hands on my children. I don’t even spank my children!!! Then they called RK’s witnesses. They tried to call three witnesses but one of them was not even on the witness list so RK’s mother was not allowed to testify. First witness was another old neighbor named Barbara. She is very close to RK, She even told me right after I filed for divorce that she wanted to date him and to have sex with him! She moved to the same city as RK. (Did I mention that RK also lives in another county, he moved to Polk County and lives in a home that his mother purchased with the intentions of transferring it into RK’s name after the divorce was final) He admitted that on the stand as well. Also listed on his financial affidavit that he paid the property tax on this property. Barbara stated that I was a great person and mother until I filed for divorce, then I totally changed. That she is a med tech and did not agree with the ADHD medications that my oldest son’s doctor had put him on. Next witness was RK’s current Girlfriend and she testified that RK was a great father. She was NEVER around us or our marriage and had no idea what kind of father he was prior to the divorce. RK dated his current girlfriend in high school and then began dating her again in September 2013. That was the only evidence or proof of anything. He didn’t produce ANY not the first piece of evidence during this divorce trial. Just his word and his witness’s testimony. He accused me of being the worse person to walk the face of this earth and could not produce ANY proof of any of it. My attorney even out me back on the stand and asked me about all of the things that he had accused me of and I clarified that they WERE NOT TRUE! So now it was in the hands of the judge………

THE MOMMENT MY HEART WAS RIPPED OUT OF MY CHEST AND MY WORLD CRUMMBLED!!!

The judge looked over her noted for about 5 minutes and then stared telling me that I was a horrible person! She told me that I didn’t even love my children, that I only thought about myself, that my oldest children were a good example of bad parenting, that I WAS A DRUG ADDICT (SO SO SO SO untrue! I would have submitted to a drug test on the spot), that because I did not work and I lived with my boyfriend of a year that I was not stable (I really had no choice of where to go, RK would have left us sleeping under a bridge if my boyfriend had not taken us in) She said that I was an alcoholic and so was my boyfriend because we drank socially and because when my boyfriend was 22 years old he was arrested for DUI and it was dropped, never convicted. She said that our household had domestic violence in it because my boyfriend was arrested in 2011 (Before I even knew him) for domestic violence and was NEVER convicted of anything! It was dropped! He was married at that time and him and his wife had an argument and the police said he was SUSPECTED of pushing her. No marks on her and it was dropped. When RK was arrested in North Carolina for 3 counts of battery, one being on a minor. RK admitted this in court and that was ok to the judge. That I refused to let my children see their father, she said the main reason she sided to give the children to their father was because I allowed them to go to an elementary school with a “D” Rating. Even knowing that they were honor roll students! RK told her that the school he would sent the children to an “A” rating. She didn’t check herself, once again took his word. I looked the school rating up and it also is a “D” rated school. The judge stated that RK was a very involved parent but yet on the stand he admitted that he did not attend but only 2 or 3 doctors’ visits (since we have been apart) and he didn’t even know the doctors names! She ordered for my children to be turned over to RK and that I am only to have visitation. Every other weekend and dinner on Wednesday’s!! I don’t even know how this could happen and I NEED HELP GETTING MY CHILDREN BACK!! The judge said that he was a great parent because he does school projects with the kids (Just since we have been apart) and she didn’t hear me mention that I did any of that. I was not asked that question, I was only able to tell what I was asked. When I would try to tell the court other thing regarding me and my children, the judge would tell me to stop, that I was not being spoken too!!! She hated me and didn’t hear anything that I or my witnesses said. I thought that in order to punish someone for something you had to prove it. Proven innocent until proven guilty. Something is really wrong with the way that this judge runs her court and the decisions that she make. She has children’s lives in her hands and in the end the children are the one that suffer due to her own personal feelings. My oldest son pissed her off and I paid the price. I lost my precious babies. I am very close to my children. Really I am all they have ever had. Their dad was never there until he thought he was going to have to pay child support! I am at a loss and don’t know what to do. My heart was ripped out and stomped on!! My 8 year old even asked me and my boyfriend last night if we could have a yard sale to sell all of his toys and we asked him why he wanted to sell all of his toys. He replied, so that we can raise money so that mommy can get us back! The children are aware of the situation because Robert told them. Do you know how that broke my heart? My baby wants to be with me and there’s nothing I can do about it. I don’t have any of money to hire another lawyer. My boyfriend has a good job and makes good money. He had been employed with the same company for 13 years, lived in the same home for 12. He is taking care of 7 people and can’t afford to hire me another attorney either. The judge ordered me to pay child support. She also said that RK was not to pay any retro child support to me because he paid 5 months of my car insurance. For a vehicle that he was also listed on the title and was also covered by insurance through the same policy. The judge said that I don’t get any additional marital property, even though RK stole my wedding ring and engagement ring and pawned it. The things that he took from the home were worth over double the household item that he left in the home. I have to pay half of the household bills, including a Verizon wireless bill that RK had in 2006. RK was married to someone else and I didn’t marry him until 2008. How does this happen in America? I really have no faith in our justice system anymore  I just don’t know. I am begging someone to please HELP ME!! I may not know anything about myself but I know I am a good mother. I had a child at the age of 15, I gave my life to take care of my children. I live for my children. I love them more than breathing!!! I am forwarding this letter to anyone that will listen to me. All the way to the president of the United States. Someone out there had to do something to help me get my kids back. I will never be the same without them! Today is my birthday but I really don’t have anything to celebrate without my babies. I am willing to do anything I can to reverse this bad decision. How does a mother lose her kids when they are truly a good person?

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this!
Jennifer

7 Comments

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♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 07/18/2014

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Jennifer, that's awesome that you've made that step, and it must have made you feel great to get through that interview (for me, the WORST step in the process LOL), and got the position! Congratulations!

PS: Thanks for removing all the personal info. Its for your own safety as well as others! ;-)

Good luck with the rest! Now that you've got a job, the rest will be easier to handle as you move forward!

Serene - posted on 07/17/2014

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Thats great Jennifer! Congrats on finding a job and working. Hope everything works out for you.
Glad to hear that you took out the personal information, keep up the progress and you will have youre babies back in no time. :-)

Jennifer - posted on 07/17/2014

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yea well first job I applied for I GOT! So I am employed since this letter

Jennifer - posted on 07/17/2014

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All is removed and I got a job yesterday. First job I interviewed for and am now employed

Serene - posted on 07/17/2014

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This is just an aweful written vent. This was WAY to long and I read most of it but, not all of it. What ever you are venting about you have gave why to much information about your personal life, kids, ex husband, boyfriend, lawyer, judge, and everything else. You just allowed millions of people to read this bull crap. Makes me wonder if you even deserve your children considering that you just gave all of their information. Who does that? Espicially imbarassing information about your son being a drug user, You could have just gave your address to a serial killer, child molester, pervert, but seems like you don't care because you are so angry and bitter this is crazy. You need to revise this take some infromation out. Never mind add a phone number to it, that would be great.

You need to find another lawyer that will take your case thats for low income families. I'm sure they have them in every state.

Since your children are in school and you don't need to find a baby sitter; its time to get off of your butt and get a job and quit depending on people to take care of you. Go get a job that will accomidate your hours. There are jobs out here that you can work at even without a high school diploma; Mcdonalds, Burger King, taco bell; etc...Who cares if it is flipping burgers. At least you have a job.

Maybe you wouldn't be in this situation if you wouldn't have messed around with a married man.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 07/17/2014

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First, this has WAY too much personal information, and I will encourage you to remove ALL names, addresses and contact numbers, because that is not OK.

Second, I didn't take the time to read the whole bloody novel. Punctuation, paragraph breaks, etc are great assistants in reading a post of this length. However, I can say a couple things from what I did gather:

You should have begun working. You stated that even though your husband 'refused' to work (yet later stated that he WAS working), you did not attempt to secure employment in order to better care for your children, you depended on your parents. Any one can get a job at BK or Mcd's flipping burgers. They don't look for past experience. Since you chose to continue to not seek employment, the allegation of financial instability seems to be a bit more than a simple allegation, especially considering you confirmed later in your post that you still were not employed.

You should not have been in contact with your husband during the mitigation period, other than visitation contacts when exchanging the children. All communication from the point of filing on should have been handled by attorneys.

Had your eldest not wished to confirm his drug addiction, he could have claimed the 5th amendment. Your attorney could have objected at any time, as well. The Marchman act does not seal an adult's record. It simply provides an adult relative with the means to submit someone to rehab when they refuse to go. Since your son was an adult at the time of his drug use and subsequent rehab, his record is completely public, therefore accessible to anyone who requests it.

This seems to have been a fiasco from the get go. At this point, you need to secure employment, and from the sounds of it a better attorney. You need to quit drinking, even socially. You need to make every effort to be an upstanding citizen and parent.

However, if this type of thing is how you handled the divorce, perhaps the judge was aware of you WELL before you set foot in her courtroom, and made her determinations based on everything that she'd seen, heard, etc. Because, to be honest, anyone who would come on to an open internet forum and post their view of their entire horrible marraige, including names, dates, and addresses is a bit off. You just released extremely personal information about your minor children, told everyone in the world where they reside, where you reside, and in what circumstances. This invites A LOT of trouble.

So, please. First, remove ALL personal information, including your husband's. Then, get a new attorney, have him present better evidence, don't ask your drug using sons to be witnesses for you...that doesn't ever turn out well..., and do everything in your power to disprove the allegations. As you stated them, they're not that out of bounds. If you are frequently seen drinking, you will be presumed an alcoholic, etc.

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