I dream of the day that I never have to set foot in a courtroom again.
Just last year alone we had to travel to Manhattan 4 times, once to do the legwork of tracking my husband’s ex down and serving her papers and then we had to travel 3 times for court. That’s close to 6,000 miles. I shutter when I think of how much money those 4 trips cost us! Gas, food, Airbnb’s and lawyer fees…omg our lawyer bill is disgustingly overwhelming!
Thinking about what we went through last year causes my mind to drift back even farther, back to when we first embarked on this insane journey. Back then, we were so naive…we had pretty straightforward we thought, very logical, expectations for our quest to petition the court system to modify Steve’s custody arrangements. Our supreme confidence was in part due to the fact that we were backed by a 6 inch stack of evidence against his ex showing all of her dirty deeds and proving Steve innocent of all of her disgusting accusations. Oh boy were we so off base! I think this is due to my ever optimistic view on life and faith that people will behave in an upright, honest way and that truth and logic should always prevail. Is it wrong of me to find myself feeling that I am losing faith in humanity?
We started down this rollercoaster ride in the spring of 2015. That’s almost 4 years ago!! You see, Steve had lost track of his ex in 2012 shortly after she was awarded that bogus default judgement because she went into hiding. Yep, she kicked her supposed “love of her life” to the curb right after she got what she wanted…that no contact order and lame judgement. She only wanted him for his money, so she could rake Steve over the coals in 2 courts….one in Vegas where she got permission to move away with their daughter, and then the second court in New York where she carried out the heinous part of her plan…slapping him with false allegations and forcing their daughter to say the most horrible things about her Father. Its kind of hilarious that Angelica and that poor sucker got married on Valentines Day! That’s just how despicable she is. On her way out the door she even tried to charge that dude with crazy false abuse charges. The guy is still so scared of her to this day that he is afraid to make a statement against her. He and his family loved Gia and his heart breaks for her….he has shared some pretty crazy stuff with us but that’s about as far as he will go because he knows how vengeful and psycho she can be and he’a got a new wife and baby to protect.
So yeah…we’ve been doing this for a while. As soon as we found out that Angelica was living in Las Vegas, we took her to court. We had to fly out to Vegas at least 3 times for hearings and court prep. But of course as soon as we had her served, she skipped town and fled back to NYC to hide behind that bogus judgement. She gave the court in Vegas a fake New York address so we wouldnt be able to find her there. Eventually the Vegas court tossed the case back to NY and we had to start the process all over again…but it took over a year to be able to find her and have her served.
After almost 4 years of this crazy, we are no farther along then the day we began. We are still fighting for the RIGHT to have a hearing. Yep, can you believe that?! Four years and probably at least $70,000 later….NOTHING. Not one bit closer. Gia has gotten 4 years older and her life has gotten worse. This August will be 3 years that she has had to live in a homeless shelter….and with each and every court appearance her Mother has worked on her harder and harder, so hard that Gia has been in the hospital 4 times trying to harm herself. She’s being tormented and not one entity has stepped in to protect this child. Not her Lawyer, not her teachers, not the staff at the hospital, not the Judge and definitely not CPS who we have had to call a few times. We provided so much information to the Judge and to CPS but no one seems to care. The judge knew that Gia had to be admitted to the hospital 4 times, and that she was suicidal…but she showed no urgency what so ever. We just dont get it. The only person that could be causing all of this is her Mother. Gia was 5 last time she saw her Dad…none of the allegations are even true and besides, she shouldnt even know anything about court and the hearings. A Mother who loves her children would shield them from fears….she would reassure them.
This whole process is a joke. The court system is a joke, the Judges are a joke, CPS is a joke….and lawyers are just the court jesters. Everyone’s got their hand out taking our money as fast as they can shove it in their pockets and we keep on feeding that machine until we are drained financially, physically and emotionally. It’s a very costly game that we are set up from the beginning not to win….at least not until we are totally broke and our children are so messed up mentally they may never recover!!
This leads me to what happened in court. If it wasnt so unbelievably wrong and unnecessary, it would be comical…..
The judge was supposed to make a decision this time….she was going to tell us if our request for an evidentiary hearing was granted or of she was going to deny it. Shes had since the end of November to look over everything we’ve submitted…and the crazy thing is, just 2 weeks ago Angelicas lawyer coughed up the 2 CPS reports that had some pretty heavy stuff contained in them. The judge has had plenty of time to look them over.
Angelicas lawyer made sure she got me kicked out of the courtroom last time so I really didnt think I would be allowed to go in, but we had our 2 youngest girls with us and we were going to have THEM go in my place. We felt it was important to give the judge a small picture of Steve’s family life…I say small because we actually have 11 children all together, my 9 and Steve’s 2. We still have 4 at home plus one exchange student lol! Anyway…our lawyer told me to just go in with the girls, so I did. I could feel the anger behind me as we walked in. Steve heard Angelicas lawyer gruffly say, who are THEY?! And it didnt take but a minute for her to stand up and demand that we leave…and the judge agreed and we were ushered out. Not more than 5 minutes after we left, Steve walked out…I was shocked. Apparently the judge asked both sides if they had anything to say, the replies were “no”….and then she said, “I will send you my decision by email by the end of the day.” We were all stunned. We came all the way here for THIS??! Our lawyer was furious…and apologized to us on behalf of the NY court system. He really didnt know what to think or what to say, and he’s been doing this for 40 years!
We were about to leave when our lawyer stood up and walked over to talk to Angelicas lawyer. She was trying to get him to get us to give up. He told her there was no way and reminded her of the very concerning things contained in those CPS reports. She acted like she had no idea what he was talking about and asked him to show her where in the reports did he see what he was referring to. He proceeded to show her in at least 4 different places….all she could say is that he was “cherry picking”, she got angry and said “well, I see we arent going to agree”! But before she walked away, she turned and said, “remember, I work pro bono..I can do this ALL DAY!” Nice huh? The crazy thing is, technically she doesnt work “pro bono”, shes not doing this for free…she gets paid by the government. Just another way Angelica is stealing from the government, getting free legal services for battered women! Omg…SHE is the one who is and always has done the battering!! It just kills me how much she lies, and people just believe her! Shes taking services away from women who are truly battered, who need a safe place to live and services to protect them!
So here we are, traveling the 700+ miles back home. Court was on Thursday, it’s now Saturday and no one has received anything from the judge. Theres been no word at all.
This path we are on definitely isnt for the faint of heart. I dont know how many times one or both of us has felt like giving up.
But still we trudge on…..for Gia.