What is the name of your state? Florida
I apologize in advance for the long post. If you survive to the end, you'll see the situation I'm in. If nothing else, it'll make a great Springer episode.
I really need some specific advice. My ex-wife of 11 years has just had me served with a Temporary Injunction for protection against domestic violence on behalf of our son and I'm unsure of what to do. First a lot of background:
My ex and I had an awful, yet thankfully short marriage that began in 12/1990 and ended in 3/1993. We had a very painful and drawn out divorce that took until 11/1994 to finalize. We have 1 child that was born in 1992, who will be 13 in Janurary. We have "shared parental responsibility" with my son having primary residence with her. I have never missed a visitation with my son and have not been in arrears with my child support in more than 8 years. I remarried in late 1995 and I have two children with my current wife.
Like our marriage, our post divorce relationship sucked, yet wasn't awful until this early this year. I made a point to avoid my ex as much as possible. I also made sure that I did all I could to avoid making waves with her as I knew her to be a vindictive person who is very good at playing the victim. She and I disagree greatly on how my son should be raised. I am a strict Dad who favors discipline, self reliance, hard work, and good morals. She favors the "let them do as they please" philosophy. She also sees nothing wrong with milking the system for all it's worth. (welfare,ect.) So, needless to say, we don't see eye to eye. For the most part though, I've enforced my rules at my house and she enforces hers at her place without pushing her to enforce my rules at her place. Needless to say, my son resents "being treated like a baby" when he's at my place.
My current wife and I began to have some marital problems beginning late last year after her Dad died. Beginning in March of this year, we separated for about 2 1/2 months. The night I left my home here, I called my ex to let her know that I may or may not be able to pick up my son the next day for my weekend as I was out of the house. In the course of the conversation, my ex offered me a place to stay and began to flirt and hit on me. I turned her offers down and politely got off the phone quickly with her. When I hung up with her, she immediately called my current wife (the two never got along before this) and began an attempt to befriend her. Over the course of the next few days and weeks, the two talked a lot about me, and my ex told my current wife many lies and BS about me, our sex life, and that I wanted to go back to her, ect, ect. She was doing her best to drive a wedge between us. It took a lot of me having to prove that my ex was lying in order to begin to work on things with my current wife. It infuriated my ex that my wife and I were going to stay together. So much so, that she came to my home and threatened my life and body. (I didn't call the law, but now know I shouold have.) She then began a scorched earth campaign of vengence against me. She started feeding tons of lies about me to my son. Saying I don't love him. Saying I cheated on her when we married. Telling him that they should change his name. Saying I'm throwing my family away by separating. Telling him I have a girlfriend, ect. ect. She also started threatening me with all types of legal actions such as having my parental rights terminated, taking away my custody, increasing my child support, calling me abusive, ect.
My ex lost her job late last year claiming disability due to depression. In February, she attempted suicide and was hospitalized for 2 weeks. She still has yet to find a job and has lost her home to foreclosure. All this, despite the fact she receives 3 child support checks from 3 Daddys and a ton of $$ from your tax dollars. She now lives in a homeless shelter. She actually chose this due to how it increases her eligibility for more tax $$$.
Still with me??? Good. On 7/23/04 she informs me that she has filed a motion to have my parental rights terminated. I accept her offer to settle our disputes in court. On the next visitation, I have a man to man talk with my son letting him know that his Mother and I may be going to court and that I love him very much. I tell him I want to be in his life. I ask him what he wants. He tells me that he doesn't want to visit me anymore. That broke my heart. I told him that I respected his feelings and that I wouldn't force him to visit the next time in 2 weeks due to the impeding action and that we'd see how that went before deciding anything else. 2 weeks go by with nothing received by me from my ex. I called my ex and explain to her and him that since I hadn't received any papers from her, I could assume that it was a bluff on her part and that I would be exercising my visitation rights on the next scheduled weekend. She informs me that she'll have papers for me the following Monday. What ever. Monday comes and goes. Tuesday, same thing. Wednesday at 5:45 pm, a Sheriff's deputy appears at my door. Now to the meat and potatoes:
I open the door and the Deputy asks my name. I tell her and joke that my ex-wife must have sent her. She says, "oh so you know about this" I tell her "yeah, my ex said I was going to be served with some change of custody papers." She says "I don't anything about that. I'm here to serve you with a Domestice Violence Injunction" GULP!!! Sure enough, she says that I'm abusive to my son and my ex has had a no contact/ restraining order taken out on behalf of my son. I go to court on Aug 23 for a hearing to see if it should be made permanent.
Continued in first reply as this post is too long to fit in a single post.