DVPO, Divorced and Custody Question


#1

My ex-wife moved out in June of 2011, and as we both agreed she took our three boys (16,14,10) with her to an apartment three miles away. I’ve been unemployed for well over a year, and so am attempting to handle this without the assistance of a professional. Before our divorce was finalized my wife filed an Ex Parte AOC-CV-305 (Notice On Hearing Of Dometic Violence Protective Order). The three boys and I found the accusations rather entertaining, and as there were no “orders” that were contradictory to everyday life for any responsible adult, I saw no need to make it an issue. The order was dated 14Aug12 with a hearing date set for 21Aug12.
Contained was an AOC-VC-303 (Complaint & Motion For Dometic Violence Protective Order) with blocks 6 (I believe there is a danger of serious and immediate injury to me or my children) & 7 (Check this box if you ask for temporary child custody) of page 1 of 3 each checked, and the corresponding AOC-CV-609s were included. On the AOC-VC-303 page 3 of 3, boxes 8,10,11,12,13 & 16 were each checked, box 10 stating that she wants temporary custody of our minor chldren listed in the complaint. Also included was an AOC-CV-304, with page 1 of 5 stating that the order would be effective until 21Aug12. On page 2 of 5 of the AOC-CV-304, the names of our three boys and correctly entered in box 5, but it is unchecked. On page 3 of 5, checked are conclusions boxes 1, 3 (plaintiff only) and 7, as well as order boxes 1, 3, 7, and 8 (a,e: any place plaintiff may be or reside). Neither box 9 or 10 is checked. On page 4 of 5 of the AOC-CV-304, boxes 12, 13, and 15 are checked, with box 15 reading "Defendant may communicate with plaintiff only for reasons for establishing child exchange for visitation and well being of minor children. Defendant is not to contact any of plaintiff’s family members or employer."
I submitted my answer to the pleadings(?) and neither she nor I was in attendance at the hearing. The result of the hearing was the issuance of an AOC-CV-306. Page 1 of 4 states “THE COURT HEREBY ORDERS THAT: The above named respondent/defendant shall not commit any further acts of domestic violence or make any threats of domestic violence, and that The above named respondent/defendant shall have no contact with petitioner/plaintiff, etc”, with the terms of the order in effect until 21Aug13. Page 2 of 4 has boxes 1(plaintiff-pro se), 3 (8-13-12), and 3c (plaintiff) checked, with “repeatedly texting and emailing her, her family, her church, and employer. This pattern has continued since the parties seperated one year ago.” Not exactly accurate, but included for the sake of my query. Page 3 of 4 has conclusions boxes 1, 3, & 4, as well as order boxes 1, 3, 7, 8, 8a, 8e, 12 & 13 checked, 8e stating that “any place plaintiff may be or reside.” Page 4 of 4 has box 14 checked with “Defendant may communicate with plaintiff only for reasons for establishing child exchange for visitation and well being of minor children. Defendant is not to contact any of plaintiff’s family members or employer” repeated. No other blocks, including TEMPORARY CUSTODY are checked, and there is no AOC-CV-306A in either of the documents.
Mom has discovered other men and is out often. The boys are understandably not happy about it as I am, but I continue to remind them that while we don’t like it, it’s her life. Even in traveling back and forth to pick them up and drop them off, I’ve only physically seen her once since May, and that was at the absolute divorce, child custody and child support hearing. The divorce was finalized, but none other. We are scheduled for mediation in a few weeks and there is a civil summons for child support with an appointment scheduled for 30Jan13, an item that I’ve been responsible for since the boys arrived, and wiithout a judge’s urging. That hasn’t changed, and the words “child support” don’t keep me up at night. We’ve mutually worked around schedules since June of 2011 and the boys all spend more time here than there, including after school, weekends, and whenever mom has another “church” meeting (yeah, that one gets a good chuckle from them). She has been a little combative about the boys schedules since leaving last year, but now she’s cranked it up a bit by refusing to allow me to pick them up a couple of times, treating each of my requests for related information as a violation of the order, hanging pictures of her new beau in the apartment and telling the boys they will conform and accept her wishes to marry and reside with her afterwards. And still, she doesn’t understand why I refused her custody request. She has explained and treats the older two as disrespectful enough that she will only take the 10 year old with her to the new relationship, but still requested all three in her petition. The older two think that’s for money, and I tend to think they’re correct. She has also added her boyfriends name to the list of people authorized to pickup the youngest from school.
I’m doing the best I can to not let silly stuff turn into trips to court or jail, although she did have me arrested for “violating” the order about a month ago, after a request for discovery information so I could move this along for all interested parties (boys). Guess that one wasn’t a total shocker, but the extent of my "domestic violence " has been those same requests for information, and by email. We’ve never even spanked any of the boys, and haven’t needed to. Now though, her intensified actions have me about to throw out the “niceguy” presentation, but the boys are very attentive and need to see other behavior from at least one of us. Additionally, this past weekend our 16 year old was ticket for minor in possession of alcohol, while she didn’t get home until the next morning. That kind of stuff happens regardless of the family status, and we don’t need mom home for a 16 year old, but if anything there will help me explain that her attitude needs changing, I’m all ears.
So, long story short (uh huh), what “custody” does she or I have, and if it’s not what she thinks it is, how do I explain to her that I’m being nice, even though her threats are weightless? Thank you in advance.


#2

I appreciate your thorough explanation of the pleadings, but without a full consultation and review of the complete pleadings, I cannot answer your question. You would best be served by having a consultation with an attorney in your jurisdiction.


#3

I will check into it, but thank you. And “thorough” sounds better than “Do I have time to shave?”