After separation, I signed a very restrictive custody agreement, wanting to give my ex the sense of safety she desired. I signed a consent restraining order (no reason given beyond her request) and a custody order that requires supervision at visits with my son. The judge was baffled by the DVPO, since there was no DV, but her attorney was very insistent and I just wanted to see my son (I’d been a stay at home dad for three years until my ex suspected an affair, and then she kept my son from me for six months, so I just wanted to get back to some kind of “normal” as soon as possible. Bad idea, but here we are).
We’ve been doing this for a year, and my ex frequently violates the order. The order requires her to provide or agree to supervisors and to have a minimum of three on call at all times, but she has refused all except one whose terminal illness prevents her from acting as supervisor and another who is elderly and lives four hours away. I’ve showed up to every single weekend pickup, and she’s complied with about 80% of them. Lately’ her boyfriend acts as supervisor, but will only stay for an hour of the allotted five hours.
Recently she has begun to disregard both the restraining order and the custody order. She often approaches me to talk, hands me our son instead of going through the supervisor, and several times has left our son with me without the supervisor being present. She just drives off without saying anything to me and I’m stuck there wondering if a supervisor is supposed to show up later, but because of the DVPO I can’t just call her and ask…
On the one hand this is all great, because we’re both competent adults and it’s nice to see that she doesn’t think I’m a risk to our son (because I’m not and was never accused of being one). On the other hand, I’m scared that she might be setting me up by basically forcing me to violate the restraining order and the custody order.
Is her willingness to ignore the orders sufficient grounds for having them changed? Could we agree to drop the DVPO based on the fact that she frequently behaves contrary to it? Or am I breaking the law by allowing her to put me in these situations?