My situation is we have a finalized divorce and agreement for custody, visitation, child support etc in place and is being followed to the T with no late payments, missed visits etc for the last year. The issue I am having is co parenting. I am the ex husband.
Quick history: Prior to the last agreement which I had to get a lawyer and take it to almost the very end i.e.: court, I had a very one sided agreement which I did sign when we first separated. I was unable to afford a lawyer and not wise enough to get one so I signed it and for about a year everything was fine. That changed when I lost my job, got behind in child care payments and payments to her and she remarried as well as I. When I got behind and didn’t have a lawyer advising me she started to withhold my son and make it very difficult for me to see him. Not to mention the threatening to take me to court, jail etc…she has primary custody. During that time it was made to seem like I didn’t want to see my son and that was what was conveyed to him and the rest of my ex family. They also always say that his real family is here with them and not with mine. I only live an hour and half from Raleigh. I am very resentful for being withheld my son and not being smart enough to just bite the bullet and get a lawyer and fight it which I ended up doing this last time and that brings me to today.
The problem I am having is that I am going by the agreement and at this time not willing to be flexible in switching times and dates etc. I was burned before and now I plan my schedule around him as well as my new family and the new agreement.
The last two instances were Fathers Day holiday and this past xmas. They asked if I could bring him back a couple of hours early on fathers day so they could do dinner with his grandfather (we meet halfway) because it was fathers day and I had missed so much time with him I was unwilling to do so. She was very upset with that when we met and it caused a heated exchange in the parking lot. What followed that was quite a few angry emails and calls etc from her accusing me of being a horrible person etc. There were a few minor things following that but nothing too major. The next thing was xmas. We had discussed her getting him a little earlier the day following xmas back in Sept. I had him this Xmas because we alternate holidays which wasn’t in the old agreement. I said I would consider it and nothing else was ever said or confirmed. About a week or so before Xmas she called and proposed a new schedule which I said I couldn’t do because we had our family gathering centered around the new agreement. I said I would be happy to look at it for next year. Again that set her off and when I picked him up for the start of the holiday she sent a note with my 6 yr old son just belittling his time with “us” and how he hates to come and they have to force him and on and on. At the very end she brings up our conversation about getting him early on the 26th back in Sept which we never agreed to and acts like it was agreed upon and they would meet me four hours earlier than what the agreement said. Mind you this was not brought up during our conversation a week before Xmas when she proposed an alternate schedule and I said I couldn’t. She was mad and wanting to mess up our plans so made it seem to my son that if he didn’t get home early he would miss their Xmas and the flight out of town. Again this was sent in a note through our son and wasn’t ever confirmed. He always loves it here with us and has a wonderful time. He never complains when he is here and I really feel that he is being put in the middle. I called them and said that out plans were set and that we would be at the agreed upon time and place per agreement. When she got the message she again said it was me that was wrong and I was ruining his Xmas and everyone else’s and it just snow balled from there. I received several angry emails, texts and phone calls and I ended up telling them they could come to me and get him early because I didn’t want to chance that he may miss his other Xmas. We again had some yelling via phone and a vey heated exchange with old feelings coming up etc. The way I left it was from this point forward I wouldn’t deviate from the agreement. I don’t ask them to and that they don’t need to ask me to either.
Just a few days ago I get a very irrational email accusing me of being out of control and that I have anger management issues and that I scare her and my son and just basically lies. Saying that I can only call him on two days which my agreement doesn’t say and saying that they will have our home environment looked into etc. Outside of her and I arguing I have never touched my son or her when we were married or after of course. I have yelled on the phone and now that she doesn’t control me it really sets her off. She threatens for mediation, communication through third party and having someone to come to our home because I scare my son. And for the record I always ask him how he feels and try to confirm the feelings they accuse him of to make sure he doesn’t really feel that way. I think he tells each of us what we want to here or she is making it up.
Finally, I don’t want to risk her making false accusations about me or our home and even though she threatens me with third party communication, someone to evaluate out home etc I don’t think that is a bad idea but I don’t want her to do it because we disagree again and she does it out of anger and says things that aren’t true to someone else. I want to protect myself so I can’t ever be accused of violence or being out of control. I would like to set up a safe haven for drop off and pick up when we have to be around each other. I want to stop the accusatory emails about my family and me.
How can I set this up? Can I file a paper with the court to set this up? Can I serve her with a no civil contact order? I will get a lawyer to do this if I have to but after spending so much last time I would like to do it myself if I can. What do you suggest?
Sorry for the length of the post.