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Life is Nuts Sometimes

I have three different books I’ve been promising for a while. Four, actually. Two are way off track. Two are on track, but just barely. People keep asking me ‘Will there be another Morelville Mystery — and one after that?’ and ‘When is your legal thriller coming out?’ I wish there were an easy answer, but life is nuts sometimes.

Let me tell you a story about what’s really been going on around here. You see, I have this niece. She’s twenty-four, nearly twenty-five, and a good kid, but that’s just it, she’s a kid. She’s a baby who has babies; two toddlers, one who will start school in the fall. Yes, there are two different dads.

My niece is surrounded by a lot of family, and her boys get a lot of love and support. That hasn’t stopped one of the dads from thinking that he can do better by his son living in a house with his girlfriend (a felon and a former – possibly current – addict) that he had to have my niece and his son evicted out of so he and she could live there and he could have an appropriately sized residence to file for and qualify for more parenting time. Yes, you read that right. Yes, we – my wife and I, her mother and her grandmother – all helped her file a countersuit against him.

We spent the past ten months battling in court and running into walls at every turn. The judge who wrote the original custody agreement who had to step down after a DUI. A magistrate who didn’t agree with points in her original custody ruling so he disregarded multiple contempt of court counts filed against the father. A guardian ad litem who is supposed to represent the best interests of the child who was easily manipulated by the father, a story that would take pages to tell.

Life is Nuts Sometimes…

We lost on the primary bone of contention, custody. He got 50-50. We won on all of the smaller points, most of which we know he’ll completely disregard, as he has previously, with no retribution. He’s already doing it. He’s also crowing about his victory, about how the court saw through the lies and the accusations.

Custody of Child...life is nuts sometimes.

The system in this county, in this state is broken. The police can’t enforce the finer points of a custody order because they’re civil matters. They can only file a report. Sometimes you must beg them to do that. Then, you must pay to file contempt of court and fight to get a hearing. When you do, a magistrate or a judge can decide not to enforce or punish even a blatant disregard of the agreement.

What’s the point of having an agreement in the first place if the parties to it can just do whatever they want?

Oh, even better? The magistrate was appointed to the judge’s position by the Governor. The Guardian ad litem? She became the magistrate immeadiatly following the trial. How’s that for two strikes against my niece ever getting a fair shake against this father again? Life is nuts sometimes.

I was moved from one office to another in my day job because the father filed complaints against me, knowing full well that I was behind a lot of the fight my niece was putting up. Since I was moved to the office where I’m technically assigned, I had no recourse. In the interim, my own boss had to take time off for medical reasons – four months of time – increasing my workload and time on the job significantly. That has only marginally improved with her return to full work.

It’s been hard to write. No time. Emotionally drained. Physically exhausted. I’m working back into it, but it’s taken some time. Maybe I’ll write about this experience, tell the whole story, one day…maybe.

I appreciate your patience and your support during this difficult time. Thank you. Thank you for sticking by me.