When “Winning” In Family Court Still Sucks

It’s a relief — but not a victory.

I got everything I asked for in court and the ruling was unanimously affirmed by the Court of Appeals a year later…and it’s a real fucking bummer.

“Winning” in Family Court actually sucks…

  • because the fact that the dispute escalated to requiring a judge’s decision means that the “best interests of the children” were discarded long ago.
  • because having a neutral third party agree that your Ex-husband isn’t fit to be even a half-time parent is heartbreaking for your children.
  • because it makes you realize just how bad your kids have it in the “dad” department.
  • because watching the man you were married to for 16 years trip over his lies under oath confirms your suspicion that you never really knew him in the first place.
  • because the resources invested in the process would’ve been better spent on the kids.
  • because, if past behavior is the best predictor of future behavior, the tantrum your Ex-husband is about to throw will be epic.
  • because the judgment lays bare the shitty job you did at mate selection.
  • because it doesn’t magically bestow your children with the kind of father they deserve.
  • because being awarded arrears isn’t the same thing as actually receiving the support you are owed.
  • because, with the court no longer watching, your Ex-husband has lost the incentive to at least act like a good parent.
  • because it doesn’t change the fact that your kids have a narcissist for a dad.
  • because by the time this went in front of a judge, your Ex’s arrears had reached a five-digit amount that he was, and probably always will be, incapable of catching up with.
  • because your kids will eventually have access to records that show that their dad put his interests above their own.
  • because it means that you are not crazy and he really is as damaged as you thought.
  • because it confirms your fear that your judgment of people’s character is grossly flawed.
  • because you have to accept that this is the man you chose to have children with and take responsibility for it.
  • because it reminds you that the law will only step in to protect your children after they have been neglected or endangered.
  • because, as the second year of contentious litigation draws to a close, you begin to question your ability to persevere with your Ex-husband’s tireless pathology as your opponent.
  • because you begin to wonder what he will resort to next, now that this effort has failed.
  • because it affirms for your Ex-husband that using your shared children is the best way to get your attention.
  • because, despite your flirtations with denial, you now have a court order that says he is your monkey and this is your circus.
  • …and because I have at least 9 more years of this to go.

Yes, a favorable decision is a relief, but it’s no victory.

There are no winners here.

**As always, feel free to modify those pronouns.***

Mama, writer, lover, fighter — I wear my heart on my sleeve because my pants pockets are too small. www.ajkaywriter.com

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