Thursday, September 5, 2013

Invasion of the Body Snatchers

Yesterday was Cory's mediation with Lovely Ex.  It's a good thing I am not a betting person, because I would have placed a bet in good confidence being very certain I knew how today was going to go, and I would have been dead wrong. 

Cory and I went in to mediation pretty dang sure that she wouldn't even show up, and we'd be done in a matter of minutes.  When we got to mediation, our lawyer was already there speaking with the receptionist in the mediation office.  We went in and talked to them, and she said the other party would be calling in, and we were just waiting for her lawyer... and a translator... Wait, what?  Our lawyer asked what the translator was for, and the receptionist said that the other party had requested it, because she didn't speak much English.  It's amazing that a person who "doesn't speak English" can graduate from a four-year American college, be married for five years to someone who doesn't speak Spanish, and can testify on the stand in at least two evidenciary hearings without a translator, but now she doesn't speak English.

I asked if I could go in also, and the receptionist said Cory was only allowed one support person, and his lawyer was it.  Our lawyer said "nope, she's the support person, I'm the attorney" and motioned for me to come in the room.  I went in, the mediator came in and introduced herself, and Lovely Ex called in.  The mediator said who was in the room, and asked Lovely Ex if she was ok if I was in there.  Well, duh, I could have told you the answer to that.. so I picked up my stuff and went out to the waiting room, right as her lawyer walked in.  They closed the door, and I made myself comfortable for what was going to be a LONG mediation.  I could hear them on the phone, but couldn't hear what they were saying.  About ten minutes later, Cory and our attorney came out.  They said that her whole basis for not bringing them out was that she didn't have enough money, but she was refusing to say how much she made.  He said it wasn't going anywhere and was prepared to walk out when Lovely Ex's lawyer asked to speak to his client in private.  The mediator came back out about five minutes later, and got Cory and our attorney.  This time, they left the door open. 

Cory and I talked about it afterwards, and we would both LOVE to hear what her attorney said to her.  She became the most agreeable person ever.  Our attorney said that she owed us five visits to make up for the visits that she had missed.  She agreed.  He said that Cory should get every visitation for the next three years, not just what was his rotation.  She agreed.  He said she had to make up four weeks of visitation since he didn't get any summer visitation this year.  She agreed.  By this point, my jaw was on the floor.  Basically, this is what the agreement came down to:
  • Lovely Ex has to deposit enough money to cover a full years' worth of visitation in to her lawyers trust account each year by October 15th so she can't say she doesn't have enough money.
  • She has to pay for every visit for the next four years.
  • Cory gets the kids for a week after Christmas on the years that it is not his Christmas.
  • Cory gets every visitation instead of every other for the next four years.
Then we got down to the money.. the back child support she owes.  Our lawyer suggested that our child support be reduced for the next four years until that back child support is paid.  She balked at that, and tried to give a bunch of excuses about medical bills and daycare and stuff, and her lawyer said "This is happening.  Get me proof of the medical bills you have, and that will factor in to the amount that you owe, but this is happening."  Then she agreed. 

It was amazing.  It was so nice to know that at least for now we don't have to go to court.  I don't see any way she is going to comply with what she agreed to.  She'll have to be out here for at least a week every other month for the next four years.  Honestly, I don't care how she does it.  As long as we get to see the kids, that's all that matters.  And if she doesn't comply?  Then we are just one step closer to us getting custody.  Cory and I are trying really hard not to get our hopes up, because if we do then it'll hurt really bad if we don't get to see the kids.  We are supposed to have them for Thanksgiving.  Here's hoping...

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

To Avoid Mediation....

I realize I have missed posting some info on Cory and Lovely Ex's continuing legal battles.  To briefly catch you up..  child support has been reduced to factor in Cory's current wages and imputing Lovely Ex at minimum wage.  It was retro-dated back to the date of filing the petition to modify, meaning she now owes us thousands of dollars.  Also, she has refused to bring the kids out here for their last two court ordered visits.  Cory filed an order to show cause on both issues.  A week later, Lovely Ex sent Cory a receipt for private kindergarten saying she had to put Katelyn in "daycare" because now she is being "forced" to work. Cory and Lovely Ex have mediation scheduled for Wednesday.  Now on to today's story....

Friday morning, the paralegal for our lawyer's office called Cory and told him that Lovely Ex had just called her.  She said that she would not be able to make it to mediation, because she was having surgery in an hour.  Our paralegal asked why she waited until then to tell us, and Lovely Ex said that she had just gotten notification of the mediation two days ago.  Her lawyer was notified the same time ours was... about three weeks ago.  Then she said that she has been too busy to call because her husband was getting a new job and that they would be moving this week to either Colorado or Utah, so that's why she can't come to mediation.  The paralegal clarified "you don't know where you're moving?"  Lovely Ex replied that no, she didn't know, and they wouldn't know until Monday when her husband had a meeting with his work to find out where he would be moving.  Our paralegal paused for a moment, and said "He is having a meeting with his work on Labor Day?"  Lovely Ex stuttered and paused, and said "yes, that night..."  Our paralegal asked why she had just registered Katelyn for a ridiculously expensive private kindergarten this week if they were moving?  Lovely Ex said that she was pulling the kids out of school so they could move.  Our paralegal said that we were not postponing the mediation, and she was required to be there.  In a last ditch effort, Lovely Ex said that her lawyer was going out of town and would not be able to be there for mediation, and that was why she wouldn't be able to make it.  Our paralegal asked her why her lawyer didn't contact them, and Lovely Ex didn't have an answer for that.

It turns out that Lovely Ex had attempted to call the court and postpone the mediation with them directly, but she was told that in order to postpone it she had to have both parties in agreement that it be postponed.  So she called our lawyer and dealt with our paralegal.  I am so grateful we have the paralegal that we do.  She used to be a lawyer, and she thinks really fast on her feet. 

Sunday evening, Lovely Ex emailed Cory another receipt for Katelyn's private kindergarten, and he responded back to her with "why are you billing me for Kindergarten when you told my paralegal that you were moving this week and would be pulling the kids out of school?"  Lovely Ex responded with "I have no idea what you are talking about.  Obviously I never said that." 

Fast forward to this morning..  our paralegal called Lovely  Ex's lawyer to see if he had heard anything from his client and if she was planning on being there for mediation.  He said that he hadn't heard from her at all, and she hadn't hired him to be at the mediation so he was not planning on being there.  I'm not sure what she's planning, but I sure wish we could request that she be drug tested... she is not in her right mind.  It'll be interesting to see how this plays out.

Nope, No Grown Ups Here...

One more quick weekend trip to Idaho, one more amazing weekend.  Cory and I headed up to Idaho on Friday to see our nephew's first football game of his last season in high school, and to go to Cory's aunt's 70th birthday party.  It was a quick trip, but it was a lot of fun.

I was a little nervous heading in to the trip.  It was our first trip leaving Phillip alone with his dad.  Lexi has stayed with him for a night or two here and there, but most of the time when the kids go away for the night they are staying at Mae Mae's house, and Delinquent Ex and PVB stay there with them.  Delinquent Ex finally got approved for a two bedroom apartment about two weeks ago, which means I have lost my standing on not letting him take Phillip overnight.  I could try to fight him on it, but I really don't want to go back to court.  I've had to have some major pep talks in my head preparing for this, as I go through every scenario that could possibly go wrong.  We dropped off the kids Friday afternoon, and went in to take a look at the apartment.  They are going to attempt to have both kids sleep in the same bedroom.  I'm anxious to see how well that works. 

After we dropped the kids off, we headed out and stopped in Bountiful for lunch.  That was when Cory realized he had forgotten his wallet.  We debated back and forth about if we really needed it, or if I wanted to drive the whole time we were up there.  We were already running a bit behind, and were barely going to make it for the beginning of the game, but decided to go home and get it anyway.  I'm glad we did for multiple reasons, but I felt bad for missing the beginning of the game.

We got there right as the second half started, and watched as Anthony threw a couple really nice passes and they scored a couple touchdowns.  They ended up creaming them.  Cory kept commenting that the "drummer" for the pep band wasn't even really drumming.  They were just keeping time on one of the drums.  Troy kept encouraging him to go play with them, but Cory wanted to watch the game instead.  On the way out, the shiny drum set proved to be too much of a challenge, and Cory had to stop and drum.  He earned an invitation to come play with the pep band during the games from now on.  We'll see if that pans out.

Saturday, we got up and headed over to Jackson Hole for Cory's Aunt Coreen's 70th birthday party.  It was a fun, crazy, family filled day.  We laughed until our cheeks hurt and I thought I was going to throw up.  We ate a ton of food.  We took some pictures and almost lost some appendages in the process.  And then we went back to Troy's house and had a fire.  We laughed some more.  We scared ourselves silly hearing things in the bushes. 

Cory's niece got him this t-shirt and couldn't wait to give it to him.  It's a family joke, but ask Cory about the story.. no one tells it like him. 

Sunday we just spent the day relaxing and then had another fire that night.  We roasted hot dogs and had s'mores.  We played and joked around.  I love going up there and not having to act like an adult and worry about backpacks and homework and school schedules and alarm clocks.  It's nice to just get to be me for a little bit, without the responsibility.