BACK STORY: I relocated cross-country to be with and in my 5 year old son's life. The history between me and his mother (my ex-wife) is absolutely repulsive (SURPRISE). Not because of me, but because of her. She hired a bulldog attorney who managed to have me stripped of my "joint legal custody" (my ex has sole legal custody)....the judge we were in front of clearly had it out for me and just simply did not like me (for whatever reason). I could do NOTHING right!!!
This was all when we were in Virginia. We have been under the same Order (Custody/< parenting time >) since my son was 1.5 yrs old. My ex remarried and relocated to Colorado; I fought it but of course lost. I then picked up/packed up and moved to Colorado (I got here before my ex did actually) and set up housing.
I got really involved in my son's school, I mean I was the ONLY father that was volunteering for just about everything that came up (he goes to a private school). My ex hated it clearly, and petitioned the court back in VA to have my < parenting time > limited, she said I was a nuisance (for lack of a better word) and was preventing my son from becoming independent, etc... I subsequently enrolled in school to become a teacher and get yet another Masters Degree (I already have 2). In so doing, I needed letters of recommendation - which of ALL people I was able to get one from the Principal of my son's school....she said all sorts of glowing things about me and recommended me into the program (I was accepted BTW).
My ex "not knowing" what my career plans were (as I am currently an unemployed disabled veteran), and was unemployed when I relocated cross-country again filed her petition back in VA (even though we all lived here in Colorado now) to limit my access to our son even more (currently I have the EOW gig, with 3 hours during the week for dinner weekly). I fought it on the grounds that VA no longer had jurisdiction and WON!!!
I'm now working with an attorney who says that we absolutely must get a PRE (Parental Responsibility Evaluation) done in order to seek the 50/50 parenting time and Decision making modification that we're getting ready to put before the court. I am in agreement with this, and have no problem with it....IT's a DONE DEAL.
My son's teacher is a very good guy...very fair and very reasonable (or so it seems(ed). That being said, there has been an incident where I pulled my son to the side to briefly discuss with him a problem that he's been having with putting his hands on other students (being somewhat of a bully) on the playground. The Principal, other teachers, and even my son's teacher have had to reprimand him in my presence about keeping his hand to himself. I've reached out to my ex via email to inform her of such, but she's unwilling to even acknowledge me as a man, much less a parent of our son.
So recently I noticed my son up to his "Big Bad Guy" antics, and it appeared that no one else (a teacher or adult on the playground) noticed - so when the kids came inside I pulled him to the side and talked to him about it (note: just the week prior a teacher had a discussion with him (again) about keeping his hands to himself). I asked him if he remembered what she talked about and he said "yes". Well, his teacher must have did a head-count and noticed that my son was not present - he came looking for him, and the two of us had ditched into the workroom for me to discuss his behavior with him (again briefly). The teacher upon noticing Chase coming out of the workroom with me did not seem very pleased that Chase was not in place.
I'm concerned that he may mention something to my ex, and she will most certainly try to exploit the situation for what she'll deem as "more" of "MY" bad behavior. She was able to get people to testify against me back east that I was a problem and did not have my son' s best interests at the forefront of my decision making.
My question is this: Do you think I have anything to worry about? Am I just paranoid? I have more than adequate proof to provide the Investigator of my ex's "CLEAR" assymetrical parental alienation - as well as witnesses who can attest to how different my son is towards me when with his mother (at school).
How much weight will this Investigator have in Court (when we get there). I'm sure BTW that I will be viewed favorably by this individual. I clearly made a misstep by pulling my son aside to "check" him about being a bully (his teacher doesn't seem to think he is quite there yet, but I don't think he's aware of the many other scenarios that I've been present at where my son was scolded/reprimanded for like behavior)?
Anyway - I' m worried that my ex will try any and everything; my attorney seems to really feel we've got a strong case to support a modification:
A. Change in circumstances (material) - cross-country relocation
B. Same order for many years now
C. Proved points of alienation (w/ emails and parental witnesses to backup certain things)
D. Unresponsiveness to emails (I tried to discuss some issues related to my sons schoolwork that I felt we could help him with at home, if we worked together - as I didn't see him frequently enough to make a big impact - it needed to be a united effort) - I was IGNORED....we eventually got an email from the teacher stating that we would want to begin working with Chase on the very thing(s) that I brought up weeks earlier.
E. Other issues like in point "D" (above)....where clearly she has NO interest in coparenting with me for the sake of our son.
Anyone's thoughts would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for not passing up....and most of all taking the time to READ.
I Just Want To Be A Daddy/Father/Parent/Equal Influence...
P.S. I feel it necessary to be absolutely "CRYSTAL" clear about something: While I see places where my ex's parenting lacks, I totally understand that it's "bittnerness" that's fueling her. I do NOT desire to take my son away from her, but rather "share" fully the responsibility for rearing him. I honestly believe that my ex would rather see me burn up, rather than "spit" on me to put the fire out - or at least extinguish it. It comes across in how my son acts and reacts to me upon our seeing one-another; he isn't comfortable calling me "Daddy" anymore on telephone calls or in person (he says it's not necessary that he say it all the time, or every time). Anyway....I do subscribe to the mindset that I must LOVE him more than I despise her....but, when she's got the "winning hand" already - there's no motivation to get along, and every reason under the son to place me in a "less than important role" in my son's mind....and it shows.