Trial Over, Ruling In, Still Not Finished
Watching my daughter's divorce trial has given me a much different perspective about the legal and judicial systems, and also human behavior. It has been a situation that I hope no one ever has to go through in their lifetime--personally, professionally, or as a supportive bystander.
What should have been easy and could have been done in two hours in trial, if that were necessary, ended up being two full days of courtroom testimony. The judge in the matter, gave her ruling yesterday afternoon. Then there was the matter of contempt charges and sanctions. The whole thing yesterday took over an hour.
The long and short of it were this: The dissolution of marriage will be granted. My daughter was not found to be acting in bad faith in any of the situations that her husband contended. Her proposals as petitioner were all adopted. Once all filed, she will no longer be subject to the litany of past behaviors she has allowed herself to endure.
On the other hand, the respondent was not looked at favorably by the Court. It was found that he has acted in bad faith during this separation and divorce proceedings. The language the judge used was extremely strong in relationship to him. He was found "in contempt" for all, but one minor charge. Strong sanctions have been placed against him. She even told him that she "considered jail time," but did not think that it would be appropriate for him.
He began to try to get all his "last words in," which the judge told him, "...you do not get to talk anymore..." She also commented on his being "well-versed" on the law, and said, "You really should have been an attorney," but she followed that up with her disappointment in him as to how he chose to deal with the law (contempt charges), clearly knowledgeable and with his admitted background. It showed "willful intent." She mentioned the manipulation--"splitting hairs"--and intent to destroy his wife based on all he did, citing his email, social media comments, etc.
My daughter did not attend the ruling, as she just wanted to get back to work, but her attorney was there. He was there, acting pro se. (He had an attorney early on, but the attorney pulled out, for reasons I do not know.)
Her Dad and I, as well as the other attorney and paralegal from the law office, were in the peanut gallery. It was interesting to me that so many wanted to hear the ruling first-hand.
There is another hearing coming up in 16 days to discuss the financial details of the sanction to which he told the judge, "first divorce court, then bankruptcy court." She responded with a statement that his financial situation was not her concern and that the severity of the sanction was linked to how he chose to behave.
Once the upcoming hearing is over, the order of dissolution will be entered, and they will be divorced. Hopefully, this will be by the 30th. We were all hoping it could have happened before my daughter's 40th birthday on the 17th.
This is not over. As long as there is a minor child, there will be things with which to deal, especially since her husband has done his best this past year to place the same kind of wedge between the children and her, as he did 21 years ago between my daughter and I. He has been successful in doing a lot of damage over the years that cannot be undone.
However, there is now a chance, though difficult, to move forward and try to begin some healing. Getting through to a 15-year-old angry boy, who has responded in words mimicking his father in email and face-to-face, is a mountain that needs to be scaled. It might be a long time before he understands, but there is a glimmer of hope that now, with court-ordered counseling which the father cannot control, there will be some reconciliation in our family.
As well, the leopard will not change his spots. I suspect that this man will do everything in his power to appeal, as he feels he was not allowed to make his case or was treated unfairly as a man. He will likely attempt to make more trouble, and anything else he deems is his right to do.
Narcissistic people will likely do everything in their power to continue to seek and destroy those who dare to challenge them, including in-laws, attorneys, and elected county judges.
But, at least, it is now on record of how this one has handled himself during this divorce. The decisions regarding how he will act in relationship to the situation between my daughter and her relationship to her children, and in conducting communication with her have set a precedent. If not followed, there will be more consequences.
And, perhaps, this situation has helped my daughter's "balls to drop," so she no longer has to feel as if she has to acquiesce. Her upcoming 40s and beyond will be a chance for her to become the person she is meant to (finally) be.
© Copyright 2015- Coral Levang - All Rights Reserved
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