Where Are My Children?

I talked to Liam the other day.  He wants me to give him permission to purchase something that I’m not entirely comfortable allowing him to purchase.  I told him I needed to think about it and we could talk the next day.  He told me that he wouldn’t be able to because he’d be in the car.  I asked where he was going and he informed me that Bubba got a job and they were moving quite a few states away.  I was blown away by this information because Bubba hadn’t notified me of this.

Our divorce settlement requires that if one of us moves, we give the other one 30 days’ notice.  It also requires that if one of us plans to take the children out of the state overnight, that we inform the other one.  So, not only was Bubba moving, he was taking the children out of the state.  He didn’t notify me about either one.

Arcadia and I sat and crafted an email asking Bubba what was going on and reminding him of both stipulations in our divorce settlement.  He didn’t respond.  After 24 hours of not hearing anything, I called the police in the town he had been living in.  I was told it was a civil matter and they couldn’t get involved.  I asked, “Even if I thought my ex was kidnapping our children, you couldn’t get involved?”  I was told that no, they couldn’t do anything unless I felt the children were in imminent physical danger.  I couldn’t honestly say that so I got off the phone, frustrated that once again Bubba was doing his own thing and will probably never face the consequences of his actions.

After 36 hours, Bubba finally responded.  He told me he was moving back to his former town, which would put him seven hours away from me again.  This means that hopefully, Bubba will begin taking his monthly visitation with the kids.  Of course, the last time he lived there he only took visitation every other month, but a girl can dream!  As much as I hate sending the kids off to him, I need the break.  I absolutely cannot go another 16 weeks with no break again.

I also look forward to being able to have one weekend a month with Treun.  Oh, how my heart sings at that idea.  I know we aren’t going to have hardly any time to be alone together once Liam and Shane come home.  If Bubba takes his monthly visitation, Treun and I will have 48 hours together each month to just be us.  I can be Hope and have a break from being Mom.

I am still livid that Bubba gets away with all that he does.  He repeatedly defies the court orders of our divorce settlement and parenting plan.  He seems to believe he is above following what the judge set out for us.  Over and over again he has shown a blatant disregard for the terms of our divorce.  Over and over again my hands have been tied because to enforce those terms, I’d have to take him back to court.  I don’t have the money to do that.

I have a feeling that Bubba knew well beforehand that he was moving.  He simply chose not to inform me.  He went from picking up and moving to not responding for 36 hours to giving me a temporary address in a hotel to 3 hours later giving me a permanent address that he was apparently moved into already.  I just don’t see the likelihood of him picking up and moving states away and moving into a permanent address all in less than 48 hours.  He had to have known in advance in order to have done that.

He’s also threatened to take me back to court to lower his child support since I’m working full-time.  I don’t know if he knows this for sure or if he’s just fishing for information.  I just know that I can’t worry about it right now.  Realistically, he can’t take me back to court for another 9 months.  I’ll put that in the back of my mind and not worry about it right now.  I doubt he has the money to take me back to court now and since he is well over $5,000 behind in child support, I’d really like to see what the judge has to say about him taking me back to court to reduce his payments.  I highly doubt it would be looked upon with kind regard.

The war, on a day-to-day basis is over and has been for well over a year now.  The skirmishes will continue until Shane turns 18.  The difference between the massive war we fought back then and the skirmishes now is that he can’t touch me now.  Physically, I’d defend myself so that he will NEVER touch me again.  Emotionally, I simply don’t care enough about him for the most part to let myself get upset about him.

Only when it hurts my children does Bubba pierce the armor I’ve so firmly settled in place.  Taking my children across the country and not telling me about it definitely pierced the armor.

I won’t let it happen again.

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