S.D.

The case against SB 250, bill being considered in 2015
My case involves a “high conflict” divorce, continuing post-separation and divorce (at this time, 3 years after separation, and over two years since the Martial Settlement was signed by both parties).
From the time my ex-spouse and I separated, he began a “smear campaign” against me, stalking and harassing me while I was the primary caretaker for the daughter we share, and who was only 7 months old at the time. The aggressiveness of my ex-spouse continued to escalate and I was granted an Injunction against my ex-spouse for stalking and harassment.
My ex-spouse does not co-parent, he “counter-parents.” He does not communicate with me with relevant information on my daughter, such as her personal safety, her health and doctor visits, nor any other matter. When he does choose to communicate, his words are filled with aggressive attacks, deceit, and distortions of the truth. One example, is that I have to contact my daughter’s pediatrician (or hospital) every time I learn my ex-spouse has taken my daughter for an office visit, or in the rare case to the emergency room of a hospital. He lies to me about the doctor’s instructions, if medication is recommended, and lies to the pediatrician with regards to my daughter’s environment, in particular that he is a smoker and has been continually exposed to a violent substance abuser. He refuses to follow the doctor’s recommended protocol to protect his own daughter from the harmful effects of second hand smoke, especially to young children. My daughter is only 3 years old at present. However, this has been going on since we separated, at which time my daughter was only 7 months old.
My ex-spouse has exposed my daughter to a person the court has called “toxic,” “violent,” with “a drinking problem,” since my daughter was only 15 months old. There is currently a court order in place prohibiting this individual from being in my daughter’s presence at any time and under any circumstance. This individual is my ex-spouse’s long-time, live-in girlfriend with numerous arrests, the most recent of which was for domestic battery while my 21 month old daughter was present. There is also a long history of a dozen calls to 911 in the span of just 7 months related to domestic violence involving my ex-spouse’s girlfriend. The very fact that my ex-spouse failed to exercise responsible judgment by making the choice to bring this individual into his young daughter’s life, and choosing to daily expose her to a violent substance abuser, demonstrates an inability on his part to put the best interest of his own child before that of his own self-interest. I have reason to believe that my ex-spouse is still exposing my daughter to his girlfriend in violation of the court order. There is currently litigation before the court regarding this matter.
My ex-husband has continued a pattern of misusing and abusing the judicial system as a weapon against me, and filed fabricated motions with the court. While these motions/complaints have been dismissed, each time he files some document with the court that falsely accuses me of something, I have to continually defend myself against the clearly malicious and outrageous lies that serve my ex-spouse’s intent to inflict emotional and financial abuse on me. He has never been held accountable by the court or anyone for using the courts, tax payer’s money, or my own limited financial means to defend against such abusive tactics.
My case is not only a “high-conflict” case, but a case that had mandated 50/50 custody been the law, would have proved devastating to my daughter and myself. This type of joint physical custody does not work when one party is not only visibly hostile, aggressive, and non-communicative, but habitually lies, most significantly about those things that affect the physical and emotional well-being of his own young child.
I wish my case was unique, or a rare example of a divorce case, but it is not. This bill is not written for what is truly in the “best interest” of a child. It is written to treat children as property that can be divided down the middle, like property divisions. Children are human beings whose futures depends upon the laws and the judiciary to protect them from people that either abuse them directly, or use them as pawns against their former spouse. The stalks are too high to mandate a bill that presumes joint custody is in the “best interest” of the child(ren). These cases involving child custody with high and moderate conflict individuals, need to be given the attention they deserve, and handled on a case by case basis.

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