Co-parenting with my ex.

I feel like obviously bogus claims of sexual assault would be good for you in terms of showing a pattern of untrustworthiness.
I mean it’s great if that ends up happening.
There is always the possibility this goes south for me or somehow things get worse. Lawyer is on it and is positive. We are going to use this to get me some more time now that my schedule is finally changing to Monday - Friday morning hours.
 
Can you sue for libel? I don't know law at all, but I would lose my fucking shit if I was accused of that.
You would have to prove definitively that she knew the accusations were fake, or that she disregarded obvious evidence that the accusation was not accurate. It would be very hard to win that case.
 
Oh also idk how you’ve been before this but assuming this all goes away, I wouldn’t give her an ounce of civility or reasonableness beyond what is legally required for the rest of your life.
 
I went to Hailey's games over the weekend but I my ex and her men kept Hailey apart from me. I didn't push it to avoid further issue as the last time I tried to talk to Hailey at a game my ex screamed that I was harassing them and they would call the police.
Sarah is citing the texting incident as part of her complaint, stating that I was trying to destroy their family with the texts. Then, as if it's a secondary thought, she's including mentioning a recent Family Services investigation that is still pending as the reason for the visitation disruption. The investigation is into some more heavily exaggerated tales and lies that Sarah has made and is having Hailey bring up in therapy. Just the norm for Sarah. Lawyer is on it. Court is the 24th. Just hoping all goes well. Honestly not sure just how devastated I will be if I lose my visits with Hailey.
 
Reconnecting with your daughter after a period of alienation can be challenging, but your dedication and thoughtful approach are critical. Also regular, consistent visits help establish stability. Even if it's just virtual contact during the week, it reinforces your role in her life.
 
Sarah has made getting more time, and even keeping the time I already have a challenge. Her usual tactic is making plans for Hailey during my schedule, telling me last minute, and then make me either agree with no chance for a make-up visit “coparenting is letting your kid decide her schedule. Deal with it” or having me force the visit where she lets Hailey know that I’m not letting her participate in the thing that was planned in favor of being with me, making me the bad guy
 
Six years ago, and I don’t think she’d ever repeat it this way, but it’s still what she thinks every time.
IMG_5015.jpeg
 
Wowwww.

I legitimately think this should be entered into evidence. I'm not even kidding. It speaks volumes.
Like, not only will they not be available for some unspecified reason, but she is specifically calling out that she doesn't consider you, the father, to be "family."

--Patrick
 
Wowwww.

I legitimately think this should be entered into evidence. I'm not even kidding. It speaks volumes.
Like, not only will they not be available for some unspecified reason, but she is specifically calling out that she doesn't consider you, the father, to be "family."

--Patrick
We’re using it.
She tries to say it’s out of context in later parts of the text but it still is a huge concern.
 
I was thinking more for things like if she pursues child support:
"Why should I support a child you don't let me see?"
"Because you have to. It's your duty as a father."
"Oh, NOW I'm the father?"

--Patrick
 
I was thinking more for things like if she pursues child support:
"Why should I support a child you don't let me see?"
"Because you have to. It's your duty as a father."
"Oh, NOW I'm the father?"

--Patrick
It’s good for showing alienation and parental substitution mostly, which is what we are using it for. She’s keeping me from seeing my kid and putting other father figures ahead of me. I’m never going to argue child support.
 
Sarah has made getting more time, and even keeping the time I already have a challenge. Her usual tactic is making plans for Hailey during my schedule, telling me last minute, and then make me either agree with no chance for a make-up visit “coparenting is letting your kid decide her schedule. Deal with it” or having me force the visit where she lets Hailey know that I’m not letting her participate in the thing that was planned in favor of being with me, making me the bad guy
As a child of a narcissist, I feel I want to weigh in on this while admittedly mapping Sarah's behavior to the way my mother would think.

Here's my advice: Be the bad guy. "Oh, you made plans? How unfortunate that you'll have to break them, it seems you lost track of the dates I get Hailey." Her tactic isn't just targeted at you, it's as much maybe even more a carrot/stick for Hailey. She gets "rewarded" for choosing to stay home when it's presented as such, with the implication that she'll be deprived of those events and family bonding time if she expresses that she wants to spend time with you. Even if Sarah is successful for the time being at making Hailey think it's mean ol' dad stopping her from having fun, it's a short term victory. She's rapidly approaching the teenage years where she'll be able to pick up on adult bullshit. Hailey presumably knows what days she's supposed to be with you. She'll see the pattern that Sarah is scheduling things for those days on purpose. As she gets older, she'll remember which parent fought for every minute they could spend with her and which one made a sick game of preventing it. Be immovable and Sarah is forced to see you, not Hailey, at "fault" for not getting her way in order to maintain her internal logic. She wants to see herself as "winning" at being the favored parent, and she knows she can't do that if she keeps punishing Hailey for you enforcing your rights.
 
As a child of a narcissist, I feel I want to weigh in on this while admittedly mapping Sarah's behavior to the way my mother would think.

Here's my advice: Be the bad guy. "Oh, you made plans? How unfortunate that you'll have to break them, it seems you lost track of the dates I get Hailey." Her tactic isn't just targeted at you, it's as much maybe even more a carrot/stick for Hailey. She gets "rewarded" for choosing to stay home when it's presented as such, with the implication that she'll be deprived of those events and family bonding time if she expresses that she wants to spend time with you. Even if Sarah is successful for the time being at making Hailey think it's mean ol' dad stopping her from having fun, it's a short term victory. She's rapidly approaching the teenage years where she'll be able to pick up on adult bullshit. Hailey presumably knows what days she's supposed to be with you. She'll see the pattern that Sarah is scheduling things for those days on purpose. As she gets older, she'll remember which parent fought for every minute they could spend with her and which one made a sick game of preventing it. Be immovable and Sarah is forced to see you, not Hailey, at "fault" for not getting her way in order to maintain her internal logic. She wants to see herself as "winning" at being the favored parent, and she knows she can't do that if she keeps punishing Hailey for you enforcing your rights.
Thank you. I appreciate that. I’m so sorry you had to (have to?) deal with that. I dealt with my narcissist as a major part of my life for 7 years. You’ve had to deal with yours your entire life. It is a little comforting however to be able to hope that Hailey will catch on just as you did.
You only got to meet Sarah briefly when you visited that time. I wonder if you ever suspected what I was really going through at the time or if we just put on a good show for you. I think at the time she was having her first affair that I was aware of. I was already suffering from sleep deprivation and severe depression I’m sure. That was still a year or two into our marriage but it was already having a hugely negative impact on me.
 
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Truthfully, I had no idea just from the handful of times I met her, at least not until you started writing what you were going through on the forums. I'm still in the process of looking back and learning how things I grew up with and thought were "normal" in my childhood weren't okay, and I was probably much less equipped to identify anything 10 years ago when I met you guys in person. The best advice I can give at the moment is just make sure Hailey develops self confidence, knows she can talk to you without fear of judgement, knows she's not responsible in the slightest for anything going on, and that she learns much earlier than I did what "gaslighting" is and how to identify it. I believe I read earlier in the thread a long time ago that she already has individual therapy sessions going through this, and if so that's already amazing and a resource I never had.
 
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We met in court yesterday. Things did not go as well as I hoped but perhaps there is a silver lining.

Sarah has claimed, that while there is an open case of some kind, that my visitation should be postponed. Despite both the initial police investigation and the Family Services investigation being closed there is apparently ANOTHER police investigation open that I haven't even been contacted about. Based on jurisdiction of the office taking the call it sounds like Sarah is just yet again claiming that I was abusive to the kids when I lived with her almost 6 years ago now. This was already investigated by DCFS and the police back then. But hey... I guess that shouldn't stop them from doing it again right?
Sigh.

Hailey has been appointed a minor's council which is good. My lawyer likes the person they appointed and thinks she will be very diligent in finding out if Sarah is manipulating Hailey. This is good.

The Judge dictated that we would meet again on August 26th and then said we would keep the no visitation orders in place until then, due to the open police case. This is really bad.

My lawyer argues that I need the right to see my kid because the time apart is hurting our relationship. Judge approved professionally monitored visits. This is less bad but still sucks. I don't have the financial capability of doing this for two months while we wait for the next court date. Especially since I have to keep paying my lawyer. Basically once all of this is done I'm going to be in so much damn debt that its exhaustingly depressing to even think about. I doubt I'll be retiring until I'm in my 80s. Assuming I even live that long.

The company we found for visits seems like they will be a good fit. Their online reviews show almost a 50/50 assortment of 1 and 5 star reviews, with custodial parents giving the lowest scores. So if they make Sarah unhappy that's fine with me. My lawyer has approved of the choice as he has worked with the company before and even recommended a particular monitor. He hopes that the reports provided by the agency will go a long way to help us in the long-run.

So for now I'm going to see Hailey for up to 3 hours every Saturday. But I have to pay for someone to be around us. I will also receive 2 facetime calls a week with Hailey. Max of 15 minutes but Hailey can disengage whenever she wants.

The worst part about all of this is that the damage is already extensive beyond what I initially thought. My first call with Hailey lasted less than 3 minutes when she just commented "I don't want to talk to you" and hung up the phone.

My soul is shattered.
 
The head of the monitor group I’ll be using called me. Apparently Sarah insisted that Hailey would not be attending the visits because it will be impossible to get her out of the car, as she doesn’t want to see me that much.
I saw her last early May. She was fine then. If the phone call and this statement is true she’s done a complete 180 to be so uncomfortable with me that she can’t talk or see me.
Sarah is not in compliance and it will be reported. Sarah has been pushing for a monitored visit for me for years. She finally gets her way and I now hope they make her miserable.
 
We planned for two hour visit on Saturday. It didn’t happen.
The monitor tried to get Hailey out of the car but she kept saying she was scared. I asked the monitor later what tone Hailey had and he said “flat” which seems more “I’m doing what I’ve been expected to do” rather than actual fear.
This is nightmare. She won’t talk to me with phone calls. She won’t see me during monitored visits. Sarah is so convinced she’s won she’s even stopped reading our coparenting emails.
I’m talking to my lawyer today. We need a new strategy. We need to push the fact that Sarah is alienating me and we can’t trust her to make visits or calls happen without some kind of punishment for not complying. I just don’t know how successful that will be. But we can’t wait until our next court date of August 26th.
 
It sounds like you need a court-appointed psychologist to do an assessment. My guess is that your ex will not agree with that.
Even if she did I think the cost on something like that is minimum $10k. I’m hopeful my lawyer has a plan. We have a minor’s council for Hailey that was appointed and my lawyer knows her on a professional level and thinks it’s a good thing for us. In the end we need to at least get a recommendation from her that I should be part of Hailey’s life and that steps must be taken to repair our relationship.
 
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