You Will Not Believe This

I told you all about how my ex and I are going back to court for custody and that when we arrived to have our custody hearing we were told that we were still married. No? You can read about it in Failure of the Court and in Divorced Again. Long story short…we were both shocked as hell.

We went to a Pendente Lite (temporary custody) hearing on May 4th only to be told that nothing can be done because the second divorce hadn’t been signed off. Yep, another day off work. Another day of time wasted. Another day of stress. The magistrate then said that we have a custody hearing in August so it would wait. What the hell? More delays. More stress. More time off work.

I was beyond frustrated and barely holding on with all this back and forth. I felt like the courts had failed me. Could no one do their job? Would I have to continue in this state of unknown until August? Yep. Apparently.

I was a wreck a few days after the hearing as you can imagine because I was mentally and physically tired. I allowed myself a couple of days to focus on other things and to get my mind right. There were still things that I had to do and Munch still needed to be taken care of. After a few days of moping around, I got up and moved on with my life.

Well, last Monday when I went to get the mail I had three notices from the courts. Not thinking it was anything other than the second divorce paper and update on the August trial, I was shocked to read:

The Scheduling Order dated April 20, 2017 and the Magistrate recommendations of April 11, 2017 and May 4, 2017 are stricken. The Judgment of Absolute Divorce dated March 17, 2016 remains in full force and effect. The parties’ respective Motions for Modification shall be scheduled for three hours on the earliest available date. Notice to be sent to the parties.

What? Was I reading this correctly? That meant that a judge had reviewed our complicated file and decided that all that extra BS we were going through was not necessary and that the original divorce stood as is. Custody remained as is. We were legally divorced back to the original date granted.

I ripped open the other two envelopes and one said to schedule the Motions for Modification hearing on June 21st and to remove the merits hearing scheduled for August. The final was the hearing confirmation from the court house calendar management division. It was real. It was happening. Sooner rather than later and I didn’t have to wait until August.

What’s the big deal? Nothing really. Time. I am tired of all the back and forth and the courts are stressing me the hell out. First we’re divorced, then we’re not divorced, then we can’t have a hearing on custody because the second divorce hadn’t been signed off and then we’re really divorced (my bad) let’s go to court next month.  It is exhausting. Heck, I’m exhausted telling you about it.

But, thankfully a judge reviewed the file in it’s entirety and upheld the original divorce and decided that we didn’t have to start all over. Again. I appreciated that. I don’t know what will happen in court next month, but I’m convinced that God’s will will be done. So, I ask that you keep us all (Munch, my ex and I) in your prayers because truthfully we need it.

 

Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.

Dating Chronicles: My Story

In anticipation of gaining 1,500 WordPress followers in the next week, I wanted to share my stories to the new ones and those that didn’t know me before I met Mr. C. I had some real issues finding love. There were too many characters and I have to tell you that on-line dating can work.

Once you give it a chance, move out of your own way and be diligent in keeping your boundaries and eliminating waste from your in box, you can find love.  As was the case with me. But, the journey to find love is sometimes a slow moving one whereby I stumbled and fell hard for a man that just wasn’t in to me. Not a bad man.

Just not the man for me. The thing is that when you wake up from your erotic haze of happiness you start to see a person for who they really are. You shouldn’t have to sacrifice the best parts of you to be with a person.

When you run into a man that is not being honest or not wanting what you are giving, accept it and move on. Stop letting passion dictate your decisions. Stop playing yourself.

One of my Facebook friends, MB, posted this last month:

Dear WOMAN,
He’s going to come. The one who’s going to make you feel like everyone else was just practice. He’ll love your mind first..heart second..& your body always. He’ll prove to you trust isn’t just a word..that love isn’t just a feeling — but will you be ready? There is nothing worse than having a king on your doorstep, while your in bed with & entertaining a joker!! #realtalk#lemmeblessaWOMANrightnow #bewhatuseek

No truer words right? She spoke the truth about me and probably many of you that day and the fact that I saw it prompted me to share with you how I was doing just that. Entertaining jokers when a king was on my door step.

I hope you enjoy my 3 part series. Thank you for following me. Thank you for reading me and thank you for inspiring me. Welcome to my world!

 

Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.

the gf

I really enjoyed this read by a fellow blogger, Staci Beth over at From He Double Hockey Sticks and Back about co-parenting. She really discusses her struggles and I could relate on so many levels. Ideally we would like to think that everyone can have a great relationship with the other parent, but in many cases this doesn’t happen. What do you do when it happens? Check out her great post about her struggles:  Source: the gf

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Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.

4 Things: May 4th

It’s been a busy few weeks and I realized that there is so much that I want to tell you and so many things that I’m working on. Here are four things that I want you to know for May 4th.

  1. This morning, my ex-husband I go back to court for a temporary guardianship hearing. I have no idea what is going to happen or what the heck that even looks like, but I trust God will be in and through this situation. I serve a mighty God and he’s always looked out for Munch and I. Today will be no different. It’s also National Prayer Day so I ask that you please keep us all in your prayers.
  2. Munch’s birthday was on the 30th and I did a really small party. Small in comparison to the other birthday parties that I’ve thrown. A few children and fun at the skating rink. He loves skating and he had a blast. However, I ordered the cake from BJ’s and they messed up his cake. It was supposed to be Batman and they did Paw Patrol. He’s 9. He was hurt. The cake was free and the store manager was so apologetic. I explained to Munch that sometimes your best laid plans will fail, but the key is to wipe the tears from your eyes and keep smiling. The cake was good and that is what truly mattered.
  3. Munch’s swim class is going well and he indicated that he is interested in trying out for the swim team. I’m excited for him, but we have to work on his endurance so that he can keep up his stamina. Tryouts are in July or August, but I’m all for it. I pray that he makes it. It is expensive, but if he makes it then I will figure it out. Anything for Munch.
  4. I’m walking in the March of Dimes – March for Babies event with my sorority sisters this Saturday. This is my first time walking in an event since I did the Breast Cancer walk (not the 3 day one) over 9 years ago. Munch wasn’t even born. I’m excited to help out and I still need your help. Any amount of money you can donate will be greatly appreciated. No amount is too small. Your deduction is also tax deductible. Here’s the link:  http://www.marchforbabies.org/tikeethathomas

 

Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.

None

She had none.

No money. No food. Nothing.

Her children were hungry.

What would they eat?

Her babies.

Her failed marriage had left her nothing.

Her ex-husband was a narcissistic abuser.

She left him. Dead of night. Two kids in tow.

With $2,000 to her name, she found a safe place for her and the children in a new town. She had no family. No friends. He made sure of that. None.

All she had was her kids. Her life. Her car. Nothing else mattered without her kids.

They lived cheaply.

She found a job. It didn’t pay much. But, it was something.

She had to make more money.

She washed her clothes out on hand in the motel room and hung them to dry.

She had an idea. She put her hair up. Put on make-up. Put on some nice clothes.

She put on some heels. Grabbed her coat and purse. Left her sleeping babies to make some money.

She walked the streets. Wishing that someone would stop and give her some money for a service. The kids would be up in a few hours and she had to feed them breakfast.

A car stopped. She asked him what he wanted. He told her “A blow job”. She told him a price “$50.” He told her that was too much. He would pay her $20.00. She could take it or leave it.

She thought about her pride for a moment. She was willing to sell her body on the streets to feed her children. Is this really what life had become? She slowly opened the door to his car and hopped in. He drove off.

She realized that she didn’t need to think about pride. She had none left.

 

This post is inspired by the Daily Post. The word prompt of the day is none

 

Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.

Divorced Again

I told you in yesterday’s post Failure of the Court how we went to court for a modification of custody to find out that we are still legally married to each other. The court failed us. We thought we were divorced, but the divorce wasn’t worth the paper it was written on. It was a sham.

In Maryland you can have both your divorce and custody tied together if there are no issues. It’s simpler, more effective and cheaper. I chose this route since I filed for divorce. It saved us time and money. However, because our custody was tied to the divorce and not separate. There was no custody agreement because there was no divorce.

You see the dilemma?

We were both having mini-breakdowns and trying to navigate what happens now. The magistrate explains that he can’t discuss custody because we’re still legally married and that divorce we were given is invalid so we can’t modify the custody as part of the divorce because the divorce is invalid. Basically, no one has custody. Are you freaking kidding me? What?

We were trying to digest all the information that was provided. The magistrate informed us that he was upset over the situation as well and wanted to get out of meeting with us because he couldn’t bear to hear that one of us had remarried and what that meant because he had defended a woman that had a similar situation in another county.

In Maryland, bigamy is a felony that can result in an individual spending up to nine years in jail.  The only way out of it is if your “ex-spouse” has been gone for seven continuous years or you don’t know where your “ex-spouse” is living at the time of your new marriage. That meant that if either of us had been remarried we would have been charged criminally with a felony because the courts screwed up our divorce. They don’t care if you knew about their screw up or not because you are charged criminally and divorce is a civil case.

This is getting more frustrating.

To learn that even if you didn’t know that your divorce was invalid and the courts were at fault and you get remarried you could still catch a felony case? To put it in perspective, our magistrate then tells us a story of a client he had a few years ago that went through this. She went through a bitter custody and property divorce. Her ex was upset because it wasn’t favorable to him. They settled custody and property and then the woman’s attorney filed for divorce. The divorce was filed 11 months after their separation and they were granted a divorce.

Fast forward two years and the woman is remarried and just had a baby with her new husband. She receives in the mail a bench warrant for her arrest and a notice vacating her divorce as invalid. Her “ex-spouse” had went to the state’s attorney’s office and requested that he check their files because their divorce wasn’t legal because Maryland required a 12 month separation not 11 months. The state’s attorney found out it was true and then the woman’s life became a two year nightmare of having to fight a felony bigamy charge, getting divorced, getting remarried and getting her life back.

We sat there dumbfounded.

I said “I don’t understand how the state can charge someone for something they did. The state is at fault because you can’t marry or divorce yourself so if documents aren’t valid then the state is at fault for that. How am I to be criminally charged with their poor hiring choices? That’s not my fault.” He responded “It’s not your fault and you did nothing wrong. But, Maryland law is firm.”

Thank God neither one of us remarried.

The magistrate then asks us do we still want to be divorced. Umm, yes. However, I said that I don’t want to pay for it. I paid the first time and it was a waste of money so everything should be free.

So, he has us go to the paralegal’s office down the hall and have them print out a complaint for absolute divorce and an answer to an absolute divorce. I then requested a complaint for custody and an answer to complaint for custody.

We completed the forms and I asked for sole custody in all paperwork. Both sole physical and sole legal.  I wasn’t going to stop his visitation, but I needed written confirmation on how we’re supposed to do this. We went back into the court room and the bailiff let him see my forms so he knew how to respond in answer. The bailiff gave the forms to the magistrate.

We asked questions on how do we proceed not having a signed custody agreement in place, he said as a lawyer I would advise you to keep things as they are until you go before a judge. No matter how you want to change it, the courts care about how the child is coping with things now.

We sighed.

He included a line in the decree to untie it from the divorce and we would get a separate custody agreement. He turned on the recording and then proceeded to divorce us.

We were divorced again. We left feeling somewhat defeated. This ordeal was working our nerves.

We then met with the scheduling coordinator and turned in our custody paperwork. The coordinator then scheduled all of the things we needed to do including the temporary hearing for 3 weeks. It was overwhelming to say the least.

We go to court again for a hearing on May 4th. My ex-husband (I pray this is in fact legitimate) and I will go to discuss a temporary custody agreement, attend parenting classes and mediation and then have a final custody hearing in August. It’s a hot mess.

We are trying to meet and work some things out on our own prior to our May 4th court date. The more that we try to do on our own and just have the courts put it in writing the better off. There are no winners in our battle for custody. I know that. Ultimately, Munch will be the loser, so knowing that allows me to try to meet with him and work some stuff out on our own.

At this point I realized and began to accept the silver lining in all this. What silver lining you might ask? The fact that he wanted a modification which got us back in court to realize that our first divorce wasn’t real and then actually get divorced again. This allowed us to not have to catch a felony case or sue the state for negligence.

You see? God was in it.

Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.

Failure of the Court

I want to thank each and every one of you who responded via a comment on my blog or on my Facebook page offering words of support, prayer and encouragement. I truly needed them and I appreciated them all. I have always tried to be transparent on many things in my life so that you could know that you are not alone in whatever situation you are going through. I go through things too.

That is why I decided to let you know about my ex and I going back to court yesterday in my post I Broke. The overwhelming support and prayers motivated me to know that yesterday would not be the end. It let me know that I am not alone. You are all amazing.

So, to update you on what happened yesterday…

We went to court yesterday. I, with my two witnesses and my ex with his 12 or 14. LOL, it was a lot. I only knew two people, but whatever. We checked in and didn’t speak and sat on different sides of the waiting room. Our court appointment was at 1:00. I checked in at 12:38 and we didn’t get called back until almost 2:00 p.m. It was so nerve wracking.

My mom and best friend tried to keep my nerves at bay by cracking jokes and trying to get me to laugh. It was very thoughtful. I just kept thinking about how God’s greatness and mercy are with me all the time and that whatever happens that I know God is in it. I had to stay focused on his promise and not this problem.

When called we all follow the bailiff to the court room. My party of 3 and my ex’s party of 15. The bailiff has us wait and then comes back and says that the magistrate only wants to see the two parents.

Okay.

That was weirdly unexpected, but whatever. It’s not a show. I get that.

We get into the courtroom and we’re told to have a seat. We explained that we didn’t know where to sit because it lists me as the plaintiff, but he had asked for a modification to the custody agreement so wouldn’t he be the plaintiff? He said “No, you’re still the plaintiff because it’s a modification to the original case and you were the plaintiff in that case.” Okay. We sat down.

Now, in Maryland they use magistrates. According to Maryland Courts “A family magistrate is an officer of the Circuit Court who is selected by the judges of that court to hear certain family law and juvenile cases.” He wasn’t a judge, but an appointment by the judge who is a lawyer. Not Joe Blow off the street.

Back to the story…

He then tells us that he’s having this conversation off record. He wasn’t recording it yet. We’re both new to this process so we were both fine with it. He asks the question about me filing for divorce and the divorce being granted last year. He asks me to tell him about that proceeding.

I told him what happened from the moment I filed for divorce to when we came to court and were divorced. He said “Okay, that’s consistent with what I read from the transcript and in your submitted paperwork.” He asked “Are either of you remarried?” I replied “I’m not.” My ex answered “No.”

The magistrate then tells us that “Okay, thank God.” He then tells us “You’re both still legally married.”

What?

How is that possible?

We sat there dumbfounded. He then tells us that there is a process in Maryland which we are required to follow before a divorce can be considered legal. Here is the process:

  1. You file for divorce with the court.
  2. Court sends you the paperwork outlining how to serve the individual.
  3. Individual is served.
  4. Person has 30 days to respond.
  5. If after 30 days no response is given, the person that filed for a divorce is supposed to submit a default based off no response given.
  6. After default is submitted a court date is given to both parties for a hearing on the matter.
  7. After attending the hearing a divorce is granted.

Now in our case, this is what happened:

  1.  I filed for a divorce.
  2.  Court sent the paperwork to me and I gave it to my best friend.
  3. My best friend sent the paperwork certified to my ex’s house.
  4. My ex never responded.
  5. I received a notice from the court for our hearing date and showed up.
  6. Went to court and we were granted a divorce.

So, steps were missed on the court’s part and the divorce wasn’t considered valid. Yep, we were as shocked as you reading this right now. How the hell could a court mess this up? How could a judge sign off on this knowing it wasn’t valid? What could have happened?

I’ll let you know in tomorrow’s post as this post is getting really long.

 

 

Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.