Of course, fighting for supervised visitation between your daughter and her father can be an easy fight when your baby daddy is as big of a mess as mine. For a while there, he really had some people fooled. He was attending his visits at Safe House pretty regularly, and almost always provided dinner during their visits. But W. is a notorious screw-up, and those of us who know him well enough knew he would screw this up eventually. As I had hoped, he screwed it up before he was granted unsupervised visitation.
At our last court date when our guardian ad litem was appointed, both W. and I were instructed to provide her with our current addresses and phone numbers, as well as $250 each. The address which he provided the guardian was the address to his mom's house, instead of his sister's house where he was living just a couple of months ago. The information she mailed to him was sent back to her office and deemed "refused." W. was unable to provide her with a current phone number other than his work number, which she called multiple times and never received a call back.
Eventually, she gave up on the information that he had provided her and asked me for any contact information that I may have had. I gave her his old cell phone number as well as his sister's phone number. I also took the time to express to her my concern that if W. were to have my baby girl for the weekend, how would I get a hold of him? What if he needed to contact someone in the event of an emergency? And where exactly would they be staying that night?
The first Wednesday in May, I received a phone call from Safe House to inform me that W. had cancelled visitation for the day. The following Wednesday, I received another phone call to notify me of W.'s cancellation. Finally, I received yet another phone call the following week to inform me that our visitation schedule had been terminated. Since everything was planned to be settled at our upcoming court date, there was no need to worry about rescheduling lost visitation time.
When I woke up the morning of our court date, I was pumped. I thought, This is it! This is the end! No more court dates, no more wondering, no more drama! This was to be the do-all-end-all of this battle. Or at least it would have been... if W. had shown up.
(C'mon... where's your surprised face?)
In a normal case with a judge, we would have been able to move forward without W.'s presence. But this complicated situation becomes even more complicated because the judge that was assigned to our case retired last month and we were stuck with a magistrate. Apparently, a magistrate would have been able to help us move forward but only with W. present.
Don't feel bad if you're lost, because I'm right there with you. This was as much as I was able to understand from what my lawyer explained to me and I'm pretty sure she was dumbing it down a bit. All I really know now is that we have been assigned yet another court date (our fifth one for those of you keeping score) with a judge. I have been told that we can move forward with or without W.'s presence. However, at this point I am losing hope that this endeavor will ever actually end--this all very well could be a conspiracy in which W. has joined forces with my lawyer to ensure that I will be forever broke and in a constant state of wondering what the f*ck is going to happen.