I wish I never went to the case conferences.
This is something I try and explain to new Step Moms. Don’t go to court.
A lot of Step Moms that have been through this might disagree with me. They would argue that seeing a woman repeatedly accompany the father is a sign of a stable family home. I agree with this, as this is the reason why I wanted to go to court.
However, his ex will see you there and it will piss her off. If she is already high conflict, seeing you there will make her blood boil. Although satisfying, it’s not a good idea. She may already had in mind what she may or may not budge on, but seeing you there will make her unreasonable. Unfortunately, in the Family Court system mothers have an upper hand. So if she really doesn’t want to cooperate, she probably won’t be forced to and you will get the short end of the stick.
I went to every single case conference since we met (all excluding one). I originally went to prove to the Judge that my boyfriend was not the abusive monster his ex claimed him to be, because I would be there for every court appearance. A tiny part of me wanted to go to rub it in her face (oops).
I can’t help but wonder if she would have been less unreasonable if I just stayed out of it. My presence had definitely tipped her off. Would we have more time? Would child support be so ridiculously high?
I wish I didn’t involve myself so much in the court process.
I lived and breathed The Fathers Rights Movement and Family Court laws for months. All I did was trying to figure out how we could burry his ex with a fool proof plan to prove that she was lying. I read every message she sent my boyfriend. I picked apart everything she did, her lawyer did, our lawyer did, and my boyfriend did to see where we could improve.
Being so consumed with court had strangled my relationship with my boyfriend. Before, I was his outlet and escape from her. But when I started being so involved, he had a hard time separating me from her. I focused too much of my headspace and energy on things that really didn’t concern me. Their custody is between them, not me and them.
I wish I cared less about what she was doing.
Now that I have matured through this process, looking back at myself makes me ashamed and embarrassed. I didn’t handle myself as well as I could have. Too much of my focus was on what she was doing with her life. In retrospect, it didn’t really matter. I’m not even sure now why I cared so much. I wasted a lot of time trying to get back at her or find some dirt, and in the end it didn’t matter at all.
I wish we kept our relationship a secret for longer.
My boyfriend and I kept our relationship a secret for a few months while with the hopes that she wouldn’t find out, and keep the court process smoother. If she didn’t know we were together, she might have been more co-operative.
We can’t change what has already been done.
This stuff happened. I can’t go back and change things now. I learned from my mistakes and experiences, and I hope that any new Step Mom will read these and think more about how your actions (although innocent) might affect the outcome.
And who knows, even if I hadn’t done those things, we might still be in the same place.