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We at the Witches' Voice are continually compiling a important reference documents, form letters that you can use in your local fight for YOUR freedom... Note: The Witches' Voice Inc. does not offer legal advice nor are we qualified to do so. This document does not constitute legal advice but is intended to be used in conjunction with the legal services of an attorney licensed to practice in your state. This document can be copied and distributed to your lawyer should you decide that you need the services of one.
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Fighting for Your Beliefs and Winning|
Brief history: My ex-husband & I had been divorced 11 years when we went to court. We had been in the military at the time of the divorce, our marriage was not happy & we had seperated shortly after our daughter was born. We had agreed on $100.00 a month in child support, & had verbally agreed to raising it to $225.00 after 5 years. Transportation costs for her visitations would be split if there was a distance of 1000 miles between us.|
I was not a Witch during the time of my marriage with him, I found the Goddess through my present husband. I did not encourage my daughter to be of any religious belief, but allowed her to go to Christian churches with friends & family, but she would also practice rituals with me if mood suited her.
My ex-husband after re-marriage decided I should be paying for half of the transportation costs of our daughter to visit him. He also told me I was to take her to Christian church. When I explained that there was not a 1000 mile distance between us, that he was responsible for those costs, he informed me he would drop her child support back to the original $100.00. I explained to him that our daughter's religious beliefs would be one of her choosing not ours. I also explained that since he had brought up the amount of child support that it was maybe time we reevaluated what was a proper amount. She was getting older & he had recieved 2 promotions since we had agreed to upping it to $225.00.
I won't go into the arguments that followed, but he threatened to take me to court. I explained to him that we really did not want to go that way as he would more likely be the one to come out on the bottom. I did not at the time think he would try to take custody of our daughter.
We lived in 2 different states at the time. After I had spoken to a Lawyer, I explained to him that we had to handle any litigation in the state that the child resided in. I also sent to him how the state, I & our daughter lived in figured out child support. It was outrageous, in my mind, & reccommended that we go with $350.00 & keep to the transportation agreement. He disagreed.
With the help of family I was able to get a good lawyer. One that was understanding of my religious beliefs, & that I could be open & honest with. Also in my favor was that my present husband & I had been married for 11 years, & had a very stable home life. We were both working & had bought a home. I was board member on the PTA & active within my community.
I found out in the mail my ex-husband was suing me for custody of our daughter, because of my unhealthy religious beliefs. That I sacrificed chickens in front of our daughter. (I raised chickens & other animals & harvested them to the freezer. She was not required to watch but would sometimes help me pluck them.) I danced naked in the moon light. (Guilty) That I worshipped Satan. (I don't believe in Satan) That her child support was being used for drugs I supposedly used in my rituals. (I had an herb garden & made teas & poultices) The list goes on.
I went over the alligations with my attorney, & counter sued disputing the alligations made on me, & with stipulations stating he could not make derogatory remarks about myself or present husband in front of the child. That it would be of her choosing when visiting with him as to wether or not she would attend church.
We went to court. The Goddess smiled on us as we had a Judge with an open mind. (Found out later that he had spent some time in Haight Ashbury during the 60's)
Since there was disagreement as to visitation & who the child should reside with the Judge requested to speak with our daughter.We had to request a recess to go & retrieve our daughter from school. She did not know we were in court. I did not want her in the middle of such a mess. We picked her up & let her know a judge would like to talk to her, & that he just wanted to know what she would like to do. She was 12 almost 13 at the time.
The Judge returned to the courtroom after speaking to our daughter. We were all told what a bright intelligent child she is. That she was very respectful but had definite points of view. He had told us he had asked her about our repective religious beliefs. She had stated to him that she thought the ceremonies I had done were beautiful, that she had liked going to church with her father but had found them a bit hypocritcal. She had told him that her mother was not condeming of other peoples beliefs, but had found that her father was. As to her own beliefs she was not sure & would figure it out in her own time.
After all that, the Judge gave his ruling. I was to pay half of the transportation costs for her trips to visit him. That her visitations were now an a calendar schedule, physical custody was to remain with her mother & child support was to be in the amount of $528.00 a month & that both parties were to refrain from making any derogatory remarks about the other in the presence of the child. He also had to pay the court fee's & half of my attorney's fee's. My ex-husband had received what he wanted, just not the way he wanted it.
I went through many sleepless night's wondering if persuing this was the right thing to do. I cried a lot too. Thanks to the support of my husband & family & the Goddess watching over us, we came through it all fine. The best part of all of this was when our daughter turned 16. We started a checking account of her own & gave her child support to her, to use as she saw fit. It taught her how to budget her money, & how to be responsible with it.
The best advice I can give to anyone in a custody battle is get the best lawyer you can afford. Also interview the lawyer's, & determine if they will be on your side. Find one who is understanding of your beliefs, & willing to fight for you. If not find one that will.
Light & Love to you all
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