Welcome in to the first installment of my blog. Like I said above I am going to use it to remember useful information in my fight for the best interests of my daughters with the three-headed monster that is Marshall County family court. I thought the above photo was appropriate because the path on which I embark certainly appears to be the road less travelled. The end is uncertain, there are forests to traverse and mountains to move. However, when I get through, maybe that forest doesn't seem so dark for the next father, maybe those mountains aren't so tall for his children.
Those forests are mighty dark in real life. I cannot describe to you the feeling one gets when this weight is on your shoulders. It makes me uneasy most of the time, and I don't sleep very well. I am very anxious to do something, anything, most of the time but have no idea where to start. It is overwhelming to say the least. I have found it helps to pray.
When you find yourself being abused by the family court system, they make it hard on you to remedy the wrongs. A judge will not talk to you at all, but would be more than happy to talk to the attorney you can't afford because they are taking half your paycheck in child support. You pay your child support, yet a false affidavit filed by a vindictive ex outweighs stacks of money order receipts proving payment and they confiscate your wages and tax returns with no due process of law. All it took to happen was the signature of an overzealous DHR caseworker and a mother willing to lie under oath.
A couple years later, and another false affidavit puts you in front of a judge with hopes of putting you in jail. Nevermind that your child support was withheld from your paycheck since the first mugging. An attorney paid for with borrowed money fights off the attempt at incarceration, but they succeed in raising the child support which helps to push you further into the poor house. When payday comes around, now you only take home thirty percent of your earnings due to child support, court ordered insurance premiums, and taxes. I guess you can add one more to life's certainties. It is now "Death, Child Support, and Taxes."
That's just ex-wife #1. Yep, that's right, there's more.
#2 left and shortly after her daddy picks her out a high powered attorney. To make a long story short, she files for divorce yet neither her nor her attorney show up for the first court hearing in front of "the Birdman" Judge Howard Hawk, I sit there all morning (after filing with the court my answer and counterclaim) and then he decides he just wants to reschedule it because her attorney finally answers his phone and said he "didn't know if the defendent was notified" so he decided to not show up. Obviously, I had been since I was there as ordered by the court. So he resets the court hearing date because the plaintiff failed to appear. Sound fishy to you? Yeah, it did to me too.
"Driftwood" Dave Beuoy, the aforementioned "high powered" attorney, makes no attempt to negotiate or settle out of court. He's content with putting it before the judge, and rightly so since he is a judge himself, so you might say he has connections I do not. He sends out a huge package of interrogatories, hoping to pad his attorney's fees and asking all kinds of information not related to the proceedings. I refused to fill them out. When the judge ordered me to, I decided it was time to get an attorney involved, but before I could save enough money, a contempt hearing was set.
So four days before the hearing I call down there on a Friday to let them know I would not be able to be present at the hearing due to pressing business matters and that I would like to request a continuance. Nothing more than her attorney had done the first time, except I was giving them ample notice. I was told by the clerk to call back on Monday because neither the judge nor his secretary were in their office that day. So I called back on Monday and repeated my situation, only to be told that I would have to request a continuance in person or I would be expected to be in court the next day. I explained I was at work, and as the manager on duty would not be able to leave the store until the next manager arrived late that afternoon, after the court had closed for the day. Didn't matter. Request the continuance in person or show up for court.
Three or four days later, I get two envelopes from Marshall County Circuit Court. One is the Birdman's notes and states that the court notes my answer and counterclaim, but that they had not received them (even though I can prove I filed them on the day of the first hearing, when Driftwood failed to appear). The second was the final judgement of divorce, decided before a scheduled pendente lite hearing on the divorce. In it, the Birdman gave Driftwood a default judgement against me, ordering me to pay over $500 a month in child support with no regard whatsoever to Rule 32 of the Alabama Rules for Judicial Administration. He also ordered me to pay Driftwood's fees and gave me only joint legal custody of my daughter with no schedule of visitation. He stated he issued his judgement because I failed to appear or plead (yet I can prove I did both on the day of the first hearing) and it was "ore tenus" or based on verbal testimony yet he gave me no notice of the time or place that verbal testimony would be taken on the divorce. I had the dates for the contempt hearing and the later scheduled pendente lite hearing, but had heard nothing of the day he made his decision. I guess he decided to go ahead, take the ball and run with it...my due process rights be damned!
So now they take most of the money I make and give it to my ex-wives. Just the other day, though, I was served with yet another stack of papers. This time it is a Process of Garnishment from old Driftwood. Apparently, the $20 I have paid him so far for raping me wasn't sufficient. He wants 25% of what little crumbs I am bringing home now to pay for her attorney bill. Are you kidding me? Nope, it is true, but don't worry your little head. God made me smart and strong. God gave me a plan. I end with two quotes:
"There, but by the Grace of God, go I."
“Unfortunately, until you are affected, sometimes you don't want to get involved. It seems it has to be personal,” he said. “This should be personal for everyone. "You look around and see the devastation and destruction and say ‘where do I start, what do I do?' The thing is you have to start so you can start getting over this. There is a tremendous amount of support and help here.”
Like I said, "There, but by the Grace of God, go I."