Anger Management

Representing yourself in family court can save money, but you do end up paying in time and in stress. Still, you can succeed if you prepare well.
I’ve spent most of the last month in a near constant state of rage.
Over the top? Not really – you’d understand if I could tell you everything. Few things or people could provoke that kind of sustained reaction in me, apart from Odd Socks.

Family court

In the last month I’ve been back to the family court, thanks to Odd Socks. I’m not allowed to divulge details and I wouldn’t want to say anything to identify my family, so this is necessarily vague.
Back in court again?
I haven’t lost money, because I’ve learned from experience how to represent myself effectively in the family court system – if you ever need to do this yourself, my advice is, there’s no such thing as over-prepared. I was able to book a day off work through special leave, but many might be faced with losing wages due to having a family court hearing – an extra kick when you’re down.
The problem is, even though I “won”, I’ve still lost time that I could have spent doing other things, because I’ve had to write letters to the court and to solicitors, and I’ve had to prepare evidence and statements, and of course, prepare myself for the entire procedure.
Any court appearance can take a lot out of you, unless you’re a legal professional – I might be fast becoming an old hand at family court cases but I still need to gear myself up for it.
Writing for my blog has taken a hit because of all of the extra work involved, and of course there’s been less time for my artwork. I’ve also ended up giving a lot of my attention to Mr Socks, which I think is what he really wanted all along.
I’ve met so many people through the family court system who are being dragged through it by former partners looking to control them – it was a revelation. Still, it’s not as if you can just write off a court hearing as attention-seeking on your ex’s part – you still have to respond to it!
What’s been a real surprise is finding out just how much trouble Mr Socks has gotten himself into – now that he’s popped back up, I’ve found out that he’s been in trouble with the law over the last few years and is now facing several criminal prosecutions. I mean, WHAT?

Any end in sight?

I’ve always wanted my involvement with my ex-husband to be like a bad movie – beginning, middle and ending, and then get up and walk away. Unfortunately, it seems to be like a bad soap opera – tedious tiny dramas and huge overwrought storylines popping up here and there, with no end in sight.
The fact that this soap opera is happening effectively in another room has both piqued our curiosity and disgust – I’ve had to accept that it’s best for me not to know what’s going on until it hits the papers. And then, I’ve got to hope that Little Balders doesn’t see it.
So not only have I had to deal with the strange and ineffectual procedures of the Child Maintenance Service this month (still no payments), but there’s the lingering feeling that my son may not be safe with his father. I’ve found out so much recently that has made my stomach turn over, it’s been hard to process, and all it’s led to is me getting angrier.

What can I do?

The system doesn’t cater for lingering feelings, and CAFCASS don’t care.
If or when the law lays its hands on Mr Socks, it’ll be his problem, not ours. Until then, I’m going to work on having fun with my family this month!

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