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August 22nd, 2005, 08:54 AM
dingledine's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Seattle Area
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This should explain it, a rather longish letter to Friend of the Court:

To Whom It May Concern:

My son Matthew ***** is currently on visitation with his father, Glenn *****, and his stepmother, Erika *****, at his father’s home in Michigan. On Friday, August 19, during a telephone conversation that I had with Matthew, Matthew told me that he had heard his father claim to have sent correspondence to Matthew on a weekly basis. I asked Matthew whether this correspondence was email or postal mail. Matthew did not know. I then asked to speak with his father about this correspondence, hoping to get to the bottom of this announcement that was surprising to me because I had seen no such correspondence. His father stated that he had not sent correspondence to Matthew once per week, nor did he say how frequently he had sent correspondence. His father did say that he had written to Matthew, and he clarified that his writing was in the form of email. I have not received any email message from his father specifically for Matthew, though I have received short notes for Matthew in mail addressed to me that I have passed along to Matthew.

I have always been conscientious about passing along information from his father to Matthew that is relevant to Matthew, for example, a message about his half brother missing Matthew, and a message about his father’s recent move to Battle Creek. I assumed that when his father referred to correspondence, his father was referring to the short messages that I had passed on to Matthew. I told his father that I had passed the information on to Matthew and to please alert Matthew to this apparent misunderstanding. I then talked with Matthew again and told him that I know nothing about nor have seen any letters sent to Matthew. Matthew then told me that I was lying and that I was trying to hide something from him. Because I had spoken with Matthew’s father, I assumed that this apparent misunderstanding would be rectified. I told Matthew that I was going to hang up and that I loved him and would talk to him later. I hung up. I then sent an email message to his father to inform his father of Matthew’s rudeness to me on the telephone. In this email message, I repeated my request that his father talk to Matthew about this situation and rectify the misunderstanding. I also reminded his father that on several occasions I had asked him to please keep in touch with Matthew, either by phone, mail, or email.

Matthew called me on Saturday, August 20th. I assumed that Matthew called to apologize and to let me know that things were straightened out. Matthew then said that the email message that I had sent the previous day to his father was mean and that the message hurt his feelings. Matthew then continued by telling me things that Erika had said. Matthew had made similar statements on Friday. Matthew said, amongst other things, “Erika says you lie.”, “You are lying.”, “Erika says I was not rude when I spoke to you on the phone yesterday.”, “Erika wants to know about my life over there and asks me lots of questions.”, “Erika worked as a Social Worker.”, “Everything is wrong over there.”, “Erika thinks I’m old enough to talk about these things”, “I’m not a child anymore”, “You treat me like a child”, “Are you going to have a temper? Erika says you have tempers.”, and something like “I have nowhere to go, everything is so wrong.” It was particularly difficult to decipher this last statement because Matthew was crying and I could not hear him clearly. I asked to speak with his father. Matthew said that his father and Erika did not want to be disturbed. When Matthew asked his father on my behalf which email address his father had sent mail to, his father refused to answer, saying that he didn’t want to be disturbed. Later, when I asked to speak with his father, Matthew said that his father was sleeping and did not want to be disturbed. Matthew refused to hand over the phone.

Erika and I hardly know each other. In the past, when I have spoken with Erika, she has talked over me and interrupted me constantly to the point where I cannot communicate with her. I do not know what compels her to speak to Matthew in a disparaging way about me. Erika seems to care about Matthew, and Matthew adores Erika. I am glad that Erika and Matthew apparently have a good relationship.

I have not hidden from Matthew any message for Matthew, and I know nothing of these alleged letters. His father will not speak with me. Matthew seems convinced that I am hiding letters from him. I cannot convince Matthew otherwise and I have stopped trying. I told Matthew that I would like Matthew to correspond with his father whenever he wants to. In the past, I have helped Matthew write letters to his father. I have reminded Matthew to do so on other occasions. I believe that it is primarily a parent’s responsibility to write to or call his child. In fact, I have asked his father to call or write to Matthew on several occasions. I write to and call Matthew while he is on visitation with his father, partly to set a good example.

The following statement appears in the Court Order:

“It is further ordered and adjudged that neither parent will discuss the divorce, particularly property and financial issues, and will refrain from making negative comments about the other parent in the presence of the minor child.”

In the past, other situations have arisen in which information has been disclosed to Matthew contrary to the Court Order. For example, his father spoke with Matthew about his financial status and his struggles with paying child support. In the summer of 2004, Matthew spoke of giving an early birthday present to his father of cash in the sum of 10-20 dollars. Matthew thought at the time that his father was quite poor and in need of charity because his father had discussed with Matthew how paying child support leaves him strapped for cash. Matthew stated that his father should not have to pay child support because he cannot afford it.

When Matthew speaks about his father, I am careful not to disparage his father and I cast his father in a positive light.

I want:

• To find out where his father sent this correspondence for Matthew.
• To find out exactly which correspondence his father is referring to.
• For neither his father nor Erika to say negative things about me or my husband to Matthew.
• For neither his father nor Erika to disclose their financial or personal situations to Matthew.
• For his father and Erika to speak with me promptly about problems that pertain to Matthew, rather than first speaking directly to Matthew and then having Matthew function as mouthpiece.
• For his father to keep in touch with Matthew on a regular basis by email, mail, or telephone.
• For Matthew to be told by his father and Erika exactly what happened in this situation.


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August 22nd, 2005, 11:09 AM
Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Indiana
Posts: 2,098
Wow, that's a lot to have to deal with. I hope you can get the answers you are looking for. It's a shame when a parent tries to turn a child against the other parent. It sounds like your ex and his new wife are a little child-like themselves. We have full custody of my DH's kids and no matter what stupid thing his ex does, we DO NOT discuss it in front of the kids. Good luck.

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August 24th, 2005, 11:07 PM
magilatuzzi's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Vancouver Island, British Columbia
Posts: 4,599
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wow, i can feel for you, being in a similar situation myself. How old is Matthew?
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