Adventures in Divorce

I always wondered why people who murdered their spouses didn't just get a divorce.... I now understand why

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Location: Nap Town, Indie-anne-ahhhhhh!, United States

No, I'm not a prophetess. Cassandra, according to Greek mythology, spurned the advances of the Greek god Apollo and her gift of prophecy was cursed so that her predictions would never be believed. Such is my life. I tend not to think like most people, which is a gift... but also a curse. So step into my mind, take off your shoes and stay for awhile... you're always welcome, loved ones.

November 18, 2008

Another lesson in jurisdiction - Parenting Edition

Previously I discussed the concept of jurisdiction as it relates to dating and relationships..... well, jurisdiction has surfaced once again, this time in the context of 2 household parenting.

Just in case you forgot (or didn't read... shame on you), here's the definition of jurisdiction:

ju·ris·dic·tion /ˌdʒʊərɪsˈdɪkʃən/ [joor-is-dik-shuhn] –noun

1. the right, power, or authority to administer justice by hearing and determining controversies.
2. power; authority; control: He has jurisdiction over all American soldiers in the area.
3. the extent or range of judicial, law enforcement, or other authority: This case comes under the jurisdiction of the local police.
4. the territory over which authority is exercised: All islands to the northwest are his jurisdiction.

The Background: Recently Son got into an altercation with The Ex's girlfriend's daughter (which I think she was/is being manipulative of both Son and The Ex, but that's not my business, except it pisses me off that The Ex always sides against my Son, as he's done his entire life), and as punishment The Ex took Son's cell phone away. I called The Ex and told him to please return Son's cell phone to him because 1) I don't like Son out without a phone, 2) I need to be able to get a hold of him whenever I want and need to, and 3) I'm 100% paying for the phone. However, I made it clear that I was NOT trying to undermine his punishment of Son, and that the only reason I wanted him to have the phone was so he could make necessary calls (i.e. to parents, not to friends) and not text.... I even offered to pull up use records so he could keep track. After some back and forth arguing, he agreed to give Son his phone back for that limited purpose (he never asked for the records.... that woulda been too much work on his part to try and keep track of).

So Sunday when The Ex came to pick up Son, he said something to me about Son staying the night at his friend's house the night before. I looked at him bewildered, not sure what the problem was. He said that Son still on punishment and he'd told him not to stay the night at anyone's house that weekend (i.e. MY weekend). I didn't realize he still had Son still on punishment for the incident the week before. The Ex got mad, saying he thought I wasn't going to undermine his punishment. However, I told him that really didn't matter to me, because Son was not on punishment for anything that went on in my household..... that his jurisdiction was separate from my jurisdiction.

Now, when you are married (or some other form of relationship when you are together) I am a firm believer that each parent should support the other parent's discipline decisions and not undermine the other's authority. When I was married, even if I didn't agree with a particular punishment, I would NOT express this in front of my kids or overturn it; instead I would talk to my husband in private about why I disagreed, but the kids would NEVER know that I disagreed. I liken this to federal jurisdiction...... everyone in the country is subject to federal jurisdiction, and no matter what the law is in each state, if you violate a federal law you're just HIT (ex. medical marijuana laws.... the sticky icky is still in violation of federal law).

But now that I'm a single parent, jurisdiction has changed. Now it's more like States' rights:


States' rights pl.n.
  1. All rights not delegated to the federal government by the Constitution nor denied by it to the states.
  2. The political position advocating strict interpretation of the Constitution with regard to the limitation of federal powers and the extension of the autonomy of the individual state to the greatest possible degree.
"[E]xtension of autonomy of the individual state to the greatest possible degree." I am now in individual state, and the only laws I'm concerned about are the laws in MY state. Sure, there will be laws that overlap.... let's say that The Ex had Son on punishment for bad grades (which is OBVIOUSLY not applicable). Bad grades would also warrant punishment in my household (i.e. would be a violation of my laws). But that overlap is not always going to be there. And when it's not, I'm not going to enforce the laws in The Ex's jurisdiction.

So going back to Son's punishment..... first off, I didn't know he was told not to spend the night at anyone's house. The Ex did not communicate this to me and instead left it to the discretion of a 14 year old to enforce his own punishment, which is stupid. Secondly, if Son violated The Ex's punishment, that's for The Ex to enforce, not me. If I had agreed that Son needed to be punished for what he did, then I would have instituted my own punishment..... that was not the case here.

(The Ex even threatened to make it so Son could not stay with me at all.... this is the kind of dumb ish he says. I made it quite clear that he is never, EVER to make such a threat to me ever again.... he must've got the point because he didn't respond. Don't fuck with momma bear....)

Perhaps I'm wrong here.... I don't know. I make this stuff up as I go along. But I just don't feel like The Ex deserves the same level of deference that he did when we were married. Our parenting styles have never been identical, but now I feel that now that I'm solo that I have the freedom to institute my parenting style as I see fit (within reason.... I know the importance of consistency of discipline, but I'm also free to disagree with his judgment now). He no longer has authority in my jurisdiction.... not in dating, and not in parenting, either.

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3 Comments:

Anonymous QB said...

i agree with you and i can kind of see his point. i guess it would be good to sit down with him and discuss your views of what needs punished in both houses and what doesnt... or maybe that is just wishful thinking. i completely agree though that threatening to make it so he cant stay at your house is way out of line. way way out of line.

November 19, 2008 at 10:41 PM  
Anonymous Anesidora said...

Sit down with him and discuss?? This is assuming that he's a rational, logical person. Which he's not. The conversation would undoubtedly veer toward something wholly irrelevant and always ends in how I ruined his life and basically have to put up with whatever emotionally charged tomfoolery he dishes out.

It's very easy to assume that the Dr. Phil answer works. But when you get to reality, all those "I feel" statements and open communication go out the window. It only works if 2 people are on the same page, but if you were on the same page you wouldn't be having these issues (and would probably still be married).

November 20, 2008 at 6:52 AM  
Anonymous sunspots1 said...

I'm with you momma bear. If it was serious like that, then he would have remembered to talk to you about it first. It sounds like EX told Son - then forgot about it (like he was still in the house with you) then when he found out at your door it was easier for him to get mad at you as it took the onus off of himself for not following up w/you in the first place. Same with the phone -

Sounds like even though you are divorced, he's still having flashes like you are in the same household which is why he's doing things like this. That threat he gave you wasn't real, he just can't figure out where to get in.

But since he brought it up, I hope you have already gone through the courts and have a custody agreement. If not, save your pennies and get a good attorney. People always tell you what's really on their minds, somehow or another.

November 20, 2008 at 12:59 PM  

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Adventures in Divorce: Another lesson in jurisdiction - Parenting Edition

Another lesson in jurisdiction - Parenting Edition

Previously I discussed the concept of jurisdiction as it relates to dating and relationships..... well, jurisdiction has surfaced once again, this time in the context of 2 household parenting.

Just in case you forgot (or didn't read... shame on you), here's the definition of jurisdiction:

ju·ris·dic·tion /ˌdʒʊərɪsˈdɪkʃən/ [joor-is-dik-shuhn] –noun

1. the right, power, or authority to administer justice by hearing and determining controversies.
2. power; authority; control: He has jurisdiction over all American soldiers in the area.
3. the extent or range of judicial, law enforcement, or other authority: This case comes under the jurisdiction of the local police.
4. the territory over which authority is exercised: All islands to the northwest are his jurisdiction.

The Background: Recently Son got into an altercation with The Ex's girlfriend's daughter (which I think she was/is being manipulative of both Son and The Ex, but that's not my business, except it pisses me off that The Ex always sides against my Son, as he's done his entire life), and as punishment The Ex took Son's cell phone away. I called The Ex and told him to please return Son's cell phone to him because 1) I don't like Son out without a phone, 2) I need to be able to get a hold of him whenever I want and need to, and 3) I'm 100% paying for the phone. However, I made it clear that I was NOT trying to undermine his punishment of Son, and that the only reason I wanted him to have the phone was so he could make necessary calls (i.e. to parents, not to friends) and not text.... I even offered to pull up use records so he could keep track. After some back and forth arguing, he agreed to give Son his phone back for that limited purpose (he never asked for the records.... that woulda been too much work on his part to try and keep track of).

So Sunday when The Ex came to pick up Son, he said something to me about Son staying the night at his friend's house the night before. I looked at him bewildered, not sure what the problem was. He said that Son still on punishment and he'd told him not to stay the night at anyone's house that weekend (i.e. MY weekend). I didn't realize he still had Son still on punishment for the incident the week before. The Ex got mad, saying he thought I wasn't going to undermine his punishment. However, I told him that really didn't matter to me, because Son was not on punishment for anything that went on in my household..... that his jurisdiction was separate from my jurisdiction.

Now, when you are married (or some other form of relationship when you are together) I am a firm believer that each parent should support the other parent's discipline decisions and not undermine the other's authority. When I was married, even if I didn't agree with a particular punishment, I would NOT express this in front of my kids or overturn it; instead I would talk to my husband in private about why I disagreed, but the kids would NEVER know that I disagreed. I liken this to federal jurisdiction...... everyone in the country is subject to federal jurisdiction, and no matter what the law is in each state, if you violate a federal law you're just HIT (ex. medical marijuana laws.... the sticky icky is still in violation of federal law).

But now that I'm a single parent, jurisdiction has changed. Now it's more like States' rights:


States' rights pl.n.
  1. All rights not delegated to the federal government by the Constitution nor denied by it to the states.
  2. The political position advocating strict interpretation of the Constitution with regard to the limitation of federal powers and the extension of the autonomy of the individual state to the greatest possible degree.
"[E]xtension of autonomy of the individual state to the greatest possible degree." I am now in individual state, and the only laws I'm concerned about are the laws in MY state. Sure, there will be laws that overlap.... let's say that The Ex had Son on punishment for bad grades (which is OBVIOUSLY not applicable). Bad grades would also warrant punishment in my household (i.e. would be a violation of my laws). But that overlap is not always going to be there. And when it's not, I'm not going to enforce the laws in The Ex's jurisdiction.

So going back to Son's punishment..... first off, I didn't know he was told not to spend the night at anyone's house. The Ex did not communicate this to me and instead left it to the discretion of a 14 year old to enforce his own punishment, which is stupid. Secondly, if Son violated The Ex's punishment, that's for The Ex to enforce, not me. If I had agreed that Son needed to be punished for what he did, then I would have instituted my own punishment..... that was not the case here.

(The Ex even threatened to make it so Son could not stay with me at all.... this is the kind of dumb ish he says. I made it quite clear that he is never, EVER to make such a threat to me ever again.... he must've got the point because he didn't respond. Don't fuck with momma bear....)

Perhaps I'm wrong here.... I don't know. I make this stuff up as I go along. But I just don't feel like The Ex deserves the same level of deference that he did when we were married. Our parenting styles have never been identical, but now I feel that now that I'm solo that I have the freedom to institute my parenting style as I see fit (within reason.... I know the importance of consistency of discipline, but I'm also free to disagree with his judgment now). He no longer has authority in my jurisdiction.... not in dating, and not in parenting, either.

Labels: ,