Paul's Personal Story:
"I have shared my story below because I have heard from many people
that it is helpful and that some people have been able to identify with
my experience. I still recall seeing the process server on the other side
of the screen door with hands behind his back. It was at that point that
I knew my wife was serious. I had no idea what my rights were.
I did, as many others do, flip through the phone book, concentrating on
lawyers with full page ads, half the ad being their picture. My telephone
interviews seemed impersonal; the more lawyers I called, the more differing
interpretations I received as to what my rights were. I was left with
my sons in our three bedroom townhouse. I remember my son asking me when
mom was going to come home. I didn't know what to say so I changed the
subject. They thought that because I stayed in the townhouse I must have
been the one who made their mom leave.
About two weeks later, I was served with an Order to Show Cause requesting
that I have my sons on alternate weekends only. Wow! I was stupefied.
I had always spent time with my boys, and I did not know if I could adapt
to such a limited visitation schedule. My wife and I attended our conciliation
appointment as mandated by the state to attempt to establish our joint
parenting plan. Although I was optimistic that an agreement could be reached
that proved impossible, and we were required to go to court.
The day of court, I arrived early with my Bible in hand. I sat in the long
corridor waiting for my attorney to arrive. I remember feeling stressed
out. Would I lose my boys? Would I see them every other weekend? It was
at that time that I closed my eyes and surrendered all to the Lord. He
knew what was best for my boys, even if that meant they should stay with
their mom. Both attorneys went into chambers with the Commissioner while
we waited in the court room. The two attorneys came out and we were able
to go to the Cafeteria and work out a visitation plan and divide our assets.
The first several months were really tough with the boys. I found myself
being the Disneyland dad, I used to call my boys "Buddy".
It was chaos to say the least. Single parenthood was new to me, and I did
not have any assistance; I was a one man show. My sons at times would
throw horrendous fits when my ex dropped them off or I picked them up.
Then she would volunteer to take them back with her. I persevered and
insisted on having my time with them. (This is an abridged version of
what happened; I would be glad to swap more stories with you when we meet.)
Now, eight years later, I still share custody with my ex-wife.
I am truly blessed at how my relationship with my sons continues to develop.
My eldest wrote in his last essay that he wanted to go to college and
be a lawyer like his dad. My middle son and I have a close relationship
now, and I spend time helping with homework and school. My youngest is
an excellent student and is learning to play the clarinet. I married my
real sweetheart a few years ago, after taking time to get to know each
other well. Although I still struggle to co-parent with my ex regarding
our children's safety, welfare, and schooling, I am learning to deal with
these situations in a less destructive manner.
God Bless." - Attorney Paul Eads