I'd Go to Jail For My Kids
The battles begin
When it became clear that Lee wasn't going to quit drinking, I filed for divorce. Lee went into a cycle of treatment, disappearance, and reappearance. As of today, he's been missing for years.
Shortly after the divorce was final, Rob wrote a letter to the judge for my divorce case, asking for an investigation into my household. "Jane has changed," he wrote. He reported that I had a boyfriend and that he feared for my mental stability and the safety of the children. The judge wrote back (and sent a copy to me, which is how I learned of the request), explaining that the court could not investigate a single mother at the discretion of an ex-father-in-law.
Because I was financially beholden to Rob -- he threatened to evict us if I fell behind on the mortgage payments -- I brought Shawn and Claire to see him and his new wife a few times over the next two years. But after years of living with the fear of eviction, I sold the house and gave Rob $30,000 from the sale. The move put us geographically closer to him, but it also brought me closer to Jack, who was by then my fiancè.
Around the same time, I heard from Rob's lawyer. Rob wasn't satisfied with the visits. Unless I let the kids stay overnight with him twice a month, plus a week in the summer, he'd sue for grandparent visitation.
In the process of packing for our move, I'd found a letter Lee had written to his father that he never sent; in it, he'd written of the incest between his siblings. I hired an attorney, who sent copies of Lee's letter to Rob. When I finally heard from Rob, it was in the form of a lawsuit.
In court, Rob produced affidavits, signed by Lee and his two siblings, in his support. Lee's siblings acknowledged the incest between them but said their father hadn't known about it. Each described their father as a good dad. They said I was the problem -- I had changed. The judge granted Rob's request to sue for visitation.